A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WINE COUNTRY CONCIERGE
I would like to introduce you to our newest concierge. Erin Hartman is a recent addition to the Farmhouse Inn concierge team. She came to us with some inn and hotel experience but was a little amazed about the layers of service and luxury offered here at Farmhouse Inn and how much planning goes into the personalized itineraries we set up for our guests and their perfect wine country vacation. I asked her for a contribution for this week's Wine Country Blog so here's Erin... and thoughts about her new position.
There is no such thing as a typical day in the life of a concierge. It goes far beyond manning the front desk and providing maps and dinner recommendations. The true value of any concierge, especially our team at Farmhouse Inn, lies in the vast network of connections that are cultivated between all the local businesses, drivers, wineries, and especially those impossible-to-achieve last minute dinner reservations at Cyrus or Scopa restaurants.
While scoring a table for our guests is a valuable asset on a Friday night in Healdsburg, it isn’t the only trick we have up our sleeves. On any given day, we make the impossible, possible, and the ordinary, extravagant. Here at Farmhouse Inn, our concierge team holds itself personally accountable to being more than just a friendly warm smile that offers you nightly turn down and fireside s’mores. We have an innate sense of ownership, as passionate as a vintner might be tending to his budding Pinot Noir grapes, but as engaged as a deductive wine tasting by our renowned Sommeliers. We take everything that comes our way—whether it be a simple request for Zin & Truffles upon arrival or help with planning your surprise wedding proposal (or even your tiny wedding)— we handle it all with grace and efficiency.
While our hospitality team Tamera, Anna, Julie, TC (Teece), Meghan and Erin (and even Meilani hiding in her office) all assist with the daily calls, reservations, dinner accommodations, itineraries and last-minute requests, we also keep very busy behind the scenes to ensure that every arrival is treated as a Farmhouse friend.
We take every detail into account;
from picking the flowers in the morning for the refreshing spa water,
to setting up Moustache Baked Good’s mini cupcakes
in the rooms for our special celebration arrivals,
you’ll often see us walking around the property with our country baskets and bouquets getting rooms ready for those all important new arrivals. .
That would be me (Erin), with the goodie basket and looks like a bouquet for a Romance Package.
Any special occasion calls for a little extra romance, don't you think?
What surprised me most when I started here at the Farmhouse Inn was the length to which the concierge team goes to ensure that no small detail goes astray. We check, and double check, and then have another concierge triple check all of the work that we do. If you tell us it is your anniversary or birthday, we want everyone to know it - the staff of the inn, your server in the restaurant, your guide with Silver Service Tours, or your hosts at one of the Farmhouse winery partners, like Lambert Bridge Winery or Copain Wines. The same is true if we are told any other important piece of information - perhaps you are a tried and true foodie and you want to experience something as the locals do. We may send you to Hog Island Oyster Co. or the Healdsburg Farmer's Market, or (my favorite) the Cheese Shop.
They will know who you are and where you are coming from. This attention to detail is born of a real ownership we all feel about our guests' visit with us. There is a very real emphasis on building a genuine relationship with each of our guests, from the moment we first talk to you on the phone, to the time when you leave us (hopefully soon to return) and every step between. And this care is illustrated in the ongoing effort we put into planning every detail of your perfect California vacation.
Of course, while most of our team keeps very busy, our Concierge kitties Charlotte and Jasper are also here doing the most important job of them all—sitting pretty and purring their way into our guest’s hearts.
Charlotte, Hard working Farmhouse kitty... and Jasper, equally hard at work!