While most people rely on a computer or mobile phone to retrieve important telephone numbers, The Ritz London’s head concierge, Michael de Cozar's little black book of local contacts, restaurants, salons, and shops is stored in his head. "The more you practice, the easier it is," he says of recalling the numbers.
Memorizing the telephone book is just one of the many things Michael has learned from a lifetime of service at one of London's landmark hotels. What else? Never forget a name, and never forget a face.
Of course, he's had years to perfect his craft: Michael was introduced to serving guests at The Ritz London when he was just 16 years old, assisting his father, Salvador, who worked in room service for 27 years. He started working officially as a pageboy at The Ritz London in 1973, quit school, and never looked back.
Often asked to recommend a romantic outing, head concierge Michael de Cozar has the perfect suggestion.
By the age of 24, Michael had become London's youngest ever head concierge. And it’s no wonder; there isn't a request that's too great or a detail too small for Michael. "We look after our clients because we want them to come back on a regular basis," he says.
The strangest requests he's ever received? While working his first Christmas, a guest asked that a bathtub be filled with sea water from Brighton, 50 miles from the hotel. Michael obliged. Yet another wanted Michael to locate a wartime battleship for purchase. Of course, he found it.
Having spent a lifetime in London, Michael delights in helping his guests explore the city he calls home. Often asked to recommend a romantic outing, he suggests the perfect afternoon itinerary that never fails to delight his discerning guests: an intimate picnic at Green Park, one of the city’s eight Royal Parks, followed by a leisurely bike ride.
The Ritz staff will pack your favorite savory and sweet snacks in a Fortnum and Mason hamper furnished with the hotel’s signature St. James bone china mugs and plates, along with wine glasses, and an insulated flask. Enjoy your personalized picnic under the shade of towering native oaks. Then hop on your classic British Pashley bicycles and start exploring the city’s Royal parks, which provide fantastic cycling paths away from traffic and surrounded by nature.
To find out more about The Ritz London, to book a Royal Park experience, or for any other request, contact Michael de Cozar, The Ritz London's head concierge, upon making a reservation.