“Once you started to talk, you never stopped,” her mother sometimes tells her. It’s affectionate teasing that nevertheless has a ring of truth to it. Concierge Anne-Marie Gauthier really, really likes people. And talking with guests is one of the things she loves about her job.
“Sharing my experiences and discoveries is so stimulating. And in turn, I discover lots of things. I’m curious by nature, and I like to know what I’m talking about when someone asks for suggestions,” explains the 34-year-old.
Anne-Marie laid the groundwork for her future career choice at a young age. At 21, she went to study at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. A freshly minted graduate, she landed her first job at Le Germain Hotel and, later, moved on to the Marriott Château Champlain, where she received her Clefs d’Or, the profession’s highest honour. In May 2017, the Longueuil native secured the position of concierge at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal. Her energy, initiative and listening skills led to her being chosen as the Canadian representative for young concierges at Les Clefs d’Or’s international congress held in Seoul earlier this year.
“That was very rewarding, of course,” said Anne-Marie, “but being able to solve a problem for a client is really just as gratifying.” By way of example, she cites the time when, with the help of a colleague, she organized a helicopter ride for a group of tourists who wanted to play a round of golf in Memphremagog.
And only a few days ago, a guest put in a request for a metal detector. She never found out why and didn’t press the point; the profession dictates discretion.
She also receives scores of requests about pets. Like the one from a client who needed earmuffs to put over his dog’s ears; Rover was stressed out by all the noise and hubbub in the streets during the Montreal Grand Prix.
Her suggestions for outings? “There are plenty, but for ladies who want something original, I’d recommend the Mua Moi workshops (muamoicosmetics.com), where you can make your own lipstick, or the Ruby Brown workshops (rubybrown.com) that let you create personalized fragrances. As for restaurants, Foxy (Notre-Dame Street) is a great choice, with meals grilled over a fire pit or roasted in a wood-burning oven, and there’s also the extraordinary vegan restaurant LOV on McGill Street.”