Confessions of a concierge - Véronique Bourgeault

At only 30, she already has a long track record in the hotel industry. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management, Véronique Bourgeault served successively as assistant cook, hospitality host, waitress, maître d’, supervisor and, since 2012, concierge.

Being a concierge in a major hotel means doing absolutely everything in your power to satisfy a client’s every need. It’s a job that requires tact, discretion, a great ability to anticipate, excellent people skills and a lot, a whole lot, of initiative.

Véronique told us about the time Johnny Hallyday asked her to book a whale-watching tour in Tadoussac for his whole crew. “I had to make rush reservations in Saint-Hubert, on the South Shore of Montreal, for a round-trip flight, return transportation to Tadoussac, and a cruise, all with 24-hours’ notice.”

“Really, though, I love this profession,” said Véronique, who is also the regional director for Clefs d’Or (Montreal region), an international association of more than 4,000 concierges from all over the world. “Every day brings a new surprise. It’s really rewarding to help someone’s dream come true and make their stay memorable.”

Not only rewarding, but extremely interesting, too. To say nothing of the fascinating people you meet when you’re a concierge. “I will always have very fond memories of meeting Alice Cooper, an engaging and highly cultured person. There was also Roger Federer, a charming, modest and incredibly nice man,” said Le Mount Stephen’s concierge.

Véronique’s picks

When asked to recommend a few things to see and do, Véronique’s response was, “Montreal is infinite. Among the neighbourhoods I love is the western section of Laurier Avenue, because it’s teeming with local artisans and designers. In terms of restaurants, Europea (1227 De la Montagne Street) is a culinary experience. They pay attention to the details of every dish, like, for example, their cheese ‘cigars,’ which are served in a cigar box! Another of my faves is the Club Chasse et Pêche (423 Saint-Claude Street), for its braised piglet risotto with foie gras shavings. For guests who want to get moving, I recommend a snowshoe excursion, including hot chocolate, on Mount Royal. The views of Montreal from the mountain at night are just magical.”

Les coups de cœur de Véronique

Et lorsqu’on lui demande de suggérer des choses à voir ou à faire, que conseille Véronique? « Montréal, c’est sans fin, dit-elle. J’adore, entre autres, l’avenue Laurier Ouest, parce qu’elle regorge d’artisans et de designers d’ici. Il y a aussi le restaurant Europea (1227, rue de la Montagne) qui offre toute une expérience culinaire. Chaque plat est plein de petits détails, comme les cigares au fromage servis dans une boîte à cigares. Ou encore le Club Chasse et Pêche (423, rue Saint-Claude) pour son risotto au cochonnet braisé et lamelles de foie gras. Et pour les gens actifs, je recommande les tours en raquettes sur le mont Royal, agrémentés d’un chocolat chaud. Voir Montréal de cet endroit en soirée, c’est magique. »