March, 2008


The Concierge plays a significant role in the quality of a guest experience in a hotel. He or she is the ultimate insider who possesses a wealth of information and a network of contacts diligently cultivated over time. The ‘black or the red book’ may have been replaced by an electronic organizer, however the nature of the expansive knowledge remains the same. Their key to success is who they know! Their network of specialist contacts may not be necessarily listed in the yellow pages hence qualifying them as the scrupulously guarded secrets. Typical concierge requests may include restaurant reservations, theater tickets, a question about local transportation or where to check e-mail. But it’s the unexpected that makes this position so exciting. Obtaining a new passport in an hour, organizing an elephant for a photo shoot or planning an unforgettable marriage proposal for a client is what really puts the service to test! Read more…

My first post is dedicated to the greatest hotelier of all time – Cesar Ritz, whose name was associated with the famous Ritz Hotels known for their comfort, luxury and elegance. In 1898, he opened his very own first Ritz Hotel in Paris and also undertook management of the Carlton in London. The combination of both names ultimately resulted in the Ritz-Carlton that we know today!

Cesar Ritz was born on February 23, 1850, and was the youngest of the thirteen children of Johann – Anton Ritz and Kreszentia nee Heinen. They led a simple life in the small alpine community of Niederwald in the high lying Goms Valley in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. The small remote village clings to the side of a mountain and at the time of Cesar’s birth, the population was a merely one hundred and twenty three inhabitants. Cesar attended primary school in Niederwald and like most children herded cattle in the alpine pastures during his holidays. At the age of twelve, he was sent to Sion, the capital of the canton of Valais, to learn French, German and English. At home, he spoke the Valaisan dialect with his family.

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