Tell us about the profession of the hotel concierge. What is special about it, what connects you to this job?
When working as a concierge, you help finding solutions to problems. Whatever they may be.
The concierge is the face and the voice of the hotel. He represents the link between the guest and the city, the country or even the world.
As a concierge, I am able to enjoy a very privileged contact to our hotel guests. Often times, I am the first person our guests contact, be it because of issues concerning the hotel, for information of any kind or for personal matters.
The contact with our guests has therefore established and intensified over the years, the mutual interest and connection has been growing as well.
What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages concerning your profession?
The occupation of a concierge only bears advantages. My job as a concierge is the center of my life and I arranged myself in a way that I can schedule and live my private life around it just as I want to. I guess that’s the benefit that I got to know my wife in this environment and our jobs have been the most important factor ever since. No life without a job – like this, we built our own little island around the concierge profession.
To me, the Baur au Lac is „my hotel“ and I don’t want to work anywhere else on the world. Oftentimes, it is a matter of your attitude as well. I only see the benefits: If I am on early morning duty, I have to get up early but can go home early as well. Great! If I am on the late shift, I get to sleep in, perfect!
What was the most challenging task you received from a hotel guest you could execute? Do you reject certain orders as well?
There is a very beautiful story I like to recount: a middle-aged married couple celebrated their anniversary in the Baur au Lac. They booked a nice suite with a view of the Schanzengraben moat. Late in the afternoon, the couple had an argument, causing the lady to rush onto the balcony, stripping her ring from the finger and tossing it in the moat immediately. The husband, shocked by the short-tempered reaction of his wife and distressed by the loss of the expensive ring, contacted the concierge and asked for his advice.
The concierge made use of his network and got in touch with a top-ranking police officer in Zurich who in turn sent out a boat with three professional divers to the Schanzengraben moat. Thanks to the pure, crystal clear water of the Schanzengraben, they found the ring within a few hours. The couple was relieved and on the same evening celebrated their reconciliation as well as the anniversary.
Of course we do reject orders. Be it because we just can’t render it possible or because they are against ethical, political, realistic or legal principles. It is important to be able to say no. It is equally important to be able to say why you are saying no.
Did you have any influential experiences with a special car of a guest?
Many years ago, I was allowed to provide a vehicle for a guest in Monaco. It wasn’t any random car but a Bugatti Veyron, the dream car par excellence. A drive was flown in to Nice just because of this and he chauffeured the car safely to Zurich. Shortly afterwards, the guest arrived to enjoy his two-week stay at the Baur au Lac. At the arrival, the guest was advised that the car was ready in the car port. As the guest didn’t use the car for a whole week, I informed him about it again, only reaping a nod. Throughout his whole stay, the guest didn’t use the car a single time. Thus, the driver chauffeured it back to Monaco. To be in touch with such extraordinary cars days is something very special to me.