At Sutton, we are renowned for our extraordinary customer service and attention to detail. That’s because we’ll always treat you royally. It’s a standard that we are consistently praised for by patrons and press alike.
However, if there is one person among our staff who really knows the ins and outs giving guests that ‘personal touch’ it’s our veteran concierge expert, Geoffrey Argue. With over 26 years of dedicated experience towards helping people find everything from the best suit tailor in the city to live chickens for film shooting, Geoffrey has seen and done it all.
We sat down with this seasoned pro recently and got the inside scoop on what his job as The Sutton Place Vancouver Concierge entails, and believe us, it’s impressive! Below are the excerpts from our entertaining discussion.
1) How would you describe the role of a concierge?
Part-time Caretaker, Counselor, Confidant, Friend, Shopper, Critic, Tech Guru, Social Planner, Travel Agent, and anything else that you can think of as long as it is not illegal or unethical.
2) What gives you the most satisfaction?
Fulfilling all of the above roles in question 1. Also, having the guests come back and thank you and tell you that you and the hotel made their stay a special one in Vancouver.
3) What is the toughest question/request were you able to deliver on?
It is so hard to narrow this down with over twenty years of requests, but here are a few:
During 9/11 and with no air traffic, a very famous Hollywood actress who was staying with us had to get her break milk to feed her new born baby who was back in Beverly Hills. We were able to secure a car with two drivers to get the breast milk to her baby and all within 20 hours… she was very pleased!
We were also asked if we could find live chickens for a very panicky movie set because they had forgotten to secure some for the movie they were filming! Thanks to our Mayor and his bylaw that allows chicken coups in backyards, we were able to obtain some within an hour!
Another time, one of our guests who was smoking a very rare Indonesian cigarette had requested that we locate some for him, which can be virtually impossible to find in the city. We contacted the Indonesian Consulate and by luck, one of their staff members had just returned from Indonesia and had smoked the same cigarettes there! This fellow was very kind and was willing to spare a package of cigarettes for us to give to the guest. The end result was a very ecstatic and of course impressed guest!
4) How long have you been at your current hotel?
I am coming up to my 26th year and I still enjoy each and every day!
5) What makes a great concierge?
Patience. Personability. Knowledge. Organization. Empathy.
6) What is it like to work for The Sutton Place Hotel?
The company and hotel provide a very challenging and rewarding career within the hospitality industry. At The Sutton Place Hotel, we work as a large family and we treat each other with fairness and respect.
I have been with the hotel for 26 years which is a testament in itself to what a great a place it is to work.
Chef Concierge Geoff Argue accepting the “Birk’s Silver Service Award”.