A concierge from a London hotel has won the international Andy Pongco award, at the Clefs d'Or International Congress in Malaysia.
James Elliott, assistant head concierge, at the Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras, beat 11 other finalists representing member countries of Les Clefs d'Or at the competition, the results of which were announced at the Royale Chulan hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
The committee of Les Clefs d'Or tested each candidate on range of skills before deciding on a winner. The winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the next International Congress.
Elliott is the second Les Clefs d'Or concierge from the Society of the Golden Keys Great Britain and the Commonwealth to win the coveted award. The first member was Ben Malpass, currently head concierge at the Kensington Close hotel, London, who won back in 2010.
The award was presented by Mel Pongco, the wife of the late Andy Pongco. Andy Pongco was a Les Clefs d'Or concierge and a member of the Society of the Golden Keys Philippines as well as being an honorary International President in the Union Internationale Des Concierges D'hotels (UICH).
The finalists in the competition were:
Pierre Houdet, Hotel Imperial, Copenhagen, Denmark; Daisuke Kimura, Hotel Meurice, Paris, France; Sandra Boesemueller, Hyatt Regency, Duesseldorf, Germany; James Elliott, Renaissance, St Pancras, UK; Noel Sumitra, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai, India; Fred Hooi Wei Lun, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia (host country); Lesley Klavert, Manhatten Hotel, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Konstantin Pilipenko, Russian Seasions Hotel, Sochi, Russia; Mohamed Fasle Bin Rifaeh, Conrad Centennial, Singapore; Alvaro Canales, Hotel Casa Fuster, Barcelona, Spain; Avnish Masih, Movenpick ibn Battuta Gate, Dubai, UAE; Mathew Ziegler, Four Seasons hotel, Washington DC, USA