Taking inspiration from France’s Les Clefs d’Or (The Golden Keys), The Society of Golden Keys of Great Britain was founded by a group of head hall porters from some of London’s leading hotels in 1952. The Society is a membership body offering concierge professionals excellent networking, educational and social opportunities, in both the UK and internationally.
McGinn started at the four-star country hotel at the age of 17, originally as a stop-gap before moving on to music college. After 11 years of service at Ashdown Park, general manager Ben Booker and David Roby of The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne, initiated his membership into The Society of Golden Keys.
Ashdown Park features 106-bedrooms, the 2 AA Rosette Anderida restaurant, a country club and spa, an 18-hole golf course, four licensed wedding venues, meeting facilities and 186 acres of forest and gardens.
As a general manager, Booker was able to recommend McGinn to the society, along with current Golden Key member Roby from The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. He was then interviewed and tested by a panel, comprising of committee members and honorary life members. The entire membership was then consulted for approval, before Joe was successfully welcomed into the organisation.
GM of Ashdown Park Hotel, Ben Booker, said: “I am thrilled that Joe has gained his Golden Keys and been recognised by his peers across the industry for his dedication and commitment to our guests.
“The concierge team are an essential part of the Ashdown Park experience and Joe has a true passion for leading and developing his team to ensure they wow our clients at all times. Nominating Joe was clearly an easy decision and a natural step in his chosen career.”
McGinn added: “My first week was spent training with Aidan Smith and I remember one of the first questions I asked him was about the gold lapel pin he was wearing. Finding more out about the society progressively made it my main ambition to become a member and obtain my Golden Keys.
“There aren’t many people that have the view from their office windows that I have, the friendship and support from team members and colleagues, or as varied a day-to-day job role as we have as concierges.”