The Society of the Golden Keys - recognisable to hotel guests all over the world by the lapel pins of top Concierges - was formed in Great Britain in 1952. Head Halls Porters from London's leading hotels met to discuss the increasing expectations of the growing numbers of visitors to London, and to look at how they could work together. The founding principles of the Society of The Golden Keys remain to this day and are encapsulated as 'Service Through Friendship' through the society. Concierges work together to improve quality of service to guests. This is done with integrity, professionalism, co-operation and by sharing information.
The formation of the Society of Golden Keys' coincided with a larger meeting in Cannes when Societies from nine different countries attended the first international congress of 'Les Clefs D'Or'. Ferdinand Gillet, Head Concierge of L'Hôtel Scribe in Paris, masterminded the creation of the organisation, which now covers more than thirty five countries and boasts over five thousand members. Each national chapters self-governing with its own President and Committees.
Soon after the formation of the Society of The Golden Keys of Great Britain, the committee was approached by members abreast of their products and services. A second tier of membership was created in response to this, Associate Members.
The Society of the Golden Keys in Great Britain is thriving. With strict conditions of membership requiring proof of professional relationships with guests and work colleagues, approximately three hundred and thirty concierges in Great Britain now proudly wear the symbol of their status: the Golden Keys lapel pin. Each is revered for his or her professional gravitas, integrity, local knowledge and impeccable recommendations. The Society encourages friendship and camaraderie and the members meet formally each month. The Ladies' Night Dinner and Dance and the Anniversary Cocktail Party are the social highlights of the year for many of the leading figures in the hospitality industry, as well there are many other events which the society of the Golden Keys help to promote.