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Anton Coburn, Rockliffe Hall
The five-AA-star, 61-bedroom Rockliffe Hall in County Durham has four concierges, of which Anton Coburn is head concierge. Although Coburn had previously never worked in the hospitality industry, he quickly proved himself a natural to hospitality with total discretion and integrity. He displays impeccable standards in all aspects of his role, while ensuring that his team delivers the same.
Coburn and his team are responsible for meeting and greeting all guests at the hotel in a friendly, approachable and professional manner; providing a seamless valet service; assisting with luggage; and dealing with any requests. A female guest, who was staying at the hotel, regularly mentioned to Coburn that she was in training for an expedition to the North Pole. To facilitate this training while she was at Rockliffe Hall, he secretly organised outdoor training equipment for her.
He has been successful in managing and developing the team, and two of the opening four team members have been with him from day one, starting at the hotel before it even opened to the public in 2009.
Coburn ensures he is close enough to the team for them to be able to relate to him. He has been a personal mentor for one of his junior team members, Lee Cummins, since he started his employment with Rockliffe Hall. Earlier this year, Cummins achieved acceptance into the Society of the Golden Keys, and Coburn has taken on the task of driving him towards nomination for the Young Concierge of the Year Award with the society.
One of Coburn's main achievements has been his own inauguration into the Society of the Golden Keys. He was enrolled in September last year, and the feedback received from his interview process stated he was very impressive, passionate and knowledgeable.
He also arranges concierge job swaps between concierges in other northern hotels, which builds a closer relationship within the region and develops friendship and respect among the businesses. The fact that he was shortlisted for the Society of the Golden Keys Concierge of the Year award is a valuable achievement so early on in his membership.
He has excelled in developing relationships outside of his own role in the hotel. He has reached out to local businesses with the aim of introducing them to what the concierge service at a five-red-AA-star hotel offers. Coburn strives for the highest possible standards in all situations, and always achieves the best outcome for the guest.
What the judges said
"To meet a guest's expectations is sometimes a hard task, but to consistently exceed them is really exceptional. Anton is clearly devoted to his guests and leaves a lasting impression on them."
Rachel Healey, Eden Hotels Collection
"It's fantastic to hear of the mentorship and support Anton has offered to his team and the hotel, while also providing highly anticipative guest service and the hand of friendship to The Society of the Golden Keys. Excellent application in all areas."
Lucy Gregory, the Arch London
"Anton embodies everything it means to be a concierge. Not only is he a mentor to his team, he is also the face of Rockliffe Hall."
Alixandra Mellor, Charlotte Street hotel
Anton Coburn Rockliffe Hall, Darlington, County Durham
Dan McCaskie Grosvenor House Suites by Jumeirah Living
Ben Szent-Kirallyi The Connaught, London
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