They provide guests with invaluable information, give recommendations, and provide personal assistance such as restaurant reservations, flight tickets, concert tickets, etc. Look East shines the spotlight on some of Bangkok’s top concierges beginning this issueby Percy Roxas
Meet Watcharee Tangjissoopakarn (Kengju), a concierge at W Bangkok. A graduate of Suan Sunandha International College (where she majored in hospitality and tourism management), Kengju has been in the hotel industry for more than five years now. Her eyes are set firmly on becoming a chief concierge because, as she says, “It would be ‘one up’ for the girls in the industry.” Excerpts from our interview:
What makes a great concierge?
We have standard tasks but every day is different and we never really know what the guest may come up with and ask for each day. So, having extensive knowledge coupled with a non-stop desire to seek the coolest, newest, hippest place in town for the guests to visit is of paramount importance. Besides that, you have to remind yourself that you are not just an information provider but are the guest’s personal assistant.
Providing a personal touch is something we, the concierge team at W Bangkok, pride ourselves in. And I’d have to say that the most important thing is that you sincerely need to love providing excellence beyond comparison!
Describe a typical day at work
Challenging, but lots of fun. I look at it as if I’m coming to meet, have fun and take care of my most beloved friends: the guests.
What is the craziest thing you did as a concierge?
Performed some dance moves along with our favorite and coolest guest! We did this in front of our fabulous DJ booth at WOOBAR, and all the while we were having a conversation regarding his particular inquiry. Now, apart from W Hotel, where else do you think you’d see that happen?
What do you always carry with you to work?
My thumb drive, my red lipstick, and my mobile phone!
Please share some tips you give to your guests
Best Thai restaurant: Sala Rim Nam as they provide a traditional Thai feel besides the delicious food. And Baan Khanitha, again for its delicious fare — and it’s not far from the hotel.
Where to bring their friends:
Thonglor, where there are so many cool places to hangout.
Where to go for shopping:
Chatuchak Market or JJ, and for a bit of high-end shopping, there’s Siam Paragon or Central Embassy.
How to avoid pimps, hecklers, and scammers:
Don’t listen to anyone who tries to take you away from where you are. Tuk-tuk drivers are known for trying to get tourists to visit gold shops or tailor shops. Avoid this type of activity at all costs! Also, if anyone tells you that a particular tourist attraction you are at is closed, don’t believe him or her. Go inside, and check it for yourself. This is another well-known trick designed to waylay the foreigner to some other unsavory shopping experience! Make sure taxis always switch their meters on before starting your journey, and take a picture of the taxi plate number or taxi ID if you can.
Best way to enjoy their holiday:
Don’t worry too much about time. Things are more relaxed in Thailand. Thais like to do things at their own pace, be like them and just relax and go with the flow, don’t be too serious! Secondly, avoid the traffic and take the sky train. And lastly, smile; and smile a lot. You’ll make a lot more connections with Thais if you smile!