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Thursday April 10, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday April 10, 2014 MYT 8:40:59 AM
by stuart michael
Some of the society members posing for a photo at the special premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel in GSC Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
THE Malaysian chapter of Les Clefs d’Or (Society of the Golden Keys), a society for hotel concierges, hosted a private screening of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel two days ahead of the movie’s official release in the country.
The screening at Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, was attended by members of the society, hotel executives, hospitality industry partners, students and lecturers from KDU University College Malaysia’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts and the media.
The movie, featuring a line-up of notable stars such as Ralph Fiennes, Adrian Brody, Willem Dafoe, Bill Murray and Edward Norton, tells the story of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protege.
The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune, and the upheavals that transformed Europe in the first half of the twentieth century.
Les Clefs d’Or Malaysia committee member Sharezal Abdul Wahid said the society’s members were recognisable through the crossed golden keys on their uniform lapels.
He said they were selected based on experience, passion and credibility.
“A candidate will then go through a series of interviews and rigorous tests before being accepted as a member. This is to ensure that the quality of service from a Les Clefs d’Or concierge is maintained at the highest level at all times. They live by the motto ‘Service through Friendship’,” he said.
Sharezal added that Anderson had brought to life this passion to serve, and the spirit of camaraderie of the little known profession through his movie.
“The screening was also organised as a token of appreciation to everyone involved in organising and hosting Les Clefs d’Or’s yearly International Concierge Congress that was held for the first time in Kuala Lumpur from Jan 10 to 15 this year,” he added.
The five-day event was supported by MyCEB, Tourism Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur City Hall, among others.
According to Sharezal, the society has about 4,000 members worldwide and there were 40 members in Malaysia, with 15 attaining the prestigious “Full Keys” status.
“It is believed that those who have the golden keys have the keys to the city and can open any door with help from their fellow members. Sometimes, we would need a favour like getting F1 tickets or making restaurant bookings at the last minute for our guests and that is when we reach out to each other to share contacts.
“The society selects members who are passionate about their work, have a friendly personality and a logical mind, and work well under pressure,” he added.
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