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WNC Business

It's My Job: Allan Larson, Concierge at Grand Bohemian Hotel

Apr 27, 2024 01:31PM ● By Randee Brown

After the Grove Park Inn was sold to a resort company in 2009, Allan Larson chose to continue his hospitality career as a concierge at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village.

The main focus of Larson’s job is to take care of the hotel’s guests and ensure they have a great experience during their stay. He does this through a variety of tasks including the coordination of housekeeping and amenities, preparing guests’ check in and check out documents, and answering guest questions about the area.

“Guests ask me anything from dining and shopping recommendations to scheduling spa services to driving directions,” Larson said. “I talk to anywhere from 10 to 50 guests in a day, and I try to get helpful information to them.”

The hotel is usually busy at any time of year, according to Larson. October is their busiest month, closely followed by the spring season when people come to visit the Biltmore Blooms, as well as during the summer when parents spend time in Asheville before and after dropping their children off at local summer camps.

Larson said many guests visit from Florida, and other Southeastern cities like Atlanta, Charleston, and Charlotte. He sees many guests visiting from Chicago, New York, and other areas of the Northeast as well. Many of them enjoy similar activities including visiting the Biltmore Estate, the science and art museums, the Arboretum, and the Asheville Adventure Center.

“People come visit here from all over, and many of them are coming for the same thing,” Larson said. “People love the backdrop of these mountains. Throw in the restaurants, breweries, the art, and the weather, and you have a place people love to come back to year after year.”

Engaging guests is Larson’s favorite part of the job. He enjoys sharing what he loves about the area and recommending places to eat, drink, and visit. His recommendations are always based on his personal experiences; there are no commissions or contracts with area establishments to point guests in a certain direction, so the conversations are always authentic. Over recent years, he has noticed that many people do their area research online and are asking fewer questions because of availability of information, but they still enjoy the knowledge of a local.

“We really have a lot of fun here,” Larson said. “Each guest is different and each day is different, and the staff I get to work with is really great.”

A challenging part of Larson’s job can be coordinating amenities. As the Grand Bohemian Hotel is affiliated with Marriott, Marriott Ambassador Elite members get specific amenities when they stay. These need to be arranged before guest arrival, and sometimes there can be 30 of their 104 rooms that must be set up for these guests in a day. Balancing room inventory can also be challenging. With 30 types of rooms, part of Larson’s job is to make sure each guest gets the room type they expect upon arrival. 

Many of Larson’s guests return to the hotel annually. He said the summer camp parents usually visit around the same time every year, and he also sees repeat business travelers during the week. It is possible for Larson to look at guest profiles before they arrive to see notes of what they like, making it easier to know how to serve them upon their return

After many years as a concierge, Larson continues to enjoy his job in the tourism and hospitality industry. He does have the opportunity to move to other properties in the hotel group, but Larson enjoys the Grand Bohemian Hotel. 

“I originally came here because my good friend also came here from the Grove Park Inn,” Larson said. “The size of this property is perfect, and the feel of the hotel and its art collection is wonderful. I’ve been here 10 years, there are upward momentum opportunities, and I love the ability to connect with the guests here. It’s a wonderful place to work.”

Allan Larson is a concierge at Grand Bohemian Hotel. Learn more at