Heading to a new city on your next business trip? Take the research and review-hunting off your to-do list and leave in the capable hands of the hotel's concierge team.
Contact the concierge before your flight and get everything will be sorted by the time you check into the hotel.
Our tip: some hotels are not as responsive to email as we'd wish. Indeed, some hotel websites make finding their email address a game of Olympic-grade 'hide and seek'.
Call the hotel (yet another way we at AusBT rely on Skype), get put through to the concierge's desk and then ask the concierge directly for the best email address to reach them on.
Just don't forget to show your gratitude by tipping the concierge appropriately.
Concierges not only have the ability to find tables if a restaurant is full, but they know whether a particular restaurant is appropriate for your setting.
If you need to talk business extensively, you don't want somewhere that's noisy or where the tables are too close together. Your concierge is a gold mine for this sort of information.
Ditto if you think that a business contact might prefer a particular type of restaurant – a special cuisine, vibe or experience. Have the concierge make some recommendations, and book a table in advance if necessary, and you'll look like a star.
Bars and pubs
Similarly, concierges know the good bars and pubs in their area.
Not the noisy ratty dodgy ones – well, okay, they will know those too, if that's your style.
Tell them what you need -- a bit of fun to let your hair down with the team, a sports bar showing the game from home, or somewhere that won't mind you pulling out a laptop and strategising over a few cold ones.
Make your requests specific
The real trick with concierges is to be as specific as you can. "I need a quiet bar where I can get together with five colleagues, enjoy some good local beer and look over our numbers for this quarter" is going to get better results than "What's a good bar?"
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About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.