When you go to a hotel that has a concierge desk, you can wind up with a crappy concierge or an amazing one (we’ve experienced both and OMG, were the crappy ones CRAPPY! But the amazing ones were AMAZING!).
When you get to a concierge desk, you can hope you get an amazing concierge – and there’s an easy way to see if you have “the best of the best,” with just one quick glance…
If you see a concierge wearing a pin that looks like this:
Then you’ve hit the jackpot.
Concierges wearing that pin are part of a society called Les Clefs d’Or (“Golden Keys”) and they are known to be some of the most top-notch concierges you’ll ever find.
Founded in 1929, the association was organized so concierges in the area could network and work together for the benefit of their respective clients. It’s gone through several changes over the decades, but the goal is still for members to be the “elite” concierges, who can “open any door” (hence the “golden keys”) for their clients. Although the society began in France, it’s since grown to include concierges from all around the world, as a way to make their guests’ experiences the best they can be.
Requirement for membership in the society varies from country to country, but in general, potential members have to be at least 21 years old, have to have worked five years in a hotel, and at least three of those years as a concierge before they can apply. Some chapters require a written exam that tests knowledge of wine, menus, airlines, florists, and general problem-solving (i.e. Where can you find a pink poodle at 3am?). You need to provide letters of reference from the past and present employers. You also need to provide letters of introduction from two active members of the Society.
Attaining membership is not easy and only about 25% of those who apply are allowed to join this society that vows to “accommodate every guest request so long as it is morally, legally, and humanly possible.
There are currently over 4,000 members of the Les Clefs d’Or and they can be found in over 80 countries. If, in your travels, you get a concierge who’s a member, consider yourself very, very lucky. Enjoy!
*** Thanks to David P. for his assistance with this post!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary