Home' Hotel Management : HM JUNE 2017 Contents Peter McBrearty,
Les Clefs d’Or
As we approach the mid-point of 2017, we have
been able to reflect on a very successful and
productive six months, the high point of which was
the UICH Les Clefs d’Or Congress, held in Berlin
toward the end of March. Nineteen of our Australian
members joined hundreds of Concierge from
around the world, to benefit from the educational
and networking opportunities provided by our hosts
from Les Clefs d’Or Germany. The educational
sessions included informative addresses ‘Best in
Class’ by Chris Fradin, Vice President Europe of
Forbes Travel Guide; ‘Attracting and Retaining the
Concierge in Today’s Marketplace – High Touch
or High Tech?’ by Heather Jacobs, Senior VP
International Human Resources at Four Seasons
Hotels and Resorts; and ‘Voice of The Customer –
The Evolution of Hospitality, Future Guest Needs
and Service Expectations’ by Matthew Costin,
Managing Director of BDRC Continental.
A major focus for Les Clefs d’Or Australia this year
will be focusing on developing our relationships
with the Human Resources departments at our
various hotel groups. This will include providing
details of the Tourism Expo’s we will be running this
year in Brisbane and Sydney to bring Concierge
and Front Office staff together with regional
suppliers of tourism products and services, the
Concierge workshops being run by members
in each state to help develop Concierge staff
as they work toward membership, enabling
properties to utilize the Les Clefs d’Or Australia
website situations vacant section to advertise
for Concierge staff, and also with assisting with
sourcing Concierge staff for new properties.
We now have a record 57 members nationally, and
with further interviews over the next six months
expect to exceed 60 members before the end of
the year. Balancing out the increasing membership
though, Melbourne members recently attended the
farewell of popular International Honorary Member
John McGaw of Destination Melbourne. John’s long
and passionate advocacy of Melbourne and Victoria
was recognized by his many friends in the Tourism
and Hospitality industry, and we look forward to the
next chapter in the career of one of Melbourne’s
genuine icons of tourism sales and marketing.
July will see Les Clefs d’Or members from
around Australia meet at the Sofitel Brisbane
for our national AGM, which this year will be
held in conjunction with the inaugural ‘Meet
The Region’ Tourism Expo, and followed by the
Brisbane Concierge and Hospitality Ball. Brisbane
is hosting the AGM for the second consecutive
year, and the addition of the Tourism Expo is a
sign of the dynamic nature of both our Northern
region and membership. We are very grateful
for the assistance of both the Sofitel Brisbane
and Brisbane Marketing, as we bring together
Concierge and Front Office staff and regional
providers of tourism services and products, to
enhance our awareness of what is available for
those of our guests travelling to Queensland.
Peter McBrearty is President of Les Clefs
d’Or Australia and Chief Concierge at The
How long have you been a Concierge in total?
For 12 years now I have been working in Concierge departments undertaking roles as a Porter,
Commissionaire, Doorman and Concierge.
Describe the path you have travelled to your current position at Crown Towers Perth?
I have always been truly ambitious to work across various world-class resorts, with my journey beginning at
the Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour, before I took the leap to the InterContinental London Park Lane for
two years. From there I returned to Sydney to Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and then recently moved across
as the Chief Concierge at Crown Towers Perth, which sets a new benchmark as the epitome of luxury.
Have you had a particular role model in your own career as a professional Concierge?
Throughout my Concierge career I have been extremely fortunate to have worked alongside some brilliant
Concierge and Hoteliers. I definitely feel that I have taken bits and pieces from all of them, although without
doubt Jorge Sousa Chef Concierge, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, was a defining role model who help
guide, mentor, inspire and train me and Jorge is definitely a role model I owe much of my successes to.
Have you found moving from one side of Australia to the other to take up a position
at a brand new property in a city that is new to you to be an interesting challenge?
Moving to Crown Towers Perth is definitely a new challenge, although luxury travellers expect the same
high level of customer service no matter where they go, with attention to detail and design brought
back to the hotel experience. I have found the fantastic team at Crown Perth have made it enjoyable,
professionally rewarding and seamless. There are always some challenges when a Concierge is faced with
learning a new region and property, although I am extremely fortunate to work at a truly opulent hotel
with colleagues and management to match, who have all assisted me with the transition.
You are currently the national Secretary of Les Clefs d’Or Australia, with several
years of experience in mentoring and overseeing the development of new
members. What is your opinion of the potential for the development of enough
professional Concierge staff to accommodate the positions opening up in the new
premium hotel properties already under construction not just in Perth, but also in
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide?
As previously mentioned, a city can never have too many professional Concierge staff. I am a strong
advocate for training and developing Concierge staff to maintain strong brand standards, while ensuring
as an industry we are constantly striving for improvement and enhanced methods for aiding our guests.
Throughout my time in Les Clefs d’Or I have personally found it extremely rewarding to empower and
develop Concierge staff and then for those Concierge to in turn then empower and develop further staff
in a self-renewing cycle. Through this consistent and reliable support and empowerment of Concierge,
the potential to provide enough professional staff can be achieved across the country. It won’t be an
easy or a quick solution, but with patience and persistence I can see the Concierge departments all over
Australia being some of the best in the world and consistently raising the marker for service levels.
What is it that you ultimately enjoy most about your role as Concierge?
It is difficult to narrow it down. I enjoy meeting variety of interesting people from across the globe,
sharing and learning experiences and information, the unpredictability of what I am going to be asked
next. I’m not entirely sure if I can pin point one aspect as I adore every facet of being a Concierge.
HM sits down with DAVID LUFF, Secretary of Les Clefs d’Or
Australia and Chief Concierge at Crown Towers Perth.
Crown Towers Perth’s David Luff
50 HM The Business of Accommodation
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