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Minute on the Clock: Ben Malpass

07 November 2014 by
Minute on the Clock: Ben Malpass

You have 20 years' experience as a concierge. How has the job changed in that time?

Guests are now much more informed about their destination, so a concierge must also be well informed and well connected. Google culture is very present these days.

Describe your job

Every day is completely different; always expect the unexpected. 'No' is not an answer or an option. You started your career in your home country of Australia to fund some round-the-world travel plans.

Why did you stay?

I began as a page boy at the Hilton Sydney. I used to zoom around town, running errands, which was a great way to get to know the city. My head concierge recognised I had a certain flair for the role and offered me my first position on the desk when I was 18.

What is it about London that keeps you in the UK?

London is my favourite city (apart from Sydney, of course) and it has some of the best concierges in the world. It's exciting, rewarding and
challenging.

How is working at Belgraves different to your other jobs?

Its small size allows me to get to know the guests and ensure everything is looked after. It also offers me a better work-life balance, which is important as I have a young family.

You have also worked at the Savoy. What do you need to bear in mind at such high-end places?

A concierge in any hotel needs to be unflappable, well-connected and calm. One needs to be able to work under pressure while being on show, and deal with the most insane requests while remaining composed and charismatic.

What's the most memorable concierge request you've had?

I once had to source an antique Roman legionary's helmet. Hiring out an entire cinema for a foreign prince and watching American action films with him until 4am was also fun.

What's the best bit of your job?

Spending other people's money and having fun with it. We don't save lives, just marriages!

The most challenging thing?

Being on show 100% of the time. There is nowhere to hide in this game, as the lobby is our office.

What is the key to your longevity?

I am lucky enough to love my job, so it doesn't feel like work.

What would you like to achieve as a concierge?

As my career progresses I wish to contribute more time and energy to the Society of Gold Keys. I feel I can share my experience with
younger members of the society.

What is your advice to someone beginning in the role now?

Acknowledge and work on your weaknesses from the start, and be humble and put the guest first. A concierge is only as good as their last guest interaction.

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