Jonathan Nicholson: Head Concierge for XV Beacon Hotel

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Bio:

Head Concierge for XV Beacon Hotel in Boston, MA.

What do you do best?

I think one of my strengths, is reading people and situations. As a concierge, you get these brief moments where we try to help our guests, and we have to try to match our guests to a restaurant, or an activity, or an arts event, without going into auto-pilot mode. I also think one of my strengths is teaching my craft, and sharing my knowledge with others. In the hotel industry, we cannot succeed alone, so having a strong team is key. Anything I can do to help make that happen, will help our hotel shine, and our guest's experience, an outstanding one.

What makes you the best?

I would be doing my colleagues a disservice if I did not give them credit for my success. We work very hard, as a team, to make things look easy. We cultivate relationships, share ideas, look for innovative ways to take care of our guests, and I stress empathic hospitality, and consistency. Our guests deserve the best in service, so I constantly remind our team that we want to exceed our own goals and standards, not just meet them. Having a never ending drive to succeed, fuels my desire to be the best.

How will you stay the best?

Listening, watching, asking questions, recreating situations in my head to see if there is another way to solve the issue, building a strong network of colleagues that have similar goals, has helped me get to where I am today. I have the best mentor I could ask for, my General Manager, Amy Finsilver. She is a former concierge, and someone I bounce a lot of ideas off of. Along with our Director of Operations, we'll strategize together, about how we can maximize the guest service experience at the hotel. She is very in-tune to our guest comfort and delivery of luxury experiences, and is quite creative! I also learned from the best in my industry. When I first became a concierge, I sought out some of our local legends in the concierge position, and asked them what their methods of success were. I would ask them how they dealt with challenging situations, and tried to emulate their methods. And as I grew as a concierge, I began to expand my scope to include seeking out various upper level management in the hotel industry. This has helped me grow into an associate who understands the larger picture, and I share my knowledge with my team to further enrich them, and grow our guest experience. Reading various travel publications (like Conde Nast's Traveler, Travel & Leisure), visiting web sites and following on social media (like Eater Boston, Universal Hub, Marcus Samuelsson to name a few), is very helpful to see what trends are emerging in the city and across the world, or what useful apps we can use for our guest services benefit.

What are your aspirations: business & personal?

Personal: To teach a hospitality related class, so I can share my experiences with aspiring students.

Business: To become a general manager of a small luxury hotel or inn. Or perhaps use my hospitality and service experience, in an executive management position, in a related field.

What fascinates you? NA

Favorite Motto?

Never assume anything, do not be afraid to ask questions, treat people fairly, try new things, always keep learning, and laugh a lot along the way.

Favorite People?

Other than President Barack Obama, Derek Jeter (I'm a huge Yankees fan), Warren Buffett, and Mark Cuban, I want to meet people who are energized by their work, and are committed to success. I want to hear how they get motivated, deal with adversity, and how they motivate their team.

Favorite Places?

Everywhere!!! There is so much of the world that I haven't seen. One of my best friends spent time in Melbourne, Australia, and he thinks I would love it. Stockholm, Amsterdam, Montreal, New York City, and Barbados are among my favorite places that I have been fortunate enough to visit.

Favorite Products?

With the trend of renewable energy and sustainability, I would love to have a Tesla. I've also been tossing around the idea of getting solar panels on my home.

Current Passions?

I've recently started to golf. I never realized how challenging the sport is, because the pros make it look so easy. If I ever get some free time, I'd love to take cooking classes with Barbara Lynch, who is one of the country's great chefs.

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