‘The first step toward great service is to have the willingness to understand the person who is requiring service.’by Atthasith Khupratakul
Being a great concierge is not only a good combination of different techniques and a most positive attitude toward getting a deeper understanding of the guests’ needs but also having full of energy, strong commitment, and passion to make sure that guest requests are accomplished as well. That’s an axiom that Thanarat Menbangphung, a chief concierge since 2008; at InterContinental Hotel Bangkok since 2013, follows.
Thanarat says being a concierge poses an everyday challenge that makes him enjoy the job more. “You never know what the question or inquiry from guest would be, for one,” he says, “and yet, you have to ensure that your team stay ‘in the know’ as much as possible. You have to make sure that guests will have a memorable experience that will make them miss Mr. Concierge once they are back home!”
He cites an example: “One of our guests once eeded to customize Rod-Sa-Leng (three-wheel bicycle) before exporting it back home. This request took place after he saw a Rod-Sa-Leng from a fresh market, and he intended have one to be used in his apple orchard in Sweden. But he made the request just two days before his departure. I was in charge of this mission from the beginning until it was completed. The guest eventually sent me a picture of the Rod-Sa-Leng being used in his apple field.”
He takes the concierge’s job seriously. “Service is like playing the piano,” he says. “You do not get any better unless you practice, practice, and practice. Actors rehearse, learn their lines, pose in front of the mirror; have numerous dress rehearsals, re-runs, and takes until they are sure they have got it right. That’s what we do as well!”
Indeed he uses every tool that might be useful in doing his job – like his iPhone! “It sounds very common, but I consider iPhone a most useful tool for a concierge nowadays. It helps me make an inspection anytime, anywhere; and it helps increase and support my insider knowledge!”
Thanarat shares some of his insider tips with our readers:
Where to go for the best Thai restaurant
Namsaah Bottling Trust, an Asian gastro bar on Silom Soi 7 (Soi Sirijullassayvok). The collective brainchild of Chef Ian Kittichai, music impresario Frederic Meyer, diplomat Jeremy Opritesco, and nightlife guru Justin Dunne, Namsaah is the culmination of their respective talents to create this bespoke bar and restaurant experience in the heart of Bangkok.
Where to bring their friends for a chill-out or party
Maggie Choo’s, located beneath Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom, is the latest nightlife entertainment venue to hit Silom. Enjoy Cantonese food and live music nightly in a vintage Chinese setting for a very different and memorable experience! A.R Sutton Engineers Siam, a colonial-inspired bar at Parklane (Sukhumvit 63), is another. It’s as beautiful as his other work, less whimsical perhaps, but it feels like it’s always been there, like an old British club in Singapore or Penang. The homemade cinnamon-infused Sailor Jerry Spice Rum packs quite the punch—a few of those and you’ll be cussing worse than a pirate, if not like Sutton himself.
Where to go for bargain/high-end shopping
Bargain: Chatujak Weekend Market, the biggest outdoor-market in the world. Guests can find anything even if something unexpected. This is the place to practice your bargaining skill in Thailand! High-end shopping: EmQuartier, a brand new shopping mall right opposite the Emporium mall in a conjunction of EM district, where you can find majority of the well-known brands.
What’s the easiest way to get back and forth the hotel
InterContinental Bangkok is conveniently located next to sky train and easy to access to different shopping malls as well as some tourist spots. The closest sky train station to hotel is Chidlom or only few minutes by foot else guest can just take a longer walk to Siam station where is a hub to all direction.
How to avoid pimps, hecklers, and scammers
Before ending conversation or providing information to guests, we automatically warn them to be aware of any scams. As well, Concierge business card is provided to all guests to make sure that we are in touch with guest when they need our help.
Best way to enjoy their holiday
‘To live like locals’ is our answer at InterCon, so we provide outstanding activities throughout the day and we call it “Perfect Day.”
Check out the hotel for details of this special day.