Concierge’s coverage is high class hotel PR for Fraser Suites
HE HAS found a good restaurant at 5am and organised an emergency Feng Shui consultation for a guest on a Friday night.
But unusual requests are all in a day’s work for Fraser Suites Edinburgh boutique hotel’s concierge Rudy Crane.
He said: “If you want to be a good concierge you need to get to know your guests really well and get a feeling for what they are interested in.
“A large part of the job is using your local knowledge and contacts to make expert recommendations about every aspect of a trip. Where should your guests, eat, drink, what sights just can’t be missed? How can they get the best tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo?”
Rudy currently works as a solo concierge at the new Fraser Suites Edinburgh hotel but staff at the luxury St Giles Street venue hope to grow the team so he can manage others to provide an even better service to their guests.
Large hotels can have up to 15 staff in their concierge teams, catering for travellers’ every need from booking trains to recommending an evening’s entertainment.
Rudy said: “I am posted at the entrance to the hotel, where I greet guests and make sure they have everything they need. Arriving at a hotel for the first time can be the most stressful part of a holiday – people are wondering what to expect of the place that is to become their home for the next two weeks – it’s my job to put them at ease and make them feel welcome.
“I am lucky enough to speak three languages, French, Dutch and English – and that certainly helps when looking after international guests.
“Presentation is very important too, I had my Howie Nicholsby kilt made to measure by 21st Century Kilts. It is a great way of welcoming our international guests to Scotland. Many of them have never been to Edinburgh before so it is quite special to be greeted by a kilted Scotsman when they come up the steps at Waverly Station.”
Like many professional concierges, Edinburgh-born Rudy worked in a variety of hospitality roles before he landed the high profile job at Fraser Suites Edinburgh.
He spent years working in France, California and New Zealand for some of the world’s best hotels before starting at the luxury hotel.
Before returning to work in his home city, Rudy worked at the front desk of the Auberge du Soleil – a 50-room venue in California’s Napa Valley consistently voted in the top ten hotels in the USA.
He was also formerly head waiter at New Zealand’s 25-room Huka Lodge – a favourite high society retreat of the British Royal Family when visiting New Zealand.
He added: “I love working in hospitality and being a concierge is one of the most direct ways to interact with guests.
“You build relationships with other concierges – there is a healthy competition about who can book the last seat at the Witchery – or who can get the best Tattoo tickets.
“We get on well, but everyone is very loyal to their own hotel because they want their guests to have the best experience of Edinburgh.
“I would ultimately like to get my Clefs D’or – or Keys of Gold. You apply for them after you have been a concierge for more than five years.”
Les Clefs d’Or – or Golden Keys – represent a status awarded to the best and most experienced concierges in the country. Applicants must be recommended by two concierges who already hold the lapel pin distinguishing them as at the top of their trade.
Hopeful concierges are interviewed by committee members and assessed to make sure they are presentable, courteous, helpful, knowledgeable, experienced.
Rudi said: “Concierging is certainly a profession to be proud of – what could be better than adding the finishing touches to transform someone’s holiday into the trip of a lifetime?”
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