The first mention of the concierge found the XII century under the name cumcerge (1192) or concierge (1220). The primary function of concierge was maintaining the burning candles in the castle. Later, concierge responsibilities have expanded.
In the modern sense of the word concierge first appeared in a hotel chain “Grand” in the XX century, innovation has been approved by guests and soon became widespread around the world.
In 1929 in Paris, Ferdinand Gillet founded the first association of concierges – Golden Key (fr. Les Clefs d’Or).
April 25, 1952, Cannes. The first Congress was organized by the founder “Les Clefs d’Or” Ferdinand Gilet.
On April 25, 1952, delegates from nine countries met in Cannes to hold the first congress and created L’Union Europeene des Portiers des Grands Hotels (U.E.P.G.H.).
These nine founder countries were: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom.
Sixteen countries were members of the association in 1970. On January 18, 1995 at 42nd International Congress held in Sydney, Australia, UIPGH “Les Clefs d’Or” changed its name to: Union Internationale des Clefs d’Or (UICO Les Clefs d’Or) and counted more than thirty nations.
Today the Society’s name is Les Clefs d’Or – Union Internationale des Concierges d’Hotels. The association now counts 44 Member Sections representing over 50 countries and close to 4000 members.
We would like to emphasize that the Russian branch of “Les Clefs d’Or” received official status and became a member of the International Union of concierges at the congress in Athens in 2001. An invaluable contribution to the creation of the Russian section of “Les Clefs d’Or” made the following people – Eugene Bagdasarov (first and Honorary President of “Les Clefs d’Or” Russia), Hans C. Sebesta, Alexander Bobylev, Andras Gunst, Aldo Giacomello, Andrey Bushuev, Alexander Lyamin, Stanislav Paykov, Lavrentiy Giyenko and Maria Bobarykina.
The first Ukrainian concierge, who became an affiliate member of the Russian section of “Les Clefs d’Or” was Sergei Tykhyi (Premier Palace Hotel, Kiev) in 2007. Ukraine has 7 affiliated members of the Russian section of “Les Clefs d’Or” as of 2015.