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The Society of the Golden Keys Gala Dinner 2024

Hundreds of Concierge, hoteliers and guests attended this year's Gala Dinner of The Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

Toru Machida (centre) with members of The Society of the Golden Keys. Photo: @CreweReadPhoto

President of The Society, Toru Machida, who is now serving his fourth and final year at the helm, welcomed members to the glittering event at The Londoner.

Sponsored by The Tourism Media Group and Golden Tours, the event included a Champagne reception, a raffle with prizes including spa days, theatre tickets and afternoon teas, plus an auction, offering prestigious prizes, including hotel stays and dining experiences.

Celebrations continued throughout the evening. Photos: @CreweReadPhoto.

Toru Machida is set to lead the Society as President for his fourth and final year. Photo: @CreweReadPhoto.

Mr Machida said: "373 Concierge and our friends in the hospitality industry attended the Gala of The Society of the Golden Keys of Great Britain & the Commonwealth, held at The Londoner Hotel. It was a fantastic night to celebrate the Concierge profession, together with President of Les Clefs d'Or® International, Randy Santos. 

Congratulations to Thomas Stewart and Mikesh Palan for receiving an Honorary Life Membership.

He added: "We are proud that we raised money for our long-term charity partner Hospitality Action through auction and raffle. We are very thankful to hotels and business affiliates who donated those fabulous prizes. Special thanks goes to the title sponsors for their generous support, Tourism Media Group and Golden Tours, also wine sponsor M Restaurants and GAUCHO."

Toru also welcomed two new members to the committee - Petar Yordanov, who joins as Business Affiliate Recruitment (replacing Karim Bernichi) and Simone Caretti, who joins as Business Affiliate Liaison (replacing Christophe Caron).

Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours. Photo: @CreweReadPhoto.

Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours said: "It is a pleasure and honour as this evening’s platinum sponsor to welcome you all to Les Clefs d’Or Great Britain’s Gala 2024. As London’s leading sightseeing company and part of the internationally renowned Gray Line Worldwide Association, this year marks our 40th year serving visitors to the world’s greatest city. We are proud to have been a Business Affiliate member of Les Clefs d’Or GB since the very beginning, and truly value the relationships we have formed with each of you over the past four decades. We both recognise and greatly appreciate the key role the Concierge community plays in connecting London’s visitors to our sightseeing experiences, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support. Wishing each of you a wonderful and successful 2024."

Rob Way and Chris Johnson, Founders of The Tourism Media Group. Photo: @CreweReadPhoto.

Chris Johnson and Rob Way, founders of the The Tourism Media Group, said: "It’s our honour for The Tourism Media Group, publishers of Where London magazine, and Platinum Sponsors of this evening, to welcome you to the Gala Dinner of The Society of the Golden Keys in Great Britain and the Commonwealth. We cherish our long-standing partnership with The Society as Business Affiliate Members. We have continuously supported The Society and are proud to co-host The Society of the Golden Keys Annual Concierge Awards. Where magazine is celebrating its 86th year, with the first issue published in the USA in 1938. This year we will also continue to deliver millions of maps to the Concierge community, and London Planner will celebrate its 40th anniversary."

Thomas Stewart, former Concierge at The Caledonian A Waldor Astoria Hotel and Mikesh Palan, Managing Director of Golden Tours, were made Lifetime Members of The Society. Photo: @CreweReadPhoto.

Mr Machida said: "I would like to thank all the members for their trust in me to lead The Society for the fourth and final year. At our Annual General Meeting last night, the new committee was announced. It was delightful to see four passionate and energetic talents come forward to apply for a committee role. This indicates how promising the future of The Society is.

We also saw The Society elevating to a new level and strengthening our commitment to the hospitality industry in 2023, with a new partnership with the Institute of Hospitality for the Concierge of the Year Award and participating in the London Hospitality Football Tournament. This year will certainly be an exciting year as our calendar will see the 72nd Anniversary Cocktail Party as well as the 68th UICH Les Clefs d’Or Congress in Bali to be held in April, followed by many more events."

He added: "There is a partner behind every successful Concierge’. I would like to thank all partners for your ongoing support and understanding to the Concierge profession, and tonight is your night to enjoy. I wish you all a wonderful evening tonight to celebrate all the success in the past year and our bright future to come."

Members of The Society of the Golden Keys and guests enjoyed the prestigious event. Photos: @CreweReadPhoto

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