Author Archive

Author: admin
• Monday, March 04th, 2013

At the Lord Elgin, I am fortunate to have my own desk in the Sales Office. There are four desks in total, all which are occupied by incredibly friendly and intelligent people. There is Liz Lesh, Tessa Webster and Andrew Horsfield. Andrew, the Senior Sales Manager, is an extremely kind and knowledgeable man whom I’m happy to have met.

Andrew often gives me “lectures” on different aspects of life and our world. Whether it’s about bumble bee’s becoming extinct, or how to properly set and achieve a goal, I am always happy to listen. Andrew thinks I’m just saying that, but I really have learned random facts and life lessons that I won’t forget. He has jokingly described himself using the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

This morning I swirled around in my chair and asked if he would answer some questions for our blog, and he was more than happy to help.

I asked Mr.Horsfield,

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Thunderbay. I have lived all over Western Canada from Ottawa West, to St.Catherines, to Toronto, Windsor, St.Albert, Victoria, Calgary, and Winnipeg. In total I have lived in 13 different cities.

When did you begin your career at the Lord Elgin?

I moved to Ottawa from Winnipeg in 2005 to work at The Lord Elgin.

What 3-5 things do you need to be successful in this job? What are the deal breakers?

As the senior sales manager, I work exclusively with non-profit organizations, charities, associations and NGO’s. The number one thing you need is to genuinely like to work with people. To be successful you must have your client’s best interests at heart. It is the same with all the hotel sales. You need to really want to help your clients out.

You need to want their event to be successful because it is extremely important to them. It could be something 10 years in the making. It is very, very important that you place as much emphasis on the success of the event as they do.

It may seem hokey, but you need a good team around you. This includes the front desk, the banquet team, the reservations team, the kitchen staff and more. Everyone must do their job really well in order for the event to be successful. If this happens, then you are successful as a sales person. It’s like a symphony orchestra; no one can be out of tune.

Have you had any other careers and if so, what are they?

I have worked in a number of fields. I have a degree in History and English, and a diploma in TV Broadcasting. I have written and produced TV commercials. I have been a real estate broker and a freelance writer. I owned a company for advertisement specialties. I have been everything from a volunteer firefighter, to a sales executive for print advertisement, to a lumberjack.

If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?

Involved.

What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?

I am most proud of my wonderful family. I have been happily married for 25 years with a 15 year old daughter whom I’m very proud. As much as I am involved in my work, my real life revolves around my family.

If you could describe your ideal day off, what would it involve?

I like to play golf, and I do a lot of home renovations. We also enjoy holding big BBQs for the neighbours at our place. Ideally, my day would involve all the three.

Do you have a favourite music genre? Music artist?

No, I love all types of music. Literally, I will listen to artists like Eminem to opera music.

If you had to throw a dinner party tonight, what would you make for supper?

Well, first thing I’d do is call my wife because she’s the excellent cook. But if the dinner party was tonight, I’d make crab legs, or something along those lines.

If you had a time machine, where would you travel and to what year?

I’m a bit of a history buff. I think I would like to have heard Sir John A. MacDonald’s speech to Parliament about the Pacific Railway Scandal. Or Churchill, and Martin Luther King!

What do you like most about living in Ottawa?

Ottawa is a fantastic city on which to live upon. I have the experience to make the comparison. There is a lot to do, and it is a great place to raise a family. It has all the amenities of a big city, but with a small town feel.

What is your favourite quote?

“I seek not to be known, but I seek to be worthy to be known”

Any additional comments you would like to make?

We’re lucky that we work in an industry where you get to meet so many great people all the time, and be part of their world. We’re lucky that what we do for a living is fun.

Author: admin
• Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Hello again, everyone. If you had the chance to read one of my previous blogs, I interviewed our veteran-Bellman, John Tundo. I enjoyed getting to know him better and loved asking the funny questions at the end. It was very entertaining!

Ann and I thought it would be a good idea to continue this trend, and interview someone from another department at The Lord Elgin Hotel. This morning I was introduced to our Assistant Housekeeper, Nadia Naoufal. It was fantastic meeting another co-worker. She was so genuine and sweet, and I truly enjoyed getting to know her. Our talk went as follows:

Where were you born/where did you grow up?

I was born in Beirute in 1957. When I was 17 I moved to Canada in to marry my husband whom I’ve been with for 39 years. I have lived in Ottawa ever since!

How many years have you worked at The Lord Elgin?

I started working at The Lord Elgin in 1976. I took off one year and returned in 1978, so I have been here for 36 years. After all this time I hope I know what I’m doing!

What do you love most about coming to work?

I love everything. It is my second home!

Do you have any “horror stories”, perhaps a disastrous room?

Yes! I began work early one morning and I discovered a flood in one of the bedrooms. Someone had left a window open in 40-below weather. A pipe had burst, the carpets were soaked and the walls were in bad shape. It was not a pretty sight! It took a couple of days to fix everything and dry it all out. That was quite horrible.

Have you ever met any celebrities that stayed at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

I have seen quite a few over these years. Most prominently I remember Richard Gere, my boss Carolyn got to take a photo with him! I also saw John Abbot, Jerry Douglas, Rick Mercer and singer Tom Jones in our lobby.

Can you share any valuable lessons or tips that you’ve gained from working in a hotel?

I have learned so much and gained a lot of experience over my 36 years at the Lord Elgin Hotel. There are constantly guests coming and going and we must always try to exceed their expectations. I always make sure to try my best every single day. Since we work in hospitality, being happy and having a positive attitude is most important!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Since I could use a very a long vacation, I would choose somewhere hot, relaxing and by the water. Maybe Cancun, or Hawaii!

If you one a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I would help out my kids! After that, I would take a vacation to one of those places I mentioned. Once I am retired I plan on doing a lot of traveling and a lot of relaxing!

What is your favourite meal to have for supper?

Well, being Lebanese, I love tabbouleh, hummus, chicken and rice. All of them I make homemade! I also love pizza. My husband makes the most delicious pizza dough.

If you could be any animal, which would you choose?

I would be a dog! I used to be terrified of them until recently. We are currently looking after my son’s girlfriend’s dog, Vega. He comes in and sniffs me and I don’t mind him anymore. I actually kind of like him. He has grown on me and my husband, my daughter is still scared, however!

Any comments you would like to add?

Because I have been at this hotel forever, it is my second home and second family.
I come to work every morning feeling happy. It is easy to wake up in the morning and come to work. I will continue to try my hardest and I really love working here.

Thank you Nadia for taking the time to chat with me, and I hope you all enjoy reading our conversation!

Kiara

Author: admin
• Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

I adore having my placement in a hotel because there are so many different departments to get involved in. Every division has its own unique family that is brought together under one roof, and all who are equally important in their own areas.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend my day with the Catering and Restaurant team here at The Lord Elgin. I was introduced to Nicole who showed me the ropes of catering. Nicole, who was born in Africa, is cultured, intelligent and an absolutely amazing woman! I was so grateful to meet her and I gained a ton of knowledge in many capacities. She was able to give me advice on proper service, manners and catering etiquette and traveling the globe.

Even though I have worked in a restaurant for five years, there was a lot to learn about catering for government groups, important business meetings and private dinner parties. You must make sure everything they previously asked for is accommodated and that all is set up early to ensure there is no waiting. We also switched their water jugs quite often to guarantee they are happy, which shows attentiveness and proper care. Everything is about their wants and needs, as it should be! The Lord Elgin strives to create the “Complete Business Environment”.

I learned of the many catering packages available such as the “Taste of the Orient” and “Wrap it up”. The Lord Elgin also makes sure every room has two flip charts, assorted markers, a “meeting room supply kit”, freshly brewed coffee and a variety of teas. From one day I was able to see how grateful the guests were for the pre-planning and professionally trained staff at their service.

All in all, I had a great day at my placement and I hope I get the chance to help cater a larger event in the future. Thank you Lord Elgin team!

Here’s a link to The Lord Elgin Hotel banquet menu: http://www.lordelginhotel.ca/menus/menu_en/pag1.html

Author: admin
• Wednesday, February 06th, 2013

Today I had the pleasure of talking with John, our proud and passionate Bell Captain. He has been dedicated to his job at The Lord Elgin for 17 years and has been recognized for his sincere concern for guests and fellow associates by a number of awards, most notably, winning the big prize for as Star of the City in 2003. His kind heart and love for people is recognized everyday by guests and coworkers alike.

I asked John a few questions today….

1. Where were you born/where did you grow up?

I was born in Italy, in a small village near Rome. When I was four months, my family and I moved to Ottawa.

2. How did you come upon working at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

My Father-in-law was the Bell Captain at The Lord Elgin for 35 years. At that point, I was self-employed, running an upholstery business from home. I was looking for part-time work and my Father-in-law asked if I was interested.

I thought it was a good idea, and applied for the position. After my interview with the manager, I was told that unfortunately they were not looking for part-time employees, but they would offer me a full-time position. I had to choose between my business and a steady pay cheque, and I chose The Lord Elgin.

3. What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite would have to be meeting people.

4. Do you have any words of advice to someone who deals with people daily, as you do?

Be yourself.

5. Do you have any horror stories or heart-warming stories you would like to share?

No horror stories, but the relationships I have made over the years are very special. There are guests who come back year after year who are very pleased to see a familiar face. And I am pleased to see them again as well.

(And a few entertaining questions..)

6. If you could be any animal in the world what would you be? King of jungle lion

I would be a lion, king of the jungle.

7. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be and why?

Spiderman, so I could sneak into windows. (*He said jokingly, hehe )

8. Anything else you would like to add?

I really appreciate my coworkers, many whom have grown to be good friends. The best part of my job is working with employees who have been here for several years like I have. I have a very strong friendship with one of the old guards, and many more of the people here at Lord Elgin.

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I’d like to thank John for sparing time out of your busy day to answer a couple questions for myself and for The Lord Elgin Hotel blog. I look forward to learning more about John and my other colleagues during my placement time here. I’m sure there will be more fun interviews to come!

‘Til next time,

Kiara Scrim
Co-op Student
Public Relations
Algonquin College

Author: admin
• Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I have lived in Ottawa for all of my 21 years, and I am very proud to say so. Our beautiful city is filled with culture, kind people, great restaurants and security. There are tons of things to do and see. It’s perfect for raising a family, yet also has a fun night life. Might I say best of both worlds?

These are a few of my favourite things:

The Skating- The Rideau Canal is downtown Ottawa beginning just steps away from the Parliament Buildings and extending to Dows Lake. It is the biggest skating rink in the WORLD, at 7.8 kilometres. People from all over the planet love to visit this World Heritage Site.

I myself am a bit embarrassed to say that I am a horrible skater, or perhaps just a horrible “stopper”. However, I have never passed up an opportunity to explore the Canal. It is unbelievable exercise, and a perfect way to get some fresh air. There are many places to rest along the way, or grab a cinnamon beavertail and a steaming hot chocolate. So thank you Ottawa for the Rideau Canal.. and your delicious beavertails.

The Hockey- Okay okay, it is a little stereotypical of a Canadian to boost about their hockey team, but Ottawa loves their Senators. We are a true hockey city. During the lockout period, I didn’t go one day without hearing something about Gary Bettman or the NHL league itself.

With the NHL back, you can feel the rising energy in the city. Every home game so far has been sold out, and the away games are being watched intensely in every pub, restaurant and bar. I can’t wait to cheer the Sens on all the way into the playoffs.

Oh and PS- ALFIE! ALFIE! ALFIE!

The Valley- First off, I would like to give a shout out to the Byward Market. Filled with great shopping (Rideau Centre), unique restaurants (The Grand) and beautiful hotels (The Lord Elgin). Nevertheless we can’t forget about the city’s wonderful neighbour, the Ottawa Valley.

My heart belongs in the valley, where our short summer brings us fresh lakes to swim, boat, fish and more! My favourite moments of all are being in Calabogie, sitting by the campfire, roasting a hot dog and looking up at the star-filled sky.

During the winter, we can escape from the busy city and head to the hill. Pakenham first comes to mind, the place where I learned to ski. (I should also mention Pakenham has one of the greatest ice cream shops, Scoops.) If you’re lucky enough to know someone from the valley, whether it be Renfrew or Perth or Arnprior, you probably recognize that awesome valley twang. Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it!

All-in-all, there is so much about Ottawa to love. If you haven’t been, it is very much worth a visit. 

Author: admin
• Monday, January 28th, 2013

5 months, 20 weeks, 70 days and 250 hours… that is how long I have been working at The Lord Elgin Hotel. That is a long journey for a high school student like me. My time has come to an end and I will no longer be responsible for the social media sites, taking pictures, assisting banquets or helping the sales team. All of this time will be memories and I am going to miss the hotel so much.

I still remember my first day perfectly, like it was just yesterday. I was so excited and nervous to be in such a beautiful hotel. Everyone shook my hand and welcomed me, immediately I felt as though I fitted in perfectly. I knew that I would have a great time at the hotel and that it would be a very meaningful placement. All of the staff from the hotel was eager to help me and teach me new things; I had never been so excited in my entire life. That was one of the best days of my life and all of this time later, I have to leave.

I am not quite sure what it will be like going to school for full days now, I know it is going to be completely different and I certainly will not have as much fun as I did at The Lord Elgin Hotel. Being the first high school Co-op student at the hotel makes me feel honoured and I do not regret a single moment that has happened during my placement. I am always so proud to tell people where I work and what I do. I know it may be strange leaving, but I will have these memories and skills with me for the rest of my life and I feel as though I am a completely different person.

I have also been honoured with the best Cooperative Education Supervisor anyone could ask for, Ann Meelker. Ann is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the hotel. She is a very hard working woman and always has a smile on her face. I know she is very busy, but she still takes time out of her day to answer my questions or help me out, I am very lucky. She is so kind and is always in a great mood. I really respect her and I am so glad that she has been my supervisor. She has given me a great opportunity and I would really like to thank her for everything she has done for me, words cannot even explain how grateful I am. Thank you, Ann.

I am so sad that this will be my last blog. Thank you to everyone who has read it week to week, it means a lot to me. I will miss everything about the hotel, and I am not ready to leave. I would like to thank all of the staff, the guests, my teacher and Ann for giving me such a wonderful time at The Lord Elgin Hotel, I will remember this experience for the rest of my life!

Thank you,

Ariana

Author: admin
• Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Hi everyone! My name is Kiara Scrim, I’m a Public Relations student at Algonquin College. I am the Lord Elgin’s newest placement student, helping out with their social media sites, blog and other online channels. It’s very nice to meet you. 

As I took my express bus to my first day this past Monday, I did not know what to expect. What will I be doing? Will everyone be nice? Will I be in the way? Am I wearing the right clothes? All these questions were answered within the first five minutes of arriving. As soon as I pushed through the revolving doors, John, one the bellman, gave me a warming smile and said hello. His friendliness lifted a weight off my shoulders and I immediately felt more comfortable.

Next, I heard the familiar sound of high heels coming my way. Ann, Director of Sales and Marketing (and my boss!) came around the corner. Ann was the first person I met at The Lord Elgin. She is a welcoming, warm-hearted and stylish. Ann truly cares about the people she works around. Her motherly instincts were shown today when she gave me not one, but two scarfs to wear as I left to walk the Rideau Canal.

I also had the opportunity to spend time with Tessa and Liz, as their desks are right next to mine. Liz is hilarious, honest and great at baking. Tessa is young, vibrant and easy to talk to. I am so grateful to be working in the same room as them!

Right now, as I sip on the coffee I got at the Starbucks attached, I feel very professional. I have my own desk in the sales office because Maxine is on maternity leave, and it is really adding to the experience. I will be here until April and hope I can bring a creative flare and energy to The Lord Elgin! I look forward to spending time with more of the staff, building their social media presence (including YouTube videos) and doing anything I can to help out my coworkers.

Looking forward to blogging again,

Kiara

PS- The photo attached is of me and Winterlude’s favourite mascot, the Ice Hog! Today was the first day the Rideau Canal opened. Brrrr!

Author: admin
• Friday, January 18th, 2013

I have been maintaining The Lord Elgin Hotel’s social media sites for just about four months now. This is my main duty at the hotel and I love it so much! Each day I put up pictures, information and so much more onto Twitter and Facebook. Maintaining the pages is crucial, because before guests first come to the hotel, generally looking at the social media sites is an important tool. I really enjoy doing this job. The hotel is very unique and I like to show that on the social media sites. I try to share valuable information and I learn so much in the process. When I first started working at the hotel, I did not know anything about Twitter and now I could probably answer any questions about the website. Social media is a valuable tool and using it is very important. My absolute favourite part about working on the social media sites is putting my ideas out into the world and letting people know about the hotel! I have a wonderful opportunity here at The Lord Elgin Hotel and I feel honoured to represent the hotel in a big way.

Ariana

Author: admin
• Friday, December 21st, 2012

We have had the pleasure of having a co-op student with us who has been a regular contributor to our blog, as you can see below. Her name is Ariana and she attends Glebe Collegiate. She also tweets for us and fills out facebook page with wonderful photos and cute stories, or comments…

As soon as I met Ariana and received her resume and an email, I was very anxious to meet her. Her co-op teacher called me and raved about her. We met one day and her enthusiasm and fabulous smile as well as incredibly positive nature was so impressive, I could not say no. I have had college students here doing their co-op placement, but never a high school student.

Well, Ariana is a special individual. She bikes or walks to the hotel each day, often with her father who keeps her company. She is incredibly conscientious – willing to give up playing with her volleyball team if it interfered with her work here. She is always so willing to try new things and so appreciative of her experience, as you can see in her blog. Her parents have raised her to be an incredibly considerate, hard working, fun-loving girl… kudos to them!

Ariana, you are like a ray of sunshine and a joy to have around – thank you!!!

Ann

Author: admin
• Friday, December 21st, 2012

I have been working at The Lord Elgin Hotel for just about three months now. It feels like just yesterday I walked into the lobby of the beautiful hotel. I remember that day perfectly and it has changed my life completely. I love being at the hotel. I learn something new everyday, I have met so many great people and I always have fun while doing it! I could not have asked for a better placement. Just recently I did a slideshow presentation about my time working at the hotel. This was a requirement for my Cooperative Education class. The presentation was successful and everyone really liked it. I enjoyed making the presentation because it allowed me to reflect on my time at the hotel. I had slides on the team that I work with and how wonderful they are. Other slides included what I have learned, what skills I need and how great my placement has been. I had a great time making it. I was so happy to share all of my experiences with my classmates and I loved hearing about their placements as well. It was a really fun project! I am glad that I still have one more month to learn and experience new things at the hotel, but I will miss it during the holidays!

Ariana