“A city where anything is possible”
He’s only held the title of hotel concierge for three years, but one has to wonder if Thomas Bellefeuille wasn’t preparing for the job when he was a teenager. As a youngster, he was interested in everything and took genuine pleasure in sharing his discoveries.
It was Julie Faucher, an instructor at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, who put him on the right track. “It was there,” he said, “that I discovered the profession, that I found out what I wanted to do with my life.”
Today a concierge at the W Montreal Hotel, near Victoria Square, Thomas pursues his passions of discovering, informing and organizing with unbridled enthusiasm. For this member of Les Clefs d’Or, the international organization of concierges of the best hotels, if there’s a perfect city in which to practise this profession, it’s Montreal.
“Montreal,” explains Bellefeuille, “is the very incarnation of diversity. There’s a solution to everything, even if things can sometimes get a little complicated. Like the time a guest asked me—with four hours’ notice!—to find a nightclub that played house music and that would serve a birthday cake at midnight while a mariachi band serenaded the guests... I was, of course, also tasked with finding the mariachi band. Well, I actually pulled it off! That’s Montreal for you: so diverse that anything is possible.”
For anyone wanting to experience this diversity, Thomas has one or two dining and activity suggestions.
“For discerning palates who want to venture off the beaten track, I like to recommend the restaurant Manitoba, where the menu includes several nods to Native American culture. You can dine on seal or pig’s foot broth with edible plants.
“If someone is looking for a unique experience in the city, I suggest they take a stroll through the Latin Quarter, on Saint-Denis Street, during the Montréal Cirque Festival. That’s a real buzz! Or around Mile-End, on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, between Saint-Viateur and Laurier. There are many gems to discover, such as the Yul Designs store or the Lawrence butcher shop.”