Emilie Garnier, Head Concierge at Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva, takes us behind the scenes at the hotel, and shares some of her tips for women looking to join the industry. With seven years experience, Emile knows what goes into making a stay a special experience of each guest as well as dealing with unusual and unforeseen situations and tells us what it takes to become a Head Concierge.
How long have you been Head Concierge at Hotel d’Angleterre?
“I’ve been working as Head Concierge at the wonderful Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva for more than seven years. It’s amazing how time flies!”
What first attracted you to the role?
“It’s a simple story. I was studying Trade & International Affairs and I met a former colleague of my grandfather, F&B Manager and Hotel Deputy Manager of a property in Paris. He said to me, ‘do you know that you’re a real hotel concierge?’ I did not catch the real meaning at that moment, but it was the beginning of my new life.
Being a concierge is so interesting! Dealing with uncommon situations, helping people, meeting our guests’ needs and exceeding their expectations, discovering new places and sharing tips, information and cultural events – it all helps our visitors to have memorable experiences of the city and surroundings. It’s the perfect job.
In the five-star hospitality industry, details are our purpose. We love taking care of our guests, our contacts and our colleagues as well. By being Head Concierge, I learn more and more each day, meet amazing guests, and deal with uncommon situations.
Of course, this job can be stressful, so it’s important to have natural self-control! To keep cool and face unforeseen events, we can work on our communication, on our way of selling services, and of managing colleagues, but to be happy in this role certain essential aptitudes are required: humility, a genuine interest in others, warmth, curiosity and generosity.”
What do you love the most about your job?
“Learning every day from people and from life, from very happy to very tough situations or events. This job reminds us all that life is short, and that every moment is important. I also love meeting brilliant people, amazing guests, genuine colleagues and providers, and other concierges all over the world. It is a chance, every day.”
As a woman in your position, how would you encourage other women to consider a similar role? Do you have any tips for women planning a career as a concierge?
“Firstly, our aim is to realize our guests’ wishes. To succeed, the whole hospitality sector should offer fairly balanced teams. All hard workers deserve a chance, both men and women.
The majority of concierges are men, which presents woman a great opportunity to succeed in this position. I believe that I succeeded in reaching this fabulous position because I had the chance to meet the right concierges, Head Concierges, General Managers and owners. Instead of focusing on the differences between women and men, it’s whether an individual has the qualities needed to become a great concierge – whether they are ‘a concierge’ inside.”
If you’re planning a trip to the stunning city of Geneva, why not stay at Hotel d’Angleterre on the banks of Lake Geneva, and let Emilie and her passionate team show you the best of the city.
Image Credits: All images © Red Carnation Hotels