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About Clefs D'Or
The French word 'Concierge' translate to English mean 'The keeper of keys' but travelers today know him/her as the "Get Everything Done Person". The French words Clefs d'Or translate to English mean 'Golden Keys'. A Clefs d'Or Concierge is known as the Chief Concierge or Assistant Chief Concierge, you can tell him by the crossed golden key's badge, he wears on each lapel of his uniform. The Society of the Golden Keys - Les Clefs d'Or is an international network of persons with common interests and goals. They have their own mystique, a combination of their expertise, their own source of inside information, their own intelligence and communication system. The organization is non-political and non-religious, and definitely not a trade union of any sort but based on friendship between members to assist international travelers and tourists.

How It All Started

First saw light of day in 1929, when eleven Concierges from the Grand Hotels in Paris realized that they could operate more effectively as a team than individually. If they joined forces they felt, they could make their service more useful and more indispensable than ever. The two oldest known associations are the French and the Swedish. The Dutch section was founded in 1937 and other country's association date from about the same time. However, there was no real sign of any international co-operation until after World War II.

Creation Of The Society Of The Golden Keys

On April 25, 1952 delegates from nine countries met on Cannes to hold the first congress and created L'Union Europeene Des Portiers Des Grands Hotel (U.E.P.G.H.). Its creation was made possible by one man, Ferdinand Gillet, then Concierge at the Hotel Scribe in Paris. Today the industry knows him as the father of Les Clefs d'Or. The Second Congress, held in San Remo, Italy in December 1953 saw the creation of the society's insignia and badge (Logo and cross keys). This yearly congress became the major feature of the calendar - an opportunity to meet old colleagues and make new friends and contacts. On November 15, 1972 at the 20th International Congress held in Palma De Mallorca, Spain, U.E.P.G.H. was changed to U.I.P.G.H. Union Internationale Des Portiers Des Grand Hotels (The Society of the Golden Keys) a world-wide organization. At the 30 Th. International Congress in 1982, the Society went a step further with the creation of the International Concierge Institute (I.C.I.) for the specialized training of Concierges based in Paris. Today I.C.I. have some branches in Budapest, Hungary and Montreal, Canada and other branches are planned in Mexico, Britain and Germany On January 18, 1995 at 42nd International Gongress held in Sydney Australia U.I.P.G.H. was changed to U.I.C.D. Union International Clefs d'Or. Today U.I.C.O.'s membership numbers about 5,000 from 30 countries the latest entries being the Philippines. The President of the International Association is Tony Faciollo, Chief Concierge of The Sheraton On The Park, Sydney, Australia. The National Sections are self-governing by respective Presidents and Committees elected each or every two years depending on the country. The International Association communicates through a bilingual review published quarterly and international members gather at an annual Conference held in different country each year. The Association publishes its UIPGH List of Members worldwide every two years, a most invaluable publication featuring the names of all the Concierges belonging to the Clefs d'Or Association. The aim of the Clefs d'Or Association is to help improve and maintain the quality of service provided by Concierge Staff in their hotels and to ensure that this little-appreciated profession is given the recognition it deserves. The Association is at the disposal of its members for any help and guidance they may require. It is the very solidarity of its members which gives the Clefs d'Or Association great power on an international scale and allows its members to accomplish the impossible for their hotel guest. The Motto of the Clefs d'Or is 'Service Through Friendship'. While encouraging friendship and solidarity amongst it members. The Clef d'Or Association also teach them to continually improve their professional abilities. It also offer younger members the training opportunities at home and abroad necessary to improve their skills and prepare for their chosen careers. Clefs d'Or members must share ideals of quality of service and professional ability if they are to live up to the high standard of the Association. For instance, a member Clef d'Or is expected to be presentable courteous, helpful, experienced, conversant in several languages, with a good tourists knowledge. He knows how to advise the guests as well as be its privileged listener. Furthermore, he must have the ability to co-operate and work alongside management for the benefit of the hotel guests. To become a member of the Association, applicants must have a minimum of five years experience as Concierge in a hotel of good standing and be proposed and seconded by two active members of the Clefs d'Or, Association.

The Role of a Concierge

A Chief Concierge will do anything you asked as long as it is morally, legally and humanly possible. You can actually leave him any types of service that you require and find that all is completed and done to your satisfaction while you are away attending to your business appointment or sightseeing. -He will handle all your mails and messages, make reservations for concerts, dinners etc., recommend tours, suggest restaurants, shopping and guide you away from the local tourist trips. But it is usually the unusual that he really shines. He is a travel consultant, a personal and business expediter a social advisor, a confidential secretary, handyman. Because he is a specialist in so many areas, he can advise or help solve virtually every problem that might beset the international traveler. Over the years he has developed a network of acquaintances, friends and contacts ranging from the civilian sector to the government officials - all willing to help him and through him- YOU. The Clefs d'Or Concierge is a remarkable man. He did not get to be that way by accident. It took years of hard work and training.