This summer, Le Bristol Paris appointed Sonia Papet as the new Head Concierge, and she is making waves as the only woman to hold this prestigious post at a Parisian palace hotel. A member of the Clefs d’or association since 2005, Papet has more than 17 years’ experience in nearly every sector of business at international luxury hotels: reception at The Pierre in New York; housekeeping at Four Seasons Mexico City; human resources, reservations, and concierge at the George V.
A recent article by Agence France-Presse shines the spotlight on Papet as “part of a tiny elite of women who have entered the traditionally male realm.” There is only one other female chief concierge at a palace hotel in France: Marie-Christiane Grun at the Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat on the Côte d’Azur. Having joined Le Bristol’s staff in 2011, Papet now manages a team of 12.
In her interview with the AFP, Papet explains that the concierge team needs to anticipate a customer’s needs at a palace hotel where the average room price is €1,400 a night. They need to go above and beyond impeccable service, keeping up on all the latest cultural news, exhibits, chefs, and food trends. As the Internet has exploded, the concierge team isn’t expected to reserve restaurants, as much as to ensure guest happiness with exacting attention to detail.
When asked about over-the-top requests, Papet recalled organizing a helicopter ride to Vaux-le-Vicomte, the chateau that inspired Versailles, and arranging a 10th birthday party for a girl who wanted a Cinderella carriage.