Did you know that the word ‘concierge’ kinda-in-a-roundabout-way originally meant the ‘keeper of the candler,’ which referred to the servant who attended to the whims of visiting noblemen at medieval castles!? CrAzY right!? Well, swap the servant for a smartly-dressed, friendly, helpful person (who enjoys their freedom), think more ‘CBD skyscraper’ than ‘medieval castle’, and we’ve travelled realllllly far forward in time to the modern day.
In our line of business, we meet and work with heaps of concierges all over the world. That said, we thought it was about time we took a behind-the-scenes look at some of the people who help us run things smoothly. Here’s a round-up of five of our Melbourne-based concierges, in celebration of the rad work they’re doing!
Matt @ 171 Collins
His spirit animal: An eagle, because they’re majestic and generally pretty awesome.
Word on the street is that a sure-fire way to kick your day off well is by drinking a kale smoothie and doing 90mins of hot yoga. However if that’s not really your style (there’s a lot to be said for sleeping until the last possible minute and grabbing a coffee to go!), you can get those same feel-good vibes through an interaction with Matt.
As the super friendly and welcoming face of 171 Collins, Matt can help you with any of the usual stuff thanks to many years of hospitality experience including in catering and hotels. But have a proper chat with him and all those good vibes will just keep growing – for example, we betcha didn’t know he’s also good for an animated discussion on all things cars!
‘I love muscle cars!’ he proclaims on the back end of a conversation about his latest love – an FJ Cruiser (that’s a 4WD, yo). He’s planning to take it on an adventure in January, maybe to Uluru, which makes sense as he’s a big fan of the great outdoors. In fact, were he not in this line of work, Matt reckons that being a National Park Ranger would be a pretty sweet gig. We have to agree!
You can look for him kicking around in a local whisky bar, ogling all the classics (we’re talking cars, peeps)!
Brad @ 150 Collins
His spirit animal: A dog, because they’re relaxed and easy-going.
In another life, Brad would have been a fireman. But circumstances led him instead to Hayman Island, where he worked as a deckie before transitioning into the role of porter. Itchy feet prevailed and Brad worked as a concierge first in Dublin, before playing his part in the re-opening of London’s InterContinental.
Maybe it’s these experiences in Europe that played a part in his decision to relocate to Melbourne, and thankfully for him, he’s now landed smack-bang in the ‘Paris’ end of town – happy days!
‘I’m a massive Pearl Jam fan!’ he enthuses while telling us about how he spends his time outside of work – learning to play both the acoustic and electric guitar, and maybe one day even the ukulele he got in Barcelona. After all, you gotta be prepared just in case Eddie Vedder is ever short of a guitarist…
Nick @ 530 Collins
His spirit animal:A tarantula, because his ‘hippy friends’ made him do a spirit animal test and this was the result!
Concierge by day, glow poi ninja by night. We know what you’re thinking – what the heck is glow poi? It looks a little something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N2XH1Gx8dQ
The next step? Fire-twirling, of course!
As a youngster, Nick wanted to be an architect and is still keenly creative, especially in the areas of graphic design and advertising. He cut his concierge teeth in Brisbane (with Brad, actually!) at 111 Eagle Street, Five At Heart’s former Brissie digs, before moving to Melbourne for the lifestyle.
With that in mind, you can find him exploring the cool spots in his new neighbourhood, Brunswick, or at any of the music and arts festivals in and around Melbourne.
Cindy @ 567 Collins
Her spirit animal: (A question met with ‘oh seriously!?’ hehe!) Cat, because she has a pet cat!
A pioneer of 567 Collins, Cindy has been in her role as concierge since day dot. This works pretty well, we must say, because she’s super friendly and loves chatting with people – both key traits for this position.
In fact, she likes people-facing so much that were she not doing this, she’d be the doing this anyway, just on a cruise ship! With Indonesian, Portuguese and Chinese heritage, her family are all in Australia, and she laughs as she agrees it would be nice to have at least one family member living in Portugal with a beach house and a spare room…
She can help you find the best spot for a casual lunch (Black Rice for the salad) or a great spot for a knock-off drink (The Longroom), so don’t be shy!
Caitlin @ 80 Collins
Her spirit animal: ‘This question gives me hives’ before settling on a meerkat because they’re curious, fast-paced creatures, just like her!
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Ask Caitlin. Got a hot date coming up and need a dinner recommendation? Caitlin’s your gal. Just have a general hankering for tacos at lunchtime on Tuesday (it’s a thing) but don’t know where to go? See Caitlin. She clearly understands the importance of work/life balance, and the tenants of 80 Collins are better off for it.
With a marketing and event management background, she does all the recon work on events, places, pop-ups and activities for them and presents it via the Portal. The result is the right mix of helpful, informative and fun content.
When she’s not at work, you’ll probably have a really hard time finding Caitlin. That’s because she could be anywhere in the world – from Berlin to Seattle to Hong Kong or Japan. Or, maybe you’ll find her on Smith Street drinking a Jameson & soda!
So get to know your concierge peeps! And remember, they know where the good coffee/Friday arvo drink spots are…