PHILADELPHIA AREA
CONCIERGE ASSOCIATION

Rio Les Clefs d’Or Congress

Rio Baby! A dramatic start to an amazing week in one of the world’s most beautiful cities I recently returned home from the Les Clefs d’Or Pan American Congress in Rio de Janeiro. Originally scheduled for 2020, this was our first in-person meeting in over three years. Over 150 hotel concierges attended, from the US, Canada, Mexico and South America. We are a unique organization, treating each other as family, although we are, to some degree, business competitors. It was not uncommon to hear members refer to the Congress as a “family reunion.” On Thursday, August 25, David (my husband) and I flew from Philadelphia to Sao Paulo with a lengthy layover in Toronto where we toured the city. The drama began Friday morning when my suitcase failed to appear on the carousel. My initial response was to panic, as this was no ordinary trip. In the suitcase was business attire for meetings, casual attire for tour day, and appropriate attire for dinner, including my very first evening gown for the gala. The only clothing in my backpack was a bathing suit, one sundress, and luckily, a pair of flats that I had debated about packing. I filled out the Air Canada claim form and provided the address of the hotel in Rio where I hoped the luggage would be delivered in time for the start of the Congress Sunday evening. After checking into the Intercontinental Sao Paulo, I was able to find a nearby mall to purchase clothing for the next couple of days. Later that afternoon we enjoyed a guided tour of Sao Paulo that was arranged by Renata Farha, Chef Concierge at the hotel (as President of Les Clefs d’Or Brasil, she was the lead organizer for the Congress.) In the evening we had cocktails and a terrific dinner at Bar Astor. Incidentally, Uber prices are incredibly low in Brazil. For most rides, we paid about $2.00!! The drama continued when we arrived at the airport Saturday morning for our short flight from Sao Paulo to Rio, and I couldn’t locate my passport. Luckily, I found it the next morning, but Azul Airlines would not allow us to fly, even with a copy of my passport and my driver’s license. We were able to quickly arrange a wonderful, relaxing taxi ride from Sao Paulo to Rio, enjoying the scenery along the route. After arriving in Rio, we stayed one night at the Emiliano Rio, a beautiful hotel directly on the beach between Ipanema and Copacabana, where we enjoyed a memorable breakfast Sunday morning in their indoor garden. In the afternoon we relaxed by the rooftop infinity pool, and that evening we took another short Uber ride to our dinner at Nosso. There was great news on Sunday afternoon, when we checked into the Sheraton Grand Rio. My suitcase had arrived! The Congress officially opened with a pool party Sunday evening (everyone wore white). On Monday, our business meeting included three excellent speakers: Gabriela OttoHospitality consultant and President of HSMAI BrasilRay Ingleby, CEO Guest Services WorldwideProducer/supplier of high-quality publications for the hotel & leisure industryDr. Bryan Williams Keynote speaker, author, consultant on service excellence, and organizational leadership On Tuesday the entire group toured Rio, stopping at Sugarloaf Mountain and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Although it was a cloudy day, the clouds parted for us to have a great view. We even saw monkeys at both sites! After the tour, we enjoyed dinner at one of the famous Brazilian churrascarias (steakhouses). Wednesday morning, I was so happy that Leigh Anne Dolecki was elected as our new President, and all current board members were re-elected for another one-year term. And I was especially grateful that the meetings adjorned early so that we could enjoy “pool time” before our gala dinner that evening. On Thursday morning, I woke up early enough to view an incredible sunrise before the Congress officially ended after breakfast. David and I stayed in Rio an additional two nights at the Praia Ipanema, located directly on the famed beach, where we enjoyed another rooftop infinity pool. That evening, the concierge at the popular Fasano Hotel, arranged for us to have drinks on the rooftop bar at sunset. On Friday we took a tour of Rio with Paschoal, our guide, to the famous painted steps, Escadaria Celaron, in the Santa Teresa neighborhood. We also drove through the Centro area and stopped at the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. When we mentioned our hope for sushi that evening (no more meat!) Paschoal recommend Gurume. This may have been our favorite meal of the week. We returned to Sao Paulo on Saturday for our flight back to Philadelphia. With a layover in Montreal, we were able to tour Old Montreal and had coffee and pastries at Le Petit Dep, a perfect French café, and a perfect ending to our trip.

September 2022 Concierge Newsletter

Philadelphia is not bidding farewell to summer without a final fling to enjoy the warm weather. It will be gone before we know it. Labor Day Weekend 2022 This year its almost business as usual with the full return of some summer celebrations. The “Made in America Concert” will engulf the Eakin’s Oval area of the Ben Franklin Parkway Saturday September 3rd and September 4th, 2022. This year’s headliners are Bad Bunny, Tyler the Creator, Little Uzi Vert and Jazmine Sullivan. The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing Labor Day Weekend Fireworks Saturday September 3rd, 8:30pm. Visible from multiple locations along the Delaware waterfront. Also, at Penn’s Landing “Brazilian Day” Sunday September 4th, 2022, a celebration of culture, food, music, and dance. Get your samba on! “Fringe Arts Festival” September 8th through October 2nd, 2022 Various Locations Central Headquarters 140 N. Columbus Blvd. The Fringe Arts Festival gathers local, national, and international artists and performers for a two-week exhibition throughout the city of Brotherly and Sisterly Love. The festival’s artists bring thought provoking, avant garde, performances to Philadelphia’s largest stages. The festival also gives the opportunity for local artists to shine offering their pre-success works to a large audience in traditional settings as well as unconventional spaces. “The Doylestown Arts Festival” September 10th and 11th ,2022 East State and North Main Streets Doylestown, PA The Doylestown Arts Festival is a two-day juried art, music, and food extravaganza along the streets of Doylestown, nestled in Historic Bucks County. 2022 is the 31st anniversary of the festival. Over 150 artists are exhibiting in multiple mediums. There will also be art demonstrations, live music, and a variety of food choices. While in the general area of Buck’s County, one may wish to visit Peddler’s Village, 100 Peddler’s Village Lahaska, PA. As summer winds down, Peddler’s Village is beginning their preparations to welcome fall. September 5th through October 31st, 2022, is “Scarecrows in the Village”. Local artists, some of whom are quite young are displaying their talent in the form of terrifying (or cute) scarecrows. Peddler’s Village has a collection of artisan shops and restaurants in a unique, rambling enclave. Take any opportunity to visit Peddler’s Village as it has been slated for redevelopment and once gone, we’ll never see the like of this charming hamlet again. ‘Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show’ September 16th-18th, 2022 Yet another local stalwart event that the gentry of Philadelphia just couldn’t get enough of!  Now we have the traditional ‘Fall’ show, as well as a ‘Spring’ edition. This is the oldest outdoor fine arts show in the nation. The event brings artists of all disciplines to Rittenhouse Square which is part show and part outdoor art gallery. Meander around the square, peruse the artwork, chat with the artists and artisans, window shop, or pick up your very own masterpiece! Not to be confused with the other “Fests” taking place in September… The Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest at the Kimmel Center 300 S. Broad Street Saturday September 17th, 2022; 11am – 3pm The Philadelphia Fall Arts Fest is a free event hosted by the Kimmel Cultural Campus and The Philadelphia Orchestra. This program features an array of sample performances from 50 different arts and culture organizations. The whole family will find things of interest as they explore what’s scheduled for the coming performance year. www.kimmelculturalcampus.org    For those of you who may not know in June of 2021 the Kimmel Center which oversaw operations at the Miller Theater (Originally the Shubert, then Merriam. Named for Alan B. Miller a founding member and major contributor to the Kimmel and the renovation of the theater) and the Academy of Music made their connection of the three entities formal by rebranding and operating as the Kimmel Cultural Campus. All three venues operate from a consolidated base at the Kimmel Center. Additionally, the Kimmel Center itself has several venues in its interior. Most notably for theater goers is that all information and ticket sales come from a central source www.kimmelculturalcampus.org . Harry Potter at the Franklin Institute 20th and Ben Franklin Parkway Finishing its run now through Sunday September 18th, 2022    If the kids or grandkids are looking for something “magical” to do this exhibition of the World of Harry Potter might be just the ticket. This event promises an immersive experience featuring props from the films, recreations of the sets, paintings that move, candles that float, weird creatures and interactive displays to help your inner witch or wizard graduate Hogwart’s School of Wizardry! www.fi.edu The Eagles Home Opener vs. the Minnesota Vikings Lincoln Financial Field Monday September 19th, 2022 Are we headed back to the Superbowl? I’m not the guy to ask, but that was pretty cool when the Eagles won, and we were all here in the middle of it! To enjoy a last glimmer of the swan song of summer we offer some suggestions typical of the season. Philadelphia Beer Gardens Independence Beer Garden 100 S. Independence Mall This once vacant space in and around the buildings that inhabit this southeast corner of 6th and Market Streets has become home to one of the first of Philadelphia’s seasonal Beer Gardens. This project is part of the Schulson Collective of restaurants and has been wildly successful since it first opened. The key to its success is serving a diverse selection of popular as well as craft brews and a menu of reasonably priced, beer friendly food! In addition to IBG there are a many more seasonal beer gardens in Philadelphia, here are a few all in a row like a string of lights in South Philly.   Landslide Beer Garden at Spruce Street Harbor Park Located directly at Penn’s Landing, in the Spruce Street Harbor Park Section Landslide offers visitors craft beer selections as well as cocktails from the adjacent Oasis Bar and a food selection for the many food kiosks that abound along its promenade and boardwalk.  The Garden at Cherry Street Pier 121 North Columbus Blvd. Cherry Street

2019 “Best for Our Guests” Awards Announced

PHILADELPHIA (August 12, 2019) — The Philadelphia Area Concierge Association (PACA) which is the premier hospitality industry organization for professional concierges throughout the region, is proud to announce the 2019 The Best for Our Guests award winners, honoring those restaurants, services, retailers, tour companies and attractions which have provided the utmost in customer service and unparalleled experiences for the tens of thousands of guests, residents and tenants that the concierges assist with recommendations on a yearly basis. The winners was announced at a ceremony on Monday, August 12 at Fitler Club The Best for Our Guests Categories/Nominees/Winners FINE DINING                 WINNER: Barclay Prime Nominees: Bibou/Vernick Food & Drink     CASUAL DINING             WINNER: Parc Nominees: Gran Caffe L’Aquila, Sampan     NEW RESTAURANT          WINNER: Alpen RoseNominees: Cry Baby Pasta/Fiore RETAILER                       WINNER: Boyd’s / Macy’s (tie) Nominee: Anthropologie CULTURAL ATTRACTION       WINNER: Philadelphia Museum of Art Nominees: The Barnes/Penn Museum       TOURIST SITE                     WINNER: Independence National Historic Park Nominees: Franklin Institute, One Liberty Observation Deck THEATER                           WINNER: Walnut Street Theater Nominees:Academy of Music, Wilma Theater  MUSIC VENUE                  WINNER: The Kimmel Center for the Performing ArtsNominees: The Met Philadelphia/Wells Fargo Center World Cafe Live TOURS/TRANSPORTATION   WINNER: Philadelphia Trolley Works Big Bus Company Nominees: Free Tours by Foot FAMILY-FRIENDLY           WINNER: Franklin Institute Nominees: Academy of Natural Science, Philadelphia Zoo     Nomination Criteria: All selections were by Philadelphia Area Concierge Association members. Media contact: Fran Nachman, Lead Concierge Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square Events Director, Philadelphia Area Concierge Association Phone: 215-869-1344  email: fgn2479@gmail.com Founded in 1996 the Philadelphia Area Concierge Association is a non-profit service industry organization comprised of the region’s hotel, corporate and residential concierges.

Les Clefs d’ Or Cannes Congress

In March, Fran Nachman, Director of Business and Social Events, attended the international Les Clefs d’ Or Congress in Cannes, France. She even got to walk on the same red carpet used for the film festival. She also traveled to Paris and while there visited Notre Dame two weeks before the tragic fire.

2017 Key to the City Award Winner is…..

MIMOZA XHORI!! Congratulations to the PACA’s very own Mimoza Xhori for winning the 2017 Key To The City award! Mimoza has been a concierge for over 21 years and is an asset to our organization.

Parks on Tap 2017

Fran Nachman, our Director of Business and Social Events, attended all 20 Parks on Tap sites this year. Born and raised in Philly, she had the opportunity to visit parks she had never been to previously. For their dedication, she and her boyfriend David, were awarded a t-shirt! Check out some of their pictures.

The PACA Announces the Best for Our Guests in 2017

The Philadelphia Area Concierge Association (PACA), a premier hospitality industry organization for professional concierges throughout the region, is proud to announce the winners of its 2nd Annual Best for Our Guests awards, honoring those restaurants, services, retailers, tour companies and attractions which have provided the utmost in customer services and unparalleled experiences for the guests, residents and tenants that the concierges assist every day. Each Best for Our Guests award winner was announced at a special ceremony held on Tuesday, August 8 at the Ritz Residences. 2017 Winners Fine Dining – VolvérCasual Dining – Gran Caffe L’AquilaNew Restaurant – Harp & CrownRetailer – Macy’sCultural Institution – The Barnes FoundationTourist Destination – One Liberty Observation DeckTheater – Walnut Street TheatreMusic Venue – Academy of MusicTours/Transportation Company – Philadelphia Trolley WorksFamily-Friendly Venue – Penn’s Landing Nomination Criteria – All selections were made by Philadelphia Area Concierge Association members. Nominees were voted upon based on the overall positive commentary provided by the concierges’ guests, tenants and residents throughout the year. Congratulations to our 2017 winners!

Monument Lab Kickstarter

In the fall of 2017, Mural Arts Philadelphia will work with curators Paul Farber and Ken Lum, along with 21 emerging and world-renowned artists, to bring a series of temporary public artworks to Philadelphia for Monument Lab. Monument Lab will use art to activate public space, to offer justice to underrepresented voices, and to unearth a deeper and more inclusive understanding of Philadelphia’s history, identity, and values. The PACA is excited about this project and has recently backed @monument_lab on Kickstarter. We can’t wait to see how this project shapes up. Learn more about this @muralarts project & support public art in #Phillyhttp://kck.st/2plqbU2

The PACA Welcomes New President: Eugenio Martinez!

Eugenio Martinez currently serves as the Lead Concierge for the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia, PA. He has been with the company since November of 2008 where he started as a Concierge. Through his hard work and dedication, Eugenio has earned numerous awards over the years. In addition to Lead Concierge, Eugene works as a Learning Coach to train new hires as well as existing staff. Eugenio’s goal as PACA President is to bring more recognition to the association, increase membership and to ensure that all hospitality needs are continuously met. When Eugenio is not working, he enjoys traveling and Salsa dancing.

The Philadelphia Area Concierge Association announces its 2016 “The Best for Our Guests” Awards Winners

PHILADELPHIA (August 9, 2016) — The Philadelphia Area Concierge Association (PACA), which is the premier hospitality industry organization for professional concierges throughout the region, is proud to announce the winners of its 2016 The Best for Our Guests awards, honoring those restaurants, services, retailers, tour companies and attractions which have provided the utmost in customer services and unparalleled experiences for the tens of thousands of guests, residents and tenants that the concierges assist with recommendations, on a yearly basis. Each Best for Our Guests award winner was announced at a special ceremony held on Tuesday, August 9 at the Independence Visitor Center. 2016 Winners Fine Dining – Talula’s GardenCasual Dining – Gran Caffe L’AquilaNew Restaurant – Double KnotRetailer – Century 21Cultural Institution – Philadelphia Museum of ArtTourist Destination – Independence HallTheater – Walnut Street TheatreMusic Venue – The Mann Center for the Performing ArtsTours/Transportation Company –  Philadelphia Trolley Works/Big Bus CompanyFamily-Friendly Venue – Franklin Square  Nomination Criteria – All selections were made by Philadelphia Area Concierge Association members. Nominees were voted upon based on the overall positive commentary provided by the concierges’ guests, tenants and residents throughout the year. Congratulations to our 2016 winners!