Arriving on a whirlwind of rave reviews, Wes Anderson’s hotly anticipated Grand Budapest Hotel opens this Friday. Set against the elegant backdrop of a 1930’s luxury hotel, the story follows the mad-cap capers of legendary concierge Gustave H as he plies his considerable charms with all who cross his path. But what’s it really like to work on the front line of one of the world’s most prestigious hotels? We spoke to Mathias Thomas, concierge at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London to get the lowdown.
1) What qualities do you need to be a concierge?
A great concierge must have service excellence, knowledge and a great attention to detail. No one knows the area better than a concierge. The concierge team acts as an information point and moulds every guest’s needs. They enhance your overall experience, and are your personal guide.
2) What do you enjoy most about the job?
Meeting people from so many different countries is one of the greatest experiences that I enjoy as a concierge. Learning about different cultures and their interests is very intriguing.
3) Which nationalities do you most enjoy working with?
Americans – Americans are very interactive and usually asks plenty of questions about anything from the weather, to Harry Potter, to the local fish & chips.
4) What are main challenges?
We do receive a lot difficult requests but we relish the challenge because we get a great feeling of accomplishment when a guest is impressed with the excellent service we provide.
5) What’s the strangest request you’ve had?
This was recently we had a Japanese lady approached the concierge desk asking for 107 tubes of toothpaste which we did buy. We still haven’t figured out what she wanted all these toothpaste for…
6) What do you enjoy most about working at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel?
Our unique building attracts a large variety of crowds and we get to deal with many different types of guests. No day is the same, every day is different with new challenges and requests.
This interview follows a preview screening of the Grand Budapest Hotel provided courtesy of PREMIER.
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