Specialists Fill Unique Roles at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
28th March 2013– Every destination has its own personality and ambiance, which is why Fairmont Hotels & Resorts boasts an array of unique jobs for colleagues who bring out the best in their locale. In Kenya, on-staff Naturalists can answer any and all questions about the savannah and its inhabitants, while in Barbados a Beach Butler will help guests create a serene oasis for a relaxing escape. In California, a Forager is on staff to take advantage of the state’s legendary culinary bounty, and in China a Tea Sommelier guides guests through a range of options at the historic Jasmine Lounge in Shanghai. Whatever the destination calls for, Fairmont will find the perfect colleague to highlight it for guests.
The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, introduced the world’s first Green Butler when it reopened its doors 10th October 2010. In addition to providing all the traditional ‘butler’ services such as unpacking and packing (using recycled tissue paper, of course), serving morning coffee and arranging receptions, The Savoy’s Green Butler also has an in-depth knowledge of ‘all things green’ around London. Nicolas Ollivier, the appointed Green Butler, is superbly placed to make sure that a stay at The Savoy opens guests’ minds to a different side of London. He advises guests on the areas of the city using cutting-edge sustainable technologies, eco-restaurants, eco-bars, environmental architecture and eco-retail. Butlers are available for suite guests and prices for suites start from GBP 1100 per night.
Even when lounging on the beach, guests at The Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados don’t have to worry about getting hungry while enjoying the surf, sun and sand – the property’s Beach Butlers are poised to cater to guests’ every seaside whim. Available from dawn until dusk, the hotel’s four beach butlers provide guests with much needed beach essentials, including frozen fruit kabobs, towels, and mineral water. The butlers are also available to look after possessions while guests take a dip, deliver tropical cocktails and nibbles, fetch items left in the room, buy camera film, make a spa, dinner, or golf reservation or even change a flight home. For an extra special treat, they can arrange a Sunrise Picnic on the scenic East Coast of the island.
Decades ago, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands were intrigued by the aloha, charm and warm hospitality of the Waikiki Beach boys. Their cultural knowledge, ocean skills and storytelling talents are legendary. This tradition, and the spirit of old Hawai‘i, thrives at The Fairmont Orchid through the resort’s Hui Holokai Beach Club programme. Beach Ambassadors lead kayaking and snorkelling adventures right off the hotel’s white sand beach, teach local and Hawaiian shoreline fishing techniques from an outrigger canoe and love to show novices surfers how to Hang-ten.
From April to October, the Fairmont Monte Carlo makes it easy for guests to experience one of the four glamorous private beaches in the Principality. A dedicated multi-lingual Beach Butler, located in the hotel lobby all day long, ensures that guests are specifically taken care of and that any last minute requests are met. A beach shuttle service is offered during the entire period for guests and the Beach Butler goes along with them to the beach to make sure they are properly settled, and will come to pick them up when they’re all done. Guests will also receive a complimentary Fairmont Beach bag with beach towels and fan to enjoy during their day by the water.
Those wondering how to pop the question can leave all their worries behind as Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Proposal Planner plays cupid to suitors seeking the next step in love. The Proposal Planner maps out the perfect path to the big question and ensures that those taking the “lover’s leap” is a walk in the park! Offering a little something special for everyone, proposals can include anything from fireworks to an airplane banner in the sky. It’s easy as one-two-three…make the call, discuss budget and set the date. Then that ‘perfect proposal’ is exclusively designed for that special someone. The only rules of engagement – bring the love and the bling!
In California, Chef Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows uses the help of Official Forager Kerry Clasby to find delicious additions to his ever-changing menu. Kerry and her team head out into California’s countryside from San Francisco to San Diego to gather produce from local farms that are then featured in the restaurant’s delectable dishes. A forager for many years, Kerry is a master of finding the tastiest organic and sustainable food that highlights the best of the region.
At the new Fairmont Beijing, food takes centre stage. Lunar 8, is a chic Asian Fusion restaurant featuring interactive, open kitchens. At the Noodle Station, a dedicated Noodle-Maker twirls and whirls fresh noodles before diners’ eyes. With many years of noodle-making experience, these speciality chefs have their own special recipes for selecting the perfect powder to produce delicious dough. There are several styles of twisting the dough, but they all employ the same concept: a piece of dough is repeatedly stretched and folded onto itself in order to align the glutens and warm up the dough for stretching. The process includes many steps, and only a master knows when the noodles are just right.
At more than 20 Fairmont hotels around the world, Beekeepers are actively maintaining apiaries that pollinate local plants and provide delicious, local honey for onsite restaurants and bars. Whether they are chefs, local farmers or qualified staff members, Fairmont’s Beekeepers have been tending their hives with great care, and created a sweet ingredient for cocktails, desserts and more. For a look at current hives, visit: fairmont.com/promotions/fairmontbees/.
All guests’ fish stories are safe with The Fairmont Vancouver Airport as are all the prize catches with the hotel’s unique Fish Valets. When anglers arrive at the airport from their favourite fishing destination, they are picked up and whisked away to the hotel, where their fish will be kept in pristine condition until their flight home. Guests can be assured that their “Big One” is properly stored in a 575 cubic foot fish freezer kept at –15 degrees Celsius on the Departures level of the hotel. It’s not that unusual to see a 100 lb (45kg). halibut come through the door and find its way for a chilly overnight stay. The valets never tire of hearing stories about that “big catch” or “the one that got away”, and guests who are in the know make sure to ask for Executive Chef Geoff Carkner’s signature recipes for Cedar Roasted Pacific Salmon with Roasted Fingerlings and Watercress Pistou and Queen Charlotte Island Sable Fish with Braised Puy Lentils and Chorizo.
The first of its kind in Egypt, Noble House restaurant at Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers offers a taste of China by adding an exclusive welcome ritual and ceremony performed by Tea Master Tao Qiang from Shanghai. Tao puts on quite a show by demonstrating his exceptional skills of pouring hot green tea from a long-necked teakettle into tiny tea bowls from the distance of a meter and half. His graceful performance beautifully reflects the Chinese tea culture and is not to be missed.
Edwin Vargas, Tea Sommelier at Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, received his certification from the Metropolitan Tea Company in Toronto and serves Afternoon Tea every weekend from 12:00 Noon until 3:00 p.m. Adults, children and their canine companions enjoy this lovely tradition in the hotel’s Loggia overlooking the serene courtyard garden. He believes that each tea blend is rich with culture and history. The culinary team has created savory and sweet afternoon tea fare menus to complement Fairmont’s extensive tea collection. Guests may choose from over 19 fruit, herbal, green, black and wellness teas such as Kyoto cherry rose, safari masla chai, flavoured black vanilla orchid and high antioxidant blends.
Fairmont Singapore hosts interactive tea tasting sessions with Qiu Hui, a Kung Fu Tea Master, at the premium Chinese restaurant Szechuan Court. The original term “Kung Fu Cha” literally means “making tea with effort” and guests are intrigued by the spectacular display of nimble acrobatic tea pouring moves as the Kung Fu Tea Master serves up a cup of Chinese Tea.
At Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Chief Concierge Jim Anderson, knows wine and as such is often referred to as THE Wine Concierge. Aside from having a true passion for wine, he recently received a certificate of merit from WSET (Wine and Spirits Educational Trust) based out of London. Jim prides the resort in providing oenophiles of all levels bespoke wine touring itineraries. Whether it’s a exclusive library tasting at one of Napa’s most lauded tasting rooms, or a Sonoma Coast horizontal pinto tour, Anderson know more about the Valley’s wine history, winemakers and “soon to be discovered” grape delights than any professional in the area.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has two expert epicures at the resort – a Tequila Goddess and a Beer Cicerone. Jessica Evans is a “Cicerone Certified Beer Server” and certified beer expert from the Brewer’s Association. As she continues to study for her Level 2 “Certified Cicerone” exam, she also advises resort guests of the best beer in the world. Danielle Griffin of La Hacienda restaurant travelled to Mexico for extensive training in tequila and is now one of only a very few in the world to earn an individual diploma from Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (the only institution to verify and certify the compliance of Tequila with the Mexican Official Standard). This “Award T” accreditation, similar to a sommelier, enables her to provide guests and fellow La Hacienda staff with more in-depth knowledge of this special spirit and the assurance that the restaurant’s unique selection of more than 130 tequilas are all certified.
Fairmont Mayakoba is the first hotel in Mexico to spice up the cocktail hour by introducing a Mexican Craft Beer Tasting to enjoy hard to find Mexican artisanal beers. Upon request Luis Garces, Certified Beer Server by the Cicerone® Certification Programme, will share his knowledge and enthusiasm for beer hosting a guided tasting paired with botanas (Mexican tapas). Priced at USD 25 per person, the “Craft Beer Tasting” it is a fun encounter filled with lively conversations and great food where beer is the star of the show. Featuring a selection of four artisanal beers from boutique brewery Microcerveceria Gourmet Calavera, guests will be pleasantly surprised by the body and fragrance of the selected cervezas artesanales with hints of orange, vanilla and even chocolate and chilli.
Nobuhiko Sano at the Fairmont Singapore is widely known for being the first certified Sake Sommelier (Kikisakishi) in Singapore and works closely with Mikuni’s Executive Chef Moon Kyung Soo to create exquisite sake pairings to complement the restaurant’s dynamic Japanese cuisine. Originally from Tokyo, Sano-san is a seasoned coach and trainer in the exquisite and precise art of Japanese fine dining. A member of Japan’s Sommelier Association since 1989, Sano-san takes great passion in introducing novices to the intricacies of enjoying and appreciating sake. He has masterfully curated the extensive sake list at Mikuni and is committed to introducing diners to more interesting varieties of sake, some of which are offered exclusively only at Mikuni. His passion and knowledge of sake is only equaled by his affinity to service excellence and he is committed to providing his guests with a warm, personalised dining experience at Mikuni without the stiff formality that is generally associated with fine dining.
As Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth‘s Chocolatière in Montreal, Carole Proulx has a passion for Valrhona Grand Cru chocolate and admits to needing her daily dose. She appreciates the creativity and freedom her work allows her and continuously strives to create the finest truffles with lasting taste, intense and aromatic flavours. Available throughout the hotel’s outlets, including the legendary Beaver Club restaurant and the Gourmandise Boutique, her exclusive truffles and chocolate showpieces are always in high demand. A few of her most popular creations are chocolate milk truffle with Québec maple liqueur, chocolate-covered caramels with fleur de sel and sugar-free dark chocolate squares with creamy ganache.
At Fairmont Chateau Whistler Pastry Chef, Laurent Bedard, is a certified Chocolatier, receiving his training in France, Shambry over 20 years ago. To show off his talents, the resort recently launched a “Chocolate Bar” at Mallard Lounge. Each of these chocolates is single origin from different plantations around the world. All of the chocolate comes in whole and unflavoured, after which Laurent is in charge of melting the chocolate down, infusing it with the different flavours noted and then recombining it all. Laurent is also famous for creating impressive chocolate creations for clients.
Fairmont Palliser’s Chocolate Artist, Karthikeyan “Karthi” Sengottaian, wows guests with his incredible food art – making sculptures from just chocolate, sugar & dough using only a chopstick & the back of a small knife. Set up in the hotel’s Pastry Shop, Chef Karthi has transformed the space into so much more than a kitchen. Whether making intricate creations for Christmas time or a wedding, Chef Karthi’s attention to detail creates stunning 3D designs from 2D images. Chef Karthi’s childhood love of Playdough and his superior skills in Pastry were the genesis for developing his extraordinary talent for creating food art, which were on display in honour of the Calgary Stampede’s Centennial Celebrations last year. Chef Karthi created magnificent chocolate statues commemorating Calgary’s western heritage for display throughout the hotel, including a chocolate bull, a bust of Stampede founder Guy Weadick, and a bust of a First Nations chief. Chef Karthi used a total of more than 80 kilograms of white, milk and dark chocolate to complete the scrumptious masterpieces.
The newly reopened Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai has seen decades of history pass through its doors. Jenny Liang Peach, the hotel’s Resident Historian, is an expert in Cultural and Art History, particularly the “Internationale Moderne” and Art Deco periods of the 1930s – the decade in which the Fairmont Peace Hotel opened its doors. Jenny works in the Peace Gallery – the museum, gallery and heritage centre of the hotel, and while she grew up in Australia, her family comes from Shanghai and can boast of “four generations on the Bund”.
Dave Moberg has worked at The Fairmont Banff Springs for the past 50 years, and during those years has worked almost every job in the hotel. Currently he is the guest relations manager and Hotel Historian and his enthusiasm for his job and the hotel is as vibrant as ever. ‘Mo’ as he is called by colleagues and friends, leads the daily hotel tours and is a favourite among return guests. He works closely with the public relations team on media appearances and features, many may have seen him on TV or read about him in a travel article in which he shares his incredible stories of celebrities, heads of state and royalty that have stayed at The Fairmont Banff Springs. Mo knows all the secrets of the hotel from the past 125 years, and his stories delight and amaze. His daily tour is not to be missed when staying at The Fairmont Banff Springs.
The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui’s fulltime Learning and Cultural Coach, Jonelle Kamai, is responsible for training and perpetuating the Hawaiian Culture, through guests of the resort and internal colleagues. Jonelle, who has been trained by The Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA), leads Hawaiian cultural training for all new colleagues of the luxury resort, focusing on the concept of ho’okipa (hospitality) and the responsibility of being hosts to guests in Hawai’i. She is also responsible for the hotel’s award-winning Hawaiian Cultural Activity programme, that offers guests the opportunity to experience outrigger canoe paddling, as well as Hawaiian language, history and cuisine.
In the enticing woods of Quebec, Bill Nowell, a biologist by training, is Fairmont Kenauk’s Manager of Recreation and Fisheries. The resort is set on 65,000 acres of protected wilderness domain, originally granted by the King of France in 1674. One of North America’s largest and longest-established private fish and game reserves, the preserve boasts more than 70 lakes within its borders, 25 of which Bill helps manage for fishing three species of trout, two species of bass and northern pike. Bill’s many other responsibilities include keeping populations of deer (1,500), moose (65), bears (60 to 80) and wolves (a pack of 6 to 10) healthy, because Kenauk spans a variety of ecological zones, the forest is unusually mixed, supporting about 200 bird species.
In Barbados, Turtle Ambassadors at Fairmont Royal Pavilion are stewards of a family of green back turtles who live in the bay outside the resort. These turtles still nest on the golden crescent sandy beach, and the ambassadors offer guests complimentary snorkelling daily with the animals. The Turtle Ambassadors impart their knowledge about the turtles, their habitat and nesting season.
At Fairmont Mara Safari Club in Kenya, guests who come for safari will be treated to evening lectures and guided walks with the resort’s Resident Naturalist, Jonathan Ledama. Whether they go on a guided bushwalk where they can learn about the plants and animals of The Mara firsthand, or simply accompany him on a walk around the resort grounds to learn more about Masai culture and local ecology, the fascinating talks captivate visitors and provide an in-depth look at the world around the lodge. At nearby Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Simon Mureithi is also a Resident Naturalist. Guests can walk up into the Forest Reserve with Simon, who is a font of local information as well as highly knowledgeable about birds and trees. Qualified as a professional guide, Mureithi has done a course with Nature Kenya and participated with bird-ringing projects in the Rift Valley. He also offers evening classes in Kiswahili to Club guests and has trained many Club drivers to be naturalists.
In 1899, Canadian Pacific Hotels introduced professional Swiss Mountain Guides to the Canadian Rockies. For over 55 years these Swiss climbers taught thousands to ascend mountains safely, making over 250 first ascents in these mountains, the majority of them accompanied by novice guests. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise revived the time honored guiding tradition in 1997. The guides, who are award-winning naturalists, offer adventures for all skill levels and continue the legacy of the Swiss guides. In winter, The Mountain Heritage Guides take guests for ice canyon hikes or snowshoe walks during the day or by moonlight, and teach about the magnificent geography of the area. Resident Naturalist and Heritage Guide Bruce Bembridge worked as a schoolteacher and specialised in outdoor education before making full-time guiding his career, and has lead the hotel’s programme for many years.
The falcon is classified as a schedule one highly endangered species according to the Wildlife Protection Act, but this majestic animal has found a home at Fairmont Jaipur in India. In the ancient times, falconry was a sport practiced by the Royal families, who hunted wild quarry using trained birds of prey. Shahid Khan, the only living Indian UNESCO certified Falconer in India, is the proud owner of four falcons, and even boasts his own captive breeding programme. Originally from Jaipur, Shahid comes from a long line of falconers & practices with the endangered falcons around the hotel grounds.
Mexico’s world-renowned Sand Sculptor, Calixto Molina, delights guests at the Fairmont Acapulco Princess. Last summer he led seminars at the iconic resort teaching his techniques to those who love to create works of art in the sand! Kids in the camp created a replica of the resort’s pyramid, an enormous life-like octopus, and a sandcastle straight out of a fairy-tale book. A celebrated “Artist in Residence”, Calixto has garnered numerous international prizes and accolades.
Bright is his name and silver is his game! At Fairmont Château Laurier there are over 20,000 pieces of silver to be cleaned. Silver polishing is a full time job in Ottawa’s castle, which appropriately named, Bright, has been doing more than 20 years. Each large piece is hand polished and accounted for, Bright also distributes all of the silver to the various function rooms making sure that our image remains “untarnished”.
In Quebec Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu stays true to its roots with a homegrown ice rink all winter. To keep things slick and smooth, a dedicated Zamboni Driver manoeuvers the hotel’s very own machine across the ice all season long.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth is highly committed to the environment and is adept at finding a second life for every item on property. Several employees at the hotel dedicate time and efforts to prolong the life of material, such as Janie Younes, Wood Finisher at the hotel for the last 10 years. She is responsible for maintaining, restoring and refinishing all furniture in the 1,037 guest rooms, restaurants and public areas. Throughout the day, Janie is in contact with many guests who are curious about her work and she happily shares tricks of her trade. Even young guests are intrigued by her craft and she invites them to take a brush, mix stains and become pint size artists during their stay.
For more information or reservations, please call 00 800 0441 1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.
|ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTSFairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand’s distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognised internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership programme. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties.
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