Archive for the Category ◊ Uncategorized ◊

Author: admin
• Wednesday, May 01st, 2013


Name: David Smythe
Place of Birth: Kingston, ON
Graduated from: Loyalist College in Belleville, Hotel and Restaurant Program

Over the past four months I’ve been at the Lord Elgin Hotel, I have seen the extreme leadership and passion that is driven through our GM, David Smythe. It is very clear the respect that everyone in the hotel has towards him and his hard work.

I really benefit from sitting through the 9am daily meetings where every department of the hotel discusses what is happening in their specific area that day. It’s a pleasure to listen to David speak with thorough knowledge of the hospitality industry through different ideas and opinions. He is very busy yet always seems to be organized and calm.

I sat down with the family man and began my interview with five questions.

-What got you interested in the hospitality industry?

My first job was bussing tables at the Royal Military College in Kingston. After that, other jobs that came along weren’t nearly as fun or as interesting. I kept gravitating towards working in restaurants and bars, and eventually went to school for that.

-How did you come to work at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

I received a phone call from my now boss Raymond St. Pierre when I was working at the Holiday Inn in Kanata. He called me up and asked if he could have lunch with me, and it went from there!

-What is it you like best about your job as General Manager?

What I really like best is when I know the hotel has been busy, and the entire team fulfilled our promise of service worthy of a Lord. As well when I know each one of our guests and groups have gone home feeling excited about how their stay was. That’s the best feeling right there- you feel so proud.

-Can you describe yourself with one word?

Committed.

-What is something you would like to improve on, whether in the work atmosphere or life in general?

Personal, I would like to be able to run 10k again. In the workplace, I want the next round of renovations to take this hotel to the next level. That’s what I’d really, really want to happen- both in product and in service.

[To switch up the pattern of my blog, I next asked David to finish 15 of my sentences…]

1. The biggest challenge(s) I face are … business challenges. That’s a reality that is very difficult due to the reduced travel into Ottawa from large business. Things that are beyond our control and not knowing where the Canadian economy is going. It brings challenges and issues for ownership and management. We as managers have to deal with them as they come with a positive and constructive manner and that’s a challenge some days. We must find ways to deals with these changes.
2. The Lord Elgin is … it’s funny , if you were to ask most people they would say The Lord Elgin is a hotel. When you ask me, I would say Andrew Bruce, the current Lord Elgin who resides in Scotland.
3. People always tell me … they have stayed at the Lord Elgin. Or that their parents have stayed there, or their parents have got married there, or their grandparents. It happens all the time. At the Thunder Bay Airport, on a ski lift in Whistler, chatting with people who say “I know the Lord Elgin, I was there 20 years ago.” It’s great that the hotel is recognized all over Canada.
4. The television show I watch … currently, is Game of Thrones. And when Homeland comes back on I’ll certainly watch that.
5. A place I like … first thing that came to mind is Kingston. It’s my hometown. I’m very fond of Kingston. It has the lake, the Thousand Islands, and charm.
6. My fondest memory … my kids being born. Each different, each so memorable.
7. My father taught me … family is everything.
8. I would really like to meet … interestingly, one of the people I wanted to meet was Isadore Sharp, founder of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts chain. And guess what? I met him 10 days ago in Toronto at the OHI Awards. Cool, eh! In the industry he is the one person I wanted to meet.
9. I’ve always been fascinated by … how nature finds a way to remind all of us that human’s don’t control everything.
10. If I could be any superhero … I’d be Iron Man.
11. My guiltiest pleasure … sweets. I like sweets. Chocolate, cake, French pastries, you name it. It gets the better of me.
12. I’m really bad at …being patient.
13. My greatest talent is … I don’t have one. I just have a lot of things that I seem to do well at, or with.
14. Five years from now … I want to be the proudest GM in Ottawa.
15. My favourite motto or saying is … do the right thing.

Author: admin
• Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Our Executive Chef at the Lord Elgin Hotel is Brian Vallipuram. My first impression of Brian’s cooking happened on my very first day of co-op. Ann and I went to Grill 41 for lunch and sat at a booth with a fantastic view of Elgin Street and Confederation Park.

As an appetizer we were given bread and hummus. It was not as simple as it sounds however. It was by far the greatest hummus I have ever tasted in my life- and it was made by Chef Brian. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you come taste it during your next visit to downtown Ottawa.

Chef Brian loves to experiment and create unique flavors. He’s also always opened to adjusting certain meals as to match a guests want or need. Besides his fabulous skills in the kitchen, he is very funny. He always has a witty response to something someone says.

I was excited to ask Brian questions on how he obtained such talents, and other questions I was curious about.

~

-Where were you born, and where did you grow up?

I was born in Sri Lanka. I grew up in Chavakachcheri which is in Northern Sri Lanka up until I was 15 years old.

-How old were you when you left home, and where did you go?

I was 17 when I left home. I first moved to Syria for a couple months and then moved to Italy to work.

-What inspired or influenced you to become a Chef?

Well, when we were immigrants in Europe, cooking is a job that is easily available. In Germany I worked in a very small restaurant where the Chef told me I had good taste. He then started teaching me authentic German cuisine and I have never looked back since. It was in 1987 when I joined Oliver’s Bistro that I learned to recognize Canadian tastes and demands.

-What is your favourite flavour or spice to use?

With my flavours, I like to mix them. Mainly I like to mix the Japanese and Indian spices. A Japanese soy sauce called kappa yokai and Indian spices like fennel, turmeric and coriander seeds.

-How many restaurants have you worked in?

Hmmm. I have cooked in almost every European city except the Scandinavian cities. I’ve cooked in Greece, Italy, France, Holland, Paris and Amsterdam. I have even worked on a cruise ship in Germany where I was a mess boy (sort of like a butler). I served to the ship’s Captain, Assistant Captain, civil engineer, etc. But, as far as restaurants specifically I have worked in five, and have owned and operated three.

-What is your favourite thing about working at The Lord Elgin?

I enjoy the daily challenges of customer needs, such as special requests or demanding guests. I am surrounded by so many different department heads that it always makes for an interesting day. It’s never boring.

-Can you tell me about your new YouTube videos you plan to start?

With the help of Jeremy, we want to have a series of YouTube videos for whenever we have a menu change, new menu items, or new crew members. We will do it in hopes of promoting Grill 41 and to show everyone what we’re doing.

-If you had to permanently live somewhere, besides Ottawa, where would it be?

I honestly wouldn’t trade to live anywhere else, I love Ottawa. I like the people here. There are some warm countries I would like to stay, but people are so friendly and family oriented in Ottawa. It’s getting big but it’s still little and comfortable.

-What is your fondest memory?

The first day I held my daughter Brianna is one of my fondest. I could never forget that day. (Fun Fact: Brianna’s name is Brian’s with “na” at the end)

-How old is your daughter now?

In June she will be six. Last night I took her to the Women’s World Junior hockey game and she very much liked that.

Where is your wife from?

I met my wife in Canada but she was born in Jamaica.

-If you had to choose your final meal, what would it include?

It would have to be authentic Sri Lankan food. Although I do also love classic French, Italian, and German foods, as long as it is authentic. But in the end, you have to go back to your mother roots.

-If you had to describe yourself with a food item, what would it be?

Well I always liked my steak, a USDA prime sirloin.

-If you could be any other person, who would you be?

I would like to be a Robert De Nero, he’s a VERY good actor! I also like Steve McQueen, but he has passed away.

Have you cooked for any famous people?

I have worked for a lot of fine dining restaurants which attracted some elite people. I met Steven Seagal when I was in Toronto. I met Prince, he came to my restaurant many times. Also David Hasselhoff. I have cooked for the Prime Minister. There have been some important people that have eaten my food.

-Any other comments?

Whatever you do, make sure you like what you do and you stick with it. Make sure you have a solid foundation. Without a foundation, you have no house.

~

Brian and I then ordered an egg white omelette and discussed how my phone bill is too expensive and the proper way for me to apply for a restaurant job when I move to Australia in July. Brian is incredibly easy to talk to and is a very genuine and caring person. I came to learn he raised $10,000 for Red Cross for the Tsunami Relief and has catered for many other charity events such as Toronto Child Abuse Centre and Heart and Stroke Foundation.

You’re a good man Charlie Brown.. I mean Brian Vallipuram. 

Author: admin
• Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

The person I chose to interview next was an easy decision- Ravi. He is our Guest Service Manager, one of the most difficult jobs in a hotel and an incredibly funny and kind individual. He is always in a good mood and always chatting up guests and co-workers. Every Friday when I walk in, Ravi and I have our own little “it’s Friday dance” that we like to do.

I was informed yesterday, that Ravi has accepted a new position as the GM at the Residence Inn by Marriott, our sister hotel, as we have the same owner. I know this was sad news for everyone because he is an amazing addition to the Lord Elgin team. His new co-workers will be very lucky to have him!

Before I interviewed Ravi, I was unaware of how wise he is. He has experienced many fascinating things in his life time and he is very inspiring. I’m glad to have sat down and spoke with him before he parted ways with The Lord Elgin Hotel.

-What is your favourite part about your job at Lord Elgin?

What I like about this place is the people that I work with. I think they are awesome. They give the guests the kind of experience that they demand, which pleases me as well as serves the purpose of this business. It is very important to have a happy and motivated team of people. Whether at the front desk or at the valet desk. If I can invoke that kind of motivation in everyone that works here, then I think we have a happy and successful hotel. I believe that the principle I work with is that I have an extremely high level of self -motivation, and look at myself with an inward eye on a daily basis. I show it through other practises as well. This level of motivation is usually passed down to the people who work with me, so overall it serves the businesses purpose. So, that’s the best thing about this place, the team.

-What will you miss most about the lord elgin hotel?

I think the whole experience is something that Ill miss.

-Are you excited for your new job? Nervous?

I am both! I’m extrememly nervous because I am going into an unknown field in a certain manor. I know hotels, but I dare say I know exactly what is being done. I’m excited because it’s a good change for me and I’ve been waiting 10 years for this opportunity. When I last left a hotel it was as a GM in Dubai.

-How many different hotels have you worked in?
Eleven hotels. All in a period of 40 years.

-Can you tell me about a bad experience you’ve had in a hotel? Perhaps a crazy guest or visit?

I’ve had a lot of bad experiences. A lot. I have hundreds of stories. I’ll tell you of my oldest experience when I worked at the InterContinental Hotel in Mumbai in 1975. There was a sooth sayer (like a fortune teller) and she was sitting with her hand under her chin, with her eyes open. She sat there for hours. And… she was dead. She had a heart attack and died in that position.

I originally saw her in the lobby when I left the hotel and I had waved at her. When I returned to work 3 hours later she was still there and I acknowledged her again. Then it was midnight and she was still there in the same position. That’s when I got freaked out. She was in the same position, her legs crossed, hand on chin. I called the security and he tapped her on the shoulder and she just fell over. I had walked by her three times but I was a young guy and just dumb. That was something I will never forget.

-Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in India and grew up in many parts of India. I speak many Indian languages, about six.

-What are the three favourite places you’ve previously traveled to?

Kathmandu in Nepal, I consider that to be a fantastic place. I would say that’s the best.

I also love the Maldives, which is a set of islands south of India, east of Africa- in the Indian ocean. I developed a resort there. It is a fatastic destination, the highest point in all of the islands is 3 feet above sea level and they are surrounded by coral reef. It is extremely beautiful.

Third place I’d say is India. I have very fond memories of India. Most of all the small villages where people are very poor yet extremely hospitable. I find that to be a very gratifying experience to have gained when I traveled there when I was young. Hospitality has no bounderies in terms of rich, poor, black, white, green… it goes beyond that. People who have nothing would share a meal with us because we were travelers and had no place to stay.

-What are three places you’ve never been but would love to go?

South Africa, China and we’ve always wanted to go to Spain. Several places. Oh and especially Brazil, for the jazz music and sambas- and the women!

-What was the happiest moment of your life?

Very difficult question. One happy moment was when I became the GM of a business hotel in Bombay. My goal was to get a job like this within 10 years of graduation. In those days in India, it would take a minimum of 15 years to be a General Manager after finishing school, so I had a real “wow” moment. I decided I was going to work twice the amount of time so I could gain the experience and accomplish that goal. I was very pleased. Of course, marrying my wife in 1977 was also a very happy moment.

-What was the last thing you regret buying?

I don’t buy too much. But a condo in India is the last thing I regret.

-What three adjectives might other people use to describe your personality?

Calm, crazy, and knowledgeable.

-If you were stranded on an island with only one item, what would it be?

A speedboat.

-If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

I would revisit Africa and find ways to sort the state there, in terms of the average people.

-If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

I don’t know, but wisdom does come at 50.

-If you were reincarnated as ice cream, what flavor would you be?

I’ve always liked strawberry, but rum and raisin sounds even better.

-If you could develop any talent (ie. Dancing, singing) what would it be?

The most important thing for people is kindness and generosity. I think I am kind but not generous enough. So I’d like to improve on my generosity. Someone with both is someone who can succeed in life because your wants are not important. Other people have less wants and more needs. We have all our needs but have more wants.

-Any last comments or “send-offs”?

I’ll certainly miss The Lord Elgin Hotel and my team. I’ll miss all the people, people really grow on you. I will also miss Brigitte’s hair colour, that changes throughout the season. All of my experiences have and will always be good, and I am grateful for them.

Author: admin
• Monday, March 18th, 2013

Food, restaurants and taking care of people have always been a passion of mine. Since I was 16 I have always had a job in the food and drink industry. Whether I was hosting, serving, bartending or driving around on the golf cart, I’ve always enjoyed the busy atmosphere.

Natasha Bordier, our banquet and . taking care of a guest, serving meals or simply filling the water jugs, it is definitely a comfort zone of mine.

Today, I was more than happy to ask Natasha a few questions. She’s incredibly hard-working and genuine.. not to mention, I love the way she says my name with her accent (she is from France).

I began with my usual question,

-Where are you born and where did you grow up?

I was born in Dijon and spent all my life in France. I moved to Ottawa three years ago.

-What got you started in the food and beverage industry?

My parents had a company that sold wine to restaurant, and that’s where it started!

-How did you come to work at The Lord Elgin Hotel?

The company that I am working with (Sodexo) offered me a position here.

-What makes your banquet team so awesome?

We are awesome because we all make an effort to work together as a team. Our banquet team is a family!

-What do you believe makes a good banquet server?

A team player, hard-worker, and consumer oriented. You must always have the guest in mind.

-Have you ever lost your cool in a busy situation?

There are times when I get mad and need to go for a walk. I need to take the time to be alone and cool down. I am very passionate so when things get crazy, I do everything I can to not take it out on others.

-What is your favourite way to spend a day off work?

Reading, I love reading.

-How many hours do you sleep at night?

5 hours.

-Who do you admire most in the world?

The most in the world, wow, so many different people come to mind. I really love the first women President in Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Also, any person with drive such as Ghandi or Nelson Mandela.

-If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Passionate.

-Do you cook? If so what is your specialty?

Yes I cook! I think chocolate cake is my specialty. I always love to make one when it is my friend’s birthday. I like to be creative every time and add something new and different to every batch.

-Name three places you have never been but would love to visit?

I would love to go to New Zealand, South Africa, and probably Argentina. I would love to hear the women I find incredible speak, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

-If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Did you ever watch the television series Charmed? One of the witches could be at two places at one time. I would love that.

-Any other comments you would like to express?

I love working with banquets. It very personalized, you don’t have step-by-step rules to follow. People like that we are approachable and friendly. I’m very lucky to have the team I have.

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