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

The Union Internationale Des Portiers Des Grand Hotels (U.I.P.G.H.), also known as Les Clefs d’Or, is an international organization of concierges working in luxury hotels. The organization was founded in 1952 with the goal of promoting and improving the quality of service provided by concierge staff in hotels and giving recognition to the profession. In order to become a member of the organization, applicants must have a minimum of five years of experience as a concierge in a high-standing hotel and be proposed and seconded by two active members. The organization has about 5,000 members from 30 countries and holds an annual conference in a different country each year.

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.