Make the Most of Your Hotel Concierge

Most travelers don't take advantage of hotel concierge services, but they should. Here are some useful benefits to checking in with your hotel concierge.

By Reader's Digest Editors

A concierge is a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests (as long as the request is legal). Concierges—stationed in the lobbies of most full-service hotels—can really help make your stay wonderful. But most travelers do not use them, either because they believe the concierge is only for elite guests or they feel their request is too trivial. Here are some ways you can benefit from your hotel concierge.

Ask for help with small things
Looking for a great restaurant for dinner? A fun activity to do with the kids?  The nearest grocery store? Your concierge is an expert on the local area and will be able to give you suggestions. He or she can also help secure you a hard-to-get reservation at a hot restaurant, a sold-out theater ticket, VIP access at a nightclub, etc.

And with big things
Concierges can also assist with larger requests, from planning an outlandish wedding proposal to making sure a conference room is decorated for a party.

Call ahead
If you’ve got a very involved request, it’s obviously best to give your concierge as much advance notice as possible. But it even pays to call ahead simply so that he or she can help you plan your trip. The concierge can fill you in on local events happening during your stay, let you know about activities that require advance planning, and even secure you special deals and discounts.

Be specific
The more details you give the concierge about what you’re looking for, the happier you’ll be with the outcome. So if you’re looking for a restaurant, specify what kind of food you’d like to eat, whether you’re looking for a romantic or family-friendly establishment, your budget, etc.

Show your gratitude
While concierges don’t expect to be tipped, their job is viewed as a tipped position. So show your appreciation for their help, and they’ll go above and beyond. Tips can range from a few dollars to $100, depending on what you have asked them to do.

Sources: Denverpost.com, Luxist.com, eHow.com

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