Garegin Avagyan – Chief Concierge Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya

My experience with the hotel business began in 2012. I flew to the Czech Republic for a month to practice. There is a specialized school that is located in the city of Mariánské Lázně (Marianbad), and is called “Hotelová škola”. After 2 years, in 2014, I returned and began to practice at the Hotel Goethe. It was a 4-star hotel, which was positioned as a resort-sanatorium hotel. There I worked as a waiter, a sommelier, in short, I did my internship.
Then, in 2015, when I was a 4th-year student, I had to apply somewhere for an internship. Then I decided to walk around the center of Moscow and to take a closer look at the hotels.
Walking along the Arbat, I saw the Marriott New Arbat Hotel on my right, which at that time was just opening. I decided to try my luck, and got a job in the reception, worked there for a month, then I was offered to become a bell-man. From that very moment I began to dive deep into this field since I had concierge-supervisors who told a lot about his profession. I was very interested in that, and after a while, I became the “guest relations” manager. After this, a new vacancy was opened, and I was invited to work as a concierge.
I worked in this hotel for a year, then moved here and for already 2 years I have been working as a chef concierge. When I was appointed as a chief concierge, at that period, and now too, I am the youngest chief concierge in Moscow, and also the youngest chief concierge with the Golden Keys in Moscow.

What qualities are required for this position, and is needed to have the golden keys?
Well, first of all, you should understand what the “International Association of Professional Concierges” is. It was founded in 1952 by the chief concierge Ferdinand Gillet from the hotel Intercontinental in Cannes. By the way, this year the regular meeting of the concierges from around the world was held there.
First, you need to prove yourself as a good concierge. The concierges in the city must know you, you must constantly go to meetings (they are often held in here) and be the best version of yourself.
Secondly, you must work as a concierge in a 5-star hotel for 3 years, and a total of 4 years in the hotel business. You must pass an exam, an essay, and an interview, write a project, defend this project at the annual meeting, and after that, you can get the golden key.
Getting the golden key is very difficult. You need to bring out the best in yourself and be a very good concierge. But the most important thing is to be a good person. Because if you are a good person, you are better at helping guests, and you will be flawless in this service.

Tell us about the Armenian Concierge Society you founded. What are the goals of the Society?
Let’s start with why I decided to open an association of concierges in Armenia. I was surprised that during our meetings I had met concierges from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia for several years, but I had never seen concierges from Armenia. I had a question – are there any concierges in Armenia? I flew to Armenia, went to all 5-star hotels, even visited many 4-star hotels, and decided that I need to make this my project to develop the country, do something good for it, and secondly, to find concierges, bring them together, so that Armenia could also be presented at international concierge meetings, at the international level to help the country be recognized in the concierge sphere.
I gave several lectures with concierges at the Alexander Hotel, then at Best Western. We exchanged contacts. We reached an agreement with the hotel managers and we slowly began to develop.
The idea behind this is that Armenia will get concierges with golden keys so that our country develops even faster in tourism. In the future, we want as many people as possible to join our association and develop in the same way as they develop in Moscow, in Europe.
So far, we have problems with that in Armenia, but we are working on it.
– Where and how did you launch your project?
In March, in Sochi, the annual meeting of the “Golden Keys” took place, where I defended my project. The meeting was attended by 61 concierges from different countries of the world, from different cities of Russia. Before that, our meetings were held in Moscow, but this time they decided to organize everything in another city, and everything turned out perfectly. We had two official days – the 16th and the 17th accordingly. On the first day, we showed our guests the city, the casino, and then, at the Marriott hotel, we organized a “welcome drink”. The next morning, we had an official part where we delivered our speeches. Sarkis Sargsyan from “Best Western” represented Armenia. We introduced Armenia, told about the prospects for the development of the concierge service in Armenia, told about the Hotelier magazine, handed them out to the participants, I defended my project, received the golden keys.
Hence, the more people know about our project, the better it develops. Now, many people know about Armenia, know that there are people who want to develop in this industry.