As you many of you will know, I recently received my Les Clefs d’Or [otherwise referred to as the golden keys] accreditation. It was a wonderful ceremony held in the Bordeau Lounge at The Rees Hotel, with some fantastic photos taken by Stefan Haworth of TappedNZ Photography, as well as video footage appearing on TVNZ’s ‘Breakfast’ show.
Internationally, a Concierge is the modern term evolved from the traditional ‘Comte des Cierge’, originally a keeper commonplace among Palaces and Châteaus. Holders of the keys were hosts to VIPs. This is where Les Clefs d’Or golden keys come from.
After the golden keys ceremony we had a little celebration at Queenstown hot spot, Below Zero, a bar made almost entirely out of ice! Ice sculptures, including a cute penguin or two, decorate the place and a myriad of cocktails are available out of ‘glasses’ made entirely of ice. Refreshing! It’s a very relaxed atmosphere and exactly what we needed to wind down from all the excitement of the Les Clefs d’Or action.
Since wearing my golden key lapel pins on duty, I have had a lot of interesting reactions and feedback from guests. There have been plenty of questions as to what the golden keys mean and why I am wearing them. International and veteran travellers tend to recognise them straight away, and gravitate towards speaking to me as the keys are a trusted symbol.
There have even been a few special requests to speak to the "Concierge with the golden keys." It is heartening to see what a fantastic reputation Les Clefs d’Or has internationally and the positive experiences that many guests have obviously had with my fellow members.
A part of my new Les Clefs d’Or duties includes involvement in organising the 60th International Congress U.I.C.H Les Clefs d'Or in Queenstown for 2013. Guest numbers have been confirmed for approx. 450 members attending. With most of the hard work still ahead of us, I’m very excited to take on the challenge of welcoming such a huge group to our beautiful region of Queenstown. I am really proud to show the world what a jewel in the crown this place really is!