They are the people who can answer almost any question hotel guests might have. And these Auckland concierges have seen - and heard - it all, from organising a wedding in less than a day to helping some very lost, confused tourists.

Gustavo Concha from Hilton Auckland

How long have you worked at Hilton Auckland?

19 years, 5 months.

What are some of the best anecdotes from the guests you've met over the years?

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A young couple arrived from the USA wanting to get married the next day. I was able to organise for them to go to the registration office and get their licence straight away. They wanted tattoos instead of wedding rings and a tuxedo for him. She already had a dress. I contacted a celebrant and had pretty much everything ready for the next day, which ended up being one of the more memorable weddings held here. A few years later, our general manager at the time and I received an invitation for the renewal of their wedding vows in Los Angeles. It was a beautiful gesture.

Gustavo Concha is the concierge at Hilton Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Gustavo Concha is the concierge at Hilton Auckland. Photo / Supplied

Another time, a couple honeymooning from Miami arrived early one morning and wanted to see the whole of New Zealand in five days. They didn't want to travel via helicopter or use commercial aircrafts. I had worked with a colleague previously who had his pilot's licence, and invited him to the hotel to plan their itinerary - by then I had booked their accommodation and the next day the pilot hired a plane and the three of them travelled throughout New Zealand. I reached out to one of my Concierge Les Clefs d'Or (Golden Keys) colleagues who was working in a lodge in Queenstown and he managed to get some Bluff oysters for them, which was a real treat. And all these years later, we are still in contact.


And in 2003, during the America's Cup, Auckland City was the place to be. Ahead of the last race in early March, a VIP guest wanted to watch the race from the air (in a helicopter, of course) but they were all booked out. However, because of the good relationship we had with a particular helicopter company, they went out of their way to rent a helicopter from down south and took our guest up to watch the final race. The guest was so impressed with the service he invited me to tag along as well. Unfortunately, I could not join them.

What are your top tips for seeing the best of Auckland?

We are privileged to live in a city that offers a wide range of great outdoor activities. A favourite is Waiheke Island - it is perfect for wine-lovers and foodies, Oneroa beach is great for families, and the zipline is fun.

You could drive north of the city to Puhoi Valley for some top quality cheese, then continue on to Matakana for unspoiled countryside, boutique shops and galleries, and wonderful food and wine - the weekend farmers' market is a local favourite. If you keep going for another 10 minutes, you'll arrive at Omaha Beach, where you will be greeted with white sand and crystal-clear waters.

Or head west from the CBD, to the fringes of the Waitakere Ranges, passing through Titirangi, the artists' enclave on the Manukau Harbour. Stop at the Arataki Visitor Centre, which offers a unique look into New Zealand's rich landscape, and some of our indigenous flora and fauna. A little longer in the car will deliver you to the volcanic black sand beaches of Piha, Karekare Falls and Muriwai.

Pablo Gonzalez from Hotel Grand Windsor

How long have you worked at Hotel Grand Windsor?

Since March 2018, when I started as a doorman. I am now the chief concierge.

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What are some of the best anecdotes from the guests you've met over the years?

I remember one morning, a couple of American tourists came downstairs and asked how to get to Milford Sound because they had tickets for a ferry departing in an hour. I was astonished and I told them they were in the wrong island more than 1000km from the ferry terminal. That is something I will never forget.

Pablo Gonzalez is the chief concierge at Hotel Grand Windsor Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Pablo Gonzalez is the chief concierge at Hotel Grand Windsor Auckland. Photo / Supplied

What are your tips for seeing the best of Auckland?

I recommend walking along the waterfront where you can catch fantastic views of the skyline of Auckland city, wandering along charming city streets like Vulcan Lane or exploring the history and diversity on K' Road. If you have a car, you should drive over to the West Coast because the sunset over the gannet colony of Muriwai is one of the most amazing things you can enjoy in this country.

For more New Zealand travel inspiration, go to newzealand.com/dosomethingnew