More than a sporting event, the Kentucky Derby is a premiere fashion and luxury living exhibition. Just like the Dubai World Cup, high-end sponsors seek out Churchill Downs and upper crust tourists follow. With that, the idea of festivities surrounding the Kentucky Derby are built on the principles of extravagance.
When thinking of keywords that adjoin experiences like being a celebrity or multi-millionaire, the concepts of service expand into a smaller -- but much needed realm. However, according to Laura Wallace of Louisville's City Concierge, there is one important piece of the full-indulgence experience missing at many hotels hosting Kentucky Derby guests.
Differences between concierge services in Louisville
Published on the cover of Louisville magazines such as Today's Woman, Wallace is the noted owner of Kentucky's City Concierge. Along with a referral from Tommy Erdelyi of the Ramones, she also has one from Brad Walker, Vice President and General Manager of Louisville's five-star Brown Hotel, thanking her for working with his guests.
When speaking about the way she provides services to clients, a clear distinction emerges between her concierge and those found at hotels in Louisville. Mainly, her company is built on personal connections to affluent services and places throughout the city. The goal of her company is to customize tours and top-notch service coordination with clients and their staff.
By contrast, some hotels in Downtown Louisville see concierge differently. For example, when you request concierge with a few Downtown hotels, this year they may direct you to their front desk staff instead. Obviously, this system of using front desk staff in the place of dedicated concierge will not fully meet the needs of all tourists attending the Kentucky Derby. This is where City Concierge and its employees come into play.
Is hotel concierge enough for the Kentucky Derby?
During the weekend of the Kentucky Derby, there will be many easy recommendations for hotel concierge to make. The usual referrals to top restaurants, spas, museums, and other tourists attractions are not specialized knowledge for locals. On the other hand, many essential luxury shops, private parties and services are closed to the public during the Kentucky Derby weekend.
To demonstrate this difference between using full service concierge and front desk staff, think about correcting things that commonly go wrong. For instance, an out of town tourist having a bad hair day is planning to broadcast live from the event on national television -- but does not know the best salon in Louisville. The issue is that hotel guests may not have the local connections to get a hair stylist to open their closed shop on Derby weekend.
Other problems that the rich and famous deal with are coordinating with local restaurants to allow for private dining and security adjustments.
When you need more concierge
Although there is a chance that the front desk staff at a hotel may be able to find a top hair stylist during the Kentucky Derby, Wallace's City Concierge, with their Rolodex full of years of personal referrals, would be the natural solution. Like most luxury items, City Concierge's tours and services are custom designed. In addition, if you need extra transportation or personal assistant services, City Concierge can make you a referral.
In the end, Wallace feels that there are three hotels in Louisville that have true five-star concierge. Besides her own company, she recommends the Seelbach Hilton's Larry Johnson (who literally wrote a book about the Seelbach), Leean Gillbrannock at the Marriot Downtown, and the Galt House concierge staff.
To get in touch with City Concierge of Louisville any time of the year, a direct phone line can be used (with prices varying before and after 11 p.m.) at 502-836-4376.
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Maryam Louise is a longtime resident of the Bluegrass State and has lived in the shadows of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky over the past two decades. In addition to being a fan of horse racing, she has also had a chance to get to know jockeys, horse groomers, and betting clerks as an ESL instructor. Currently, she writes for KentuckyDerby.org and relies on her friends in the multiple facets of the equine industry for writing inspiration.