My advice? Become acquainted with the hotel concierge.
In November 2018, Chris and I arrived in Aix-en-Provence only to encounter the beginning of the Yellow Vest Protests. Getting stuck in protestor traffic became the norm for the next few days of our vacation.
As we returned to the Renaissance Aix-en-Provence Hotel that first evening after encountering the protestors, Chris spent some time chatting with and getting to know the hotel concierge, Fredrik.
Getting to Know the Hotel Concierge
Over the next couple of days, Fredrik and Chris bonded over their shared frustrations. Each night as we returned to the hotel, Chris spent twenty to thirty minutes chatting with Fredrik getting pointers and helpful hints to avoid the protestors and making note of routes to take and places to visit.
Fredrik’s help was most beneficial to us; plus his suggestions for beautiful day trips were spot on.
We spent five spectacular days in the South of France and loved every minute of our vacation. I was excited for all of the photography opportunities and snapped some of my favorite photos of the South of France following the advice Fredrik.
As you begin your travels and adventures, you will find that getting to know the hotel concierge is beneficial for a variety of reasons. Their goal is to make your stay enjoyable.
Eight ways the hotel concierge can make your stay more pleasant:
1. Make dinner suggestions or reservations
Some nights as Chris and I travel, we don’t always plan ahead for our evening meal. When we visited Florence in 2017, we did not realize that reservations would be required for most restaurants close to our hotel. A few of the places David, the hotel concierge, tried were full.
Check to see if you will need reservations and plan ahead. The concierge makes it his business to know of the many surrounding restaurants and has created relationships with them to help in securing reservations for you as a hotel guest.
If you would like a nice, intimate dinner, make your reservations early to avoid the bustling dinner crowd.
When Chris and I visited Florence in 2017, we happily made friends with the hotel concierge at the Sina Hotel Villa Medici. The Pensave Peggio, a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel, came highly rated. Not only did the concierge call to make reservations for us but he also marked a map of the city, giving us directions to the restaurant.
2. Obtain movie or show tickets
Planning to see a movie, play, or musical? The concierge will likely have connections in obtaining the tickets you need.
3. Provide directions and maps
While many maps are available online, it is often nice to have a map in hand. The concierge will have access to the maps you need and perhaps give you advice on how to avoid construction and delays as you travel.
Need help getting to the shopping district? Ask the hotel concierge. Some hotels have a car or shuttle service to help you arrive at your destination.
Need advice on the best day trips? The hotel concierge will again be the person to guide you.
4. Book transportation for a day trip
And you will probably want more than a bike, but the concierge could help you with that too.
The concierge knows whom to call and whom to trust. He or she can save you money so that you don’t overpay.
Need a ride to the airport first thing in the morning? Arrange it with the hotel concierge the night before so that your exit is as smooth as possible.
5. Recommend nightlife hotspots
If you enjoy a night on the town, talk to the concierge about local hotspots, evening events, and best places to mingle.
Not only will they direct you to the best events, but they will also keep your safety in mind for late night activities.
6. Arrange for spa services
Ahhhh, after a long day of being a tourist, wouldn’t a massage feel awesome?
Or maybe you are ready to pamper yourself with a facial. Check with the concierge. You’ll be rejuvenated in no time.
7. Recommend fitness facilities
Often the hotel will have a fitness center; but if that is not the case, the concierge can direct you to the closest fitness facilities (sometimes these facilities will offer hotel guests a discount).
However, you might be interested in the best hike in the area. It is part of the concierge’s job to know.
8. Keep you safe
Interested in knowing if a certain section of a city is safe? Need medical attention? Ask the concierge.
If you are disabled, aren’t feeling well, or have other special needs, a hotel concierge can offer considerable assistance—like calling wheelchair-accessible taxis, finding English-speaking doctors, and recommending restaurants that can accommodate certain food allergies.SmarterTravel
Depending on the level of service the concierge provides for you, you should consider tipping them. If they arrange dinner reservations or a spa treatment, perhaps a tip of $2-$5. If their service goes above and beyond for you, perhaps a tip of $10-$20. For simple requests, no tip is required.
I recommend doing a little research before you arrive at your destination to determine local customs for tipping.
Final Thoughts on Why You Should Get To Know The Hotel Concierge
You may be surprised at all of the benefits you receive from simply talking to the hotel concierge.
It is part of their job to pleasantly welcome guests as they arrive, provide personalized solutions, make dinner reservations, offer recommendations, and help guests feel comfortable in the hotel and the city.
As the hotel guest, don’t be afraid to ask for help.