PO’IPU – The photographer waited, patiently for the most part, while Tehane Perry and an associate deftly handled a noontime line.
After what had been a relatively slow morning, the post-lunch rush was upon the concierge desk of the Embassy Vacation Resort Poipu Point here.
Perry and her co-worker quickly and efficiently handled visitor questions, booked airline reservations, lu’au seats, van tours of sites on Kaua’i used as Hollywood film locations, sea tours, and more.
Throughout the experience, Perry maintained the constant smile and sincere concern, attention and thoughtfulness that are some of the traits that led her to being selected the island’s top concierge for this year.
Named Kaua’i’s best concierge by visitor publication Guest Informant, Perry was honored along with other top concierges from across the state at a gala dinner on O’ahu.
Unfortunately, Perry couldn’t make it, as the Lawa’i Valley resident was attending her brother Keith’s wedding on the Mainland at the time.
Perry, 26, who is single and lives with her parents, doesn’t tire when visitors ask, “How can I drive to O’ahu?” or “Do you still live in grass huts?” or “How much is postage to the United States?”
Besides having so much fun at work that it doesn’t seem like work, Perry enjoys guiding visitors to inexpensive outings, including the Na Pali Coast Trail’s paths to Hanakapi’ai Beach and Hanakapi’ai Falls.
Inevitably, she says, the guests come back and use words like “breathtaking,” and “hard, but breathtaking,” and “well worth it,” while also saying “thank you” to her for pointing them to hidden parts of the island that are accessible both in terms of ease of access and ease on the pocketbook.
“That makes me feel good,” she said.
“Just meeting new people” is what she enjoys most about her job. “I have a wonderful staff that I work with. We have fun all the time,” she said, “so a majority of the time it’s never a job; it’s just having fun with your friends, and talking about your home island.”
At Embassy, which is a timeshare resort that is nearly sold out, an added benefit is greeting returning owners, and seeing their families grow up before her eyes, she continued.
“You have, especially here at Embassy, returning owners, so to see families come back and little ones who were in strollers grow up to be teenagers and still part of the family, it’s really nice,” Perry said.
Daymeel Dhiel, a former co-worker now employed as a concierge at an Eastside resort, nominated Perry for the top concierge award. Supervisor Gwen Silva also sent a letter of support.
Perry was called a “leader” by her nominators, who credited her with the ability to spearhead programs and a willingness to go beyond the call of duty in providing services, including private hula lessons and lei for a lu’au.
She works days, normally Saturday through Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by night dances hula at the Kilohana lu’au, for Ka Pa Hula O Kilohana. Kathleen Woodward is the group’s kumu hula.
The eighth annual Aloha Spirit Awards dinner, hosted by Guest Informant, was held at Chai’s Island Bistro at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
Top concierges from O’ahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island won crystal awards created by Murata Creative Inc. and Tiffany & Co. Perry also won some perfume, she said.
Winning counterparts on Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i were honored during a similar event held on Maui earlier this year.
Other prize sponsors of the events included Albert Dunhill, Benihana, Hilo Hattie, DFS Galleria, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry of London.
Business Editor Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:email@example.com or 245-3681 (ext. 224).