Ken Eunson, Head Concierge at Thistle Brighton
Ken has been the head concierge at Thistle Brighton for the last 13 years. He is also a member of the Society of the Golden Keys, which is part of Union Internationale des Concierge D’Hotels, an international knowledge-sharing network of concierges. Ken is particularly proud of his membership as the selection process is quite tough following strict rules and only 3500 concierges worldwide (250 in the UK) are part of the organisation.
Here are our questions for Ken:
What do you love most about your job?
What I enjoy most about my job is meeting many different people from all over the world, and being able to provide them with a service that’s friendlier, more knowledgeable and efficient than many expect.
Which tasks form part of your daily routine as Head Concierge?
Part of my daily tasks is welcoming guests, arranging transport, restaurants, shows or Circus, and sightseeing tours. Most often I provide local information such as tips where to go, what to do in rainy weather, where to have lunch etc.
What do you enjoy when you are not at work?
I live on a wooden sailing yacht that’s nearly as old as me in the Brighton Marina. Most of my spare time is spent on her maintenance, renovation and repair.
I love this yacht as it is the reason why I cam to Brighton in the first place. That was 20 years ago after sailing in the Mediterranean for several months as a navigator.
Do you have any anecdotal stories from your job?
A few years ago both Coronation Street and East Enders recorded ‘Brighton Specials’, on consecutive weeks. All the cast members were staying at Thistle Brighton and consequently the hotel was full of famous people.
How do you deal with challenges in your career?
Though I now have over ten years of experience as a concierge, Thistle Brighton’s General Manager likes to throw me a new challenge every now and then just to keep me on my toes. Yet, I always find that even the most difficult task can be broken down and dealt with thanks to knowledge, planning and teamwork.
One of those challenging moments was when a guest requested a helicopter trip that had to be arranged, paid for and take place within 45 minutes – really a crazy experience.
If you were offered the opportunity to be a concierge anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
Thistle Brighton, of course! We have a fine modern hotel with the best location of any of Brighton’s hotels! It’s such fun working here and I simply love Brighton as a city.
My top tips for deciding where the best places are to suit your needs and budget when visiting a new city:
- Nothing beats a personal recommendation from someone that you know and trust
- Following that, Fodor’s online is an old favourite while sites such as TripAdvisor show visitor reviews that are ‘snapshots’ of a hotel during one particular visit
Inspired by our questions for Ken you might want to ask him questions yourself. Please feel free to post your questions in the comments box and we’ll have Ken answer them for you! Enjoy and fire away.
For other profiles and more information on the Know How Squad, visit the Thistle Website.