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Concierge Chat

Echo Zhu, Chief Concierge of The Peninsula Hong Kong

Born and raised in Beijing and currently the third vice president of Les Clefs d’Or China, Chief Concierge of The Peninsula Hong Kong Echo Zhu shares her insights of working in two cities. 

 

CityLife: How did you start your career?

Echo: I was a tour guide in Beijing before joining The Peninsula Beijing with a help of my friend who thought that my experience could be well utilised in this field. I began working as a clerk for 18 months and was promoted as chief concierge in Shangri-la Hotel at Dalian. Later I returned to The Peninsula Beijing as senior concierge before departing for my MBA studies in 2007. I was fortunate to receive an offer from The Peninsula Hong Kong and was here ever since.

 

CL: How do you compare the hospitality industry between Beijing and Hong Kong?

Echo: I think it’s easier to work in Hong Kong because its tourist and hospitality industry are mature and well-networked, I can enquire and access relevant resources with better convenience. For example, most of the taxi drivers in Hong Kong can communicate bilingually, compared to the ones who only speak Putonghua in Beijing. Furthermore, as a flagship hotel with more than 80 years of history, The Peninsula Hong Kong is one of the most recognisable icons of the city. Consequently, we encounter enquiries not only from our customers but also other tourists as well.

 

CL: How do you see the emergence of female concierge in this industry?

Echo: I see the trend of having female concierge is emerging in China as well, so I think the differences have already been narrowed down as male concierges began to realise the importance of providing attentive services according to individual’s preferences. 

 

CL: What are the qualities of being a good concierge?

Echo: I think a good concierge is something you are born with; training can only equipped you with the right techniques, it is your passion and willingness to providing the best service to guests’ requests that matters. Concierge is a career of life-long learning where you always need to stay ahead with new trends and information. You will never know when they can come in handy. So if you ask me what’s the colour for concierge, I would say – transparent. It is a role that is constantly evolving to reflect guests’ preferences and suggestions.

 

 
 
ECHO RECOMMENDS
 

Favourite local Hong Kong food: 

Chinese style and Sichuan-style hotpot.

 

Hong Kong in two days:

Day 1:  A general skyline view of Hong Kong begin by a visit at The Peak, then take a helicopter ride to give a bird view at the city followed by an Aqua Luna tour for a view on the sea level.

Day 2: Visit some local and cultural sites in Sheung Wan and Central: Hollywood Road, dry seafood market; take a stroll at the long escalator in Central where you can experience the diversity of the old and new buildings collide together.

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