WHERE San Diego: Concierge Insider
September 2012 | WHERE San Diego
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Jan Zing, Lead Concierge
Rancho Bernardo Inn
CONCIERGE INSIDER (CI): How did you become a concierge at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and what’s your favorite thing about working here?
Zing: After being a stay-at-home mother for years, I decided I wanted to get out and do something active. I started as a concierge at the Remington Club, a five-star senior living center here in Rancho Bernardo. I loved it, but I decided I needed a more caffeinated environment. As a North County resident, I’ve been coming to the Rancho Bernardo Inn for years, so as soon as an opening came up, I grabbed it. I’ve been here just over two years now. As for why I love it here, first of all, it’s a short commute for me. Second, I know all the local things to do up here since I’ve lived in Poway for so many years. When guests come stay with us, they want to know what there is to do close by, on top of the quintessential San Diego activities. They want to go out to eat, or find a laundromat or a place to get their hair done, and it just doesn’t make sense to send them all the way downtown or to the beaches all the time. It’s also like a big family here, and of course, the property is pretty amazing too. We have a fabulous spa with a private outdoor casita area perfect for couples massages. On our veranda we have live music on the weekends from 5-8 p.m., or even a little bit later if there’s a good turn out. And my job is the best because I love feeling like the hostess for the whole property since I’m the first contact when people come through the door.
(CI): You have so much pride for North County. What do you think makes this part of San Diego so wonderful?
Zing: I love that there’s no marine layer. I love the sun and it’s sunny up here all day long. There also seems to be so much more space up here. In fact, Poway touts itself as “the city in the country” and it really has that feel. Most of the housing communities are even zoned for horses. It’s so cool to be this close to downtown yet still feel a little bit like a farm town. As for the businesses and restaurants up here, I’m a big fan of Bernard’O. It’s a great French-mediterranean restaurant. Carver’s is fabulous for steaks just as the Brigantine is for seafood. The Barrel Room is a very cute bistro for wine tastings and flights. It’s owned by three Rancho Bernardo High School graduates, just another great example of the community pride!
(CI): What does being in the San Diego Concierge Association mean to you?
Zing: It’s such a great organization. I am pretty removed from the rest of the hotels in San Diego, but the SDCA is a great way to keep in touch with what’s gong on in the rest of the county, like the Harbor Boulevard renovation or road closures. I’m able to keep up to speed on all of that from my colleagues in the different areas of San Diego, which is vital for me to know when sending guests around town. I also really enjoy exploring the different hotels around the county each month at the membership meetings.
(CI): When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your free time?
Zing: I like to travel, in fact, I’m hoping to get up to JC Resort’s Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach pretty soon, just to get away for a night. I also love country music and try to fit in big country festivals whenever my schedule allows. I’ve been to Stagecoach each of the past there years, I recently met my sister in Ohio for another festival and I try to get to Nashville once a year. I just bought tickets to Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in September. I’m really excited about that, I love how that venue is outdoors. It’s great for summer concerts! I also like to golf in my leisure time and JC Resorts owns six different golf properties. Other than that, I work out three to four days a week. I like weight lifting and taking some classes to stay fit, and of course walking my two dogs.
(CI): What’s one of your favorite stories about a guest that’s come to your desk?
Zing: We had a wedding party in house and the day after the wedding, the groomsmen had all dropped their tuxedos off at the front desk for us to return to Men’s Warehouse. After the group had dropped them all off, the groom popped by with one more suit. “I’m returning my clown suit,” he said. The joke was that his groomsmen had sent a clown suit to his room fifteen minutes before they sent his actual tux. Clown suit, that’s still something people call tuxedos right? He was sending back a real clownsuit. It was a cute, and more importantly, harmless prank. I always get a laugh when I think of it.