Quantcast Tips from the Concierge at the New York Palace Hotel | Five Star Alliance

Tips from the Concierge at the New York Palace Hotel

April 29, 2009 By:Mary Winston Nicklin

New York Palace HotelLooking for the best insights on the Big Apple? Gunter Kleemann-- concierge at the opulent New York Palace Hotel-- "holds the key to the city," as reported in a fabulous interview by The New York Times. He is also the President of New York's Association of Hotel Concierges, so he knows a thing or two about Manhattan. Guests at the New York Palace Hotel are in luck; he can score "tables at prime restaurants and seats at sold-out Broadway hits." The full NYT interview is below:

How he knows what he knows: At first you think you can do it with a Zagat’s and a computer. There’s nothing that beats personal experience. My wife and I are always going out. You’ll always find me someplace.

Proudest of: My golden keys, the universal standard of service excellence.

Most-asked question: Where to eat.

How he answers: Are you looking to dine or just to eat? It’s a big difference.

Weird requests: One guy asked, “Can you get me six brunettes, six blondes and six black-haireds?” Of course, we don’t do that. Some guy asked me, “Can you find me the gross income of this company for a year?” How bizarre is that? I had to tell the guy nicely, that’s not the kind of thing we pursue. I get people asking for a stock certificate from 1865, a cork from a 1980 Chianti, a 6-by-9-foot painting with a hunting dog, a shotgun and a pheasant. We try to track it down.

The German accent: I was born in Kottweiler-Schwanden, near a big American Army base. I used to see the tanks come through. I’d find old Lugers in the field. My mother lived through the firebombing of Dresden. I came here with my parents when I was 10 years old.

Résumé: I went to the New School for graduate work in film and got a job with a top fashion photographer as an assistant. After a few years, I worked with a commercial filmmaker. I got cast in acting roles. You ever hear of “I Spit on Your Grave”? It was one of the biggest cult films ever. It’s about revenge, in a nutshell. A female writer goes from the city to the country and is accosted. She gets her revenge. It’s a piece of dreck, but for some reason I got a fan club.”

Fondest New York moment: In ’74 I was living in the Village, across from the Caffe Dante, where Bob Dylan used to go. I’d see Joni Mitchell and Ginsberg. They were all hanging out together.

On becoming a concierge: I wanted to work for Gray Line as a tour guide. They weren’t hiring, but still they had a couple of desks in hotels. I started at the Roosevelt in ’99, manning a Gray Line desk for a few months. At the end of the year they were giving up the desk and I took a job with Continental Guest Services, which rents desks in hotels and operates on commissions. Then I was hired at the Lucerne Hotel on Amsterdam Avenue as a real concierge.

The money thing: There isn’t any charge, but I tell people at the end of their stay if they feel I did something special for them, gratuities are allowed.

On taking freebies: Once they know you’re a concierge, you get a lot of offers, but a lot of times I pay on my own. I want to go incognito.

Best advice he ever got: If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working.


Related Hotels

Castle Hotel and Spa

Tarrytown, United States

Situated on sprawling hilltop acres overlooking the Hudson River, the main tower of Castle Hotel & Spa forms the highest point in Westchester County. Castle Hotel & Spa is a medieval-style structure that was meticulously... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

CopperWynd Resort and Club

Fountain Hills, United States

CopperWynd Resort and Club, a boutique Arizona resort property is nestled high on a mountain ridge above Scottsdale, Arizona offering breathtaking views of the Arizona Sonoran Desert and mountain vistas. The enchanting... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

Rusty Parrot Lodge And Spa

Jackson, United States

The Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa offers the finest in Jackson Hole lodging. Our attentive, courteous staff is ready to help you make the most of the luxurious amenities that await at the Lodge, including the acclaimed Wild Sage... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

Opus Hotel Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

More than somewhere to stay, OPUS Vancouver is somewhere to be. With striking design, personality plus, and a fabulous location in the heart of hip Yaletown in downtown Vancouver, the boutique hotel appeals to savvy travelers who... more >>

Style:
Classic Luxury
Rating:

Wentworth Mansion

Charleston, United States

Welcome to the Wentworth Mansion. To step through the doors is to step into a world of refinement where the work of artisans encompasses you, and unlocks the secrets of a long time past, a gentler time, when refinement and grace... more >>

Style:
Boutique/Design
Rating: