Marriott VIP Manager Canada
Courtesy of Alexia T.

Name: Alexia T.
Position: VIP Manager
Hotel: Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel
Dream destination: Bora Bora, Kyoto, Amalfi Coast, Serengeti National Park, the Northern Lights in Iceland … I have a dream to explore the world and all it has to offer, one destination at a time!
Drink or treat of choice: A nice glass of white wine. Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. I also love indulging in a rich, creamy cheesecake or a decadent chocolate mousse.

If you were thinking The Devil Wears Prada or The Princess Diaries when you read the headline, maybe there’s some of that in Alexia’s job, but above all, her mission as a VIP Manager is to go beyond expectations. In her role at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, Alexia works closely with elite guests (AKA, Marriott’s most loyal customers), “nurturing and developing relationships with them,” she explains.

“My job is to meet the needs and expectations of high-profile patrons who expect exceptional service and attention to detail. I coordinate special amenities and services for our guests, such as personalized welcome gifts, room upgrades, special dining arrangements, and exclusive access to hotel facilities. I oversee the seamless arrival and departure experiences of these elite guests.”

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To do this, Alexia also must coordinate with every department in the hotel so they can all ensure these guests receive the highest level of personalized attention. For example, she keeps track of their preferences and special requests to ensure a consistent and exceptional experience during each visit and that they have everything they expect and more every time they stay at the hotel. “I strive to exceed their expectations at every opportunity.”

Marriott VIP Manager Canada

Courtesy of Alexia T.

Like many of our associates, Alexia started her Marriott journey with an internship after graduating from college. Hers was at the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, in Dubai U.A.E. After her internship at the exclusive Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai, she went back to Canada where she tried it all — from front desk to food and beverage to housekeeping — before landing at VIP management.

Keep reading to learn more about her journey, including her favorite part of the job.

How would you describe your Marriott experience in a nutshell?

I’ve been with Marriott for almost 10 years, and I haven’t felt the need to change companies. Marriott has amazing travel benefits, takes care of its associates and always gives you the opportunity to grow within the company, if that’s what you’re looking for. I’ve always been happy working for Marriott and really value them as a company. I’ve had the opportunity to work in different departments and I’ve always felt supported by my team and management. Overall, I would describe my experience as a Marriott associate as fulfilling, rewarding, and filled with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

What was your Marriott interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?

Marriott’s interview process is very specific. With the STAR questions, they are looking for answers with specific situations, tasks, actions and then the result. Allowing you to give as many details as possible regarding a very specific situation, how it started, what you did, and how it ended. Whether it be positive or negative. I love how detailed you can make it and how deep it can allow you to go.

All I can really say is trust the process and be honest and truthful. No matter how silly the question may seem, or how simple the answer can be, be specific, and give details. Remember to also showcase your problem-solving skills and ability to work well in a team. Be prepared to provide examples of times when you have worked under pressure or handled difficult situations.
In terms of tips for candidates, I would say to thoroughly research the company and its values and come prepared with specific examples of how you embody those values. And most importantly, be yourself and let your personality shine through during the interview process. Good luck!

Proudest moment of your career so far?

The proudest moment in my career so far was being the lead in the junior business council when we took on the project of the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer 2019, Montreal to Quebec City, an over-200 km (about 124.27 mi) bike ride. We formed a Marriott team, where we recruited riders to help raise money for the Jewish General Hospital. We had less than 6 months to prepare and in the end, we managed to be close to 17 riders in total and we raised over $65,000. We bagged groceries for donations, we organized a spaghetti dinner with a dunk tank where invites got the chance to dunk General Managers from different Marriott properties across Montreal. We had a lot of associates involved and it was a huge success.

Marriott VIP Manager Canada

Courtesy of Alexia T.

I was one of the 17 riders, and over two days, we rode our bikes all the way to Quebec City. What a challenge that was, but when we finished, what a relief, what an accomplishment! It is such an amazing feeling to be a part of this journey with this amazing team coming together to give back to our community for a great cause.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Meeting new people! All the different people I get to meet on a day to day. It’s constantly changing. I also love giving great service. I love making people feel warm and welcome, making them feel like they’re home when they come to stay at the hotel. I love connecting with people and discovering different things about them. I also love having the opportunity to live and work anywhere in the world. There will always be hotels, no matter where you go. I truly enjoy the diversity and cultural exchange that comes with working in the hospitality industry. Every day is a new adventure, and I thrive on the fast-paced environment and the challenges that come with it. Building relationships with guests and colleagues, and creating memorable experiences for them, is what keeps me motivated and passionate about my job.

What are some of the most exciting projects you’ve been able to take part in at Marriott?

Working with the Junior Business council I have been able to take part in amazing community initiatives and projects supporting different organizations across Montreal. We’ve organized Winter Clothing drives, where we asked all associates in all the Montreal Marriott hotels for their participation in collecting as much secondhand winter clothing as possible (hats, scarfs, boots, gloves, etc.) and we personally deliver these items to those less fortunate on the streets of Montreal. Right now, I’m assisting in the organization of a Mentorship Program, with the Business Council, where young associates can network and meet General Managers or Executive Directors and have them become their mentor for a duration of time. I love being able to participate in projects like this with Marriott. It’s really rewarding to see the impact that our projects have on the community and how they bring our team closer together. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on sustainability projects, such as reducing single-use plastics in our hotels and implementing eco-friendly initiatives.

Marriott VIP Manager Canada

Courtesy of Alexia T.

What are your favorite Marriott perks, benefits and resources?

The number one perk is the hotel discounts, globally. You can travel almost anywhere and stay at Marriott property with your discount. Not only that, but there are also great health and wellness benefits, including access to fitness centers and discounts on spa services. The company also offers career development resources, such as training programs and opportunities for advancement within the company. Additionally, Marriott provides a supportive and inclusive work environment, with employee assistance programs and a strong sense of community among colleagues. I love that!

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

The whole family gets to enjoy it and even my friends. My husband and I once traveled to Barcelona, Spain, where we stayed at the AC Hotel Gava Mar, and it was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed the culture and the different experiences of other Marriott properties so that we can also recommend these brands to our guests and friends. We even use it for Montreal weekend getaways and last-minute trips as a family. My sister lives in New Brunswick, so we use the Marriott Explore travel discount to go and visit with her and her family. It’s been a great way to save money, it has allowed us to travel more often and experience new places without breaking the bank.

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