What is a hotel concierge supposed to do? Everything and anything for a guest? Not really, because a hotel concierge is neither a butler nor a personal assistant. A hotel concierge's job is to enhance guests' stay at the hotel and help them discover the destination.
If a guest's request to the hotel concierge is not strictly related to their stay, it's the wrong question to ask. A luxury traveler does not ask a hotel concierge...
To Help You Procure Anything Illegal
It's easy to laugh at outrageous behavior. But...sadly, every day, every concierge in the business endures at least one outrageous request for something dicey...for an escort, for prescription drugs like Ambien and fentanyl, or for marijuana. In places where these vices are legal, it's OK for a concierge to refer you to a source, but not to do the procuring for you. Keep it classy. Your concierge is not a Mafia fixer.
Where to Eat (Really!)
Even though local restaurant advice is an aspect of hotel concierges' official role, you won't get inspired advice from them. So if you're looking for an interesting dining experience, you're unlikely to get it from your concierge.
Why? It's the rare concierge who doesn't play it safe by recommending well-known, middle-of-the-road restaurants. They'd rather err on the side of tame.
Another reason not to rely on concierges' dining recommendations: concierges are comped (or otherwise gifted) by restaurateurs in the expectation they will funnel streams of hotel guests to their eateries. And restaurants that go the concierge route are typically hurting for business: they're obscure, or over the hill, or just-plain-awful tourist traps.
The Way to Get a Righteous Restaurant Rec at Your Hotel
Simply ask the bartender instead of the concierge. Why? He or she is the true insider in the local restaurant scene. And unlike the concierge, has nothing to gain from referring you.
To Do Anything that Goes Beyond the Job
Hotel guest, please act like the classy person you are. Do not ask your concierge to be your personal organizer or guinea pig. Refrain from requesting that he or she: take your dog for a walk outside your pet-friendly hotel; to be your personal shopper or messenger; to save you a trip to your room by stashing your shopping bags or other stuff while you dine, shop, or gamble; to try on a gift you just bought; to introduce you to another guest, or to divulge a name or room number.
To Act as Your Personal Assistant
Running late to your business meeting? Send the text yourself. Your hotel concierge is connected in the destination, not in your contacts list. Please do not ask him or her to do anything unrelated to your stay at their hotel.
Here's the exception. If you've upgraded to your hotel club floor, the dedicated concierges in the club lounge can and do help guests with business communications. (Find out: is a club-floor upgrade worth it to you?)
To Act as Your Travel Agent
Finessing your vacation or business trip's logistics is not a concierge's job either. The right choice for a guest is to refrain from asking the hotel concierge to make or change travel plans.
The only exception: getting you from the hotel to the airport. (Again, a club-floor concierge will be more involved with a guest's travel arrangements.)
To Act as Your Therapist
Don't ask your hotel concierge for personal advice. Yes, your concierge is a friendly character with a caring disposition. That's in the job description. But listening to your sob story is not. Your concierge has a job to do, and it's not to hear about your relationship with your partner, your ex, your kids, your parents, your siblings, your boss, your neighbor. And it's certainly not a hotel concierge's business to give you personal advice. Save the therapy session for your bartender at home.
To Negotiate a Price for Something at the Hotel
The price isn't going to change for you just because you asked (or begged) your concierge. This kind of request is very nervy. It's not a concierge's role to haggle on your behalf for anything, whether it's the $8 Milky Way from your minibar, the cover charge in the hotel's nightclub, or the $10,000 Tahitian black pearl necklace in the lobby boutique.
To Wrangle Your Hotel Bill
As the song goes, "It's too late, baby, now it's too late." Take it from a travel editor: the time to request a hotel freebie or discount is before check-in. Not before checkout.
Please do not ask your kind concierge to save you money. He or she cannot misrepresent your VIP status or room category; "put in a good word" to management; or finagle a hotel freebie, from the $6 Fiji water to the $600 third night.
If you seek a room change or upgrade for a good reason (hating your room is one), go to the front desk and ask for a manager.
Don't Ask: To Get You Tickets to Sold-Out Concerts, Shows, Games
Your concierge has influence, not a magic wand. And he or she certainly zero desire to debase himself or herself by begging. "I'm sorry, ma'am" (or "sir") means I am unable to do this, and "sold out" means "there are no tickets to be had anyway." What the concierge can do: get you onto a waitlist for a cancellation at a hot restaurant.
Don't Ask Your Concierge: To Name Celebrity Guests
A concierge is a discreet hotel staffer, not a brazen gossip columnist or Twitter tattler. Thanks to the gossips, the hotel's celebrity guests' names are already on the Internet,
OK, so suppose you've Googled all this and you already know who hotel's boldface guests are. But if you want to know more, you won't get anywhere by asking your concierge for the dirt on them. Why? Concierges are under contract not to spill. So: it's not gonna happen.
An exception: often, minor celebrities like reality-show contestants do want their names dropped, and have given permission to the hotel to mention them.
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