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Ritz Carlton recherché

Date: 27 Apr 2014

Citywealth

“Montreal has suffered from the Sars epidemic. It did put travellers off and because of the credit crunch the City has had a general lack of investment but now there are a lot of new hotels being built which is always a sign that prosperity is back. There is an economic development programme planned in 2025 of $50bn which will catapult the City into the limelight. We consider Montreal to be the Europe of North America without the jetlag of having to actually go to Europe. Our people are friendly, relaxed and approachable.

“From the hotel’s point of view, we want to get to know our guests before they get here,‚Äù says Torriani, who counts the Park Hyatt, Shanghai amongst his favourite hotels. “It’s like our treasure hunt because we want to offer unique experiences. We print lists of every guest and talk to the staff before every shift. We really like to take care of families and so have made 20 of our bedrooms have connecting doors. I spend a lot of time looking at details. How the best bed is made and how the sheets fold. We have a special pull-up fold for instance so that guests don’t struggle with the sheets when they go to bed.‚Äù

In touch, in style

“We know we have to appeal to clients in a relevant way,‚Äù explains Torriani who is also a former competitive swimmer. “Times change so we can’t sit on our product because we know we will get left behind. We are aware of what’s changing and are always looking for something interesting so for Maison Boulud we tried baby asparagus this week.‚Äù It has meant the restaurant has become one of the gems of the City.

“With this renovation we took on an old building and under-estimated how difficult it was going to be. We had to change everything. Although we will look at other projects now, we wanted to finish this well before we moved on. Construction and opening is the hard part, then it’s stabilising the business then it’s fine to move on. We are at that stage now.

“Day to day we have an executive team who review the hotel and guests. I will greet guests and send them off but also have lunches and do walk-arounds. We have budget meetings to check all the buying and do room rate analysis. People associate luxury with ease but it’s easy to over spend, you have to be very smart. Our sheets are washed by old fashioned laundries to keep the threads intact. I think it is as important to have our back of house running like the front so we celebrate what has been done well and the team get involved with the community.‚Äù

Smart thinking

“One of our disasters turned to success was in the construction process we had a fire caused by a pipe getting too hot. We worked out how to redirect the heat to the swimming pool to recycle the energy,‚Äù says Torriani proudly.

“Finally, The Residences we have launched help us give the Ritz Carlton offering for life. We have 45 residences for clients who want their own property but with the pleasure of having our hotel service 24 hours a day.‚Äù

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