Home' Hotel Management : HM October 2017 Contents Peter McBrearty,
Les Clefs d’Or
Concierge and Front Office staff from a large
number of hotels engaged in a form of ‘tourism
speed dating’ to engage with representatives
from major attractions and tourism industry
companies at the Les Clefs d’Or Sydney Tourism
Expo, held this year at Darling Harbour on one of
Captain Cook Cruises’ larger vessels.
The Expo proved to be very informative, with both
exhibitors and attendees providing exceptionally
With both Sydney and Brisbane now holding
these events, our Melbourne members are hoping
to hold our first in July 2018, in conjunction with
our National AGM.
Following the Expo itself, we adjourned to Zephyr
at the Hyatt Regency, to farewell Ron Greedy of
The Westin Sydney, who has left his Concierge
Desk for the last time to finally enjoy a well-earned
retirement and the chance to finally be on the
receiving end of the same kind of exceptional
service he has been delivering to his guests for
In Victoria, Destination Melbourne were once
again kind enough to invite us to the Melbourne
Tourism Industry Exchange, which was held on the
hallowed grounds of the MCG and provided our
members with a valuable opportunity to interact
with associates from the local and regional tourism
Meanwhile, back in Sydney, a number of
us rendezvoused in the Sydney Town Hall
for the HM Awards, and it was a genuinely
uplifting experience to see so many Les Clefs
d’Or members amongst the nominees in the
The final major event on our calendar was the UICH
Asian Congress, held in Mumbai, attended by UICH
Past President Colin Toomey of Shangri-La Sydney,
UICH International Secretary James Ridenour of
InterContinental Melbourne, and SEAO Zone
Director Shaun Ryan of SkyCity Auckland.
The Congress was a chance for our associates
within the Asian region to meet, network and
increase their international contacts, and we
look forward to the next Asian Congress, now
scheduled to be held in Singapore in 2019.
We are now looking forward to both the Sydney
and Melbourne Les Clefs d’Or Concierge and
Hospitality Balls, which are always a great chance
for all of our hard working associates from Sydney
and Melbourne hotel properties to enjoy a well-
earned social evening after a busy year, before
entering the equally busy Christmas and New
Sydney’s Ball will be held at Hilton Sydney on
Sunday October 15th (enquiries to Josh Blake at
email@example.com while Melbourne’s Ball
will be held at the Pullman Melbourne Albert Park
on Sunday November 26th (enquiries to Sam
Hallett at firstname.lastname@example.org ).
We do hope we’ll see you there.
Peter McBrearty is President of Les Clefs
d’Or Australia and Chief Concierge at The
How long have you been a Concierge for?
Peter Brown: I have been managing the
Concierge team as a Chief Concierge for 14 years.
Peter McBrearty: For me it has been just over
25 years now. I spent 7.5 -years at the Savoy Park
Plaza Melbourne, and then 18 years here at The
Describe the path you have travelled to
your current position.
PB: After finishing up in my trade I travelled
overseas and found myself working part time
in hotels to get by and continue my travelling
around the world. I couldn’t believe it but I found
I had actually started enjoying going to work and
realised I really enjoyed interacting and engaging
with guests. I then took up an internship and
worked across all departments, before realising that
Concierge and front-line was where I wanted to
be – and here I still am.
PMcB: It was actually something of a wandering
path, as I initially started a Science degree at
university when I was first out of school, before
leaving that to start work with a finance company.
Some years later I was on a holiday in Europe when
I decided to stay in London and spent just over
three years running several large backpackers hotels,
before returning home and combining starting
at the Savoy Park Plaza with studying law. Then
came the offer to move across to the Langham
Melbourne (then Sheraton Towers Southgate), and
I found I enjoyed the Concierge role far more than I
did studying law and the rest is history.
How would you describe the role of the
Concierge in a modern luxury hotel,
particularly with the impact in recent years
of social media and online booking sites?
PB: The role of a Concierge in any major hotel
brand is absolutely essential to support and uphold
the brand’s service objectives and also support
and drive the hotel brand itself. I think social media
is a great tool that a good hotel Concierge can
use to their advantage and also use to to take the
service standards one step further, really engage
our guests before they even arrive into our Hotels,
but also equably importantly after the guest has
checked out as well, creating loyalty to each of our
hotel brands respectively.
PMcB: I believe the modern Concierge serves a
combination of roles. They remain a familiar face and
stable point contact at their hotel properties, allowing
guests a welcome point of contact and information
in ever changing hotel environments. At the same
time though, guests are now often contacting us
earlier than they once did, well in advance of their
actual stays, and this will often be a result of them
seeking a source of reliable advice and information
where they have already used some of the online and
social media tools to do some of their own research.
Guests are increasingly informing themselves well
in advance, of the options available to them at their
destinations and then asking for our local input, to
help them filter these options, find the best of what
is available and also suggest additional possibilities
for their individual needs and itineraries. This early
contact can be invaluable in terms of developing
relationships with guests and potential guests before
they arrive - or at times before they have even
booked their accommodation. It is personal and
something that generally isn’t offered with online
accommodation booking platforms, computerized
‘Concierge’ information services, private tour
desks etc. Guests seem to appreciate service and
information that is directed particularly at them,
rather than just being available in a more general
sense to the world at large.
What do you enjoy most about your
Concierge roles at Hyatt Regency
Sydney and The Langham Melbourne?
PB: The challenge, the fast paced environment.
All hotels provide their own challenges, but 892
rooms, the best function space, and the reputation
that Hyatt has for providing high end service is
what I enjoy the most.
PMcB: I really enjoy the fact we never really
know what will come up next in terms of requests,
as our guests range across a wide spectrum from
show business identities to politicians, romantic
anniversary couples to corporate groups, and
everything in between. It’s also personally really
satisfying when guests we have been dealing with
for some time prior to and during their stay take
the time to let us know we’ve helped them get
the most out of their time in Melbourne. In some
cases we know guests well enough that on arrival
they head straight for our desk before they’ve
even checked in, and it’s almost like an old friend
has dropped by for a catch up. Essentially, it’s
never boring and it also feels like we’re genuinely
enhancing our guests’ experiences.
HM sits down with the Concierge of the Year winners at the 2017 HM
Awards, PETER BROWN, Chief Concierge at Hyatt Regency Sydney, and
PETER McBREARTY, Chief Concierge at The Langham Melbourne.
66 HM The Business of Accommodation
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