I sure hope not but there appears to a groundswell to eliminate the services they offer, at least on the part of some hotels This article spells it out for us.
While the concept of the Concierge has changed over the years, the need for one, it seems to me, has not diminished.
The writer says that all of our technology gadgets can't replace that personal touch offered by a concierge. But apparently they come close enough that demand for concierge services has dwindled to little to none, so hotels see that position as an easy one to cut. Having said that, I admit that I have rarely deferred to the concierge for information that I was capable of getting on my own. So it's not something I'll miss. Spend that money on better food for the lounge.
NuHusker - I find myself using a concierge when vacationing at a resort, or, when in a major city to assist in a restaurant choice, reservations, or other activity suggestions. Otherwise, I agree that they are mainly obsolete and money would be better spent on other amenities for the guests. I think the position has gone the way of "stewardesses" and the like. Frilly positions have been replaced with functional jobs. Its a shame if you ask me....
Interesting article! I agree with the comments made here by NHUSKER and Shoeman, and would only add mine, relating this topic to the Marriott experience. While it is only anecdotal data, I have been using the Concierge lounge in Marriotts in several states and countries for decades, and over the course of that time, I have pulled away from asking "Concierge" type questions (restaurant recommendations, location of things, where to shop, etc). I used to do this all the time and get some pretty good information. These days it seems to me that the Attendant in the the "Concierge" Lounge either (1) doesn't know the answer to these kinds of questions, or (2) is so busy running around wiping tables after the just-departed family of eight and their kids and grandkids that it seems like an imposition to even stop the person to pose this kind of question. In other words, the Marriott Concierge in the Concierge Lounge has "devolved" into a food and beverage Attendant, and the title "Concierge" is really a misnomer today!
I think I agree with all of you, but in different ways. I have never used the concierge services in the U.S. but have in Europe, which is where the majority of my travel takes me. I have found increasingly that in Europe (at least at some of my favorite hotels, so I won't name them) have combined the concierge with the desk staff. So while it often seems like there is no one at the concierge desk, if you ask, it turns out he or she is right there.
I have found concierge service most useful in preparing my trips to Europe. When I get a reminder and request for special stuff, I always check things like early check-in and frequently other things -- such as local tours. While I have bemoaned the charged upgrade fee at Porte de Monaco, the concierge is wonderful. She contacted me regularly before my trip and although she was not always at the desk, my requests were on file at the reception.
I do think, with internet, most of us do a lot of this ourselves (I do). But there are times, especially in a foreign country where a person on the spot can do wonders.
Now now, I know of some concierges who give excellent advice.
At a property I frequent, there is one concierge (lobby level, never in the lounge) in particular who gave me an excellent tip on a restaurant I might love to visit one day. And we had a 30 minute conversation about... of all things... cheese. (Particularly what types of cheese were on my complimentary tray and where they all came from)
I agree that the above link to the article about concierge services was interesting. I guess I'm in the minority here - I stay on a regular basis at full-service Marriotts, JW Marriots and Rennaissance hotels and appreciate the concierage. The last time, at the Cambridge, MA Marriott, a concierge graciously took the time to talk a friend of mine calling me on her cell phone through various streets so that she could find the hotel. I've had the concierge at numerous hotels contact popular restaurants for a reservation - restaurants that told me, once I got there and expressed appreciation for a reservation on short notice, that they go out of their way to accomodate patrons referred by a major hotel's concierge. So, while I, like most people, can and do a lot of my own research on things a concierge could do as well, having a concierge is tremendously valuable when you need them.
I have the same experiences at the concierge lounge. While most attendants are great at servicing the lounge they have little or no knowledge of the area. Two stays ago I asked the front desk for the concierge and they said IT was on the 11th floor! Oh well, back to the DROID.
As so many here have stated I too use the concierge less than in the past. And sadly, many are not as helpful as they once were. But, that being said I must protest their demise to the very end. I travel somewhere between 300 and 350 days a year and the kindness of an attentive concierge has made the difference in my stay more than once. I am extremely tech savvy and thought little of the concierge position when I began my travels. After all, what could they provide that I couldn't find on my own? But, no piece of technology can surpass the touch of a concierge that knows his town and knows what you need even if you don't. A word here, a touch there and a good concierge can get you anything from entry to the hottest restaurant in town to a simple tray of cheeses and bites, unasked for, but much appreciated by a world weary traveller. I have had mediocre stays heightened to exceptionally restful adventures by concierges. The good ones are extremely rare, but needed. They help provide respite for those in need just as much as a simple dinner reservation. And if you are ever in Tampa, stay at the Renaissance, International Plaza. The concierge there, John is an old world craftsman in today's cookie cutter world.