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The Warsaw Voice » Business » October 1, 2010
Business & Economy
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Hotel Concierges Talk Shop
October 1, 2010   
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The Central European branch of Les Clefs d’Or (Golden Keys), an association of concierge staff from luxury hotels in 41 countries, held a meeting in Warsaw Aug. 27-29. Among those taking part were the presidents of branches of Les Clefs d’Or in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Greece, and Switzerland.

The meeting in Poland crowned several years of efforts by the Polish section of the association, Złote Klucze Concierge Poland, and involved the presentation of the prestigious Golden Keys award to the first 14 Polish concierges. A welcome reception and the official awards ceremony were held in the InterContinental hotel in Warsaw. A conference on the most important developments this year in the organization’s Central European region was held in the Le Meridien Bristol hotel, an event in which foreign guests took part. The foreign guests had an opportunity to go on a sightseeing tour of Warsaw, taking in the Old Town and the Chopin Museum.

The meeting, held under the auspices of Poland’s minister of sport and tourism, was possible thanks to support from the association’s partners, including American Express, the International Herald Tribune, Avis, top Warsaw hotels and local businesses.

The Les Clefs d’Or organization was set up over 80 years ago. The profession of hotel concierge emerged soon after World War I along with a rapid increase in tourism. In 1929, 11 Parisian concierges met to share their experience and ideas concerning their profession. After several meetings of this kind, they decided to set up an association, which they called Les Clefs d’Or, symbolizing their work. In 1952, Ferdinand Gillet, chef concierge at the Scribe hotel in Paris, was elected president of the European Les Clefs d’Or association. The organization expanded rapidly and in 1970 changed its name to Union Internationale as it extended beyond Europe. The United States joined the organization eight years later. This was also when women were allowed to join the organization as members.

The association, whose motto is “In Service Through Friendship,” now brings together more than 4,500 concierges from 41 countries. It is a nonprofit organization, relying on sponsors and partners in the tourist sector. Its mission is to work to improve the quality of concierge services and the prestige of the profession. Members of the association receive the Golden Keys award after five years of exemplary work as a concierge.
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