The association

The association

Active members are “key bearing” Concierge who exhibit a moral and professional attitude that follow the general and union by-laws.


Requirements for membership

A total of 5 years working in a hotel with 2 years as a Concierge.

New applicants are required to have two letters of sponsorship recommendation letters by two active members who are in good standing, and which are to be submitted to the Board.

Membership approval will be published in the Bulletin. If applicant has been denied, the Board does not to give a reason.

The application for membership and 2x recommendation letters of two active members must be submitted to the respective stationary section President which you find below.


The board members

  • Luc Frieseisen

    Luc Frieseisen

    The Dolder Grand
  • Laura Bruendler

    Laura Bruendler

    Vice President
    Hotel Waldhaus
    Sils/Segl Maria
  • Raphaelle Grandgirard

    Raphaelle Grandgirard

    General Secretary
    Mandarin Oriental Geneva
  • Jean-Roland Boutillé

    Jean-Roland Boutillé

    La Réserve Genève Hotel & Spa
  • Jose Angel Blanco Peña

    Jose Angel Blanco Peña

    Assistant General Secretary
    Grand Hotel Kronenhof
  • Jocelyn Courbiere

    Jocelyn Courbiere

    Assistant Treasurer
    Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva
Section Presidents
  • Jan-Luca Funck

    Jan-Luca Funck

    President of the section Zurich - Basel - Lucern
    The Dolder Grand
  • Mathieu Breton

    Mathieu Breton

    President of the section Genève
    Mandarin Oriental Geneva
  • Alexander Piderit

    Alexander Piderit

    President of the section Graubünden
    Badrutt's Palace
    St. Moritz
  • Riccardo Alicino

    Riccardo Alicino

    President of the section Ticino
    Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola
  • Benjamin Blatter

    Benjamin Blatter

    President of the section Bern, Berner Oberland
    The Alpina Gstaad
  • Loris Ottier

    Loris Ottier

    President of the section Bas Valais, Riviera Vaudoise
    Hotel Royal Savoy
honorary members
  • Claudio Caser

    Claudio Caser

    Giardino Ascona
  • Albert Ostertag

    Albert Ostertag

  • Peter Wirth

    Peter Wirth

  • Franz-Josef Imboden

    Franz-Josef Imboden

  • Freddy Wiederseiner

    Freddy Wiederseiner

  • Enzo Baciocchi

    Enzo Baciocchi

    Schweizerhof Luzern
  • Silvio Martocchi

    Silvio Martocchi

  • Giovanni Lia

    Giovanni Lia

    Splendide Royal

The history of 'Les Clefs d'Or'

Our umbrella organisation was founded in autumn 1929 by Pierre Quentin, who was Head Concierge of the Hotel Ambassador in Paris at the time. Together with ten or so colleagues, it was agreed that they would join forces, effectively pooling their knowledge and contacts. What started out in France, followed by Sweden and the Netherlands, developed into “L’Union Européenne des Portiers des Grands Hotels (UEPGH)” in April 1952 under the patronage of Ferdinand Gillet (Chief Concierge of the Hôtel Scribe in Paris). Altogether nine founder countries were members of the organisation at the time. By 1970, 16 countries belonged to the association. In the meantime, the “Golden Keys” had also been adopted as the organisation’s symbol. At the 20th International Congress in 1972, the association changed from a purely European organisation to an international one, enabling countries such as Canada, Singapore and Brazil to obtain membership. At the 42nd International Congress in January 1995, the organisation was officially renamed the “Union Internationale des Clefs d’Or” and later the “Union Internationale des Concierges d’Hotels Les Clefs d’Or”. Our world-wide association now has almost 4,500 members from more than 46 countries.

Characteristics of a Clefs d’Or Concierge

You can recognize Clefs d’Or concierges by the keys they display on the lapels of their uniforms.  These crossed gold keys are more than just the symbol of the organization–they are the symbol of guaranteed, quality service.

  • Clefs d’Or concierges will accommodate every guest request so long as it is moral and legal … and humanly possible.  Their services run the gamut, from the mundane to the extraordinary, yet each request is fulfilled with vigor, to the guest’s full satisfaction.
  • Clefs d’Or concierges handle all duties with zeal:  mail and messages, recommendations and reservations, travel and meeting planning, personal shopping and professional communications.  They are also supreme social advisors, business expediters, and personal confidantes.
  • On those rare occasions when guests’ requests cannot be fulfilled single-handedly, Clefs d’Or concierges have a never-ending network of acquaintances, friends, and colleagues from around the world to assist them in meeting the guests’ demands.
  • Clefs d’Or members have dedicated many years of hard work and training to the concierge profession.  They are pleasant and welcoming in appearance, they remain calm in a hectic environment, and they always display integrity.  Indeed, discretion is the hallmark of a Clefs d’Or concierge.
  • Clefs d’Or concierges have their fingers on the pulses of their cities, able to advise guests on restaurants, night life, sporting and theater events, sightseeing tours, shopping, etc.  They can direct guests to any location, to any product, at any time of day or night.
  • Clefs d’Or concierges are motivated by a genuine desire to serve.  They are prudent, patient, kind toward guests and staff alike, self-confident, tenacious, persistent, adaptable, ingenious, disciplined, and flexible.
  • The global environment of today’s business world demands that concierges be able to converse with all travelers, from Albania to Zaire.  Many Clefs d’Or members are multilingual and most are well versed in many cultures.
  • Clefs d’Or concierges have worked hard to obtain their keys.  Whether requesting something simple or complex, you can be sure they are trusted resources to business travelers and vacationers alike, always keeping guests’ safety, enjoyment, and satisfaction in mind.

Keys to Excellence

The Motto

“In Service through Friendship”

The Purpose

To foster professional development of concierges in the hotel industry by promoting tourism and the highest standards of service for hotel guests.

The Creed

Members of Les Clefs d’Or will:

  • Uphold the professional and ethical standards of the association.
  • Coordinate, promote, and assist the activities and interests of fellow members.
  • Mentor individuals entering the concierge profession.
  • Promote and improve the technical skills of the profession.
  • Foster friendships and communication networks within the Switzerland and abroad.
  • Respond to the needs of fellow members quickly, courteously, and professionally.
  • Uphold the motto, “In Service through Friendship.”

Les Clefs d’Or® Award

Les Clefs d’Or® Award

Rules and Regulations:

The Les Clefs d’Or® Award was first established at the 55th Les Clefs d’Or International Congress in Denmark, 2008 as the “Andy Pongco Award” to honour the memory Andy Pongco (International Honorary President), and aims to recognize and encourage young members to become active participants in our global network. The prize for the recipient of the Award is an invitation to the next Les Clefs d’Or International Congress (registration and airfare included). It is the intention of all of us at “Les Clefs d’Or” to encourage as many countries as possible to present profiles of capable young members. We intend to see this friendly challenge continue for many years to come and therefore, enable us to detect the elite of tomorrow’s Concierges Clefs d’Or. In order for all countries to participate on an equal basis, please note the candidate qualification requirements and the rules of entry.

The candidate must be:

A “Clefs d’Or” member
Under 36 years of age
Participating at his/her very first international congress
Nominated by his/her member section
Fluent in English
Must have the title “Concierge” and a hotel issued business card


(Application must include a scanned copy of the candidate’s business card. Candidates will also be required to present business card at the personal interview).

The candidates will complete an open book written exam on the history of Les Clefs d’Or, geography and general hotel knowledge to assess the skills they use everyday at their Concierge desks. They will write a few essays on their interest in the profession as well as their aspirations, and finally at the congress, they will have an interview with members of the Award Committee in which personal presentation will be a vital component in the final outcome of this friendly contest.

If you are interested in representing Switzerland during the next International Congress
by participating the Les Clefs d’Or® Award and you meet all the criteria’s.
For further informations, please contact: