Gareth puts golden touch on tourism

A LARNE man is among the elite in his profession after becoming a member of a highly-exclusive global organisation.

Gareth Drummond 26, son of Matthew and Valerie Drummond, is head concierge at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh and his dedication to the role has seen him gain entry to the Society of the Golden Keys (Les Clefs d’Or).

With strict conditions of membership that require proof of professional relationships with guests and work colleagues, there are only 258 members in Great Britain and the Commonwealth and just 3,518 worldwide.

Gareth, a former pupil of Larne High School who once worked at Ballygally Castle Hotel, can now be recognised as a Clefs d’Or concierge by the solid gold cross keys he displays on the lapels of his uniforms.

These keys are more than just the symbol of the organisation, which is recognised by hotel guests all over the world as proof of being a top concierge, they are also seen as a symbol of guaranteed exceptional service.

To be eligible to become a member of the Society, the minimum criteria you must meet includes working in a four or five-star hotel and being the manager or head concierge.

Gareth, who has been head concierge at the Holyrood hotel for four years, said this represented the pinnacle of his career to date.

“I am very honoured to be where I am after only seven years in the profession. It is a major accolade for both myself and the hotel,” he added.

As a Les Clefs d’Or concierge it is imperative that Gareth is up to date on what is happening in and around Edinburgh and Scotland.

This allows him to advise guests on restaurants, night life, sporting and theatre events, sightseeing tours, shopping and much more.

He added: “If someone wants tickets for a sold-out show, seats at that special restaurant, taken to a certain place, it’s my job to ensure that the guest gets that wish. Anything is possible providing it is morally, humanly and legally correct and within reason.

“Being a Les Clefs d’Or concierge is not a job, it’s a lifestyle!”

Gareth relocated to Edinburgh nine years ago to attend and graduate from Queen Margaret University.

During his time in the hotel industry, he has met his fair share of celebrities including Rolf Harris, the Fonz, the Duke of Edinburgh, Rhod Gilbert, Kevin Bridges, the Proclaimers, Mary Robinson and Oasis.

He has also come face-to-face with several international rugby teams such as Wales, Scotland and most recently the All Blacks, and as a result he was able to present a fully signed rugby shirt and ball to Larne Rugby Club.