Taking Advantage of Your Hotel's Concierge

You’ve seen them before at your hotel. Some are seated behind elegant desks with a computer screen at their ready. Others are just a few paces down the counter from the reception desk. Concierges are there to help hotel guests and often provide an invaluable service. Indeed, many travelers don’t understand or, in some instances, aren’t willing to pay for what a concierge can do for them. Prior to last year, I probably fell into this category. I might ask for directions or a local map but that was about it. That changed when we stayed at the BoBo Hotel in Buenos Aires.

In May of 2006, my wife and I were planning our second trip to Buenos Aires and other parts of Argentina when I decided to surprise her by taking her to see Cirque de Soleil’s Saltimbanco. Not only had we never seen a Cirque de Soleil show, the opportunity to do so in another country seemed irresistible. Besides, thanks to the exchange rate, tickets in Argentina would probably come at a discount.

Rather than navigating through Ticketek’s local web page and potentially messing up my order due to a language misunderstanding, I decided to let Julia at the BoBo take care of purchasing our tickets. She easily arranged for the right night, the perfect seats (about a dozen rows from the ring, as the picture to the right attests) and transportation to the show near Puerto Madero. The evening, paired with a one AM dinner at Bice, was one of the highlights of our trip.

For a recent trip to London, we enlisted the services of the concierge at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel for tickets to Wicked. I had difficultly locating decent seats on December 30th – an awfully tough time to land tickets for a hot West End show. The concierge contacted a local ticket agent, handled payment and arranged for two seats in the stalls – Row K, Seats 24,25 – arguably two of the best tickets in the house. Sure… I had to pay a premium for the seats but nothing extravagant. The concierge’s great work was well worth a comfortable gratuity.

On that same London trip, while visiting The Chesterfield Hotel in Mayfair, we had the hotel's conciege work with the concierge at The Sherlock Holmes to arrange for transportation to Gatwick. Honestly, this concierge took service to a different level and my wife and I still talk about the way he treated us. Well worth a reasonable gratuity!

Concierges can help with difficult restaurant reservations, transportation or other hard-to-come-by tickets or tours. If you’re planning on simply taking in the sights and not arranging for any special events, their assistance may not be necessary. However, if you want to arrange for a truly memorable evening or want to make your trip smoother, make it a point to use your hotel’s concierge. Don’t forget to compensate them for their hard work. A good gratuity may continue to pay dividends for the remainder of your stay.

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