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Concierge Chat

Ringo Chau, Service Manager at the Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong

Ringo Chau, Service Manager at the Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong shares with us his experience in the hospitality industry.
 
CityLife: Can you tell us how you got started in the hotel industry?
Ringo: A schoolmate introduced me to this industry back in 1979, and it’s now 37 years and counting. I was impressed by the concierge’s uniform and the golden key on its lapel, so I chose concierge as my job. I joined Kowloon Shangri-La in 1982 and became the Service Manager as I progressed.
 
CL:What is your favourite part of the job and why?
Ringo: I enjoy all the challenges that come with the job, which means I have to deal with anything and everything. A successful concierge needs to be experienced, have a broad network, and be resourceful. I am an outgoing person and like to help people, so this is a very enjoyable job for me. 
 
CL:Have you observed any changes in guests’ service needs?
Ringo: Guests demands are clearly becoming more discerning. Most guests are already up to speed with the basics, from the internet, and are looking to us for more detailed and specific information. So we have to raise our service standard and be highly attuned to their needs and preferences.
 
CL:Any memorable requests from guests that you can share with us?
Ringo: A couple from Europe who were staying at our Guangzhou Shangri-la came to Hong Kong for an excursion and checked into our hotel – the husband was Italian and wife French – and they had planned to return to Guangzhou to catch a flight back to Italy. But to their horror they discovered that their China visas were single entry only and it would take four days to apply for a new one, for a French citizen. We suggested they changed their flight to one leaving from Hong Kong, and we arranged for their luggage to be transferred to our Shenzhen Shangri-la. We then arranged for our staff to accompany the husband to Shenzhen, which grants same-day landed visas to Italian passport holders, to pick up the luggage. They were able to return home without further incident.
 
Ringo Recommends
 
Favourite local foods: First-time Hong Kong visitors should try the egg waffle and the Bu Zai Pudding, both wellknown local street food that I have not seen elsewhere.
 
Two-day itinerary for visitors:
 
Day 1: Take the Peak Tram to the Peak and enjoy a panoramic view of Hong Kong. Go to Aberdeen's fishing village and visit the Jumbo Restaurant there. Or go to Repulse Bay, enjoy a walk along the beach with your loved one and have a romantic dinner at the Veranda there.
 
Day 2: Ride the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car on Lantau Island and visit the Big Buddha, then head along to Tai O fishing village and explore its rich heritage. You can relax and have a drink and if the timing is right take a boat and try to catch sight of our famous Chinese Pink Dolphins.
 

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