Michael de Cozar is the head concierge at the Ritz hotel, London. Nominated by human resources manager Nina Lam, he has been working at the iconic hotel for 35 years. He spoke to Kerstin Kühn
Why did you nominate Michael?
Nina Lam Michael de Cozar has been head concierge of the Ritz London for 35 years, which is a fantastic achievement. Everyone at the hotel is proud to have him as part of the team, and with his wealth of knowledge and experience, nothing is too much trouble. He is a great ambassador for the hotel and a walking/talking Yellow Pages. Michael always goes the extra mile, and consistently he provides above and beyond the expectations of clients at the Ritz.
How do you feel having won the award?
Michael de Cozar I am very excited and feel really honoured to have won this award. But it's not just an achievement for me but also for the Ritz hotel and my entire team. I'm really passionate about the hotel industry and feel very proud to have been recognised in this way.
Why do you think you were nominated?
MC I am very passionate about the Ritz. Having worked here for 35 years, I am the longest-serving head concierge in the hotel's history and it's been an incredibly important part of both my life and my family's. My father worked at the hotel for 27 years and my brother for 23 years, and now one of my sons is doing work experience. I'm really committed to my role and believe that every guest should be treated the same. No matter who you are, when you come to the Ritz you'll be treated like royalty.
What has been the biggest highlight of your job?
MC Meeting Prince Charles was probably the biggest highlight. He was guest of honour at a mutton dinner that was held at the hotel and he was really charming. Also, being featured in the film Notting Hill was very exciting. Sadly, though, I only got to meet Hugh Grant and not Julia Roberts.
What has been the most unusual request you have had?
MC On Christmas Day in 1977 an American guest rang reception. He told me that his family was from Brighton and that he fancied having a bath in seawater. He said he had a bunch of canisters in his room and that he wanted us to drive down to Brighton and fill them up for him and bring them back to fill up his bath. It took a few hours, but we did it, and he gave each of us a $100 tip. I've had many other unusual requests over the years, but that was probably the strangest.
What will you do with the money?
MC I will give it to charity. My wife suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), so I will donate half of it to an MS charity and the other half to the victims of the recent disaster in Burma.
• To nominate someone for this award visit www.caterersearch.com/starofthemonth