Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Toomey

Colin Toomey

Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Colin Toomey is a 25-year veteran of the Concierge profession. He began his career at the Sheraton Brisbane Hotel in the mid 1980's. A native of Sydney, Australia he returned home during the Australian bi-centenary celebrations of 1988 and started work in the lobby of the historic InterContinental Hotel Sydney. As the Japanese tourism boom of the early 1990's reached its peak Mr. Toomey opened the 470 room Hotel Nikko in Sydney's leafy Potts Point, assuming his first role as Chief Concierge. A final move back into the city in 1995 to the newly opened ANA Hotel, coincided with Colin's acceptance into the Society of the Golden Keys. Receiving his keys from the then International President of Les Clefs d'Or, the legendary Tony Facciolo, was considered by Mr. Toomey to be a highlight of his early career as a professional Concierge. In the ensuing 18 years Mr. Toomey has risen through the ranks of Les Clefs d'Or, first in his native Australia and then on the International Board of Directors. When elected President of his National Section in 2002 Mr. Toomey became the youngest person to ever hold this position. He presided over a period of strong growth for the Gold Keys in Australia. Two years later he was entrusted with the Zone Directors role for Oceania, the smallest of the seven regions that make up the international body of UICH. Having been elected onto the International Executive during the Guangzhou Congress of 2009 Mr. Toomey now holds the position of 1st Vice President Les Clefs d'Or and remains the only representative of that body based in the Southern Hemisphere. During his time at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, (which took over management from ANA in 2003), Mr. Toomey has received numerous industry awards recognizing his achievements. A two time winner of the Australian Hotels Association Concierge of the Year Award, Mr. Toomey was also a recent recipient of an equivalent honor bestowed by Hotel Management magazine. Outside of work Mr. Toomey is an avid golfer and bush-walker. He resides in the coastal Sydney suburb of Little Bay with his wife and three young daughters.

Mr. Toomey can be contacted at 612-9250-6018 or colin.toomey@shangri-la.com

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.