The classy network
"Concierges invented networking", says Claudio with a laugh. Only thus can the job be mastered and the impossible made possible. Claudio has contacts at various jewellery shops, boutiques and flower shops in the region who he may call at any time day or night. It could happen that a frantic guest almost forgot the 30th anniversary of the day he married his wife. So, at night the perfect gift has to be arranged. Whether it be gifts, forgotten items or medicinal products, his contacts make it happen. Accordingly diverse: from the friar to the greengrocer to the forwarding agency. Claudio's attitude when someone helps him with a guest's concern: "I always assume that someday I can return the favour – in some way or another." Honesty and reliability are always important; that's how Claudio keeps the good reputation that he thoroughly enjoys in Ticino.
Claudio's dedication to and love of the job has impressed many guests. So, it came to pass that one of the regular guests, an elderly lady from Istanbul, suggested to him that since he was a concierge, he should apply to become a member of the Clefs d’Or (the Golden Keys). She had noticed that Claudio did not wear the two crossed golden keys on his lapel as do all members of the most important network of concierges who work at luxury hotels. The lady took the matter into her own hands and informed Mr Ostertag at the Baur au Lac in Zurich about the young candidate. Claudio had to go to Zurich, where the members inspected him from head to toe. Now they are close friends, but it was not so easy at the beginning: A few guests arrived at the Giardino in order to grill the young candidate. Claudio proved himself and was accepted into the organisation as one of 140 members in Switzerland. Shortly thereafter he became the fourth president of the Swiss association and represented Switzerland at a meeting of the international association, which has 4000 members
The Clefs d’Or is an association whose members greatly benefit from its network and thus foster a close relationship amongst themselves. They always help each other, for example when someone is looking for a Gucci handbag that can no longer be had anywhere, but a concierge in New York knows where he can get hold of one and finally sends it to Switzerland. Elite service personnel can always rely on their partners. Regarding mobility, for example, Hertz is available anytime and regularly helps fulfil guests' exclusive requests. Except for horse-drawn carriages, Hertz offers everything the guests desire.
Thanks to the Clefs d’Or association, Claudio has seen the world from an exclusive perspective. And so there is a list of experiences, each better than the others, such as the helicopter flight over Niagara Falls, the walk down the red carpet at the Parliament in Budapest, the ride in the VIP lift in the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the stroll through the White House and the audience with the pope.