Hotel Online  Special Report

Brent Barker, Concierge at Chicago’s Hotel Burnham,
Inducted into Les Clefs d’Or USA
CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2004 – Brent Barker, a concierge at Chicago’s Hotel Burnham, has been inducted into Les Clefs d’Or USA, the American section of the elite corps of the world’s finest hotel concierges.  Les Clefs d’Or is represented in 37 countries, with only 450 members in the United States.  Founded in Paris in 1929, Les Clefs d’Or means “keys of gold” and refers to the crossed gold keys that are the international symbol of the organization. 

Displayed on a hotel concierge’s uniform lapels, the crossed gold keys assure travelers that they are dealing with a seasoned professional who has met the prestigious organization’s strict requirements, including a minimum of 5 years service, extensive testing, and the sponsorship of Les Clefs d’Or members.  Part Merlin and part Houdini, Les Clefs d’Or concierges are dedicated to making the impossible possible.  They have developed the skills and contacts to open doors for their guests throughout the city and indeed the world.  Their motto, “in service through friendship,” illustrates their unique approach to international networking and enhanced guest service.

“Brent’s induction into this prestigious organization is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence and superior knowledge and experience in the service industry.  Brent takes great pride in his work, treating each guest like his own, and we are very proud of him here at the Hotel Burnham,” said General Manager Chris Johnson.

Mr. Barker brings 25 years of diverse service experience to his position, including almost 6 years as a professional hotel concierge.  He has a history of going the extra mile in and out of the office.  A former championship bicycle racer, he was selected for training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in 1981.  He subsequently attended the University of Colorado, Moscow State University in Russia, and Loyola University of Chicago, where he was awarded a gold medal, summa cum laude, by The American Classical League.  He is multilingual (including English, Spanish, Russian, French and Japanese), and he enjoys working with guests from around the world.  During his career, he has assisted members of the Bolshoi and Eifman Ballet companies, European and Asian tour groups, foreign diplomats, and members of the British Royal Family.

Of his concierge service, Mr. Barker says, “one should treat every guest like visiting royalty.  It’s a fascinating profession with very old and proud traditions.  I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

The award-winning Hotel Burnham is one of Chicago’s great architectural jewels.  This beautiful 122-room, European-style hotel resides in an historic, 109-year-old living landmark that is the first direct predecessor to Chicago’s modern skyscrapers.  Located across from Marshall Field’s famous flagship store on State Street, the Hotel Burnham combines a passionate architectural style with a flair for contemporary luxury. 

Kimpton is a San Francisco-based company known for its collection of stylish boutique hotels that are coupled with fine chef-driven restaurants. Founded in 1981, the company currently operates 39 hotels and 39 restaurants across the United States and Canada. Kimpton’s combination of boutique-style, four-star service and an adjacent destination restaurant has proven a great success. These popular pairings include the fashionable Hotel Monaco Seattle with Sazerac restaurant, the historic Hotel Burnham in Chicago with Atwood Café and the sophisticated, chic Hotel Palomar with the award-winning Fifth Floor restaurant in San Francisco. The company operates the Topaz Hotel, the Hotel Rouge, the Hotel Madera, the Hotel Monaco, the Hotel Helix and the Hotel George in Washington DC; the Sky Hotel in Aspen; the Cypress Hotel in Cupertino, Calif.; the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Mass.; and the Argonaut Hotel located in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park at Fisherman's Wharf. The Onyx Hotel in Boston will open in the winter of 2004 and a Kimpton hotel will open in New York City in the summer of 2004.



The Kimpton Group

Also See: Les Clefs d'Or Member, Nellie Salas Appointed Chief Concierge The Doral Park Avenue Hotel, New York City / Jan 2003
Latest Amenity for Upscale Hotels - the Technology Concierge / December 2003

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