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InterContinental Wellington Concierge Top of the Game


10 September 2012

InterContinental Wellington Concierge Top of the Game

It has turned into a stellar year for one Wellingtonian who in June carried the Olympic torch on part of its journey through the UK, and has now been named Top Concierge of the Year in the Asia Pacific region.

Jason Eade, concierge at InterContinental Wellington, was awarded the title at the HM accommodation awards in Sydney on Friday night.

Following the announcement, Eade acknowledged the extraordinary year he’s been having.

“It was truly amazing – it felt such an honour - to be selected to carry the torch on its journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. I think only two New Zealanders were selected. Now, to have this acknowledgement of my working career also is very, very satisfying.”

The HM Awards are in their 10th year of recognising hotel and accommodation excellence in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. This year a record 2,300 entries were received for the various awards.

While many of the 46 categories are judged region by region, the People Skills awards such as the Concierge title were judged from nominations of all the regions, with other finalists in Jason’s category based in Surfers Paradise, Melbourne, Sydney and Queenstown.

A motorcycle accident in 1991 just before Eade was to qualify for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (boxing) resulted in an above-the-knee amputation. With inspirational determination, Jason turned his attention to wheelchair-based sports including wheelchair tennis (1992-1996 - ranking number 2 in New Zealand and winning his grade in the Japan Wheelchair Tennis Open), and New Zealand Wheelchair Basketball (1992-1996) and is now focused on reaching his goal of playing in the US Amputee Golf Open.

Eade started his hospitality career with InterContinental in 2000, initially in Banqueting and moving into the concierge division in 2001. He was inducted into the prestigious Hotel Concierge Society Les Clefs d'Or New Zealand in 2006, represented by the crossed gold keys worn on the lapel.

InterContinental Wellington general manager Scott Hamilton, said: “Jason really is an outstanding example of true customer care, offering sound knowledge, problem solving and juggling many tasks at once with warmth and professionalism.”

Eade likens a good concierge to a bridge, connecting the hotel guests with the community.

“Every day there is an incredible variety of questions and requests, from simple weather updates to the less common, such as (from a bride), “My car hasn’t shown up, could you please drive me to my wedding”. I’ve organised a helicopter tour of the South Island and I cleared a restaurant for exclusive use for the Rolling Stones, within 24 hours (they didn’t use it in the end).

“You also need to be physically fit as you’re on the move all the time. I immensely enjoy the challenge.”

And the three most common questions Jason fields at the concierge desk of the busy five-star InterContinental Wellington?

“I have half a day in Wellington: what can I do?”
“What’s the best restaurant in Wellington?”
“What’s the weather doing and will I need an umbrella today?”

Ends

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