The Concierge Keys Of Gold

By Frank Hernandez
Vice President of Concierge Relations, Consierge Association of Hawaii

I am a concierge at Halekulani and currently serve as vice president of concierge relations of Concierge Association of Hawaii (CAH).


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Frank Hernandez

Almost five years ago, a small group of hotel lobby concierges on Oahu came together with the support of Les Clefs d’Or USA and Morris Visitor Publications/WHERE Hawaii to form a nonprofit organization, which has become a family of Hawaii hospitality industry elite.

Les Clefs d’Or is an organization committed to improving the quality of service provided by hotel concierges around the world. Today, that association has grown to more than 4,000 members in 43 countries.

To obtain the “keys of gold,” one must have sponsorship from within the organization, undergo a series of interviews and random test calls from a national membership committee, and complete an extensive written exam. Those who succeed this rigorous testing are awarded Les Clefs d’Or membership and wear crossed golden keys on the lapels of their uniforms, now an international trademarked insignia. Seeing the coveted golden keys on an concierge’s uniform, guests are assured they are being served by a seasoned professional.

In the past five years, CAH is proud to have guided the growth from five Les Clefs d’Or members on Oahu to 11 concierges wearing the prestigious keys. I am fortunate to work side-by-side with six other Les Clefs d’Or members at Halekulani, all of us proudly wearing our keys.

Like Les Clefs d’Or, CAH encourages members to continually advance their abilities, expand their professional network and perpetuate the true meaning of aloha through community service-based projects and events. Monthly meetings are held at members’ hotels as well as other guest service-related venues, which encourages both the support of CAH member hotels and the surrounding community.

President Kawai Yamashiro, chief concierge at Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beachwalk, continues a legacy of ultimate guest service by encouraging her team and CAH members to “provide an authentic and sincere guest experience.”

How does she do this, one might ask? Yamashiro believes that you have to “learn what motivates people, trust your colleagues’ passion and empower that passion so that, in turn, your guests will experience service excellence at its best, the true meaning of aloha.”

All of us live this philosophy as we serve our guests and the community. How may we help you today?