For many generations, the Baur au Lac has been regarded as the leading address in Switzerland’s biggest city for the world’s most discerning clientele. The elegance and comfort of its rooms and suites, as well as its exceptional service, have shaped its renown. We urge you to take advantage of what we have to offer. And we urge you particularly to be indulged by our concierge team, guaranteeing that your visit will be more special than you could ever have imagined.
The concierges at the Baur au Lac are at our guests’ disposal before, during and after their stay. Our guests can be confident in having a trusted provider at their side capable of assisting–no matter where in the world the guest may be situated. The essence of being a Baur au Lac concierge is not to deal merely with the requests anyone could organise. Instead, through their network of relationships in Zurich, Switzerland and the world, the aim is to provide customized and discreet service that guests simply could not experience at any other hotel.
Jérémie Varry is chief concierge at the Baur au Lac and, since 1998, a member of Les Clefs d’Or. The Les Clefs d’Or organization – Union Internationale des Concierges d’Hotels -- has 4,500 members from more than 50 countries. To become a member, an applicant must have reached a minimum age and speak at least two or more foreign languages. Moreover, he or she must have worked at least five years in the lobby of a major hotel and be proposed by at least two members of the organization. A member of Les Clefs d’Or can be easily recognized by the crossed-keys pin worn on the jacket lapel.
The word’s origin traces back to the French term “Comte des Cierges”, meaning “guardian of the candles.” Historians believe that the Comte des Cierges – eventually “Concierge” – was responsible for snuffing out the candles in medieval castles at night and lighting them again at dusk. Thus, for many centuries, concierges have been occupied with the maintenance and representation of royal houses, palaces and castles.
From the beginning of hotel history, concierges have attended to guests’ needs – from the simplest to the most complex. During the Middle Ages, the monarchs’ concierges represented their Majesties by addressing all day-to-day royal concerns. Furthermore, they were the holders of the keys and watched over the entryways and doormen.
Nowadays, concierges can mainly be found in the luxury hotel industry. Their function is to provide helpful, intensive and personal interaction with hotel guests. The amount of the interaction is up to the guest: concierges never intrude. Their role is to serve and, as if by intuition, understand guests’ precise needs, wishes, interests and characteristics and to organize their stay accordingly.
At first glance, a concierge might look like a distinguished front office employee. At the Baur au Lac, the concierges’ domain stands to the right of the front desk. And although a concierge’s tasks sometimes partly overlap with those of a front office employee, they invariably go far beyond. The concierge is a jack of all trades, up to the most standard requests and the most unusual challenges. From obtaining train reservations or the best theatre tickets, to an airport transfer, a restaurant suggestion, a romantic dinner on top of the “Üetliberg,” an introduction to the perfect speciality store or even a private jet – the concierge is a trusted friend, committed to doing everything not only to simplify but also enhance the guest’s stay. Like a true professional, a Baur au Lac concierge fulfills even the most unusual requests with utter confidence.