Our new “Meet the Team” series is designed to help you get to know our wonderful staff before your visit. In the first of the series, we hear from our Head Concierge Mark Hanks, an incredibly knowledgeable gentleman who is almost as iconic and well-established as the Five Red Star hotel he so proudly represents.
“I am delighted to introduce myself, and to offer my personal assistance to those that choose to highlight their travel with a stay at Bath’s most prestigious address, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.
My role as a concierge started accidentally some 31 years ago after being persuaded to “help out” for a couple of weeks, whereupon I soon discovered that not only did I enjoy going to work, but that I had a natural aptitude and personality that were key to the role. My enthusiasm for pleasing guests and ensuring that their needs were being met was soon rewarded with promotion, and within a few years I had the honour of becoming Head Concierge.
The next step in my progression was to join Les Clefs d’Or, a society of the world’s most knowledgeable concierges from the best hotels, that work together to ensure that any guest request may be satisfied for almost any location. The Royal Crescent now has two proud members of this society, the other being our Deputy Head Concierge Gerry who initially came to “help out” for 6 months – that was 15 years ago and he’s still here!
“Our guests’ privacy takes precedence.”
A typical day for me nowadays starts at 7am and involves immediately familiarising myself with not only the day’s business activity, but of any information or requests from our in-house and arriving guests. It is this detail, no matter how small, that permits my team the opportunity to exceed any and all expectations. The next challenge is to await the request that even 31 years of service has not seen before, and they do still occasionally come.
This role permits you to meet many famous and interesting people; it also gives you those diverse challenges to solve. For me however, the most rewarding part is the knowledge that you have made someone feel special.
My tips for exploring Bath and Beyond
I have used my 30+ years of knowledge and experience to compile the document 50 Things To Do in Bath – on foot or by car, come rain or shine. Do take a look if you are hoping to get to know this beautiful city a little better during your visit.
The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa is proud to be an ambassador for The Great West Way. This route encourages visitors to “enjoy the journey” and to make time to see the glory that the South West has to offer. I cannot recommend highly enough that you spend more than one night in Bath; our Georgian ancestors knew this and would indeed stay for weeks at a time – it’s the perfect place to base yourself for exploring city and countryside alike.
“If you choose to come to Bath, I highly recommend a short stop at
Castle Combe (The original Lilliput) for a picturesque stroll.”
There are many ways that this historically travelled route can be accomplished, from using a private chauffeur, guide, bike, canal boat, rail stops or even by foot! The attractions you choose may have already been of interest to you, or perhaps you have never heard of some of them; either way, the team at the Great West Way have done the research for your perusal. If you choose to come to Bath, I highly recommend a short stop at Castle Combe (The original Lilliput) for a picturesque stroll.
My passion for Bath endures, from its diversity of restaurants to its historical importance and multiple attractions. Bath was where the first king of unified England was crowned in 973, King Edgar. We now have a new Abbey (only 600 years old). It is also the home of the first crescent ever built, The Royal Crescent, the centre of which was originally rented by royalty and is now The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. I suppose that this makes me a city/town dweller; I do however appreciate our villages having spent my formative years in one. For those of you that prefer a fine dining experience in a casual atmosphere, Bath and the surrounding villages will surely please your needs – just book in advance to avoid disappointment, you can leave it to my team if you’re staying with us.
Perhaps you would like me to finish with a tale of humour upon my experiences over 31 years. Unfortunately that is not the English way, and our guests’ privacy always takes precedence. Discretion and respect is key to our philosophy!”