Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC


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Field Study Blog- Goldstream Provincial Park, Cherry Point Winery by Chelsea Smith

Waterfall Goldstream Provincial Park

Waterfall Goldstream Provincial Park

Goldstream Provincial Park

The morning was crisp and I was working on a couple hours of sleep, however the fresh air and the morning moisture were the perfect way to start off the field study. Goldstream Park is picturesque especially at this time of the year when everything is starting to bloom. The waterfall is something spectacular and adds to the atmosphere.

Visitor Center Goldstream Provincial Park

Visitor Center Goldstream Provincial Park

The parking lot was empty when we first arrived and after attending the information center/gift shop without any attentive service I thought that this could be the reason. The shop definitely could use some improvements on customer service and maybe a revised food menu. However, by the afternoon the parking lot was full and the bus had to move to make room. I concluded when we were heading out that people weren’t coming to Goldstream Provincial Park for the information center or for the food. They were coming for the adventure, nature and its surroundings. Goldstream Park sells itself with its beauty, without having to do any intense marketing. I also concluded that I would fall into the category that would come and experience this place on my own. I have already decided that I will be coming back for a hike sometime soon.

Cherry Point Winery
This was the highlight of the day for me because I love wine and I love learning more about the wine industry. I have been working as a bartender and server for the past ten years so I have been around the wine industry for sometime now. I have had lots of wine training in those past ten years and every time I have the chance to gain more knowledge I always thoroughly enjoy it.
Xavier (the owner) was an absolute treat. It’s so refreshing when you come across someone who is so passionate about his or her career. I enjoyed how Xavier really emphasized on the importance of the local community. Xavier stated “wine brings in the community” and he really tries to involve the community with all of the local events he puts on. I also got a more in-depth look at how wine is grown. At Cherry Point Winery they plant by soil and not by the grape. This is a new concept to me which I was taken back by because so many people talk about the importance of ‘the grape’. One other point that Xavier talked about that struck me as odd, was the fact that with the extra grapes they had last season they decided to throw them away/crush them. This made me think about sustainability as soon as he said this and to me this seems like such a waste. Xavier talks so much about the local community but couldn’t he have given away these grapes to the local community? I understand that Xavier sees the importance of adhering to a certain standard but I don’t think sharing extra grapes with the local community would tarnish that image. On the contrary I believe it would have the opposite effect.

Cherry Point Winery Xavier’s collection

Cherry Point Winery Xavier’s collection


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Field Study Blog- Day 4: Mount Washington by Abby Willet

On our trip to Mount Washington I was constantly thinking about the financials of the company. How do they deal with yield management and low season? How are their financials set up? What are their operating costs? How much are they selling in the restaurant with an excellent turnover rate of 4-5 a day? What depreciation value do they have on their equipment? How much are they selling the ski hill for? It was devastating to see grass on that hill seeing as hitting the slopes is the major form of income for this operation. It was a brutal realization that most adventure tourism companies rely heavily on the cooperation of the natural environment. I fear for the future of Mount Washington’s ski hill because it is clear that they will not move forward with product development because they are holding off on potential buyers. I would like to see a downhill mountain biking course being offered in the summer months that can also be implemented during seasons such as this last winter. It was mentioned that they use to operate this product, I am curious to know why they got rid of it. It is so crazy to think that other ski hills located inner BC and Alberta are closing down their lifts too. What does this mean for Canadian Tourism to the Rockies?
It is such a struggle when operating a company that relies so much on the cooperation of weather. The staff at Mount Washington Alpine Resort seems to be taking all the correct measures when working with a tourism company; they are developing a web app for customers use, are proactive on their social media channels, have reputable sponsors and partnerships, creating new events for the guests to partake in, giving back to the community with donations, and are taking steps to be eco-friendly.
… but there is no snow.

Abby- Day 4


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Field Study Blog- Day 3: Qualicum Beach, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (NIWRC) by Abby Willet

My team’s turn to present the day’s activities and our first stop is Qualicum Beach. This town has a clear brand image of what the community provides for travellers and potential retirees. It is a quaint town that has an abundance of art, shopping, and relaxing activities to experience. This is a strong community that relies on the residents support for anything that is to be implemented in the community. This is good and bad because residents could potentially stop any further tourism growth in the community, but it also creates a sense of unity. Meeting with the major allowed us to gain a deeper knowledge of what the areas intensions are. It made me happy to hear that they refuse to put in fast food restaurants, and that they take active measures to protect the wildlife in the area by eliminating dog access on the beach during migrating periods of the Brant geese and promoting “stream keepers” to ensure the return of salmon each year. I am happy to see that Parksville and Qualicum Beach are working together to promote the area with their Discovery Guide that is published annually. Although they are competitors, they understand the combined efforts will be more beneficial for the whole area.

The Chamber of Commerce was a quick visit and it didn’t really leave a lasting impression on me. I can imagine that the community likes the happy little small town lifestyle that has been established and they don’t really want things to change so there doesn’t really seem like there is room to grow.
Abby- Day 3

The NIWRC was great and I am so happy that it was part of the itinerary. It was interactive and educational and it focused on the natural environments of Vancouver Island giving the tourists a deeper connection with the area. I think that the lay out of the tour is well thought out, and that the end of the tour you will find yourself standing in the gift shop. I think that they should have a great big sign that says you can donate money to a favourite animal that the guest visited on their tour. I would have much rather donated $5-10 to the animals than pick up a key chain or fridge magnet. But I didn’t actually think of it until just now, so the sign may have been there but it needs to be more noticeable and promoted throughout the centre. I think that it’s great that they constructed the picnic area with an amphitheater, which will allow the centre to provide live shows. It shows that they are anticipating a decline in the TALC and are taking active measures to rejuvenate the centre and potentially generate more donations from visitors.


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Field Study Blog- Day 2: Tourism Nanaimo, Nanaimo Museum by Abby Willet

Abby- Day 2Wow! I had a wonderful time at Tourism Nanaimo. It was great to meet with the ladies there and get a deeper understanding of the roles of the local DMO and struggles that they may encounter. I really started to understand the difficulties that fall into working for a DMO. Trying to get the entire community on board and have a clear direction with long-term goals. I think that Tourism Nanaimo will struggle because there doesn’t seem to be a clear focus of which direction they should follow through on; cruise lines or accommodation. If they want to focus on a day trip kind of destination they need to focus their efforts on the ferries and cruise lines. If they want more overnight stays and conferences then they need to commit to building proper accommodation facilities. They have limited funding from the government and I feel that they will be spread thin going in multiple directions. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t perform an exit survey. I think they seriously need to consider implementing this to gain a better understanding of what the travellers think about the destination. It was great to learn about the Nanaimo Bar Trail and the 5 month campaign that Chelsea described. It is known through the travel industry that tourists want to visit places that people love to live in. Focusing efforts on boosting community morale is a great way to build the travellers through the area, especially since they have a high percentage of VFR’s in the area.

I enjoyed myself at the Nanaimo Museum and I thought that it was just the right amount of information for a daily activity. However, by the time I went through the museum I had already spent 3 hours talking with the ladies at Tourism Nanaimo and receiving a tour from Chelsea around the town telling us about the history in the area, which helped me appreciate what the museum showcased. After discussing the daily excursions over pints at the pub I realized that my experience would be greatly different from those who are just paying admission prices and going through the museum.

In the evening the crew went out for some drinks to a couple of places around the neighbourhood. It was clear that there was no collective community involvement and Chelsea was correct to say that people are just coming into town and buying tourism related companies, such as restaurants, and not understanding that they are part of the tourism industry. They have limited knowledge on how to successfully run an operation within the community and I believe that the area will fail due to poor customer service skills. I thought of World Host, which provides courses on customer service skills, and implement them as government requirements to work in restaurants, much like ‘Serving it Right’ and ‘Food Safe’.

Abby- Day 2b


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Field Study Blog- Day 1: Goldstream Provincial Park, Cherry Point Winery, Chemainus by Abby Willet

Today is the day, the day that we venture onto our journey of the island and I am excited to see what unfolds in the next 7 days. Our first stop is Goldstream Provincial Park, which is a short drive from Royal Roads University campus. It is wonderful to have so many options for hikes in a close proximity to Victoria; this really boosts the tourism opportunities for people visiting Victoria. I’m curious to know how many tour companies are located downtown Victoria that transports travellers to the parks for day trips. Once we arrived to the park we talked about the famous salmon run that occurs each year, and then we visited the Goldstream Nature House that acts as a visitor centre for the park. It was nice to get indoors and warm up beside the fire, but I was surprised that the ladies working didn’t take advantage of the group huddled around the fire trying to get warm. Neither of them came over to enquire about our visit or offer us a hot chocolate to warm up our bodies. It’s amazing how receptive people are to the power of suggestion. Something that I wanted to note about the experience was the limited access there is to the other side of the highway; where the waterfalls and trellis are located. Yes, we had the opportunity to walk through the tunnel but when I was there last the water level was too high and I couldn’t pass through that way. I resorted to blindly running across the highway praying that a speeding car wasn’t flying around the corner at the same time. I suggest building a bridge across the highway or pedestrian lights to cross the highway safely.
Our next stop was Cherry Point Winery where we got a deeper understanding of the wine industry in the community. This particular winery relies mostly on word of mouth generated throughout the community. The gentlemen hosting the seminar showed he was very passionate about his wine, which left a positive experience for the group. I don’t know how much the tour was or what was offered for his time, but I hope that he gives out more wine on a regular tour. I’ve been on wine tours before and they have given more than a sip for tasting. I believe that people are more willing to purchase souvenirs and gifts when they get more out of the experience than expected.
Last stop of the day brought us to a town called Chemainus that is known for its murals around town. It would be interesting to visit the town in the summer time, which is high peak season. It is difficult to analyze the effectiveness because it was a bit of a ghost town and most of the shops were closed. I thought the “lost mural” was of interest, I think it should be mentioned somewhere to encourage travellers to interact with locals to find it; like a scavenger hunt!

Abby- Day1b                               Abby- Day 1


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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.