About my website
Shortly after moving to Australia I decided to make a career change and return to the hotel industry. My favourite job had always been the role of concierge and I decided that I had to return to my true calling. Being a concierge allows me to combine my passion for excellence in customer service along with my passion for Melbourne.
By creating this website I hope to share my insider knowledge of Melbourne, Australia and the concierge profession. I hope to assist Melburnians, Australians and people from around the world to better understand the exemplary services a Les Clefs d’Or concierge can offer. For those who would like a personalised concierge experience, stay with us at the Next Hotel Melbourne where my team and I we will be glad to be “at your service”. If you can’t make it to Melbourne there are 3800 Les Clefs d’Or concierges around the world who will be more than pleased to welcome you, just look for the crossed keys on your concierge’s lapel.
Les Clefs d’Or – Experience the World!
Career Biography for James Ridenour
I began my hotel career with an apprenticeship at the Holiday Inn Harbourside in Vancouver, Canada. I then continued on to take a Diploma of Hospitality Management at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and at the same time began working in the front office for the prestigious Hotel Vancouver, now part of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
After a few years of service I took up another front office position with one of Canada’s best hotel’s, the Sutton Place Vancouver which held the distinction of being one of only three hotels in Canada to achieve the highest recognition for hotel excellence, the CAA/AAA Five Diamond Award. After several years of service, I accepted a position at the prestigious Sutton Place Hotel Toronto as the Assistant Chef (Chief) Concierge.
I was then offered a position in the telecommunications industry at Bell Canada and I decided to try something new. I held a variety of positions with varying accountabilities such as training assessment and design, process management and implementation, call centre management, product management as well as a role in the Office of the Vice President championing customer complaint resolution.
Shortly after moving to Australia I decided to return to the hotel industry and accepted a position as a Duty Manager at the Melbourne Marriott hotel.
In 2005 I was commenced my role as Chief Concierge of The Hotel Windsor. I held this role for three years and will always have fond memories of working at “The Duchess of Spring Street”.
In 2008 I was offered the role of Chief Concierge at the prestigious InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto. InterContinental is the concierge’s choice for international hotel chains as it’s marketing and service strategies are driven by concierge services. I opened the hotel in 2008 and now lead a team of service professionals. I am very proud that our concierge team consistently rate in the top hotels for guest service satisfaction for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
In 2008 I was given the honour of becoming a member of the prestigious international hotel concierge society Les Clefs d’Or. In 2010 I was elected to the role of Victorian State Delegate for Les Clefs d’Or Australia and then in 2011 I was elected to the role of National Secretary.
In 2011 I was asked to participate in the reworking of InterContinental’s concierge program “In the Know”. The project which was called Best in Class was a collaboration of Concierges, Directors of Sales & Marketing, Regional Marketing Managers and General Managers. The team was headed by our Global Vice President for Marketing. The goal was to standardise and improve InterContinental concierge services around the globe. I was responsible for writing and creating the majority of the standard operating procedures for InterContinental concierge services including the key arrival and departure experiences for our global hotels.
In 2011 I was awarded the prestigious Australian Hotel Association of Victoria’s Front Office Employee of the Year.
In 2012 Business Review Australia placed me at the top of the concierge list for the top 10 concierges and guides in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2013 I was very pleased to be asked to join the InterContinental Concierge Advisory Board which is a group of nine InterContinental concierges who assist in driving the “In the Know” concierge program which is a key marketing and brand initiative for InterContinental Hotels and Resorts worldwide.
In 2014 I was fortunate enough to have won Hotel Management Magazine’s Concierge of the Year for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
In 2014 I was honoured to be elected to the Executive Committee of Les Clefs d’Or International as the Assistant General Secretary. I have subsequently been elected to the roles of General Secretary, 3rd Vice President and 2nd Vice President. I continue to serve as 2nd Vice President today championing the associations Education Committee, brand strategy, operations and partnerships with businesses within the service industry.
In 2021 I accepted my next adventure as the Chief Concierge of Melbourne’s newest luxury hotel, The Next Hotel Melbourne, located in the Paris End of Collins Street in the 80 Collins precinct.
One of my proudest achievements is to have assisted with the development of my concierge team mates, James Speilvogel, Jacob Detering and Paul Rumpff, all who became members of Les Clefs d’Or Australia and Chief Concierges. I am currently working with Hector Mondardes at the Next Hotel Melbourne who is working towards his Les Clefs d’Or membership.
I continue to work with government, industry and hoteliers along with my social media channels and website (The Concierge Guide to Melbourne at www.jamesridenour.com) to promote Melbourne as one of the great destinations of the world.