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Concierge Chat

Hoffman Chu, Chief Concierge of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong

Chief Concierge of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Hoffman Chu appreciates the city’s rural side

 

CityLife:  How did you start your career?

Hoffman:  My career began as junior concierge in JW Marriott Hotel in 1990. After three years I transferred the Ritz-Carlton in Central. I spent 14 years there before transferring to Mandarin Oriental and W Hotel. When the new Ritz-Carlton opened here, I returned as chief concierge.

 

CL:  How has Hong Kong changed as tourist attraction since you began your career?

Hoffman:  Hong Kong is working to offer visitors experiences beyond dining and shopping. We now see attractions that cater to a variety of interests, such as wetland parks and hiking trails. Guests are becoming more and more interested in Hong Kong’s natural and rural side.

 

CL:  Can you share your most memorable request from a guest?

Hoffman:  We once received an urgent request from an American guest asking to tailor-make a dozen shirts in a single day, each made of a specific type of fabric. I personally know nothing about tailoring but was fortunate that my colleague’s father was working at a tailor shop. He helped us to arrange a visit to a textile shop in Sham Shui Po to choose the fabrics, as well as have the tailors stay up longer to finish the work for us. Because I accompanied the guest for the whole trip, I now know that it takes 2-3 yards of fabric to make a single shirt. 
 
 
 
 
 
CL:  A quote to sum up your concierge experience?
 
Hoffman:  “Nothing is impossible, impossible is nothing.” Sometimes we receive requests or questions from guests that not even the most experienced concierge has encountered. Instead of saying no, we should always keep our faith that we can make a way to find the solution.
 
 
CL:  What do you like to do on your spare time?
 
Hoffman:  I enjoy hiking in the outdoors. Sharp Peak (Nam She Tsim) and Lantau Peak are my personal favourites. Lantau Peak offers stunning views at dawn. For beginners I recommend the Dragon’s Back. The route is easy with a nice view over Shek O and Tai Long Wan. 
 

 

HOFFMAN RECOMMENDS

One local Hong Kong food that all first-time guests must have: 

Dim Sum, especially shrimp dumplings as it takes a lot of skill to make.

 

A hidden gem that guests must see or do in Hong Kong:

Tung Ping Chau. This north-eastern island offers spectacular wave-cut cliffs and extraordinary rock patterns from different ages.

 

Hong Kong in two days:

Day 1: Visit Hong Kong Island starting at The Peak, then head to Aberdeen for a sampan tour. Experience more of Hong Kong’s old heritage at Hollywood Road – Man Mo Temple and the antiques at Upper Lascar Row in Sheung Wan.

Day 2: Take Ngong Ping 360 at Lantau Island for the views.  You can either make a round trip or hike back on Ngong Ping Trail. Nearby are the Citygate Outlets where you can do a shopping spree.  Before returning to the hotel at night, make an evening stop at the Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei.

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