01 2019 Hotelia Awards : Five years recognizing and celebrating exceptional hotel initiatives

Montreal, October 25, 2019 – Over 150 hotels and partners from the tourism industry gathered together last night to celebrate the best in Montreal hotel initiatives. The winners in the six categories were honoured at this event presented by Café Brossard. The jury also awarded a special mention to one candidate whose leadership and creativity particularly won them over.

“For the past five years, the Hotelia Awards evening has given the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal the opportunity to showcase hotels that consistently come up with innovative ideas and offer unique experiences to millions of tourists every year,” said Eve Paré, President and CEO of the AHGM.

The entries were evaluated by an independent jury made up of experts from different areas of the tourism industry. Let us once again applaud the following winners of the competition’s fifth edition:

Montreal, Welcoming City, presented by Tourisme Montréal

This award is presented in recognition of strategies developed to welcome tourists to Montreal. The establishment, team or individual must have put into effect concrete and innovative tourist hospitality initiatives that enhance the destination experience. The initiatives must contribute to building loyalty among tourists in Montreal and directing them to their areas of interest with the goal of offering them a memorable experience.


Web check-in

Always at the forefront of innovation and the latest trends, Hotel Monville has, since August 2019, been able to boast being the first hotel in Canada to offer a web check-in service for visitors. Hotel Monville wanted to improve the customer experience and allow guest to check themselves in, up to 48 hours before their arrival. Thanks to a simplified functionality, only about twenty seconds are required to check in. And to further optimize the process, all the pre-registration information is automatically recorded in the property’s PMS. By simplifying the work of employees and streamlining the booking process, the new web check-in service has created a winning formula for everyone!

The jury commended this hotel’s pioneering approach in implementing automated web check-in, which facilitates the process of welcoming visitors travelling for business or to attend conferences and conventions, and positions Montreal as a market leader.

Bright Idea, presented by Videotron

This category recognizes novelty, innovation and creativity in the hotel industry in all its forms. The award is presented to an establishment that has brought about a distinctive improvement or technological solution to enhance the client experience. The innovative project can have been developed by an employee, a team or the establishment, or in cooperation with a complementary organization.


Raising the Crystal to another level

The Hôtel Le Crystal’s bright idea is an open management style that listens to the establishment’s “Diamonds”—its employees—and gives them the power to be involved in creating an unforgettable customer experience. To further the achievement of its objectives, the Diamonds have carte blanche at all times. The principle guiding this initiative is that every act, every expense and every courtesy is a shared investment that contributes to the experience as well as a sense of belonging and pride. Each Diamond’s creativity is welcomed! The Hôtel Le Crystal is committed to encouraging each Diamond to express their personality and individuality in order to allow them to create their own unique WOW moment.

The jury applauds Hôtel Le Crystal for having the audacity to allow employees to develop personalized connections with guests and to recognize that each employee can make a difference.

Social Responsibility, presented by Éco-Logixx

This award is presented to an individual or team whose initiatives will have a lasting economic, social and environmental impact.


Planet 21 program

In an endeavour to create a better future, the Fairmont Tremblant team joined the Planet 21 program, which recently garnered the establishment a Platinum award. The program’s innovative actions and initiatives have raised $5,000, which was donated to a number of charitable initiatives such as Habillons un enfant, the Osez le donner campaign in support of the cause of La vie en rose and victims of conjugal violence. The team’s efforts were handsomely rewarded during the 24h Tremblant event, where they raised $22,000 for sick children. Within the hotel, the Fairmont Tremblant is committed to sustainable business practices with a local focus, including offering regional products and cultivating a chef’s garden on the terrace.

In recognition of the many initiatives based on the ambitious objectives of the Planet 21 Program, which have had several beneficial impacts on the local community, the jury salutes the involvement of every person on the Fairmont Tremblant team.

Stroke of Genius, presented by PSAV

This award is presented to the establishment that has enhanced its visibility and reputation through an original, innovative and effective campaign. The award recognizes one specific marketing strategy or communication.


50th anniversary of the Bed-in for Peace

Fifty years have now passed since the famous couple of John Lennon and Yoko Ono checked into a room on the 17th floor of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel and staged a protest against the Vietnam War, from their bed! It was historic moment for the city of Montreal, which hosted the couple and their weeklong event, during which Lennon composed and recorded his famous hymn to peace, Give Peace a Chance. To commemorate this legendary event, the hotel teamed up with the YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport in an innovative partnership that saw both companies proudly add a peace sign to the letter “O” on their respective marquees. For several months, passers-by looking up saw the words: H☮tel and M☮ntréal!

To mark the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-in for Peace, the hotel created an event that brought worldwide attention to Montreal and that, in turn, helped raise funds for Amnesty International.

The First Star, jointly presented by Group Censeo and Manulife

This category recognizes a front-line employee who has distinguished themself through their engagement, loyalty, rigour, professionalism, sense of customer service and attention to detail, among other attributes.


Giovanni Di Sano

Giovanni has worked at the Omni Mont-Royal for 32 years. He is a concierge that nobody forgets! Known for his impeccable service, he consistently impresses guests, who consider Giovanni the “best concierge” they have ever met. Giovanni is not only genuine and blessed with an instantly likeable personality but he also possesses the gift of being able to connect with people and make unforgettable moments happen. In fact, for the 10th year in a row, Giovanni was named “service champion” by his peers. In addition, as a proud member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada, he mentored a colleague to help them obtain their golden keys.

In honour of his long career, his boundless dedication, the high level of recognition by his peers and his interest in the next generation, the jury voted for Giovanni and noted that his altruism and perseverance commands the respect and recognition of the entire industry.

HR with Heart, presented by Placement Sacrée Soirée

This award goes to the manager (supervisor or team leader) who implemented the most innovative measures to boost their teams motivation, performance and personnel retention rates or to train new staff.


Laurent Plantavin

Director of Food and Beverage at the William Gray Hotel, Laurent Plantavin is a dedicated manager who is continually involved in his team. Using creativity and leadership, he launched several projects, in collaboration with the Human Resources Department, including a system of one-time bonuses, performance and attendance bonuses, discount coupons to recognize work overloads, and many others! The passion and innovative ideas he brings to his job are contagious and have helped improved employee retention and their sense of belonging.

The jury salutes the creativity of this manager, who has implemented out-of-the-box initiatives such as the bonus system and flexible work schedule, which plays a crucial role in employee retention.

Special Jury Mention

HR with Heart category, presented by Café Brossard


Marc-André Dandeneau

A graduate of the ITHQ’s Tourism Technology program, Marc-André Dandeneau is an ambassador for the next generation! And for good reason. To mitigate the effects of the labour shortage and to offer students an immersive experience, Marc-André developed the Relève Crystal program, which allows an ITHQ student to obtain a job at Hôtel Le Crystal during his or her training, along with a scholarship covering the full amount of the student’s tuition fees. Through this program, the student acquires a 360-degree experience working in the hotel and alongside its teams. The program’s first year was a great success, and thanks to this new skilled, passionate and effective workforce, the hotel was able to resolve many of its employee availability issues!

​The jury was won over by Marc-André Dandeneau’s original succession planning initiative, which solves a workforce problem while training the next generation and which was also deemed worth replicating on a large scale.

About the Hotelia Awards

Organized by the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal (AHGM), the Hotelia Awards seek to promote the best practices and initiatives in the areas of marketing, human resources management, community involvement, eco-responsibility and public relations. They also aim to highlight and recognize the excellent work of hotel employees who ensure the success of Montreal’s establishments. Discover all the winning projects by visiting www.prixhotelia.com and reading the articles published in HRImag and that will be posted on the AHGM’s Facebook page in the next few weeks.

About the Hotel Association of Greater Montreal

The Hotel Association of Greater Montreal (AHGM) is the professional association of the leading hotel establishments in Montreal. Its mission is to play an essential role as a driving force as well as to represent its members, who are indispensable to the growth and development of tourism and the economy. The AHGM engages, informs and supports its members through the promotion of practices that meet the highest standards of excellence in the world.

About Café Brossard

Since 1956, Café Brossard has specialized in importing, roasting and distributing coffee beans and ground for restaurants, hotels and institutions. Each hotel has specific needs that depend on the clientele it serves. With this in mind, Café Brossard takes charge of purchasing, installing and servicing all the equipment needed to ensure that all operations connected with coffee production and distribution by the establishment’s employees run smoothly. Based on its extensive expertise acquire over decades, Café Brossard’s believes every aspect of the operation should be seamless. Like all family-run businesses, they consider that customer satisfaction is still the greatest reward.

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