I’ve never really given much thought to that hotel staff member sitting quietly at the desk in the corner of the lobby, that was until my husband was suffering some major food poisoning on our layover in Paris, via Morocco. I was worried that I might need to bring him to a local hospital but the wifi wasn’t working and I had no idea where to begin (I’m of an age to remember what it was like traveling before the Internet and we simply just deferred to old-fashioned human interaction!). So, I headed for the concierge desk and–voila!–all of my questions were answered, my mind and heart soothed. Sometimes, it’s just really nice to speak to a human, rather than poke around in a travel app.
This experience got me thinking that most travelers are most likely seriously under utilizing this resource. Below are some creative problems that your friendly hotel concierge might just be the answer to.
Concierge Food for Thought:
Book pre-arrival activities that could be sold out before you get to your destination (sporting events, shows, private tours, restaurants, etc.).
Recommend nearby fitness facilities/gyms (and may even be able to provide free day passes!).
Set up a surprise for your partner or friend with something special in their hotel room (think champs, chocolate, flowers, a gift card, spa treatment, etc.!)
Help to make an appointment at an embassy or arrange for passport expediting.
Need a babysitter? Your concierge can probably help with that (or a petsitter for that matter!).
Find an English-speaking doctor.
Meet and greet: arrange for friends or family members to be met at the airport.
Need a last-minute haircut? Yep!
Have your rental car delivered to your hotel.
If you forget your umbrella, they can most likely lend one to you ;)
Suggest a few out of the way local restaurants or ethnic cuisine options.
Save time: yes, you certainly can look up things/activities/questions on your own, make phone calls and send emails, but often it can be easier to delegate these time-consuming tasks to someone else (hey, you’re on vacation!).
Competitive pricing: Concierges are usually locals and can often secure better prices.
P.S. Pro Tip–you don’t necessarily need to be a guest of the hotel to consult with the Concierge. If they’re not busy, they are usually very willing to offer a bit of advice!
P.P.S. Depending on the level of service, gratuity/tip is always a good idea.
*Images by Bernadette Fox / bernadettephoto.com / @dettesnaps