Ever wondered exactly how a Golden Keys hotel concierge can help you travel? We speak to Cédric Gazou, Head Concierge at the magnificent Hotel de Sers in the chic 8th Arrondissement of Paris to find out.
What do you think your hotel’s concierge team can help with? Issues with your room, getting a car to the airport, restaurant recommendations—things like that, right?
Of course, these are all things they can help with, but that’s such a small feature of what a top-quality professional concierge can do.
It’s a bit like using a super computer to play Snake on.
To learn more, we spoke to Cédric Gazou, Head Concierge of Hotel de Sers by B Signature Hotels & Resorts—a third-generation luxury hotel brand that’s famous for its customer service generally and its concierge specifically.
In fact, Cédric is more than just your everyday concierge. He holds Les Clefs d’Or—the Golden Keys. This is an internationally elite status only awarded to concierge with matrix-level knowledge and understanding of the city they’re in.
Les Clefs d’Or concierge have at their disposal an unbelievable wealth of contacts, information and sway, so if you see the iconic gold crossed keys pinned to the lapel of your concierge, you’ve hit the jackpot!
Secrets of a Les Clefs d’Or Concierge
MMR: Cédric, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
CG: I studied Political Sciences and History. I have been always keen on food, on museums, and I love Paris. After long years of being student, I went to London and discovered the hospitality industry. After some years, I found out that I am gifted to be a concierge. I love my job!
MMR: Where does all your amazing knowledge of Paris come from?
CG: It comes from passion. I was born in the south-west of France and I have always wanted to live in Paris. I have been there for 17 years and still have my tourist eye and soul.
MMR: What do people usually ask you for help with?
CG: They want first-hand recommendations for restaurants, exhibitions, the best spots in the city. They also want service in general.
MMR: What’s the strangest thing someone’s asked you for help with?
CG: Sometimes I am asked to find all kind of items and objects, where to shop for it in Paris. It can be really weird—without details, you can imagine.
Ed: Cédric is the consummate professional and would never ‘concierge and tell’. But if you want an insight into what some people ask other concierge around the world, here’s a taste.
MMR: I’m not sure that I make the best use of concierge services. What do you wish people would ask you about more?
CG: Of course, I like to share my own experiences, favourite spots in Paris, the latest restaurants I went to or the latest exhibitions I have enjoyed. In general I like to share from the heart.
MMR: What’s your favourite thing to recommend people in Paris?
CG: When people are interested, I like to recommend some historical walks which inspire me; about the French Revolution, the Belle Epoque, the roaring Twenties.
Places, restaurants, theatres and streets related to an era.
I guess that is because I would love to travel back in time and Paris is the perfect city for that!
MMR: Do you have any tricks for getting past Paris’ long tourist queues?
CG: Yes, as a Golden Keys concierge you get have to have all the contacts. So we can arrange [for you to] skip the line access for almost everything.
MMR: B Signature Hotels have a reputation for excellent concierge services. What makes the service so good? And what do you enjoy most about your job?
CG: I think that to make the service good is to employ people passionate about their job. The art of appointing the right people, who love their job.
What I enjoy the most is the fact that we have a direct and almost immediate impact on people’s well-being. If the job is done properly, we enhance their stay, and their lives!
MMR: Name some of your favourite things to do in Paris!
– Favourite restaurant?
CG: Guy Savoy at La Monnaie de Paris: perfect place, perfect chef, perfect cuisine.
– Favourite Paris attraction?
CG: The Louvre Museum. At the beginning of my career, I was deputy manager of the staff restaurant there. And as a fan of Art and History, I have been a Friend of the Louvre ever since. It is a never-ending source of contemplation.
– Favourite part of Paris?
CG: I love the Saint Germain des Prés district, where I used to work at the Bel Ami for B Signature Hotels. This is the true, immortal Paris.
– A favourite time of year in Paris?
CG: I love Spring, “Le Temps des Cerises”. Perfect time for walks, and for example to visit the largest green area of Paris, the Cemetery of Pere Lachaise. Full of history and nature life.
MMR: What would be your best piece of advice for an Australian couple visiting Paris for the first time?
CG: Be prepared to walk a lot in Paris: this is the best way to discover the city, and ask your concierge to help you with your itinerary, whether you stay three nights or a week. You will be sure not to miss the must-do attractions!
We’d like to thank Cédric for talking with us and for making our stay at Hotel de Sers by B Signature so memorable.
If you want to stay in one of the best hotels in Paris in one of the most iconic parts of the city with, of course, the best concierge service in France, check out Hotel de Sers. And say hi to Cédric for us!