Luxury hotel special

Reading unspoken words, one guest at a time

Kay Abe, Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s concierge, never says “no” to any question posed to her by hotel clients. She endeavors to read the mind of each client she meets — to guess what it is that the person in front of her really needs.

Abe first became interested in the profession of hotel concierge as a teenager when she traveled to Europe with her family for the first time. Her interest led her to join a hotel in 1992 and take on her first position as a concierge.

“I really enjoy my job. Making clients happy is what makes me happy in return,” said Abe. “I strive to provide the kind of hospitality that makes guests say they would like to return to Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the hotel with ‘that’ concierge team. And when they really do come back, it brings me so much joy,” Abe said.

“The innovative spirit, fast pace, multicultural experiences and friendliness while maintaining a sense of luxury, is what makes Grand Hyatt Tokyo unique and different from any other hotel,” stressed Abe.

The concierge desk deals with a wide range of matters daily, from answering simple questions such as directions to a particular destination, to more challenging ones such as choosing a restaurant that matches the mood of the client that day.

Abe says that she believes a combination of upholding professionalism and teamwork between concierges and other hotel staff, showing empathy and maintaining a happy team, makes it possible for them to fulfill each task.

When asked about how she handles international clients in comparison to Japanese ones, she responded: “To me it’s not about where they are from. I try not to generalize or approach them differently just because they are European or Asian, young or old. It’s more about treating each guest as an individual, being able to read their unspoken words and understand what they are really asking for.”

In 1997, Abe became an international member of Les Clef d’Or, an elite organization of concierges, and became the president of the Japan chapter the following year.

Abe has published several books on hospitality and customer service, and looking to the future, after 25 years of being a concierge, she hopes to continue her efforts of expanding the concierge network, nurturing young talent, advocating all that Japan has to offer and raising awareness of concierge activities in Japan.

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Bubbly offers refreshing respite

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo will hold “Champagne Garden 2017” from July 21 to Sept. 30 at its rooftop Serenity Garden.

The garden offers an open-air space perfect for all kinds of parties and events ranging from wedding ceremonies to casual cocktails. This time around, the garden is offering a free-flowing Champagne plan.

Marking the fifth incarnation of the popular annual event, guests are given a free glass of Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne to start the evening. Then, they are welcome to enjoy free-flowing beer, cocktails and nonalcoholic drinks, as well as four different kinds of Champagne: Moet & Chandon, G.H. Mumm, Nicolas Feuillatte and Taittinger.

The drinks can be enjoyed together with a variety of hors d’oeuvres, miniature hamburgers and sandwiches. Priced at ¥9,000 (tax and service charge included), the 90-minute free-flow plan (seating is available for two hours) should be booked in advance (bookable from two persons). It is available from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (last entrance at 6 p.m.) and limited to weekends and holidays in the month of September.

The plan is a perfect way to get away from the summer heat with a glass of Champagne in hand against a backdrop of verdant greenery. A stroll in the beautiful garden after the meal offers a memorable way to spend a summer evening. In the event of inclement weather, the location changes to the indoor Cafe Foresta on the third floor of the Plaza.

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