Andy Roberts, Head Concierge, Millennium Knightsbridge Hotel

Tell me about how you got into your line of work. I was working in my home town of Crewe as an apprentice roofer when a recession hit and I got laid off, so I went from one job to another. My best friend David had moved to London two years earlier and every time we talked he offered to put me up at his place until I found work.  So there I was, a 19 year old kid with a bag in one hand & £20 in the other, hitchhiking from Manchester to London. I made it with my £20 untouched and after looking for work with no luck, my friend’s girlfriend said “why don’t you try the hotel where I work”? The next day I had an interview and was offered a job as a luggage porter at the Strand Palace Hotel. After two years, I was a Concierge at the Mayfair InterContinental – great times!

How critical are you when you stay in another hotel?  Not at all, I have a very good understanding of how hotels work and at the end of the day you get what you pay for, so it’s not to much of a bother when something goes wrong as long as it’s dealt with.

If you could be a concierge in another city, where would it be and why?  In the UK, it would only be in London, but I would love to work in a resort hotel somewhere hot.

What is your favourite London restaurant at the moment?  I don’t have one favourite but I have always liked the Rib Room, especially after last week’s visit. I also like Bar Boulud and Gaucho Grill.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?  This is a difficult question as all the guys (Bill, Don, Joe & Arthur) at the Mayfair had a helping hand in training me as a Concierge, however I think the advice that Don gave to me when dealing with guests was the most beneficial: “Always try and do your best for the guest and never guess”.

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