The Infinity Convention Centre was full of stars on Tuesday night as Ottawa Tourism honoured local hospitality and service industry staff that went the extra mile to deliver excellent customer service this past year.
Among recipients were the Lord Elgin Hotel and its restaurant Grill 41, which received three separate honours on the night, including this year’s grand prize.
The Lord Elgin’s Sulin Quant Anastas was named the 2017 Star of the City for her actions in handling a guest’s medical emergency.
After learning that the visitor had been unresponsive to calls from her tour guide, Ms. Anastas went to the room to check on her and found the guest quite ill. Ms. Anastas then called the tour guide and the guest’s spouse to return to the hotel, as well as phoning for an ambulance, all while remaining by the guest’s side.
Ms. Anastas continued her service by translating between paramedics and the ill guest, as she spoke only Spanish. After arriving at the hospital, the guest had emergency surgery for her perforated appendix.
The Lord Elgin’s team and Grill 41’s Tammy Ng were also given the Star Team and Evening Star honours respectively for their day-to-day work in ensuring the comfort of their guests.
Going above and beyond
The Metcalfe Hotel’s Katie Jubenville was recognized for taking a guest’s hearing aids for repairs over her lunch break, as the man was in day-long meetings. They hearing aids were quickly fixed and returned later that day, free of charge.
Travelodge Ottawa East’s Tsvetan Stanchulov literally went the extra distance, driving to Montreal at 11 p.m. to return a guest’s iPad that contained all of the boarding and personal information for his flight back to France. Mr. Stanchulov refused compensation for his late-night rescue.
When a guest of the Westin Ottawa was without professional attire due to a lost baggage situation, honouree Rizalito Quetua stepped up by offering to loan out his son’s suit that had just come back from the cleaners.
Nathan Lodewyk, who works at the office of MP Maryann Mihychuk, was named “host with the most” at the night’s event for his work with a group of Winnipeg students touring Parliament Hill. Despite it being Mr. Lodewyk’s day off, when the students were informed they could only see the Library of Parliament, he took it upon himself to lead private tours of the Peace Tower, the House of Commons and the Senate.
Blueline Taxi driver Rhemat Shinwari was honoured for helping a passenger who left his new phone in a cab on the way to the airport. Mr. Shinwari contacted the dispatcher to get in touch with the original driver, and waited with the passenger while the phone was returned, refusing to accept compensation for his time.
This was the 22nd year for the Stars of the City event. This year, 1,249 nominations were received across 82 businesses in the service and hospitality industry.