A little less than a year ago, Rocio Martinez Quintal—the Mexico Boutique Hotels’ concierge—lost her hard-earned Clefs d’Ors (Golden Keys) because her job description no longer fit the traditional association’s definition of what it means to be a concierge.
She was told that because she does not actually sit at a desk inside a hotel and face travelers, she is not a true concierge. This was a blow to Rocio: she had spent two years preparing for this prestigious recognition and felt she had not changed anything about how she worked or her dedication to the traveler’s experience. She still provided assistance and information on everything from dinner reservations, flowers, guided tours, pre-arrival packing, airport transfers, driving instructions, marriage proposals and so much more. In short, she still does everything that makes a concierge a concierge. The only difference is she does all of this virtually and via telephone given that our hotels are spread out over 26 destinations in Mexico.
Now, I’m willing to bet that any traveler who has ever dealt with Rocio when booking with Mexico Boutique Hotels would confirm just how much of a concierge she actually is. So would our member hotels, which are often very small and have embraced the extra help that Rocio provides them. In fact, their support was such that when Rocio was told (by the Clefs association in Mexico) she needed to fulfill certain desk hours, several of our properties happily offered her a physical space in their hotel.
Not surprisingly, the removal of Rocio’s ‘Keys’ has not kept her from working just as hard and efficiently as before. It merely made me think about how standards are set, maintained and allowed to evolve in an ever-changing industry.
What is your definition of concierge?