ARE YOU BEING SERVED?
Ihave always been a bit suspicious of the hotel concierge. Though I have no evidence or experience to back it up, I assume that they’re paid for their recommendations and have little useful knowledge of the places they’re suggesting you visit.
It all changed when I was planning the best and most inexpensive way to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to my Parisian hotel. An internet search offered the practical side of things – which train to catch, what station to get off at, approximately how much a taxi would cost.
But there were no answers to my real questions: Is this route safe? How many staircases will I have to lug my suitcase up and down? What are the opportunity costs in splurging on a cab rather than taking the more affordable public transport options?
A quick call to the hotel concierge and not only did I get my solution – catch the train and then walk a block or two – but I found an oracle of local wisdom for the rest of my holiday.
On a recent trip to New York, I availed myself of the services of the concierge in every hotel I went to.
All were helpful in putting a useful spin on all the research I’d done or making better suggestions, but none were better than Graham Thomas at The Beekman hotel in downtown Manhattan.
Residing in one of most luscious and luxuriant lobbies in all the land, Graham previously spent nine years at the historic Waldorf Astoria.
He’s made it his mission to know what you want and know how to get it, whether it’s a dinner booking (there are ways to secure a table at Balthazar, but perhaps madam would enjoy dinner at The Odeon), tickets to Hamilton (expensive, but apparently not impossible), or directions to the nearest ATM or subway station. So next time you’re in a hotel, ask the concierge for help. That’s what they’re there for.
ESCAPE So many hotels embrace the concept of residential chic in their lobbies and public spaces and The Beekman is no exception. From the minute you walk in you feel you could flop into a chair and share a G&T with a friend and forget that you’re not at home, but in fact in one of New York’s coolest new hotels. Editor Jana Frawley firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor Susan Bugg email@example.com Associate Editor Rowena Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Colin Shugg (03) 9292 1154 Production Elaine Sng, Mike Frost, Steven Singh Design Jo Andersom Cover The Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Centre and downtown Manhattan across the Hudson River, New York. Picture: Getty Images Design Director Chris Davies