Hozpitality Interviewed Serge Dufresne, General Manager of Les Suites Tremblant, a group of 7 hotels which totals approximately 900 rooms and is managed by Intrawest in the world class, 4-season Tremblant Resort.
Between 1988 and 1991 Serge learned European and Caribbean Culinary Management & Training Roles and worked at Les Trois Tilleuls, in Quebec. From 1991 to 1997 he worked in Quebec log homes and country estates, learning a new trade. He returned in the tourism domain as the Club House Manager for Mont-Tremblant Golf Club. From 1997 to 2002, he turned his passion into a concrete achievement opening his own catering company called Le Marmiton des toits rouges, creating a culinary experience for private parties in their own homes. From 2002, he held positions directly related to hospitality management in the Caribbean as an F&B Director and Sales and Catering director. He later returned in Quebec as a General Manager in a congress center at Best Western Drummondville Hotel Universel from 2007 to 2010. Back to Mont-Tremblant, he was named General Manager of Les Suites Tremblant in 2010 and holds this position since then.
Hozpitality:- Why should a visitor come to your hotels, what is special here?
Serge:- The pedestrian village is quite unique in its kind, offering over 75 shops and restaurants to choose from, steps away from your hotel! During winter time, our hotel is also ski-in, ski-out, very close from the lifts of a world renowned ski destination. In Summer time, Tremblant welcomes numerous events and music festival, high level sports events such as the Subaru IRONMAN 70.3 Mont-Tremblant and the Subaru IRONMAN North American Championship. Tremblant is a four-season destination offering activities of all kinds of families, couples, friends, group and business travelers.
Hozpitality:- How are you different from others?
Serge:- Everything! Our staff, our offer as a complete destination, our direct flights from Toronto, our European feel, our accent, our smile. You have to come and visit us to fully understand the span of how Tremblant is one of its kind.
Hozpitality:- Tell us more about your F&B outlets?
Serge:- Our banner offers breakfast and some units are equipped with a full kitchen. If you don’t feel like cooking, the pedestrian village has anything your heart desires. A grocery store, grills, bistros, cafés, bars, sports bars, Mexican, Asian, Japanese, Mediterranean, French, Savoyard restaurants. It’s quite a challenge to try them all during only one stay….!
Hozpitality:- Where do you see your property in the coming 3 years time.
Hozpitality:- Tell us about your contribution to your property?
Serge:- I was involved in the development of the different agreements to welcome Holiday Inn Express in Tremblant, and in the process of having the property and services respecting both Tremblant and IHG brands standards.
Hozpitality:- Did you win any awards, what are they for?
Serge:- Tremblant has won many awards, but was recently named no1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America by the readers of SKI Magazine, and is among the world’s best 25 ski towns according to National Geographic
Hozpitality:- Tell us something about career development, training and staff motivation in your Hotel.
Serge:- Both IHG and Tremblant have a rigourous standardized training program that our employee have to follow. We have a peer recognition program too, that allows colleagues to outline a specific peer action per season. Employees with the most peer recognitions will get rewarded and one person per department will win a grand prize at the end of the season.
Hozpitality:- What’s your most urgent priority for 2014?
Serge:- Finalize all the details and follow the renovations schedule closely to make sure that Holiday Inn Express Tremblant is ready to welcome its first guests as soon as possible.
Rapid Fire questions:-
Hozpitality:- What was your very first JOB?
Hozpitality:- Your wife makes the best food for you always. Once you do not like the food she cooked for you, what would you do?
Serge:- It does not happen as I am the one cooking!
Hozpitality:- What’s in your fridge, right this moment?
Serge:- Only Milk and cereal as I am travelling
Hozpitality:- What’s your definition of an ideal houseguest?
Serge:- Pleasant, jovial and mindful.
Hozpitality:- Hot tea or cold Coffee?
Serge:- Hot coffee, but it’s not part of the choices! If I have to choose then I would say hot tea!
Interview by Raj Bhatt, CEO- Hozpitality Group, MENA and North America.