When Rocio Lost Her ‘Clefs’ or Does The Desk Make The Concierge?

June 25, 2009

Cles d'or






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?


Wine Ice in Queretaro, Mexico

June 20, 2009

Travel writer Karen Catchpole recently visited the city of Queretaro as part of her Trans-America Journey. When booking Karen into the Doña Urraca hotel, our Mexico Boutique Hotels’ concierge Rocio suggested she visit a special ice cream shop. Turns out it was something to write home about…


Mexico Boutique Hotels Announces Innovative Hotel Concierge Service

November 13, 2007

Unique Concept Extends Across Multiple Properties, Destinations. 

Since its inception, Mexico Boutique Hotels (MBH) has offered travelers much more than a great room with a fabulous view. With the announcement of its innovative complimentary Hotel Concierge service, this eclectic collection of outstanding boutique properties once again raises the bar on the art of travel. 

“’Concierge service’ in and of itself is not new,” explained Sylvie Laitre, Director of MBH, “but the fact that we offer assistance across separate hotels in multiple destinations is certainly beyond mainstream. Many of our travelers embrace our suggestions for ‘circuit tours,’ so it was a logical step for us.” In charge of this ground-breaking concept is Rocío Martínez Quintal, a member of the prestigious Clefs D’Or (www.lcdusa.org), the exclusive international association of professional hotel concierges.

“We want to extend our member hotels’ special brand of personalized service to each and every guest from the minute their stay is booked, no matter if that includes one property or several,” said the bilingual Martínez Quintal. “Whether it’s arranging a lunch stop as they travel from one of our hotels to another or shipping luggage to their destination ahead of time, there is no greater satisfaction than knowing I was instrumental in making their vacation unforgettable.”

One week prior to their arrival, Martínez Quintal contacts guests booked in member hotels* to confirm the details of their reservation and the services and amenities offered by the property, provides a recommended packing list for the destination, gives a weather forecast for their stay, shares information on recommended tours and/or activities in the area; asks about any special celebrations occurring during their stay, if they’d like to book anything in advance or, simply, how she can be of assistance. 

“The post-departure is just as important,” says Martínez Quintal. “We want to know if both MBH and the property lived up to our mission of offering a quality brand with great hotels that provide wonderful experiences, so we contact guests after their travels with a personalized e-mail. We invite them to share their comments on the hotel’s MBH webpage and we ensure the hotel receives their reviews so we can keep refining every aspect of our service.”