Hostel Burlington - A concierge is an employee of a hotel, an apartment building or an office building who serves clients in the same manner to a butler. This position is normally maintained by a security officer or the graveyard shift. The "portero" is a similar position which exists in Spanish speaking areas.
"Concierge" is a word derived from the French Comte Des Cierges that translates to the Keeper of the Candles. This was the person who took care of visiting nobles during the medieval times, who were visiting castles. The concierge was an officer of the King during medieval times. This individual had help from his bailiffs and was charged with executing justice.
During the 19th and early part of the 20th century, city apartment buildings, mostly in the city of Paris, had a concierge who usually had a small apartment on the building ground floor. This apartment was referred to as "la loge" and enabled the concierge to monitor all goings and comings into the building. These days, such setups are fairly rare. Nearly all concierges in middle or small sized buildings have been replaced by the part time services of door staff.
The bigger and more expensive apartment buildings may still utilize a concierge. Some of their tasks may comprise keeping the mail of absented residents, providing information to guests and residents, enforcing building rules, providing access control when residents misplace or lose their keys, acting as a "go-between" when management is off site for residents, and be entrusted with apartment keys in the event of emergencies when residents are away.
Concierge's who work in the hotel industry can help customers with various tasks. For instance, they could book spa services for customers, make restaurant reservations, make certain tickets to special events like for example sporting events or concerts are procured, make restaurant reservations, suggesting hot spots and nightly entertainment venues, assist with booking tours and different travel arrangements to local attractions, as well as taking care of any transportation arrangements with boats, limousines, airplanes etc.
In extremely upscale hotel establishments, concierges have the reputation of being able to attain the impossible. There should be no request extremely big or outlandish for a concierge to carry out. The ability to deal with any request by the consumer, regardless of how unique or how bizarre is really essential to being successful in this job. The concierge makes use of an extensive list of local contacts with local merchants and service providers.
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