Jun 10, 2024 - Culture

Not-So-D.C. Jobs: Meet a local luxury hotel concierge

Photo illustration of Jeffrey Morgan in a lanyard.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Conrad Washington, D.C.

Today's installment in our "Not-So-D.C. job" series — about gigs that aren't your standard, inside-the-Beltway 9-to-5 — features Conrad Hotel chief concierge Jeffrey Morgan.

👀 How it started: After attending culinary school, Morgan worked for chef Robert Wiedmaier when he took over one of iconic chef Jean-Louis Palladin's Watergate Hotel restaurants. From there, he headed to the Four Seasons in Georgetown, where he was a concierge for almost 20 years.

  • "I've earned every one of my gray hairs," he says.

☀️ A typical day: Up first, checking to see which VIPs and groups are visiting the hotel, as well as doing a sweep of what's happening in D.C.

  • There's a fair amount of psychology involved: Morgan does deep research on all VIP guests, but you also have to be able to read people and anticipate their needs, he says.

From there? No such thing as typical. On any given day, he might be helping guests snag tickets to a show or score a hard-to-get restaurant reservation.

  • "There's always something new and different," says Morgan. "You just wing it."

🌟 VIP moments: When Aretha Franklin was staying at the Four Seasons during President Barack Obama's first inauguration, she asked Morgan to call Tiffany's so she could borrow some jewelry.

  • And Mick Jagger's manager called Morgan a few years ago on the Fourth of July because Jagger and an entourage wanted to watch the fireworks from the Conrad's rooftop.

🤯 Wildest story: The time a guest handed Morgan the keys to the Mercedes he'd just bought — and asked to have it shipped to Saudi Arabia.

  • Or the time a cadaver was delivered during a medical conference.

🕶️ Cool fact: Morgan is a member of the elite Les Clefs d'Or, a society of high-end concierges from hotels around the world. He had to take several tests and undergo at-work observations to get it — kinda like a master sommelier but for hotels.

✅ Pro tip: Become skilled at the "swan effect" — aka "furious paddling underneath the water while you're just gliding on top," says Morgan.

  • "There are times when I have to excuse myself and go into the back of the house and say, 'Oh, my God, are you kidding me?' But you just do it."
  • When he's really stuck solving a request, he hits up his group chat of other local concierges for a brainstorm.

💪 Advice for strivers: Be genuine and sincere. "You are here to help."

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