When the Front Desk Doubles as Concierge

front desk attendant writing on card

Upscale and luxury hotels typically feature a dedicated concierge desk, staffed with associates knowledgeable about the destination and location. Concierges are ready to recommend nearby restaurants, events and attractions as well as offer tips on how best to navigate the local transit options.

Midscale hotels, on the other hand, traditionally don’t offer a dedicated concierge. Yet guests are just as likely, if not more so, to have questions, especially when they’re international travelers, not fluent in English and it comes to navigating public transit.

While assisting guests in this way is hardly part of their job description, motivated front desk agents tend to step up and fill the concierge gap as best they can, even while handling their official duties. They understand intuitively the nature of guest service and what we at M&R Hotel Management mean when we speak about “hands-on hospitality.”

Take the recent experience of a couple at one of our midscale hotels in midtown Manhattan. As recounted on TripAdvisor, our front desk associate was “extremely helpful and knowledgeable when it came to the transit system and where we could find local establishments worth trying.”

When the same guest checked out during the hotel’s busy rush hour, another associate, seeing the couple was unable to find a taxi, helped set up an app on their iPhone to summon a car service and even helped them secure a discount code for their first ride.

Not only was such service a win for the guest (and memorable, given the write-up on TripAdvisor), it was a win for the hotel, both in terms of high satisfaction scores and the online shout-out.

Unbeknownst to them, these associates were acting like true concierges in every way but name.


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