Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Locked in at... The Ritz

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Michael de Cozar, head hall porter at The Ritz

Locked in at... The Ritz

What’s it like to work at one of London’s most glamourous hotels? We asked Michael deCozar, long-serving head hall porter at The Ritz

By Ashleigh Arnott

What does your job entail?
I manage the Front of House service department, a team of 24, which include the doormen, the luggage porters, the concierge team and the page boys. My team members usually stay a long time – between the 24 of us, we have over 300 years of service to The Ritz. I never say no to a Client and always try to make the impossible happen.

How long have you been doing it?
All my life, since I was 16. I have been at The Ritz for 42 years now, and I am hoping to do 50 – I promised my dad. My brother Louis has worked here for 30 years.

How did you apply for it?
I didn’t. My father worked in Room Service on the third floor of the hotel for 27 years and I used to come and help him on the weekends. I met Victor, who was the Head Concierge at the time, and started in 1973 as a page boy in his team. When I started my salary was £2.50 a week.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked?
Lots! The first Christmas I was on duty a client staying with us had always wanted to go in the sea on Christmas Day as he had family ties in Brighton, but hated the seafront in winter. So I brought the sea to him! I sent a luggage porter to Brighton with two cannisters and we filled up his bath with seawater. I also once bought a double decker bus and drove it to the south of France to be installed in a client's garden for a cocktail party.

Who’s the most unexpected person you’ve ever seen at The Ritz?
I’ve seen everyone.

Are you a Londoner?
No, not originally. My family's from Spain but I came to London aged 12. I went to Bow Boys School, so I’m a bit of a cockney.

What’s your hidden talent?
I have been driving to work since the age of 17, so I think I would pass The Knowledge. I also speak five languages; Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek and English. And I always try to have a smile.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What I am now! I didn’t have any idea at school.

Tell us a secret.
I was in 'Notting Hill', which was filmed at The Ritz.

Discover London's best bits


    You may also like

      You may also like