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Les Clef d'Or (The Golden Keys)
Officially registered as U.I.C.H (Union Internationale des Concierges d'Hotel). Les Clefs D'Or is an international network of men and women with common interests and goals.
They have their own mystique, a combination of their expertise, sources of inside information, intelligence and communication. The Organisation is non-political, non-religious and not a trade union of any sort. It was formed to promote friendship between members so that they may better assist international travellers and tourists.
The first such association saw the light of day on 6th Oct 1929 when 11 Concierges from the grand hotels of Paris realized that they could operate more effectively as a team than individually. If they could join forces, they felt, they could make their services more indispensable.
On 25th April 1952, delegates from nine countries met in Cannes to hold the first congress and created L'Union Europeene des Portiers des Grands Hotel (UEPGH). Its creation was made possible by Ferdinand Gillet, the Chef Concierge then of Hotel Scribe in Paris, the industry knows him as the 'Father of Les Clefs d'Or'.
The second congress was held in San Remo, Italy in Dec 1953, this saw the creation of the journal 'Revue Europeene' and the adoption of the society's insignia and badge, the Golden Keys. A Congress is held yearly in different members' countries and has become a major feature in the Concierge calendar. It is an opportunity to make new contacts, catch up with old friends, and share experiences and ideas with like-minded Concierges.
15th November 1972 at the 20th International Congress in Mallorca, Spain, UEPGH was changed to UIPGH, Union Internationale des Portiers des Grandes Hotels, thus making the Les Clefs D'Or a worldwide organisation.
Today the Society's membership encompasses over 35 countries with over 5000 members. The national chapters are self-governing with their own Presidents and Committees. The international Association communicates through a bi-lingual review, published quarterly. The Association publishes a Worldwide Members' list every two years, listing names and contacts of all Les Clefs d'Or members.
The aim of Les Clefs d'Or is to help improve and maintain the quality of service provided by the Concierge staff in their hotels and to ensure that this profession is given the recognition it deserves. Whilst encouraging friendship and solidarity among its members, Les Clefs d'Or also teaches them to continually improve their professional skills.
Members are expected to be presentable, courteous, helpful, knowledgeable and experienced. Knowing how to advise guests and having the ability to cooperate and work alongside management for the benefit of hotel guests. Les Clefs d'Or symbolises welcome smiles, dedication and its members play an important part in the total success of international travel.