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.