Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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A day in the Life of Alejandra Lemus at the Fairmont Château Laurier

Hello! Bonjour! Hola!

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Fairmont Château Laurier (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management program at Royal Roads and I am completing my internship at the magnificent Fairmont Château Laurier!

Fairmont Château Laurier is located in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Ontario. It was built in 1912 and it has 429 guest rooms. This property it is a landmark for the city and Canada. It has held historic events and has become the second home for many famous people that have transformed Canada’s history.  The hotel it is situated in the intersection of Rideau Street and Mackenzie Avenue.  This location gives the hotel a competitive advantage with its unique views to the Rideau River, Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and ByWard Market.

 

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Source: Fairmont Château Laurier

Did I tell you that I just moved from British Columbia?! Well, I certainly did. I have the amazing opportunity of living with an extraordinary local family in The Glebe neighborhood. This area has wonderful little stores that every time that you come back, you find something to fall in love with.  The close proximity of my living area to the hotel has given me the opportunity to bike to work as much as possible, and that is how I start my day to work.

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

Rideau Canal (Photo by Alejandra Lemus)

 

From the Glebe, I bike to work for 20 minutes on the side of Rideau Canal. At the beginning it was hard. It has been too long since I biked but the wonderful view of the Canal has encouraged me to keep going.  After parking my bike, and changing into my uniform, I head to the front desk office to report to my shift supervisor and ask for a “pass on” of the day.

 

 

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

War Memorial ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

As a trainee, the Guest Services Manager on duty reminds me about certain procedures that they would like me to focus on for the day and encourages me to familiarize myself with guest interactions. After my briefing, I go to the front desk to complete my daily tasks such as: check-in and check-out of guests, complete daily checklist, and assist guests with any requests.  I love my team. They always have a sincere smile on their face and they are always willing to help me without hesitating. I have the opportunity of working with colleagues from Ontario and also from Québec in the front desk department but at the hotel, multiculturalism is truly experienced and embraced.

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

My amazing team (Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Working at the front desk means that every day is different. During my first week, I had the opportunity to assist the FIFA Women’s Word Cup players that were competing in Ottawa. Moreover, every day I have the pleasure of communicating in both French and Spanish. Every time that I had the opportunity to assist a guest in my native language, Spanish; it gives me a sense of pride in my culture. A few days ago, a guest from Puerto Rico told me that he felt fortunate to have been assisted in his native language.  Short but meaningful comments like these; remind me why I love this industry and the part I play in it.  In another instance, a Mexican family that I had assisted asked me if I would be available to assist them for the duration of their stay! The next day, they requested to talk to me, even though they only needed assistance with a small request, they kept calling for me to help them. This reaffirmed that I am working in the right industry and the Fairmont Château Laurier is helping me to keep learning and creating “moments into memories” (Fairmont Hotels & Resorts) for our guests.

 

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

Burrito Shack ( Photo taken by Alejandra Lemus)

During my days off, I enjoy spending time getting to know my neighborhood and the city. A couple days ago, I ate at the Burrito Shack, a Mexican restaurant that believes in buying local products, giving back to the community through school lunches and catering to locals. Yes, their food is delicious.  Additionally, some days off I travel to Montreal to visit my amazing husband and family. I still need to make time to go and visit my relatives in Hamilton, it feels good to be so close to family again, perhaps I will plan a visit in the near future on my days off.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I highly encourage you to visit Ottawa and one of its milestones, Fairmont Château Laurier. There is always something new and wonderful to visit and explore here.

 

 

 

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A Day in the Life @ The Butchart Gardens- by Wayne Jenkins

For a look at where I am on the globe, just zoom out from this map.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.5631463,-123.4665519,1384m/data=!3m1!1e3

Blue Himalayan Poppy, Jenny Butcharts' Favourite -photo by W. Jenkins

Blue Himalayan Poppy, Jenny Butcharts‘ Favourite -photo by W. Jenkins

Located on the Saanich Peninsula north of Victoria the Butchart Gardens are a tourist highlight when visiting British Columbia. Consistently listed in the top gardens of the world to visit, they are a stunning display garden that is visited by over a million people a year. A far cry from the original cement plant that brought Robert and Jenny Butchart to the area, they are still family owned and operated, and are open 365 days of the year for the enjoyment of all seasons.

 

The Sunden Garden - photo taken by W. Jenkins

The Sunken Garden – photo taken by W. Jenkins

To get here each day I drive 22.3 kilometres, mostly through rural farmland roads, until I arrive at the main gates to the Gardens. Thankfully, after giving the secret signal (flash my headlights) the traffic directors point me to the outside lane normally reserved for buses so I can avoid the 5-15 minute wait the other lanes of cars must endure to get onto the site. Once on the property I park in the employee lot and if I have time visit the staff restaurant, the Poppy Seed, and have a cup of tea. After logging in at the time station, I sometimes do a quick wander through the Italian, Rose, and Japanese gardens in order to have a point of reference to talk to my passengers throughout the day.

The Italian Garden - photo taken by W. Jenkins

The Italian Garden – photo taken by W. Jenkins

I must be able to talk about what they’ve seen so staying current with the displays is very important. Now and again I’ll drop into the visitor’s centre where there is an on duty gardener to see what new flowers have been planted out.

Each morning the boat I’m piloting must be given a complete going over in order to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers. Starting with the inspection of the bilge, the operation of the bilge pumps, high water warning system, fire detector systems and battery charge status I then move on to familiarizing myself with the tide table for the day to plan each route based on where exposed rocks or shallow areas may be. Then I move on to checking each piece of safety gear from life jackets, flares, first aid kits, kisbee ring, towlines, anchoring gear, and paddles. After that a quick once over of the windows and it is time to greet my first batch of passengers.

I have met people from all over Europe, Russia, India, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brazil, United States and many more countries. Every day and every trip is multicultural. I must ensure I am mindful of all cultures to ensure I don’t say or do the wrong thing.

My New Office- photo by W. Jenkins

My New Office- photo by W. Jenkins

Once everyone is seated I brief them, as required by Transport Canada, on the safety equipment aboard the vessel, touching on life vests, first aid equipment, firefighting, and lastly, how to use the radio equipment if I’m unable.

Once underway I start my narrative about the gardens, the local waterways, and parks. I also cover the history of the gardens and how they were initially a cement plant and the development of the exhausted limestone quarry by Jenny Butchart, into what is now the Sunken Gardens.

Sunken Garden Pond in Spring- photo taken by W, Jenkins

Sunken Garden Pond in Spring- photo taken by W. Jenkins

On a typical trip we’ll see a combination of harbour seals, river otters, and bald eagles, masses of moon jellyfish, blue herons, purple martins, and racoons. After 45 minutes we return to the dock where I see everyone off the boat and after a quick once over to make sure the vessel is all clean I invite the next set of passengers on board.

I love this job! It is so relaxing and pleasant meeting all the people from around the world and giving them a little introduction to the area in which I live. I’m not sure I could find a job that has less stress than this one, I actually go home refreshed each day. What a contrast to the old office job I used to live.

Below is a short video of some of the gardens and my new office.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93nj99Ypzxw

 


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A Day in the Life at the Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, China- by Rachel Small

 

Welcome to my work abroad dream at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre.

Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is located in the Yuexiu district of Guangzhou, Guangdong in China. It is a district that is known to be the “gateway of the Chinese foreign trade”.

Crowne Plaza- Guangzhou City Center

First of all, I will like to introduce the area of Guangzhou. The language that is spoken is mainly Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Guangzhou is an amazing place to live as a foreigner in my personal opinion. You are able travel to different parts of China, Hong Kong, and Macau by train, metro, bus, and ferry. It also allows you the chance to travel around Asia with less travel time and expenses. As well, many foreigners within the Guangzhou area gather around to places like “The Brew”. The Brew is a Canadian operated pub that hosts the best North American burgers and wings within Guangzhou. On my first day in Guangzhou and Canada’s Day, I went to The Brew to meet with my new coworkers and fellow foreigners in Guangzhou.  It is really a mix of Canadian pub atmosphere and Chinese pub culture.  During, my free time, I usually walk around Yuexiu district for around 30 minutes in different directions and visit “The Oppa House” to eat Korean food. So far, I have explored places like Panyu, Zhujiang New Town, and Tianhe District. Within a few weeks, I will be visiting Hong Kong to get a new phone since mine doesn’t work here and it is less expensive in Hong Kong. Overall, I feel that working for the IHG brand is suitable for me because it allows me the chance to grow and learn from my coworkers and guests. I am really excited to stay here for 1 year and possibly longer.

So…CP front

My life as an intern in Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre has been exciting and eventful.  I am a Guest Service Management Trainee, at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre. The Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre soft opening was on June 25th 2011. Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre is an exclusive international 5-star standard hotel that features 460 guest rooms and suites with a city view or Bai Yun Mountain view. It is known as the 63 Building with 3 restaurants, gym facilities, lobby lounge, 2 ballrooms, and 9 meeting rooms.

Overall, I work five to six days a week depending on my days off. I have different shifts throughout the week. I am living at the hotel, which is convenient since it only takes me six minutes to clock in. As well, I am able to greet guests on my way to work, which makes it a good start to the day.

Today is July 6th 2015 in Guangzhou, China.  My shift today starts from 7:30am until 4 – 5pm. For most of the day, I am located at the front desk or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant (Fresh).  The first thing that happens in the morning is an early morning briefing for the Front Desk, Concierge, and Guest Service staff. It is a way for everyone to understand what is going on within the hotel for the day and expectation from our managers. After the meeting, I check through my emails and do online Opera training.  My Opera training is about making reservations, and checking-in and out guests. I talk to myself to practice how to speak to the guests. An Example would be “Welcome to Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre, how may I help you?”. This way I can smoothly work as Front Desk staff.

Restaurant

Around 8am, I head up to the 5th floor to Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant. On the way, I greet guests “Good Morning” in Chinese and/or English. Once, I arrive at Fresh. I look around the restaurant to make sure all the names for the dishes are in the correct spot and head to tables to greet guests. While I greet guests, I ask if they would like any coffee and get to know their experiences within the hotel. At times, I assist with seating guests to help the hostesses. Overall, it is important to make sure that nothing at the buffet table is empty by advising fellow staff or getting it myself. The challenge for me is about knowing the correct Chinese word for an item or request by a guest.  This is because I am an English-speaker with a beginner level of Mandarin Chinese. Another important task that I have at Fresh is to give out guest satisfactions survey cards to understand the guest opinions during their breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The survey is given to help improve the restaurant by the guests’ needs and experiences.

Other locations that I visit during the morning are the Crowne Executive Lounge Floor on the 56th floor, 50th Premium Lounge, or the Lobby. Today, I headed to the 56th floor and 50th floor to check on the morning food arrangement, staff, and guests. Once, I check over everything. I head back to either the 5th floor or front desk. Since, I am training to work on the front desk I head back downstairs to learn Opera and study information about the hotel.

RachelAround 10am, I head up to Fresh for breakfast with coworkers.  Usually for my daily meals, I can eat at the tenants canteen or Fresh Asian Buffet Restaurant.  After breakfast, I visit the 3rd floor to check on events held today. Since I do have class and work assignments. I take time to do projects for the hotel and reflect on my progress with my coworkers.

Around 12:30, I am a lobby ambassador. I help to direct guest to the front desk or other locations within the hotel. It is important to make sure that guest are directed to proper locations and ask if they need help with their bags. Once, I have stayed within the lobby for a while, I either head back to practice Opera or head up to fresh to help with lunch. I do almost the same thing for lunch at Fresh except I don’t ask people for coffee. I check to see the names are correct, food is fully stocked, and staff is okay. After that I stay for lunch for about 30 minutes.

Once, I have finished my lunch, I head back to the front desk lobby 2to have a briefing again at 2:40pm. The briefing is to inform the new shift staff of today events and information. Once, briefing is over I stay in the front desk office to review Opera training and information. I check on the front desk staff to help get documents for them. As well, it is a chance for me to learn first hand about front desk tasks. Some of the tasks are about getting documents and scanning passports. If the front desk isn’t busy, I will be the lobby ambassador or I will go back to Opera training.

Lastly, the day ends looking through my emails and saying goodbye to my coworkers. I clock out to end my shift and head upstairs to rest for an early morning shift again.

food and friendsOne of the best things, that I like so far working at Crowne Plaza Guangzhou is having the opportunity to communicate with international and Chinese guest. My coworkers help me to improve my language abilities because we learn from each with English and Mandarin. I have learnt a lot about the area and Chinese culture. As well, I had the opportunity to go to the 63rd floor known to be a formerly used helicopter landing of our hotel, in order to see the panorama view of Guangzhou.  I also had the chance to visit other hotels to learn the differences and start individual projects. I am simply living up to my dreams because the staff here is friendly, outgoing, creative, and respectful. They are all leaders in their own way. I wouldn’t be successful in my training without their help and encourage. There have been endless experiences that I would love to mention working here for my internship. However, it is easier to experience it for yourself.

Take a leap of faith and work abroad.

 

 


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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 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.

Lin2

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

Lin6


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Extreme weather hits our interns

Today we received these pictures below from Erik. He is one of our BA in International Hotel Management students who is on an internship at the Delta Lodge at Kananskis, Alberta. Erik is joined by some of his other classmates Emily, Colin, Hana and Caroline who are also doing their internships at the same hotel.

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Erik let us know that no one can go in or out of the town until the roads have cleared, and I don’t mean washed away. There was some flooding in one of the residence buildings but he let us know that it isn’t one of the ones that they are in. The hotel is dry and the nearby golf course was evacuated to the hotel.

Happy to hear they are safe and not alone. Sending you guys ‘dry out soon’ thoughts.

How are things where you are? Are you safe and dry?