Queensferry concierge has golden touch

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A MEMBER of staff at the Dakota Hotel in Queensferry is amongst the elite in his profession.

Alistair Barclay, (48) is head concierge at the hotel and his role is to meet and greet all visitors and assist them in any way he can.

His dedication to the role has seen him become a member of the Society of the Golden Keys. With strict conditions of membership, which require proof of professional relationships with guests and work colleagues, there are approximately only 250 concierges in Great Britain.

To be eligible to become a member of the Society, the minimum criteria you must need includes working in a four or five star hotel and being the manager or head concierge.

For Alistair, who has been head concierge at the Dakota for four years, he said: “It is the pinnacle of my career so far! I am very honoured to be where I am after 13 years in the profession. It is a major accolade for both myself and the hotel.”

Alistair was interviewed when members of the society held the recent annual general meeting at the Dakota. He said: “I seemed to tick all the right boxes and was notified by post days later that I was successful.”

He added the weekend with the judging panel was made extra special thanks to Bentley, who offered a top of the range car for their use, Robbie’s Tours, Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Climbing Arena for catering for society members and their families.

Alistair now has the distinction of wearing the solid gold Golden Keys lapel pins on his jacket, which is recognisable to hotel guests all over the world as him being a top concierge.

The ethos of the Golden Keys is about dedication to work and forging guest relations, Alistair, saying: “It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle!”

He added: “If someone wants tickets for a show, seats at a special restaurant, taken to a certain place, it’s my job to ensure that the guest gets his wish.”

Having also worked at the St Andrew’s Bay Hotel, Alistair said he has met his fair share of celebrities over the years, from the film, sport and music industries.