The importance of the Concierge

The Concierge Desk is a tradition and the cornerstone of our history, one of the reasons that our Dear Guests value our service.

Whether or not to have a Concierge Desk was a question that many General Managers were faced with during the 2008/2011 crisis but, unfortunately, the eradication of the Concierge and the Reception desk into one big Front Office was already a tendency for some years.

Most of the General Managers, in a rush to increase profits, decided to lower the costs, starting with the staff, and the front of the house was where the change was more perceptible. By combining both departments they were able to cut 1/3 of the workers. In theory, this is a good idea. They hoped that the new Front Office employee could combine the skills of a Concierge and a Receptionist and become a more dynamic and pro-active worker who could provide valid results.
The importance of the Concierge

I totally support this idea in 3- and 4-stars hotels, but in 5 stars hotels?

Before we were hit by the pandemic, I was watching our Head Concierge and noticed that there was a US couple who spent more or less one hour, each morning, by his desk. I became aware that the conversation was not only about advice and recommendations but also about history, politics, and much more. The Concierge, in this case with 55 years of experience, was sharing his knowledge with the guests, and they were “seizing” it all like children on a school bench.

I finally realized that these dialogs were part of the Guests’ "Lisbon experience", and this is the right way! Of course, not all guests want it or need it but, in a hotel like ours, it's indispensable to have a 
Concierge's desk.

Only those who are experts and knowledgeable in concierge services are able to connect with the customer and come up with a plan for a "City break" or a long stay. They will be able to help you choose what restaurant to book because they've been there and they've tasted the food. They will help you decide which are the most important sights to see if you are short on time.

It's now clear that something that was standard a few years ago (Reception/Concierge), is now an added value. Some of the new 5 stars hotels have only one desk, I strongly doubt that they will have the time or the knowledge to spend 1 hour, each day, "educating" a guest about Lisbon.

From an economic standpoint, this may not be the best solution but, from a service point of view, this is the only solution.

Concierge... here to stay!


  1. I agree totally - I've stayed in the Avenida Palace a few times, and greatly appreciate the concierge service (though not to the extent of an hour's education a day - a pity perhaps!). Other hotels could learn from you !!
    Bill Ruse


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