Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s star concierge receives award
May 30 2014
Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s star concierge receives industry golden nod for years of dedication and service
Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s chief concierge, Fiona Lawson, is gunning for gold this week as she receives well-deserved praise for years of dedication and exceptional service to the hospitality industry.
This week Ms Lawson celebrates ten years as a member of the prestigious Hotel Concierge Society Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand (HCSNZ) and almost twenty years as part of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG).
The not-for-profit worldwide association consists of the best concierges in each country and is dedicated to promoting professionalism in the tourism industry and concierge as a positive and exceptional career.
Members can be identified by the golden key badges each concierge wears with pride. Recognised the world over it identifies them as being experienced, professional and one of the best concierge in their respective country.
As the only female with ‘The Golden Keys’ in the South Island, and one of only a handful in New Zealand, Fiona is hailed as a “unique and incredibly important” member of the Crowne Plaza Queenstown guest services team.
She joined IHG as part of the opening crew of the Central Christchurch (old Holiday Inn City Centre) and went on to become chief concierge at Crowne Plaza Christchurch until the earthquake forced her move to Queenstown.
Guy Robinson, Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s senior guest experience manager, was initially hired by Ms Lawson in 2006 as a porter while he was studying at University. Five years later Guy was able to repay the favour and hired Fiona to join him and his team in Queenstown.
“I remember meeting Fiona for the first time during my interview for a porter’s role and thinking what an amazingly warm and friendly person she was,” said Mr Robinson.
“She’s really fun and genuinely interested in guests and making their stay exceptional. That’s something very special and I learned a lot from her during those early years.”
“It’s just a pleasure to have her as part of the team. Fiona’s passion for her work and natural charisma make her so special.
“She’s certainly a memorable person. We have many repeat guests here in Queenstown and even some who’ve stayed at the Crowne Plaza Christchurch who always remember Fiona,” he said.
Fiona is heading to Auckland next week to join Les Clefs d'Or’s own 20 year celebrations as part of its annual conference, where she will be awarded a gift in recognition of her dedication and service to the organisation and hospitality industry.
Les Clefs d'Or President Shaun Ryan said Fiona was “a fantastic person and a popular figure within Les Clefs d'Or”.
When Les Clefs d'Or New Zealand hosted the 60th International Les Clefs d'Or Congress in Queenstown in April 2013 -- which saw over 200 members from around the world visit Queenstown for five days -- Fiona was the host concierge.
“She did a wonderful job in showcasing not only her own hotel but Queenstown and New Zealand as a whole. She is known to us as Princess Fiona and will light up a room with her presence, warmth and laughter."
Crowne Plaza Queenstown general manager Reinier Eulink said Fiona was “a star within the IHG group”.
“Having someone of Fiona’s calibre as part of our team reflects the high levels of customer service we pride ourselves on at Crowne Plaza Queenstown,” said Mr Eulink.
“Fiona’s Golden Keys make her an exceptional asset and her passion and knowledge of Queenstown and New Zealand is second-to-none. Guests recognise the keys and appreciate they stand for quality, heritage and experience.”
“We congratulate her wholeheartedly on this huge milestone and look forward to next year and her 20th anniversary with IHG. Not many people can claim such a long standing career and it’s something she should be incredibly proud of,” he said.
About Crowne Plaza Queenstown
Located in the heart of Queenstown with superb mountain and lake views, Crowne Plaza Queenstown offers a rejuvenating, friendly and enjoyable experience.
As a 4+ Qualmark rated hotel the rooms provide a peaceful place to stay and are furnished in neutral tones. The chic bar area and award-winning Threesixty restaurant allows you to connect with friends, family or colleagues in a modern and contemporary environment.