What do you need to be a good concierge?
To know my city, to know my place of work, to have a vocation, and to passionate about interacting and sharing with people. A concierge should turn every problem into an opportunity. I’ve had to cater to certain guests who simply aren’t interested in churches or museums. They’ve said: “I want to live how you live. Where do we go?”
So I sent them to eat hornado (roast pork) at the Iñaquito market, corvinas (sea bass) in Santa Clara, and tripas (intestines) in La Floresta. And you know what? They came back ecstatic, saying, “This is exactly what we wanted!” Not all the best Quito hotels can organise an everyday Quito experience at the drop of a hat like that. That’s why we take pride in being able to help our guests experience the city the way they want to.
When our guests arrive at our Quito hotel, I take them up to the roof and point out all the best iconic buildings. Casa Gangotena is surrounded by 10 churches! I personally love La Compañía and tell guests they have to go and visit it. I always have a map ready. And if they arrive at night, the panorama changes entirely, with the Old Town completely illuminated and glowing. If it’s daytime and the weather is on our side, we can even see Cayambe Volcano situated faraway to the northeast – the only snow-capped peak in the world that sits right on the equator!
What is the strangest request you’ve had from a guest?
In another job, a guest wanted to go to Cuenca, but they didn’t want to travel by land. So I found them a helicopter – at the price of US$18,000 and they agreed! After adding the tax and sending the luggage by land the price came out to around US$30,000.