52 Ways to use a Concierge

52 Ways to use a Concierge

By Katharine C. Giovanni, CCS

 

One of the questions I get asked by the media is what does a concierge do?  The quick answer is that a concierge will do anything as long as it’s legal, moral and ethical.

Everyone single one of us tries to squeeze 36 hours into a 24 hour day, and when you do that you inevitably don’t do it very well. You get stressed …

Which leads to tired …

Which leads to not eating healthy because you’re craving “comfort” food …

Which leads to sickness.

Not good!

A concierge is here to do the things that you have to, leaving you the time to do the things that you want to like spending more time with family and friends, putting more time in at the office, or relaxing with a good book!

That being said, below is a list of 52 ways you can use a concierge. Since the real list of what a concierge can do for you is endless, the list below is merely here to get you started.

  1. Obtaining tickets to concerts, special events and sporting events
  2. Transportation Services – train, plane or automobiles … concierge can get it!
  3. Travel and Vacation Planning
  4. Business Referral Service – need a landscaper or a plumber?
  5. Restaurant Recommendations and/or Reservations
  6. Pet services
  7. Internet Research – need research done and you don’t have the time to do it?
  8. Personalized shopping and delivery
  9. Running to the post office
  10. Dry cleaning pick-up and/or delivery
  11. Grocery shopping
  12. Running to the hardware store
  13. Senior care
  14. Modified house sitting – need someone to wait for the service technician while you’re at work?
  15. Picking up or returning a gift
  16. Meal Delivery
  17. Home Inventory – video the contents of your home and keep it in your safe deposit box
  18. Bill paying
  19. Auto Maintenance
  20. Home Organization
  21. Notary Services – many concierge area a traveling notary and can actually come to you.
  22. House Cleaning Services
  23. Courier/Delivery Services
  24. Delivering lunch to nurses and doctors at the hospital
  25. Delivering a Meal – breakfast, lunch or dinner
  26. Prescription Pick-up and delivery
  27. Repair and Service Calls
  28. Returning a library book or a video
  29. Sick Care – sick in bed? Call a concierge and they’ll do your errands, arrange for dinner to be delivered and can be on hand to help your family out
  30. New Mommy Services
  31. Meeting and Event Planning; private parties
  32. Personal Chef Services
  33. Single Parent Helper
  34. Employee Relocation Services
  35. Gift baskets and Flower Delivery
  36. Landscaping Services
  37. Special Day Reminder Service
  38. Charter a Private Jet, Yachts or Helicopter
  39. Hire a concierge to assist you at your event, wedding or conference – also called “event concierge” and “wedding concierge”
  40. Need Security?  They’ll hire a security company to assist you.
  41. Day Spa Services
  42. Fashion and/or Stylist Consultant
  43. Nanny Services
  44. Estate Planning
  45. Arrange for your Tee Time at the golf club
  46. Book your appointments for you
  47. Hire a Butler
  48. New to the area?  A concierge will give you a tour of the town
  49. Catering Services
  50. Get Away Weekends
  51. Office help
  52. Moving assistance – let your concierge unpack those boxes and put it all away!!  All you’ll need to unpack is your toothbrush.

 

iStock_000023096297XSmall-300x198

 

http://www.triangleconcierge.com/2010/09/52-ways-to-use-a-concierge/

 

 

Advertisements

Cricketer’s of the Valley

Napa Valley Cricket Club victory in 2012 by the smallest of margins, 2 runs
Napa Valley Cricket Club victory in 2012

You don’t think of Napa Valley as a very sporting place. Except if you include the Raiders annual preseason visit to Redwood Middle School. Lately I’ve heard funny accents around the valley talking about this new sport of Cricket. I decided to investigate. Turns out this sport was one of the precursors to baseball. Developed in the 16th century and played in most of the British colonies.

Now it’s finally arrived in Napa Valley. So who plays this game and why? Being the hub of wine in California, Napa has a wide diversity of winemakers. Many travel from as far off as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Wine is perfectly matched to the game of Cricket. Steeped in tradition that enjoys a break for afternoon tea at 3 o’clock, Napa will change it up with wine. About 2 years ago a group of ex-pats as they go by, decided there was enough interested parties in the valley to put together a team. Marin has had a long tradition of cricket going back thirty years. San Jose has a large influx of East Indian engineers who also enjoy the game of cricket  and are highly competitive. Napa Valley is home to Treasury Wine Estates with many Australians working at various wineries all over Napa.

How is this game played I hear you say? That is a very complex answer. Consisting of eleven players per side, a wicket keeper,  bowler, batsmen, Stumps and outfielders it sounds comparable to baseball. I assure you, there is a lot of strategy and rules. For a good overview look at this Cricket Rules site. I suggest coming to watch their opening match this Sunday the 28th of Apri. The Aussies defend their title against the ROW (Rest of the World). See a preview in this Calistogan article here.

The game starts at 10:30 and there will be a BBQ with wine and refreshments open to the public. The whole family will enjoy it with activities for the kids. Join the club on Facebook for this event and be sure and share with your friends.

Cause for the Paws

PAWSPORT ticket
PAWSPORT ticket

Was great to experience the second annual PAWSPORT 2013 this last weekend. I love how the Napa Valley steps up to support worthy cause. Surprised to find how many wineries are dog-friendly. Twenty were participating from Friday March 22- Monday March 25. I thought about bringing my dog, but she’s a puppy and not quite ready for adventure. Of course if you need someone to watch your do while you visit the valley I can certainly arrange that.

Many wineries had special Dog treats for PAWSPORT pass holders with the proceeds from tickets sales going to the Napa Humane Society.

Clos du Val Vineyards
Clos du Val Vineyards
Clos Du Val 2010 Ariadne Sem/SB blend
2010 Ariadne Sem/SB blend

Our first stop was at Clos Du Val Estate winery. I have driven by many times but never visited. Nestled in the Stags Leap District on Silverado Trail, they have deep valley roots. A beautiful property with outside picnic tables to take in vineyard views with friends and furry one’s. Started in 1972 they have deep heritage with vineyards in the Languedoc region of France. A sparkling winery in South East Australia.

My Favorite wine was the Ariadne 2010 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend, graced by the 3 Graces (Mischievous daughters of Zeus). Highly recommend you pickup a bottle of this rare Napa Valley blend. They also had great reds including the 2010 Primitivo.

Bubbles & Menu

We needed to pace ourselves and we decided our next stop was going to be Mumm Napa.
Nothing like enjoying Bubbles on a sunny patio, pooch at your side, although our pubby was home.

Every visit to the valley should include a sparkling wine stop. Everyday here is a celebration and they pair with almost any food.

Mumm 2005 Devaux Ranch Sparkling
2005 Devaux Ranch Sparkling

We had so many great choices on their menu.  I was blown away by the 2005 Devaux Ranch. (a vintage rarity that isn’t available anywhere else) A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunneir and Pinot Gris. You won’t find in stores so you have to visit. Highly recommend you invest in good Bubbles for your next event or party in Napa Valley.

I can help you plan that and take care of all the sparkling details.

We decided to head back to Yountville and not try and hit more up-valley wineries.

It doesn’t take much to go over your limit at 2 wineries. If you find yourself wanting to hit more than two  in a day I highly recommend you get a limo or driver service. I have some of the best drivers that will take good care of you and provide the best tours.

Cornerstone Cellars always provides first rate experience. Well educated staff and amazing cheese plates are a treat. Our favorite was the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.

Hill Family Estate & Cornerstone Cellars
Hill Family Estate & Cornerstone Cellars in Yountville

Although across the street Hill Family Estate provides a very casual experience. We sat on a leather couch and enjoyed potato chips and wine. It used to be an antique store until a few years ago. A reverence for music with guitars and memorabilia were elegantly presented for guests to enjoy. I have always enjoyed their Merlot and the 2010 didn’t disappoint. The staff was gracious enough to give us a special doggy bag even though puppy was home. Awesome experience that rounded out a wonderful day, SuPAWorting a Furry Cause.

Call the Concierge: 707.738.5205

Even My Frugal Friends Use a Concierge

Call the Concierge: 707.738.5205
Friends have been calling me for help and advice since forever: 707.738.5205.

Recently, on a fully booked flight in which I was sandwiched between a girl and her mini-poodle at the window, and a six-foot-tall exec on the aisle (well, at least it was the Exit Row), I was asked by the executive about being an independent concierge. The exec said he was familiar with hotel concierges but was still curious, and asked, “So you get tickets to shows and book tours? But how do people know to call you? Doesn’t it get expensive?”

The answer is simple: my first clients were my friends, who called me because I always know what’s going on, what’s open, what’s not; who’s the best at what they do, and who’s right for the job. I’ve always known how to “make it happen,” so my work in hospitality naturally morphed into affordable personal concierge services. In a short time, I had a huge local client base I was hooking up with wide range of trade contacts.

About 70% of my clients are local, and call me for a wide range of services: designated drivers for parties or events, help with finding nannies and sitters, running errands for full-time working moms, booking pet sitters and house sitters, making travel arrangements for vacations, event planning and management, arranging housekeeping and landscaping services, and yes… finding tickets to some of Napa and Sonoma’s best events. I don’t charge exorbitant fees just because I know what’s going on; I simply make it worthwhile to call me to put it all together for you. With client satisfaction comes repeat bookings and my concierge services are diverse and flourishing.

The exec, based out of Houston, is now calling me to help book his Wine Country vacation home, a few Napa and one Sonoma wine tour, personal chef services so they don’t have to cook every meal, and even in-home spa services. He tells me the entire booking is about the same as a hotel, but is providing much more privacy and peace-and-quiet (the reason for the vacation!), and leaving the details to me also provides him with assurance that it’ll be all set on arrival.

I look forward to making a booking for you, whether a one-time event or repeat/subscription services. Just leave the details to me!

Peace,
The Concierge

Holiday Entertaining and Event Planning: Ask the Concierge

Image
Wine Pairings Make for a Fun Holiday Party Conversation Starter
Concierge of the Valley can arrange any style of catering service to keep you mingling rather than serving.

We find that Holiday Entertaining is at first daunting to some new clients, who contact us for help with a specific task, be it catering, or chauffeur or valet services, or decorating. Yet when you call the Concierge of the Valley, you’ll hear the open invitation — Are you sure I can’t cover more for you? Really, we’re here to free you up to enjoy your own party.

Shopping. Gifts for family, co-workers, friends, relatives or house guests. Groceries for the party, or just the family, to take the pressure off.

Party Decorating. With a classic hand, we are capable of preparing your vineyard, home or venue for guests from 5 to 1200 or more. Flowers, serviceware, decorations, uniforms — it’s all coordinated for you, in your style, within your budget. We find that corporate clients especially appreciate our capabilities for customizing the “look and feel” of their celebrations.

Wine Selection, Delivery and Service. If you’re in Napa or Sonoma, there’s a measure of sophistication that’s expected with the choice of wine served at parties, events and celebrations. We’ve got your palate covered: we can make suggestions, arrange a consultation with a sommelier, and conduct follow-through to get the order to you on-time and at the right temperature. You’re ready to go!

Catering. From cocktail hour, to hors d’oeuvres, to wine pairings, to five-course buffets or served plates, the Concierge of the Valley is ready with all manner of suggestions, or just happy to help coordinate all the pieces you’ve so carefully selected. We can also arrange for the perfect personal chef to come by once a week to prepare the weeks’ meals — to keep your diet on track, or to make sure you’re not living on paté, Cambozola and water crackers.

Clean-Up. Cheers it up until 4 a.m. with your best family and friends, because we’ll be by the next day at your convenience to put your place back into pre-party form. Perhaps one of our most popular holiday entertaining services!

Car and Valet Services. No need to arrange a limo to get you and your friends around. Our designated driver services can be on-call for an evening or a weekend. This is especially useful for those visiting vacation homes, and may not be familiar with all the roads and byways around Napa and Sonoma. One tip: CALL AHEAD!! Booking will be tight around Thanksgiving and the month of December.

Pet Sitting. Don’t jam the cat into the coat bedroom! We’re happy to arrange a pet sitter for a few hours, a hotel stay, or an overnighter durning the busy holiday season. Many book us to take care of their pets while allergy-prone relatives come to stay, alleviating any discomfort having the pet around might cause.

Happy planning! We can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Time Out for Breast Cancer Awareness

“Life is really, really good.” — Diane Van Deusen, Breast Cancer Survivor

ImageEvery year we are asked to take time out for Breast Cancer Awareness in October. I’d also like to take that time. 

It seems in October it’s trendy to wear pink, even at the professional football level (rather clever, in my opinion!), and show awareness by raising money by walking or any of the many breast cancer fundraisers that are out there. I know someone who’s been directly affected, and in turn, it affects me deeply.

Recently, an article in the Napa Valley Register shared statistics that while the incidence of breast cancer among Wine Country women was improving, “an average of 102 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, and approximately 18 breast cancer–related deaths occur annually, according to the Napa County Public Health Division.” This is similar to the average rate, nationwide. It’s estimated that throughout the country, there are two million cancer survivors. But what’s incredible, is that it is expected that in 10 years, there will be four million survivors. (Unfortunately, it’s not mentioned if the number of deaths would rise in the same ratio, of if they are expected to decrease due to improvements in healthcare and treatment.)

Imagine the impact of four million women going through this crisis.

I hope this serves as a gentle reminder that as women, we need to maintain our health, get screened for breast cancer regularly, and support each other in doing so. Support cancer research, and support your friends, even if it’s just a like on Facebook, raising money for research. Life is good, as we all know. Life is really, really good.