Bucharest

Ask a local: Marriott Head Concierge

19 Nov 2019
How did you become a Concierge at JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel?
- By fascination…I was working as a loss prevention officer in the hotel at that time. I saw my colleagues from Concierge talking with guests and responding to all sorts of requests with a smile on their faces, and I said to myself “This is what I want to do”.

What's your favourite part of the job?
- When a guest leaves from our hotel and says he/she had the best time and thanks us for the suggestions and for the help that we provided for them.

Are you from Bucharest?
- Born and raised in this beautiful city.

Where do you like to (or recommend guests) relax on your days off?
- Bucharest offers something exciting for everyone, all year round. During spring and summer, I enjoy walking on the small alleys of the Botanical Garden but also on Calea Victoriei to feel the beat of the city. In the winter, the National Arts Museum and MARe (the recent art museum) are good for relaxing and also entertaining the mind.

What's one meal (local dish) that every visitor in Bucharest should try?
- Polenta with cabbage rolls.

Best restaurant for a business lunch?
- JW Steakhouse

And a romantic dinner?
- 18 Lounge for the view or Mesogios for the great atmosphere.

Where can we get a great cocktail?
- Flair Angel – they train the best bartenders in the country and have world and national
champions bartenders. And for guests who want to stay in, what's the most popular room service dish on the menu
at JW Steakhouse?

- Well, the most requested dish on the room service menu would be the ribeye. Then it would be our Scandinavian salmon steak. Don’t trust me? Come and try them.

What can we do in Bucharest when the weather is bad?
- If you come with kids then the Natural History Museum Grigore Antipa is a must.
- Therme is a perfect location for both people with kids as well as for couples. Kids can enjoy the water slides and the area dedicated for them while the couples will have their treatment and pamper area where they can relax.

Best souvenir from Bucharest?
- The pictures and the memories. And maybe some new friends. I don’t believe in buying trinkets (magnets, wines, t-shirts). But if you really want to buy something to remember you of Romania, buy a traditional Romanian outfit as they will surely make an
impression wherever you go.

What are some of the most unusual requests you've had to deal with?
- There is nothing unusual for a Concierge. We had request from hundreds of roses and filling the room with balloons to getting a private jet in a couple of hours, from getting the tickets to a sold-out concert to tracking the ancestry papers to some
remote village in Romania so that the guest could find his lost family.

Five most useful romanian words for tourists?
- Mulțumesc or the easier version, “Mersi” – which means “Thank you”.
- Cu plăcere – which means „With pleasure”
- Te rog – which means “Please”
- Bună ziua - which means “Good day / Good afternoon”
- La revedere - which means “Goodbye”

What's one insider tip about Bucharest that our readers would be surprised to know?
- Have a contrast tour: visit the Spring Palace and then Jilava Fort (inside Jilava prison) and see the lavish life of the Communist Party upper class and the suffering by the opposers of the regime.

What's the best thing about Bucharest?
- You will always find something to entertain you, to amaze you, to make you wonder. I always ask the guest who return to us after 3-4 years and they all say that the city is changing, and is changing in better.

And the worst?
- Rush hours… rush hours in a taxi.

The three words that best describe Bucharest are…
- Contrasts
- Fun
- Evolving

What should you never leave Bucharest without experiencing?
- Drinking a Romanian craft beer
- Visiting the Village Museum
- Tasting some of the local cuisine
- Making at least one Romanian friend.
- Stopping by at a Concierge desk for advice.

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