Some suggest the term concierge evolved from the Latin root conservus or fellow slave. Others refer to a famous Paris prison, named the “Conciergerie” in honor of the warden who kept the keys and assigned cells to inmates.

Although certain parallels could be drawn, this is not quite the job description that comes to mind for a modern day concierge, who – short of running afoul of justice – uses any tool at his disposal to get the guests what they want …

But seriously, the term can be traced back to the middle ages, when the comte des cierges (“keeper of candles”) of a castle or a government building needed to know where all the functions took place as he was in charge of maintaining the candles for each event. The concierge was also the keeper of the keys, known for having access to all places and handling all details.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Switzerland’s grand hotels were the first to create modern concierge positions to satisfy the needs of traveler, from meeting guests at the station in a horse-drawn carriage to assisting them with every aspect of their stay.

Being a concierge at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel New York was one of the most exciting chapters in my professional life. Pulling out all the stops to meet the discerning traveler’s every need – real or imagined – in one of the most wonderful cities of the world was a tremendous rush!