Devoted concierge is key to guests’ comfort

James Robar knows exactly what led him to his job as a concierge, a job he loves.

HALIFAX — James Robar knows exactly what led him to his job as a concierge, a job he loves.

“Sheer luck,” he said.

As a young man, Robar moved from Bridgewater, N.S., to Halifax with no clear idea of what he wanted to do with his life. After some service industry jobs, he went back home and took a two-year hospitality course.

“Then I came back to the city and started at the bottom, working in laundry, housekeeping, banquets, you name it, just to get my foot in the door,” said Robar, who has been at the Radisson Suites Hotel for almost 12 years.

As a concierge, Robar said his job description is to “do anything that is needed” for guests.

“The thing that comes to mind that I do the most is making reservations for dinner,” he said. “I would have some pull that way because I have the contacts. (Restaurants) know who James at the Radisson is; they know how much business I bring their way so they will squeeze somebody in and make room for a table.”

“We had a guest that was checking out and her luggage was accidentally put in the wrong vehicle. Another group of people were here for a golf tournament and they had all their luggage piled in the corner. They were loading up vans and grabbed this lady’s luggage by mistake.”

“I knew who the guests were and how to contact them in the van. They were on their way to Moncton (N.B.), but I caught them before they hit Truro, got them to stop at a hotel there and drop off the bag. The guest who lost her bag was on her way to P.E.I., so she was able to pick up her bag in Truro.”

Robar’s devotion to guests of the hotel is such that he recently won the right to wear a badge of gold keys on his lapels, emblematic of membership in Les Clefs d’Or (Golden Keys).

The organization has 3,000 members in more than 30 countries, mostly working at four- or five-star hotels.

Some high-end hotels hire only Clefs d’Or members for their concierge staff.

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read