A good concierge has his or her finger on the pulse of the community
Telluride, Colo. (Vocus) March 31, 2010
Deriving as much value as possible from travel is more important than ever in today’s economic climate. Beyond searching for prices, packages and promotions, knowing how to make the best use of a hotel’s concierge services may be one of the best-kept secrets around when it comes to getting the most from your next vacation.
Concierge services, once reserved for wealthy and demanding guests, are open to every hotel guest, says Steve Treacy, concierge at Mountain Lodge at Telluride in Telluride, Colo. “A good concierge has his or her finger on the pulse of the community,” he explains. “They will have access to one of the most crucial parts of any vacation: inside information.”
Treacy offers these tips to making the best use of concierge services.
1. Start before your trip. Call the concierge in advance of your arrival to start planning. Many concierges will be happy to work with you to arrange any services you need, make reservations or help plan out activities and an agenda for your stay. Mountain Lodge at Telluride even has a virtual concierge service where guests can log on and specify their interests and requests before arrival. Working with the concierge before you leave home can be especially helpful when visiting areas that tend to get booked (think ski resorts or popular beach destinations).
2. Make an activity plan. A concierge’s responsibilities have expanded significantly over the past 20-30 years, says Treacy, and extend far beyond making dinner reservations. Don’t be afraid to ask a concierge to help you plan your vacation in detail, day by day. If you’re headed on a ski trip, the concierge can suggest activities and places to visit that are in line with your tastes for those days you may not want to ski all day. If you’re planning a family vacation, the concierge can map out a plan that holds interest for each member of your family.
3. Create an experience. A good concierge can suggest not only a good restaurant, but where to sit and what time to arrive at a local eatery to catch the perfect sunset.
4. Communicate. Don’t be shy. The more you ask the concierge and the more information you can share about your needs and desires, the more effective the service will be. Communicating your needs can create the smooth vacation you hope to have.
5. Solve a problem. Good concierges can solve virtually any problem, and handle seemingly impossible tasks with speed. Whether it’s a need for an interpreter, interest in finding a hiking trail with just the right degree in difficulty, resolving a snag in travel plans, or help on finding almost anything, speak up.
While it is customary to tip a concierge, it’s generally minimal, says Treacy, with the resulting savings in time, hassle and stress proving invaluable. “I’m surprised more people don’t use concierge services,” he says. “Rarely is there a local business a concierge won’t know, and the connections with vendors and other service providers can make so-so vacations become incredible experiences.”
Although the primary image of the concierge remains the hotel employee who makes dinner reservations and books sightseeing tours, today, concierges offer a wide range of services in a variety of venues. Their services are available to every guest. In the process, you’ll likely end up with a lower-stress, more relaxing trip – and memories for a lifetime.
Mountain Lodge at Telluride (http://www.MountainLodgeTelluride.com)
Mountain Lodge at Telluride is an exclusive, slopeside, upscale resort featuring an eclectic blend of rustic elegance and western charm. At 9,500 feet in the San Juan Mountains, the locale offers private luxury cabins, condominiums, and lodge rooms as well as executive conference rooms offer space for small meetings and retreats, reception space and full catering service. The View restaurant provides authentic Italian dining in a spectacular, intimate setting.
Mountain Lodge at Telluride has served as a major lodging sponsor for the 2010 Olympic-qualifying LG FIS Snowboard World Cup, providing lodging for the athletes, event sponsors and other VIPs. Telluride was the sole U.S. stop for the sport’s World Cup in the 2009-2010 season.