A day in the life of our head concierge
Keeping guests and staff happy is at the heart of Alan Noone’s role as head concierge at The Berkeley. Recognised with the prestigious Concierge of the Year award at the Hotel Cateys 2019, here we delve into what it takes to be an award-winning head concierge.
“He wears the Golden Keys with pride”
Les Clefs d’Or – the Golden Keys – might sound like the name of a traditional English pub, but it actually refers to the lapel pins worn by a concierge. These are a badge of dedication to service, as well as the symbol of membership of an international network that started in Paris in 1929.
Alan wears his Golden Keys with pride. He takes an active part in the club, attending monthly meetings to discuss the challenges of his role, education and training standards, and sharing best practice and new ideas with his colleagues.
A perfect performance every time
“We are on stage here”
There are 26 people in the concierge team, luggage porters, doormen and page girls that Alan leads at The Berkeley. He sees his role first and foremost as “keeping them all happy” – not a description you’ll find in any employer’s handbook.
Alan explains it like this: “If the boys and girls are happy, then the guests will be happy. We are on stage here: it’s my job to make sure the team gives a perfect performance every time”.
Horses for courses
“The atmosphere around the big day was amazing”
Alan is highly organised, a confident communicator with a relaxed and engaging manner.
He would have made a great skipper on a yacht, coaching and coaxing his team to perform, to think ahead, and most importantly enjoy the sail. His sporting passion isn’t sailing though, but ‘the sport of kings’, an enthusiasm shared with The Berkeley itself.
Alan has a fine knowledge both of horses and great races. He loves ‘the season’, when guests come to attend Royal Ascot or some of the other prestigious meetings held at Epsom, Goodwood and Kempton Park. He recalls the day when Black Caviar, a horse from Australia, won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot.
“The atmosphere around the big day was amazing, with lots of guests having arrived from Australia, and there was quite a scramble to make sure they all had the morning suits and toppers required for attendance at the Royal Enclosure,” Alan remembers.
Passion for food
“Alan favours simple Italian staples”
Food also plays a major role in Alan’s life, and it provides an opportunity for him to share some of his job with his wife Kelly.
He pretends to eat out for the purposes of research and reconnaissance on behalf of his guests, but that’s to be taken with a pinch of salt. While Kelly enjoys any cuisine, Alan favours simple Italian staples such as osso buco, pastas, and rustic salads.
Pressed for his favourite London destination, he plumps for Bellamy’s in Bruton Place. If you ever find yourself there, you may also discover Alan and Kelly tucked in a corner, chatting about horses, kids, and perhaps which restaurant they will visit next – all research on your behalf, of course!
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