We had the pleasure of meeting Michael De Cozar at The Ritz London, the Head Concierge who has been with the top London hotel since 1973! Learning about his experience and the inner working of one of the most iconic properties in London has really inspired us. He gave us some great insider tips and a very British take on a luxury stay in London.
How would you describe your journey and story?
I have lots of different stories! From my service perspective there are eight of us in the concierge team and we are here 24/7. Our job is to be able to answer every question. I have been at The Ritz for 41 years. I started as a Page Boy and my father worked in Room Service as Assistant Room Service Manager and worked here for 27 years. My brother Louis has been here over 30 years. My brother Tony worked in Room Service for just under 10 years. Both my sons have worked at The Ritz London doing work experience. We have done more as a family and been here a long time! I was 24 when I was promoted to the position of Head Concierge, one of the youngest at the time.
So what keeps people working here for such a long period of time?
We are not a 9 to 5 position; we are on show and it is our job to we make people and clients happy.
We always want to make everything special. We try to get all first requests and look after our clients. We want to be competitive. We play a vital role in getting return business for the hotels. We are even approached by outside clientele that used to stay with us and now have offices in the area. We know people at Box Offices that would have the best theatre tickets available for our guests. We want to be invaluable and create a lasting memory for the clients.
We deal with all sorts of requests. We once hand delivered 500 flowers to a lady up in Scotland. These sort of requests come in on a daily basis.
An Australian client was staying in one of our signature suites who wanted a Suit of Armour. I ended up at Gray's Antique Market, where I noticed a Suit of Armour. The client wanted it for a castle he was renovating and to be delivered to. I was at the right place at the right time and was able to make all arrangements.
What is the experience of living at The Ritz?
The level of service has to match the kind of clients we welcome at The Ritz. Our clients are naturally accustomed to the glitz and glamour we offer so it is the service which they appreciate most. When they need something done efficiently they would like someone to do it for them on a personal level. It is about what they get in response. A lot of our clients come for the traditions of The Ritz. The culture of the hotel is about offering a quintessential British experience and our clients love that. Here we are traditional and people come here for those standards.
Attention to detail is what makes us exemplary. The longer you work here the more experience you gain.
Discretion is another important factor for our guests. For us they are foremost individuals, whether superstars or businessmen.
What do you suggest to a first time visitor to London?
Start your day with breakfast at The Ritz, see the change of the guards at 11:00 am and visit Buckingham Palace during the summer period. We get some great stories coming back from guests. Walking to Hyde Park and feeding the ducks is something guests love even though it is a simple activity but it's a London experience. You have the Royal Green Park next door to the hotel. You can walk through St James's up to the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. People like to see what London has to offer from a sightseeing perspective and we try to help in that division as much as we can.
Michael is truly a wonderful person and he is there to ensure guests are given the best experience during their stay at the hotel. As he rightly said, it is about ensuring that they take the best experience back and return again. We do hope you get to stay at the hotel very soon!
For more information visit The Ritz London website.