Thomas Lerch

Thomas Lerch

Curriculum Vitea

I have over 21 years of operational experience in 11 Five Star properties and have worked in London, Berlin, Boston, Dublin, Dubai and Hong Kong. My aim was always to exceed the expectations of my guests, as well as to achieve maximum performance of my team.

Current and Recent Positions

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Dubai (5 star deluxe/405 rooms)07/05/2013 - until today

Concierge Manager

Inspired by the imperial palaces of the Ottoman era, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a five-star luxury hotel located on the west crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah. The resort is made up of 379 elegant guest rooms, with 26 lavish suites and 38 Royal Residences offering stunning ocean views.441 rooms, suites & residencesEight restaurants and two barsPristine private beach, outdoor infinity pool, two jacuzzis and a children’s pool 8,000 square metres Talise Ottoman spa, fully equipped gym and fitness studioAvenue of Indulgence featuring 14 premium boutiques


The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (5 star deluxe/501 rooms)                                          01/08/2011 – 01/08/2012

Chief Concierge

  • Managed a team of 42 employees which includes Doorman, Valet Parker, Concierge, GSA’s and Baggage Masters as well Airport Team in an extremely busy operation
  • Ensured that the team is motivated to maintain our LQE Scores of 90 % plus in all areas and follows the LQE/Richey standards in every guest interaction
  • Have implemented Performance Log and we coached our teams on a daily basis and inspire them to do even better
  • Have designed an internal Training Manual on all standards and we had daily short trainings to keep these standards relevant and link them to the events in our daily operation
  • Had been actively involved in the Performance Appraisals of the entire team
  • Drove continuous improvement in areas where it is needed and supervised the daily operation
  • Challenged my Assistant Head Concierge, Airport Manager and Assistant Bell Services Manager to look for ways to fine tune the operation and achieve even higher guest satisfaction
  • Reviewed all guest comments and the root cause of shortcomings and seek improvement in these areas


The Raffles Hotel Dubai (5 star deluxe/240 rooms)                                                          20/05/2010 – 01/06/2011   

Chief Concierge

  • Managed a team of app. 30 staff in the Concierge
  • Continuously improved the monthly Market Metrix Guest Satisfaction score and reached often a high of over 90 %
  • Received many positive guest comments
  • Interviewed and hired new staff
  • Reorganized and cleaned up the storage areas of the hotel and introduced a flag room
  • Made a comparative study for new hotel cars and provided all the necessary data to make a suitable selection
  • Introduced new items (like newspaper bag for example) according to corporate brand standards
  • Enrolled the team for the “Concierge of the Year” competition and trained the team intensively for this competition. Nominated one staff member as “Concierge of the Year” at the Middle East Hotelier Awards


The Address Dubai Marina (5 star deluxe/200 rooms)                                                       15/09/2009 – 15/05/2010

Was part of the Pre Opening team and was responsible for Concierge department in terms of planning, performance and profitability.

Chief Concierge

  • I wrote all SOP’s according to best industry practices and made them appropriate to the operation
  • I interviewed and selected team members and welcomed and integrated them into the team
  • I trained the entire team in all SOP’s, Product Knowledge and Knowledge about Dubai
  • I trained the third party Valet parking team in managing the traffic in the hotel driveway and overall Valet Parking Operation
  • I was responsible for installation, training and set up of Concierge Assistant software in order to achieve higher productivity in the Concierge department. We updated the database and added app. 1200 new entries
  • I ensured that all equipment (computers, luggage trolleys, hotel cars, hotel flags) and all materials (brochures, stationary, luggage tickets, staff uniforms) were ordered and received in time and were implemented in the department
  • Organized newspapers and lifestyle magazines for outlets and guests according to company policy.
  • We achieved the highest training hours per month in Rooms Division through my daily “Pit Stop” training sessions


Burj al Arab Dubai (5 star deluxe/202 suites)                                                                        01/04/2007 – 31/08/2009

Known as the world’s most luxurious all suite hotel

Concierge Manager

  • I was leading a team of 50 employees and ensured that all guest experiences exceeded the standards set by Jumeirah
  • I took personal care of the itineraries and activities of our regular guests and our elite guests from the Royal and Presidential Suites as well selected corporate clients
  • I was responsible for setting and reaching our departmental objectives and I was also driving revenue growth in our department through full utilization of our helicopter services, yacht charters and the rental of luxury sports cars and/or our fleet of Rolls Royce vehicles
  • In my team I utilized the full potential of every colleague through empathic listening, daily feedback, appraisal sessions, training, coaching, supervision and consistent recognition
  • I also used disciplinary action when necessary in order to correct undesirable behavior and I fully supported the Emiratisation Program, which we have in place for our local colleagues. We organized team building events to foster a strong team spirit and I had regular meetings with the team to address problems and find solutions
  • I also did manage the Valet Parking operation (outsourced) with a team of 10 to 40 people, according to events and adjusted the Valet Parkers according to Business levels and this resulted in yearly savings of 600.000 AED
  • I worked very closely with Transportation department (another 50 employees) and was acting Manager when Transportation Manager was absent
  • Maintained one of the lowest turnover figures within Rooms Division (13 %)
  • Achieved a 93 % Engagement score for Concierge/Transportation in the 2009 Colleague Opinion Survey
  • Organized four teambuilding events for Concierge and Transportation
  • Organized numerous educational site visits in Dubai for Concierge team
  • I ensured that we provided the necessary training hours ( min. 6 hours a month) for all colleagues in the department
  • I was responsible for managing timesheets and I was able to reduce PH days/Lieu time from October 2008 with 95 days outstanding to “0” balance as of August 2009
  • In February/March 2009 did send 34 % of the department on vacation/unpaid leave in order reduce payroll
  • Promoted two Concierges to Assistant Managers and salary review was done by Jumeirah and recommended salary increases for Assistant Managers were implemented
  • I did raises CAPEX for new luggage trolleys, radios, hotel flags, new carpet for front driveway and hotel golf carts  
  • Managed successfully the World Cup 2009 – the world’s most expensive horse race- which was a great success and we  offered a very exclusive package only for our guests consisting of a helicopter transfer, finest tickets available and car transfer out
  • Overall achieved a net profit of 1.5 million dirham with helicopter services in 2008/2009

Career Summary (1991 until 2007)

When I started my career in 1991 with my apprenticeship at the Schlosshotel Buehlerhoehe, one of the finest 5 star hotels in Europe at the time, I quickly realized that I wanted to work in the finest hotels worldwide. After I had finished my training, I moved to London, where I started at the Lowndes Hotel at the Front Desk. Soon I moved to the Concierge and this is when I had found my true passion. I was awarded the title of “Employee of the Year” for my dedication and hard work and I had also completed successfully my hotel management studies at Westminster College. I left the Lowndes, to work in one of London’s most iconic and historic hotels: The Savoy.

Later, I moved back to Berlin where I joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and working at their property in Berlin, which helped me to hone my service skills further. I worked for Four Seasons Hotels for 5 years, and was transferred also to their property in Boston in the USA. Soon after that I joined Starwood in their Westin Hotel in Dublin in Ireland as a Concierge Supervisor. Soon I was promoted to Head Concierge and I had my first chance to manage a small team of highly dedicated team members. In 2007, I left the Westin Hotel to take up the amazing opportunity to work at the Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai. 

Training Courses


Jumeirah Training courses

Steven Covey "Great Leaders - Great Teams - Great Results"

Steven Covey "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Disney - Keys of Excellence (The Disney Institute)

Peter Burwash Leadership Training

Commercial Contracts Seminar

Working Smart with Outlook

"Who moved my Cheese?"

Jumeirah Orientation/BAA Orientation

eCornell Courses

Manage People More Effectively

Leading People to Higher Performance

Managing Performance

Overcoming Barriers to Successful Management

Leading Through Creativity

Understanding Financial Statements

Executive Decision Making

Understanding Team Dynamics

Strategic Thinking

Scenario Planning

Starwood online course at the Hotelmanagement school "The Hague"


Front Office Management

Six Sigma Training

Your Field Guide

Introduction to Innovation Transfer

Getting Started with Innovation Transfer

IDMAIC The Five Phases to import a Transfer Project

Westin Supervisory Development Program

Your role as a manager

Time management

Stress management

Presentation skills

Coaching your team

Manage Grievance & Disciplanery procedures

Finance for Non Financial Managers

Employement legislation

Effective Appraisals

Train the Trainer

Harvard Business School Online Courses - Harvard Manage Mentor


Capitalizing on Change


Financial Essentials

Focusing on your Customer

Keeping Teams on Target

Leading and Motivation

Leading a Team

Managing Difficult Interactions

Managing Workplace Stress

Managing Upward

Making a Presentation

Managing for Creativity/Innovation

Managing your Career

Managing Your Time


Project Management

Running a Meeting

Retaining Valued Employees

Solving Business Problems

Setting Goals

Working with a Virtual Team

Writing for Business

Courses of the American Hotel & Motel Association

Managing Front Office Operations

Certified Concierge

Supervision in the Hospitality Industry

Housekeeping Management

Managing for Quality

Training & Development for the Hospitality Industry

Hospitality Human Resources Management

Int. Human Resource Management

Hopitality Industry Computer Systems

Hotel/Motel Security Management

International Hotel Management

Resort Management

Special Management Certificates of the American Hotel & Motel Association

Certificate in Rooms Division Management

Certificate in Human Resources Management

Certificate in International Hotel Management

Training with Four Seasons

Reservation Sales Training

Train the Trainer

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resusciation)

Training with Hyat

Social Skills

Fire Training

Health & Safety Training

Crime Awareness training

Train the Trainer

IMAC (Integrated Marketing and Communication)

Reference Letters and Certificat


1995 - 1997

Higher National Certificate in Hotel Management

Westminster College

I completed successfully an accelerated hotel management course at Westminster College in London. After a vigorous and intensive two year study, I was awarded a Higher National Certificate in Hotel Management.

1991 - 1993



I visited a Hotel School in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany during the duration of my apprenticeship. After 2 ½; years, I completed my final exams as “Hotelfachmann”