Antonio Barrios

San Francisco
Antonio Barrios

Title: Chief Concierge, The St. Regis San Francisco

Born & Bred:
My parents are both Spaniards but I was born in the port city of Kobe, Japan. My father was in shipping and traveled the world. I grew up in Japan and Hong Kong then moved to Seattle for high school.

Lingua Franca: Spanish was the first language at home. But I grew up trilingual with Japanese and English.

Could be confused for: Who's that bald guy in all the action movies?

On your iPod right now: Mozart. Don Giovanni.

Private passion: I love cycling. Especially when you get outside the city. The whole Bay Area offers amazing cycling trails. I just did my first fundraiser: LA to San Francisco in a week. We clocked 560 miles.

How you got into this racket: I used to be the general manager of a hotel. But being a GM wasn't for me. I really craved the interaction with guests that's so central to being a concierge.

The one thing that makes a good concierge: Never letting on how tough it sometimes is to fulfill a request. Even if it's reservations for the French Laundry. If there's a will, there's a way.

Favorite A-List guest: Tony Blair. He was very down-to-earth, chatted with everyone at the hotel. I recall when he was getting into his limo, he stepped back out and thanked the doorman. A first-class kind of guy.

Most common misconception: That I'm a glorified assistant.

Home away from home: Paris. I'm just such a Francophile.

Dream vacation: I just got back from Tuscany, where I did a great big cooking extravaganza at this amazing villa — a cobblestone cottage with an olive orchard. We spent a whole day just cooking and drinking wine and sitting in front of the fire.