For many travellers, the hotel concierge is at the heart of a great guest experience. The concierge is often the go-to person for recommendations on local restaurants, tourist attractions, and cultural events. They provide guests with insider tips and personalised service that can make their stay more enjoyable.
And it's been like that for centuries. In 1880, the Grand Hotel in Paris was the first to officially employ a concierge to assist its guests. The concierge's role was to help guests with their travel arrangements, recommend restaurants and tourist attractions, and provide any other assistance that they might need during their stay.
However, as technology continues to advance and guest expectations evolve, the role of the hotel concierge is changing. Here, we will explore the future of hotel concierge and how hotels can adapt to meet the needs of modern travellers.
Technology-Enabled Concierge Services
One of the most significant changes in the hospitality industry in recent years is the adoption of technology. Today's guests are increasingly tech-savvy and expect hotels to offer digital solutions that enhance their stay. For example, many hotels now offer mobile check-in and keyless entry, allowing guests to bypass the front desk and head straight to their room.
Similarly, the future of hotel concierge will be technology-enabled. Chatbots and virtual assistants are already being used by some hotels to provide 24/7 concierge services to guests. Guests can ask questions, make requests, and receive personalised recommendations through their mobile devices or in-room tablets.
Hotels can also leverage technology to provide guests with customised recommendations based on their preferences and interests. For example, a guest who enjoys hiking can receive recommendations for nearby trails, while a foodie can receive recommendations for the best local restaurants.
Personalisation and Human Touch
While technology can enhance the guest experience, it cannot replace the personal touch of a human concierge. Therefore, hotels should strive to strike a balance between technology and personalisation.
For example, hotels can use data and analytics to personalise recommendations based on the guest's past behaviour, preferences, and interests. However, the hotel concierge can also use their knowledge and expertise to make more personal recommendations based on their interactions with the guest.
Moreover, hotel concierges should be trained to provide personalised and authentic service that goes beyond the transactional. They should be able to build relationships with guests, understand their needs, and anticipate their requests.
The Future of Hotel Concierge: A Hybrid Model
Our prediction is that the future of hotel concierge is a hybrid model that combines technology-enabled services with the human touch.
No single individual can have an intimate and detailed knowledge of every guest and the city in which they opperate, to create the perfect match, technology is needed. However the human touch will always have a place.
Hotels that embrace this model will be able to meet the needs of modern travellers while providing them with a memorable and personalised experience.
To achieve this, hotels should invest in technology solutions that enhance the guest experience but they should also train their staff to use these tools so that they can personally provide personalised and authentic service. The technology should support the team and make them more efficient and stronger in their role, it should not replace them like for like. By doing so, hotels can ensure that the hotel concierge remains a key player in the guest experience for years to come.