Jocelyn Ojeda, chief concierge for Eventi – A Kimpton Hotel in New York City // © 2011 Deanna Ting
Jocelyn Ojeda didn’t always know that she’d be a chief hotel concierge, and in New York City no less.
“It fell into my lap,” she told me, describing how she wound up working in the hospitality industry. “A family friend who was affiliated with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants thought that working at a hotel would be a good fit for me, and I’ve been working for Kimpton ever since.”
The California native began working for Kimpton in December 2008 at its 70 Park Avenue boutique property, eventually making her way to Kimpton’s newest New York City property, Eventi – A Kimpton Hotel, located in Northern Chelsea. Eventi opened last spring and has since become one of Kimpton’s most popular New York properties.
Because a family friend’s suggestion encouraged her to try out a career as a concierge, Ojeda knows all too well the importance of a good recommendation. As Eventi’s chief concierge, she helps guests navigate her newly adopted home. She recently shared with us some of her own favorite tips and tricks for making the most out of any visit to New York City.
Q: What are some of the most common requests that you receive from guests?
A: I get a lot of inquiries about restaurants, subway directions and plenty of theater requests. Because our hotel is so close to Madison Square Garden, we also receive a lot of requests for information and ticketing for various events.
Q: Where do you find out about the latest and greatest events or activities taking place in the city?
A: It’s all about keeping up to date and staying informed. I encourage all of our staff and our guests to read Time Out New York, and I myself personally read New York magazine constantly to learn about all different aspects of New York culture. Living here in Manhattan, you also find that you learn about and discover new things through word of mouth.
Q: What are some must-see attractions that you suggest to visitors, especially those visiting for the first time?
A: I highly recommend Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building (especially the 102nd floor), the carousel at Central Park and taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Q: And what are some of your favorite restaurants, eateries and markets?
A: I definitely recommend guests to try and sample some on New York’s street food. For fresh cheeses and meats, you can’t beat the delis in Little Italy. Chelsea Market is also a fantastic find, as are the Limelight Marketplace and Eataly. I also always recommend the hotel’s very own dining venues, Bar Basque and FoodParc.
Q: What was one of the strangest requests you’ve ever received?
A: Earlier this winter, which was very cold as you well know, a guest wanted to go through a rollerblading tour of Central Park — and in blizzard-like conditions, no less. That was a tough request to meet.
When I worked at 70 Park Avenue, I’d often get requests for boat charters or even helicopter rides. Another common request that I receive is to babysit guests’ dogs. Because Kimpton is so pet-friendly, that’s not at all uncommon.