Meet The Team
In the newest in our series of Meet The Team posts we introduce our Head Concierge Gary Kennedy who will be familiar to many of our guests as the first point of contact when they arrive to our hotel.
How Long Have You Worked In Bishops Gate Hotel: 2 and a half years
What is your role at Bishops Gate Hotel:
As a concierge my duties include Welcoming guests upon entrance and confirming their reservations. I act as the point of reference for guests who need assistance or information. To do this effectively I have been trained in the Understanding of customer’s needs which helps me provide them with personalized suggestion for activities, dining experiences and tours. Some guests also like to explore the outer areas of the city and even along the coastal routes, so it is important for me to not only know about my own city but also surrounding popular destinations and excursions. Outside of the guest experience I also work alongside other departments such as reception and food & beverage to ensure customer needs are all met in a timely manner and as professionally and welcoming as possible.
Last year you became one of only a few Concierges in The North West to be admitted to Clef d'Or, can you tell us a little about the organisation?
Les Clefs d’Or was officially founded in France in 1952 as a not-for-profit organisation based on two pillars: Service and Friendship. Before earning the right to wear the golden keys, you must have several years of experience as a hotel concierge. There is comprehensive testing to ensure everything I do as a concierge is done with the highest quality of service & care. After being tested on my experiences, knowledge and professional relationships I was then awarded ‘Les Clefs d’Or which describes their members as the most reliable local experts and ambassadors of their chosen destinations.
Have you received any unusual guest request / enquiries:
As a concierge you soon learn that there is no such thing as an unusual request! I have heard it all. The ears of a concierge are always open with his lips sealed.
Favourite Memory Of Bishops Gate Hotel so far:
I had the amazing experience of being on the opposite side of the Bishops Gate service when I had my wedding day here. There are not enough words to describe this experience. It most definitely was one of the best days of my life and having my colleagues who I consider friends around my wife and myself made the day more special that I could ever imagine.
Favourite Food Or Drink Item From The Wig & Gown: I have a favourite from each menu?
I have dined many times now in Bishop’s Gate for 2 reasons; firstly, it is good to try the dishes to be able to give recommendations and secondly (most importantly) I love the food and service here. If I had to give someone a recommendation based on my favourite dishes it would be to try the Open Steak Sandwich in the Wig Bar or the Asian Duck Salad in the Gown Restaurant. Both dishes are sure to not disappoint.
Favourite Area in Hotel:
It is hard to choose just one area of the hotel as your favourite. I would be drawn mostly to the lobby area. I spent the majority of my day here welcoming guests and assisting where I can to make the guest experience a memorable one. There is always a happy, bustling atmosphere in the lobby which proves for an enjoyable shift that flies in. It is true that time flies when you’re having fun.
Do you have any hidden talents / tell us something no one would guess about you:
Although I may look 25 years old it may come as a shock that I am now in my 40th year. This does not stop me from busting moves on the dancefloor any chance I get. The ‘Gary special’ I must say has to be the splits. I cannot ‘floss dance’ or I cannot jive but the splits are my signature - it was even featured in the video we created to celebrate the hotels 1st birthday celebrations last year (to view our birthday video click here)
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working:
When myself and my wife find time off together we love to get away and explore a lot of new places. We hire a car and act like tourists for the day driving along the coast, the wild Atlantic way and down toward Donegal, Sligo or Galway. We love trying new food and sampling local produce. We are very lucky in this country to have such great places to visit right on our doorstep.
Advice for new visitors to the city:
My advice to anyone visiting the city would be to spend more than one day here. Although we are a small city you will be surprised how much there is to see & do. With award winning tours, local restaurants and bistros, live music and events you will soon find that one day is not enough. In my experience at reception a lot of the feedback from guests is that they wished they had booked to stay longer. We have so much history, heritage and stories to tell. To make your stay as enjoyable and memorable as possible take your time exploring over a couple of days.