Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A day in the life at Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel

My internship position is food and beverage management trainee at the Shanghai Radisson Blu New World hotel located in Shanghai,  China. The past three weeks since I started to move and work in the hotel have been a blast and different for me. Shanghai Radisson Blu New World Hotel is located at the heart of Shanghai, 3 mins walk to the People’s square which is full of shopping mall, lots of old people dancing over there around 7 pm to 9 pm every day. I can also get to the night market with a 5 mins walk from the hotel. Night market is full of different kind of street food and all types of cuisine from all over the world.

First day of work selfie #soexcited

First day of work selfie #soexcited

There have been no training to get me ready for the position during my time at the hotel. I attended a 2 hours session orientation with People Resources to have a brief introduction about the hotel. I learned that Radisson Blu hotels are part of the Carlson Rezidor hotel group family and they are one for the top 10 largest hotel companies in the world. There are 1037 locations in 74 countries. I also been told to be aware of the pick pockets in the area around the hotel. They can take your wallets and phones in a heartbeat.

The orientation also included a tour of the hotel and a quick tour around the neighborhood. I have met some new colleagues and they brought me out and explore around the city. My job duties have been mainly focus on one restaurant so far and I will be rotated in different restaurants every few weeks, my shifts are either 6:30 am to 3 pm, or 2:30 pm to 11 pm. I have been working a lot morning shift lately. One of my days in life at this hotel can be described like this:

6 am: Wake up and get ready and go to the staff canteen for breakfast. I really enjoy working morning shift, I am very much a morning person.

6: 30 am: Heading up to the restaurant and ready to take care of the morning breakfast buffet. On a slow day, the restaurant will most likely get around 200 to 250 guests to come for breakfast. My job duties are interact and make sure guests have a great breakfast experience.

10:45 am: The breakfast will be finished at 10:30, while the stewarding and housekeeping departments are taking down the morning buffet and flipping over to lunch service, I will attend the F&B daily management meeting. During the meeting I will know about what’s happening at the hotel as well as how much the restaurant is below the forecasted revenue and how we can increase our revenue.

11am: Heading down to the staff canteen and enjoy lunch. Some days are good food, some days are really bad.

12 noon: Lunch service started, make sure everything goes smoothly.

3pm: Make sure everything are all stocked, such as cutleries, napkins and enough for dinner service. After that, I am off! Finally can go back to my room and watch tv and do my own thing.

On my days off, I love traveling around the city, as a buddhist myself, I have been to every single temple in Shanghai.

I am really thankful that I have a lot of good friends. During my days off, some of my classmates came all the way to my hotel and visit me.

Classmates

This is a picture of me at The Bund, the most famous place in Shanghai.

The Bund

The Bund


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A Day in the Life at The Westin Bayshore by Alejandro Medina

The Westin

I am going to narrate my day from sunrise to sunset or in other words from dusk to sunrise because I have been working different shifts and a variety of roles during my internship. I do not have my own place to live until August 1th; that is why, I have stayed in different places here in Vancouver.  I am staying right now in East Vancouver, which is a very hippie area, I drive from here to the Bay- shore in downtown Vancouver and I have the pleasure to enjoy the scenery on my way to work passing by the Science Museum, BC Place Stadium, Rogers Arena, and Art Gallery everyday or night.

I will describe only the graveyard shift since that one is the most complex where I have three different roles combined in just one shift which are: Lobby, In Room Dinning, and Valet Parking. I park at the staff parking, I go change and when I am all set I swipe in, pick up a radio from the back office and I do shift briefing with PM team and Manager on Duty. After that I remove the Elixir and prepare a fresh one placing it at the lobby, and then I check the number of arrivals, car in the driveway to park or cars to be pulled, any special request, and bag pull information in the red folder at the lobby. Usually after that I start receiving in room dinning orders where I have to prepare the food, set trays and deliver it to guests to their rooms; meanwhile, I also I can get miscellaneous request from the Lobby or Command Centre such as: taking tooth paste, roll away beds, and so on to the guests’ rooms.

Lobby

Usually after the IRD orders’ slow down at about 1:30 am during the night I start my mandatory tasks that I have to execute. I bring outdated newspaper to the recycling bin as well to deliver Global news paper to every single floor and also specific guest inquires with papers such as: USA Today and Wall Street Journal. And then clean bell closet and ensure that bell storage looks neat and tidy and polish at least two bell carts with metal polish. After that upon notification, I deliver ECO’s from front desk and ask a command centre agent for expected departures report; also, I check for door menus hanging on guests’ door know hangers, if a guest qualifies I slip a $5 dollar voucher under the door with its respected room number. When I return  I go to the command centre with any breakfast order that I find during that walk.

After my lobby’s tasks I go to the IRD area and prepare one tray with butter balls I leave them in the fridge for AM IRD. Also, I ensure that pop and juice are sufficiently stocked. Next, I restock plates, cutlery, glasses, linen, bread, etc. I separate coffee filters, clean all coffee urns and wipe down machines. Then I set up the 6:00 am-8:00 preset orders from the door knob menus and I make sure coffee is brewed at approximately 6:00am and then pick up bakery item from the kitchen. During the last hour I do complete a thorough sweeps “pick trays and tables from hallways and service elevators” I go back to IRD area and I put everything away on the Queen Mary and I take all the dirty dishes to dish pit area located in stewarding. After a long and hard shift I return radio to charger and I talk to coworkers about shift briefing.

City view

Bike RideOn my days off I was looking for a place to live, finally I found an apartment just two blocks away from Jo’s place FYI he does not know that. 

Since last week I have enjoyed my days off with my wife going for a walk or riding a bike at the Seawall, and Stanley Park and having a great time in this beautiful city called Vancouver.

City Background

 


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A Day in the Life at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis- by Phuong Bui

Delta Lodge at KananaskisMy internship position is banquets server at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. The past three weeks since I started to move and work in the hotel have been a whole new experience for me. The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis (DLAK) is one of the seven Delta properties in Alberta. “Live the Adventure” is the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis’s motto and it also represents the experiences that the hotel and Kananaskis Country get to offer for both guests and employees.

 

 

 

Highway 40- Scenic Drive

Highway 40- Scenic Drive

Welcome to Bear Country  - I saw they crossing the road several times during my first weeks here.

Welcome to Bear Country  – I saw they crossing the road several times during my first weeks here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View Point at the Village Rim Trail

View Point at the Village Rim Trail

There have been many training for me during my first weeks here at the hotel to get me ready for the position. I attended orientation day with People Resources to have a brief introduction about the hotel, as well as what need to be aware of when living in the area close to nature and wildlife. The orientation also included a tour of the valley and a short hike to get us started with the mountain life. In the department, for the training plan I will receive training for different tasks in night list, day list and serving. My first three weeks have been focused on night list duty which includes setting up rooms and buffet tech.

Working in banquets, every day will be different depending on the assigned duty at the start of each shift J so you can get away from the routine for a little bit. One of my days in life can be described like this:

10am: Waked up and get ready to go to staff cafeteria for lunch. I work mostly night shifts; therefore, I am very much a night owl. I often stop by the viewpoint of the Village Rim Trail closed by the hotel to get nice fresh air and a view of the beautiful scenery of mountains and the golf course to start my day J.

12pm: Heading back to the residence. The convenience of living in the residence when working at DLAK is it only takes about 5 minutes to walk to the hotel and you don’t have to worry about traffic. I then got ready for my shift start at 3:30pm.

3:15pm: Walked to the lodge and signed in.

3:30pm: Have a line up with the manager, supervisor and my coworkers to go through the functions and assigned duties for each individual. Today we had a group of 250 people attend meeting during the day; and now to have to flip the room for their dinner. I was assigned to set up the tables with one of my co-workers. We were required to do full set for dinner service for the total of 30 tables. Once every one finished their assigned tasks, they would also come in and help us to finish the room for the night.Dinner setup in Olympic Room

5:30pm: The room, all the set up and preparation were now ready for the function. We had another line up to go through the assigned duty for dinner service. We had two teams: buffet tech and serving. I was on the buffet tech team with my banquet captain and one of my co-workers.

5:35pm: In our team we had to split up the duties. I took care of polishing the utensils, my co-worker got the chaffers and food labels ready.

6:00pm: We went to the kitchen to pick up the foods for the buffet.

6:30pm: Ready for dinner service. Tonight I was assigned to take care of the hot food station. When the food went low as 1/3, I would go to the kitchen to pick up a new tray and replace it to ensure that the buffet doesn’t run out.

7:30pm: All the guests had dinner and the buffet stations were slow down. I cleaned up all the food crumbs and tidy all the stations. Besides that, I kept the dessert station restocked since it was time people go for dessert.

8:20pm: My supervisor let us know that we could tear down the buffet. My team and I brought all the cold and hot food back to the kitchen; the dessert was still opened for the guests.

8:30pm: I went for 15 minutes break for dinner.

8:45pm: After the break, I helped the servers in the room to clear out plates and glasses.

10:30pm: My shift finished for the day and I headed back to the residence for a nice rest to get ready for a new day :).

View of the Upper Kananskis Lake from the Trail

View of the Upper Kananskis Lake from the Trail

the Upper Kananaskis Lake

the Upper Kananaskis Lake

How I spend my day off

How I spend my day off

 

 


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A Day in the Life at the Lakeview Hideaway- by Franky Fiordimondo

Lakeview Hideaway

Sunrise comes early on the Naramata Bench, around 5 a.m., I have never heard so many birds chirping, singing, warbling, and hammering. Those woodpeckers sound like they are knocking on my door, but I don’t mind. The early morning views of rolling hills of orchards and grapes cascading down to the clear blue of Okanogan Lake make it worth my while to enjoy the not so quiet, but still tranquil setting.
Mornings are busy, Skyler checking her schedule for client appointments and check-ins for the day by 7 a.m., and we compile a To Do List. Today is a Spring clean-up day at Lakeview Hideaway.

 

 

View from the Lakeview Hideaway

This two-bedroom cottage sits on a ridge overlooking fields of grapevines, the lake, and a view of Summerland across it. After the long winter and closing of the eight month rental of the property, there is a lot to be done in preparation for the coming vacation property rental season.  The carpenter, Emilio from Spain, is clearing out the storage shed for a trip to the dump, while I weed the front rose garden. As Emilio goes to remove a broken bar fridge he spots a snake and freezes, snakes are not common in Spain apparently. I become Franky, the Snake Whisperer and grab tongs and an empty coffee can and proceed to capture, contain, and release the little baby, foot long snake into the wild once again. Not sure if it’s a Rattle snake or a Bull snake but as calm, cool, and collected as I seemed… I was scared! Just an average morning in cottage country!

 

The Naramata Community Market Society

The Naramata Community Market Society

The Naramata Museum

The Naramata Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lights are replaced, bushes are cut back and cleared, remnants of winter renters collected, irrigation is set up, and a run to the dump is made. On the return we have some lunch and a cold beverage by the beach, while discussing our afternoon list. Then we stop in at the Naramata Farmers Market for dessert….mmmm it’s cherry season. We take a short stroll through the Village proper (see below for links) passed the Museum, Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, and The Village Motel, as the wind kicks up its usual afternoon gusts of cool air.

The Naramata Heritage Inn

The Naramata Heritage Inn

The Village Motel

The Village Motel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Gazebo

The New Gazebo

 

The gazebo is assembled and an outdoor eating area is created with a view of the lake. A short-supply list comes in via email from one of the cleaners and an impromptu shopping trip is in order. We gather the staple supplies necessary, toilet paper, paper towels, dish and clothing detergent, and sugar. Other staples required for cottage rentals are kitchen staples such as flour, salt, pepper, spices, body soap and lotion, and fully stocked First Aid Kits.

 

 

 

On our return we find the landscapers cutting the grass and edging, putting a temporary halt to our yard work since we can’t be underfoot. On our shopping excursion, Skyler has purchased a new cast iron bench for the Lakeview Hideaway and a storage bench for outdoor seat cushions. We busy ourselves with assembly and laundry while the landscapers finish up.

I gather the receipts for the day and label them all for future input into the accounting system, which we are still working on setting up for 2014. Last week I met with the accountant Jody for a rundown of the company setup, which went very well. The program is pretty straight forward, but the company itself is complex, with an account for each rental property as well as the Real Estate business. I will have to do accounts for both, which means special care on taxing information, the split up of supply money spent, and deposits and draws on the accounts.
Once this is done, it is already 4 p.m., how the days fly by! Another trip to the dump is in order of all the really heavy stuff, which takes about 45 minutes to load up. I stay behind to prepare a meal to feed all hungry workers on their return after a long day of heavy labour. Although this is not on my job description, it is a chore that needs to be done, and I can’t complain about cooking ribs on the barbeque! Yummy.
Skyler and Emilio stop at the beach for a quick swim to wash off the day and by the time they return with Jay, the houseboat mechanic, dinner is ready. We all sit and eat in our new outdoor dining area under the new gazebo and watch the sun slowly sink while we enjoy a lovely Gewurztraminer from Nichol Estate Winery (local wine of course) along with the breathtaking view.
Shortly after sunset we have a two hundred pound hairy visitor peeking into our picture window in the living room. This teenaged black bear is so cute, but none of us venture outside for the rest of the evening! A snake and a bear… bookends to another great day on the bench!


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A Day in the Life at the Magnolia Hotel and Spa- by Abdulmohsen Almuhanna

 

Hotel entrance

Honestly, I can say this specific experience is the most interesting experience in my work life so far. I remember in 2012 when I went with my instructor and classmates to the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in a field trip for one of my second year courses ( IHMN240) Introduction to hotel operations. I was amazed of that hotel and wished if I could work for this great hotel one day. In June 1, 2014 the dream came true and I was hired as a night auditor.

 

I consider myself a lucky person to work for Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria since I love this gorgeous city and I do not want to leave it. Magnolia Hotel & Spa located in the heart of Victoria down town and few steps from the harbour with a spectacular view which attract both tourists and business travellers. In the hotel we have six different types of rooms that make us Victoria’s Favourite Downtown Boutique Hotel. Magnolia hotel has been known for its message for years and consider one of the best message provider in Victoria. The hotel ranked hotel number three of 57 hotel and been rewarded as one of the best hotels in Canada.

front desk

As a night auditor I usually start my shift at 11:15 pm until 7:15am five days a week I love my late shift since I am a night bird and use to work in night. However, I worked couple weeks in the morning and enjoyed it as well when I was in training. I like to arrive 5-10 minutes earlier to talk with the front desk agent who will pass me on what I need to know to make sure that we deliver the best possible service to our valued guests. For example, if we have a guest who has not checked in yet to I make sure that we do not sell all the rooms and keep a room for the expected arrival guests, special request or services that we need to deliver to a guests in a time manner since the hotel is very consistent with the service that we deliver to the guest who has a high expectation based on the great reputation that the hotel gained for years.  

Counting CashMagnolia hotel’s team is very professional team in terms of providing high standard services to our valued guests and they encourage us to as employee to work harder. I usually start my shift by counting the cash float from previous shift to make sure that we have the right amount of money. I start my shift by reading and updating the daily shift report which will be sent at the of the day to the management who need to know what happened during the day in the front office after the managers leave the property. I check the hotels emails to see if there is any news from the management team who we do not see in the night and want to pass us important information. Also I check the email to response to the guests who always have questions about their staying with us and to confirm their reservations. In the hotel we are very careful about some essential reports that we like to update them in a daily basis and save them in safe place we call them emergency reports. I confirm all wakes up calls by using the internal system to make sure that our valued guests get wake up on time. I conduct the bucket check and match the registration cards to the hotel operation system, link accounts to members profile, ensure all parking services charges are applied. I reconcile restaurant room service; refresh food & beverage, and spa to make sure that we charge all of guest for their purchases. The main thing during the night auditing is to print all posting journal for all each transaction type and attach paper backup to make sure of the accuracy financial transaction by comparing the guest invoice and what we have in the system. For example, if room number 712 has a dry cleaning service for $13, 25 I must go to the guest profile to check guest name and match it with the laundry bill since some times the front desk agent charge the wrong room or the current guest instead of the actual guest who already checked out.

front lobby

In the hotel we have two parking lots one in the hotel and the other one is out of the hotel as a night auditor its essential for me to make sure that all cars in the right spots so we can inform the guests who ask about their cars where are they and how long does it take to get the car. The parking-attracting sheet that I prepare during the night is very helpful for me to make sure that all parking charges applied.  Magnolia Hotel and Spa provide great service, which is express check, out express which can save the guest time by not stopping by the front desk to do the regular check out process, what I usually do is to print the guest bill and the check-out letter and give it to the security to put it in every single room. After collecting the check out letter I charge all rooms and send the guests their receipt with zero balance.

During the night auditing tasks I usually do check in and check out and some interact with guests who look for some services from the hotel like book taxis and airport shuttle. The last thing I do before I leave is the housekeeping manager package, which consists of the necessary reports such as arrival guests, in house guests, departure guest, VIP, and to do reports. These different reports help the housekeeping department to do their job efficiently since during the night I collect the data that help us to provide a high quality services.

Co-workersco-workers

Interview with Brandon who is the current nigh auditor for the hotel, and the one who trained me.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Brandon Lachance I am from Canada and I have been working in the Magnolia hotel & Spa for six months as a night auditor.

What do you like about Magnolia hotel?

In Magnolia hotel we offer four diamond services and this is a grea thing for us as employee since it encouraged us to provide high quality services. The size of hotel is quiet small which give you a great opportunity to be close to the guests, employees, and the management team. Another thing is that the management who listen to their employee and appreciate their hard work and ideas. I really like the staff who are motivated to learn and work hard to serve our guests.

Brandon me and you we have been working together for a while what advices would you like to give me as a new employee?

I would encourage you to have a dialogue to use with the guest when you check them in and out. Think of new way to create new things that help you to be different from others. As night auditor you need to be very accurate since you deal with numbers all the time and one small mistake may screw all the work up.

What do you like about Abdulmohsen?

I like your voice sine you are a good singer. I like the pictures that you post in Facebook especially for food. Abdulmohsen you learn very fast and very motivated. I can tell that you have learned many things from your International Hotels Management degree.

Is there anything would you like to say at the end of this quick interview

It was great for you to start your career as a night auditor since it give you a great opportunity to be very familiar with the hotel especially from the financial side which is the most important part of every business. Abdulmohsen I believe that you are going to go away and you choose the right industry that fits with your nice personality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A Day In The Life at The Shilla Hotel- by Min Kang

The Shilla Hotel from far

For my three month internship I had the opportunity to join the front desk department of The Shilla Hotel, which is located in the heart of Seoul, South Korea. The Shilla Hotel is owned by the Samsung corporation and the presedent of the company is BuJin Lee who is the daughter of Samsung. The hotel is made up of unique facilities such as The Shilla duty free shop and a traditionalized Korean building called Yeong Bin Kwan that is used as a banquet facility where we hold traditional weddings and other special occasions. The Shilla Hotel is known as one of the best hotels located in Korea and has been ranked in the top ten of being the best hotel in South Korea 2014. Due to the high quality of service and products that are provided by the hotel, the hotel is often chosen to hold special governmental events and celebrity celebrations.

 

 

Main gate to the hotel

Yeong Bin Kwan from the 23rd floor of the hotel

 

Shilla Duty Free Shop

Shilla Duty Free Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min at Yeong Bin Kwan on the day of my interview

Picture of me in front of Yeong Bin Kwan on the day of my interview

 

My duties
– Update profile of the guests that have checked in the day prior using the Opera PMS
– Once a week collect the keys from each floor
– Prepare for tomorrows shift by creating individual folder for guests using appropriate coupons and procedures that will be handed to the guests upon check in
– Organize and maintain coupons and packages (order coupons when needed)
– Assist with scanning/faxing/printing/emailing upon request
– Assist with English/Korean, Korean/English translations upon request
– Make keys for individual guests

 

Daily Schedule
9:00 AM- Wake up and get ready for my shift at The Shilla Hotel

11:30 AM- On my way to the subway station!

12:00 PM- Arrived at The Shilla Hotel. Now heading off to get changed and fully prepped for work!

12:45 PM- I always arrive 15 minutes prior to my shift starting so I can have the time to greet everyone.

01:00 PM- The first thing I do is check how many groups and parties are coming to the hotel the day after so I can prepare welcome envelopes.

01:10 PM- Start updating the guest profiles from the check-ins the day before.

3:00/4:50 PM- Work on additional tasks that senior staffs and managers have given.

Coffee break!

5:20 PM- Coffee break!

 

dinner at the staff restaurant

4:50 PM- Off to have dinner at the staff restaurant!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5:50 PM- Back to the office.

6:00 PM- Start printing registration cards/ key cards/ key envelopes.

7:00 PM- Start putting together individual folders for each and every guests addressing to the packages and special codes (this task finishes at different times depending on the amount of arrivals).

10:00 PM- Finally finished my long day at work! Time to change and go home.

10:30 PM- Back on the subway home.

11:00 PM- Now off to bed for another day at The Shilla Hotel!

Free Time!

Highlights of my internship

On July the 4th The Shilla Hotel had the honor of providing hospitality for the president of China Xi Jinping in our Presidential suite and after his visit I had the opportunity to visit the room.

Presidential suitePresidential suite 2

The Presidential Suite

The Presidential Suite

 

with worker

 

Also through my internship I got to meet some really great people that are providing me great help with my work. The person that is doing an exceptional job at this is my senior intern. She is a six month intern who has trained me with patience and dedication. We have become very close during the last month and we consider each other great friends and hangout outside of work.

 

 

 

 

 

On My Free Time

Even though I work from 1pm to 10pm almost every day, once or twice a week I get to get some time to become a tourist in my home country. So for my very first break I visited the place I used to live before moving to Canada when I was seven.

I have visited the Korean barbeque restaurant that my family and I have been too often when I was little. I was actually pretty surprised to find out that the place has not closed down in over 14 years

Min BBQBBQ1

Korean BBQ Restaurant

 

 

 

 

Apartment

Apartment

Elementary School

Elementary School

 

 

In front of the apartment that I used to live in and the elementary school that I have attended grade one. When I was little I used to think that the playground of the school was extremely big but now that I am older, it was bizarre to see how small it looked.

 

 

 

 

Since it has been more than seven years since I last visited Korea, there are many places I want to visit as well as cuisines I want to experience. One of the places is the 63 building. This is because I have found memories of the destination since I was a little girl and I would love to visit the building again. Inside the building there are many attractions from aquarium, art exhibitions, IMAX theater, special shows, wax museum, and a world class buffet.

Another place I would love to visit is the historic sites of Korea. This is because ever since I was little and until now I have a special place in my heart for the Korean traditional culture and palaces.  I am always awed and fascinated by the beautiful traditional architecture that Korea has to offer.

One of the biggest things I have missed from Korea is the cuisine and the shopping. Even though a lot of places in Korea offer these two things but I especially prefer the Namdaemun market and the Dongdaemun shopping complex. The last time I have visited these places where seven years ago with my mom and the wide variety of shopping and food was quite bit of a shock to me. I think that these are the biggest influences on why I missed Korea so much and wanted to pursue my internship in the city of Seoul South Korea.

 

 


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A Day in the Life at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria,BC- by Daniella Corlazzoli

Fairmont, VictoriaThe luxurious Fairmont Empress Hotel has 477 rooms and is located in Victoria’s downtown inner harbor. It is situated right across the street from where the Seattle ferries dock and where all of Victoria’s main attractions are. The property is over 100 years old holding a lot of heritage and culture. Most of Victoria’s main attractions like whale watching, famous dining outlets, parks and beaches are located within walking distance of the hotel. The location of the Fairmont Empress provides convenience for the guests and opportunity to explore a lot of different luxuries.

Map

Currently I do not have a vehicle so I commute to work via transit. I live in the Royal Oak area and it takes me approximately 25 minutes from when I leave my house to when I walk through the Fairmont Empress staff doors. The location of my home gives me a lot of different options of times and makes it that much easier to get to work.

 

I love where I work! The colleagues who I work with are all so supportive and they are what make my job great. The environment at the front desk is fun, busy and full of excitement. We all work so well together and support each other everyday. All of the management team are very supportive and take the time to create this positive work environment. If I could describe in one word what my work environment is it would be “supportive” No matter what department you are in there is always someone who will help you. One thing that separates my current job from any other is the strong friendships that I have created at work. It is a great feeling to go into work and know you are not working with just another colleague but a friend who you trust, encourage and support.

DaniellaDaniella2As soon as I enter the staff entrance to the hotel I prepare myself for my shift. The first thing I do is enter the staff laundry and grab my “clean” uniform. 🙂  Once I am all suited up I punch in my ID code and walk to the front desk to start the day. No matter what day it is or what time my shift starts some of the routine things include getting my float ready, daily briefings by the manager on duty, cash out procedure and the front desk/concierge task list duties.

Every day is different at the front desk and this is one of my favorite parts about the hospitality industry. The colleagues who I work with are from all different parts of the world, which enables us to create a memorable and personable experience to our guests. Depending on the occupancy of the hotel I may pick up concierge shifts. This gives the front desk staff more time to concentrate on checking guests in and out. On a normal day there is around 3-4 front desk agents on and one full time concierge on. Going back and forth from concierge to front desk positions allows me to gain more of an understanding of what is going on in the city and to get to know the guests more. A typical day at the concierge desk includes booking guests a shuttle to the gardens via Cruise Victoria Shuttle , whale watching excursion for 3 hours on Five Star Whale watching tours , or a zip lining adventure for those guests who seek adventure. If a guest is wanting suggestions on dining outlets the most popular cuisine is Il Terrazzo, which is a famous Italian restaurant known for their family style service. Some of the fun things that make this job so much fun is that I can be apart of guests stay from when they check in to the hotel until they check out. You get the chance to understand your guests more when you check them in, book their activities, follow up with how their experience was and wishing them back to stay at the hotel. It is the guests who acknowledge your hard work is what makes me remember why I love this job. I am proud to be an ambassador of the famous Fairmont Empress.

Plane

On my days off I make an effort to be a tourist in my hometown, whether it be to go kayaking or for a bike ride down Dallas road. It is important to understand what is going on in Victoria so that you can deliver the right information to guests. Due to the location of the property we get a lot of individuals who are coming off cruise ships and want to walk around the hotel and ask questions about things to do. One of the great luxuries that you get to enjoy when you work for the Fairmont Empress is discounted rates on a lot of Victoria’s attractions and transportations. Heli jet has a great relationship with Fairmont employees giving us the opportunity to fly back and forth to Vancouver at a great rate. On my days off I try to take advantage of the great deals Heli jet has to offer!


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A Day in the Life- by Peggy Liu

waterfrontSince the beginning of June, I began my internship with Shangri-La, Vancouver. As a Service Leader in the Housekeeping Department, my shifts are fairly stable – Starting at 10am and ends at 6:30 pm (Sometimes longer, depending on the how busy a day is). Before I go into detail of my work, I will expand in a little deeper about the brand Shangri-La Hotels and Resort. It is a Hong Kong based company that runs two other brands, “Kerry” and “Trader.” The first Shangri-La Hotel is based in Singapore and since then has evolved to become one of the finest hotel ownership and management companies in the world. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts primarily operate in Asia. It has two properties in Canada. One is in Vancouver and the other is in Toronto. Here is a list of countries that Shangri-La operates in.  Shangri-La Vancouver has recently received the 5 diamond rating from AAA. The hotel boasts of its high quality amenities and attentive services from employees. As a result, my attention to detail and eye for precision comes into play as all of our guests expect the very best.

Shangri-La’ golden rule is all about treating strangers as family. In their commercial video, “In Our Nature,” depicts of a human stranded in a snow storm and was embraced by a pack of wolves who kept him safe and warm during the tough time. This moving commercial really shows what the Shangri-La employees are striving for everyday when they come to work.
White Rock

As for my current situation, I am currently living in the city of White Rock. It is a community that is a little bit outside of the mainland Vancouver so for me to get to work, I commute by taking the bus first then transferring onto the skytrain. Roughly it takes me about 50 minutes to get to work each day.
Here showcases all that White Rock has to offer year round.
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At 10am, I start my day. When I first come into the office and sit down in my desk, my first task for the day is to check our PMS for any important arrivals for the day. Shangri-La Vancouver, as one of the high end luxury hotels in the city, hosts MANY important guests range from celebrities to CEOs of companies. Sometimes in a day, we may receive as many as 60 rooms to check and as a result, it is my duty to ensure that that these important arrivals can check into their rooms in a timely manner while meeting the high standards that is of Shangri-La. Once the VIPs and our high guest loyalty guests have been checked, I double check the arrivals times for these guests in another report to make sure that our Housekeeping team can clean the rooms on time for guest arrivals. Shangri-La also offers a loyalty program called the “Golden Circle.” There are Gold, Jade and Diamond members, with the most loyal guest starting at the latter. For our loyalty guests, we also ensure that their rooms are as close to perfection as well and provide extra amenities such as a nice coverlet for the bed and welcome tea in a fancy Chinese teapot.

hotel2Once the checks are done, I start my floor run. It is very important to maximize my floor run efficiently so I always need to make sure that our Room Attendants know which rooms are prioritize to clean first and the needed amenities that needs to go into the room.

Usually time flies when I do my floor run since almost every single day in the Summer season is 100% occupancy thus ensuring that I am always on the go! Also, the rooms at Shangri-La Vancouver range from 42 sqm / 450 sqf to 130 sqm / 1,395 sqf (and some have balconies as well), inspecting these rooms definitely takes time. Furthermore, it is very important to coordinate guest check ins in a timely manner to ensure that our department have enough rooms to provide the Front Office to check new arrival guests in to.

At 4pm, this is when the day starts to wind down. At 4:30pm is the time when Room Attendant goes home, and by that time, generally majority of guests have also already checked out. This is when I return to the office and start my Turndown report. At the Shangri-La, Vancouver, because we host many important guests, so to complete their experiences, we provide these guests with turndown services.

 

Grouse MountainAt 4pm, this is when the day starts to wind down. At 4:30pm is the time when Room Attendant goes home, and by that time, generally majority of guests have also already checked out. This is when I return to the office and start my Turndown report. At the Shangri-La, Vancouver, because we host many important guests, so to complete their experiences, we provide these guests with turndown services.


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A Day in The Life working at Disney- by Lin Bakieh

Lin7

Being selected out of thousands of applicants into the Disney Academic exchange program has changed my life and given me the opportunity to gain a unique experience. Working for the happiest place in the world is both a great and challenging opportunity because guest’s expectations are incredibly high. During this program I completed two weeks of schooling at the University of California Riverside and now I am currently at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I have been given two roles for the next six months which are quick food and beverage server and merchandise.

I wake up every day and make a run to the bus stop where Disney has their own transportation system for their cast members (employees). Taking the bus is always exciting because the diversity here at Disney is unbelievable and having the gift of interacting with people of different cultures and nationalities on a daily basis is incredible. I spend the bus ride talking and laughing with fellow cast members about the things we see while at work.

My job is at the Epcot Park and I work as a quick food and beverage server at Sunshine Seasons which is a very big and popular food court. I put on a very attractive costume for work every day and laugh at myself every time I look in the mirror before I go to work. Although to some, working for Walt Disney World seems a fun and magical experience, it really is quite standard work. I am responsible for stocking, bussing, cleaning, serving food and most importantly interacting with guests and making their day magical. It is a major challenge to work ten hour shifts that requires physical strength and do it with a smile on your face because of company regulations. However, learning from professionals and interacting with guests from across the globe always makes my day a little more easier.

 

My first job in my life was this very role and clearly it is not the most fun or glamorous role but I must admit I have learned so much. On some shifts, I serve food to guests, stock or buss tables and I always try to entertain myself at work by saying hello to all the little princes and princesses. In the kitchen I have made friends with all the staff who come from all around the world. They not only teach me about my work but teach me about life. These wise people have already made a huge positive impact on me and I am attached to them to a certain degree. So far, I have learned to speak basic French, Spanish and a little of Mandarin thanks to my colleagues. Sunshine Seasons is incredibly busy and I must work quickly and efficiently to meet guests and managers expectations. The job is hard and like nothing I have ever done but this is a great opportunity for me to gain hands on experience and with this experience it will make any other job I will have in the future, easy.

On my days off, I take advantage of my free Disney pass that allows me to enter all parks for free and I enjoy being a tourist in the beautiful city of Orlando. My friends and I also make sure to take advantage of all the discounts we are given on Disney food and merchandise which is such a treat! Making magic every day at Disney has expanded my knowledge and allowed me to learn new skills that I am certain I will never learn anywhere else. Given that I am in the Disney academic exchange program I am required to take courses online at the Disney University so that I obtain a certificate in Hospitality Management from the University of California Riverside. The classes are quite interesting and I enjoy learning from professional instructors who have been working with the Walt Disney Company for years and truly value their positions.

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The journey has just began for me and I have a long road ahead of me. I plan to fully utilize what Royal Roads has taught me and apply it in my current and future job. My life has turned around ever since I applied to this program and I hope more Royal Roads students apply to this program and change their lives like I did.

I have come across several websites that I believe contain very valuable information about Walt Disney World and all that Orlando has to offer, and much more.

 

This second website is my favourite and it contains information on Disney programs and internships. It has much valuable information on programs such as mines and offers many different programs to students across the globe.

If students are then interested in academic exchange program they can visit this website that will answer any question they might be wondering about.

There are many other activities and attractions to visit here in Orlando that are just as exciting as Disney. Orlando has a lot to offer such as the Cirque De Soleil and indoor skydiving. Thus, this website allows travellers to plan their vacation ahead of time and make all reservations.

This is another great website that allows not only students but anyone seeking a job to enroll in Disney programs that best suit their interests.

Lin7

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A day in the life at Four Seasons Hampshire by Megan Lewis

 

Hotel

The transition into the Four Seasons Hampshire was everything I thought it would be. It started out with a trip down to Human Resources to meet all of the support staff, Lauren Stillwell and Joanna Herbert. These ladies have been the incredibly helpful throughout the entire transition, from letting me stay in the hotel, to helping me find a bed, as well as simply being there to talk if needed. After a few training days with HR, I met my coworkers, supervisors, and manager, as well as my trainer. This was nerve-wracking because my team is such a close knit group, and I had that moment of panic where I was not sure if I would fit in. That anxiety left me completely when a man came up to me, knew my name, shook my hand, and said he was excited to have me on the team. This person turned out to be one of my supervisors, that warm welcome was all the acceptance that I needed to be comfortable in my new role. Megan

The first few days of training felt fairly relaxed, mainly focusing on the details of fine dining, focusing on the Four Seasons standards and guest interactions. I found that Four seasons is different from other companies I have worked for because they really strive to know who every single guest is, and make them feel part of the family during their stay. There is so much information on each guest; from what they like to be called, to their favorite side dish that it is incredible. My first day of work was one of the scariest days I’ve ever had, I walk into work and am told that I am in banquets for the night, a banquet for 180 people and the host in one of the richest men in the world and very demanding, so I was slightly scared about this, especially because it was my first day. Thankfully it all went without a single problem, and I all of the staff we’re extremely helpful in answering any questions.

A few weeks into my job, my managers, Manish Bodetta and Paul Ionanu, had a sit down with me and asked what I wanted out of my internship and what could they do to help me achieve those goals. My goals included expanding my wine knowledge, learning about management duties, and understanding how the Four Seasons trains and develops there staff. Manish and Paul then handed over one of their projects to me to complete and then present to the general manager Charlie Parker, and director of food and beverage David Monson. This project is determining the feasibility of a themed night in the restaurant to boost restaurant covers midweek, this project includes market research, an external analysis, and then justifying my decision to the hotel’s planning committee.

CountrysideEveryone in the food and beverage departments work long hours, averaging around 10 hours a day, so to relax after these shifts the staff has weekly get togethers, where we have drinks at someone’s house, or all gather at a pub in town for a few drinks. Since I am still living in the hotel, I have been finding ways to entertain myself; thankfully there is a dog that lives in the hotel and he needs walking, there are also horses that always appreciate attention. Staff is also welcome to use the bicycles on property and play on the tennis courts whenever they are not in use.coffee

In the local area there is a lot to see as well, the Stone Hedge is only a 40-minute drive away, London is an hour train ride, and there is Winchester is about half an hour away. The hotel also encourages staff to visit different areas of Europe, with staff frequently going on overnight trips to France, Italy, Spain, and other areas. Fleet, which is the closest town to the hotel, does not have much, but it does have quite a few restaurants, pubs, some shopping, and the cinema. The hotel provides a shuttle bus for employees to get into town if they do not drive and it drops them at a few different locations in town, including the train station, which provides easy access to the other areas.

LINKS:

http://www.spareroom.co.uk

http://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/station-search.aspx?stn=FLE#page=generalinfo

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/14091.aspx

http://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/dining/restaurants/seasons/

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