In a little over a decade, Hôtel Quintessence has taken its place as a destination of choice in Tremblant for travellers from here and abroad. It has also become a lighthouse shining its light over the whole region. Much of this success is due to its General Manager and his team, because over the years Michel Tremblay has been able to pass on his vision and passion for his profession to all around him.
“Some day I’d like to own an inn where I could serve Spanish coffee to guests.” Michel Tremblay spoke these words at age 16, and now they’re part of family lore. And rightly so. They say everything about the personality of the future General Manager of the first five-star boutique hotel in Tremblant, his passion for service and his dream of a warm haven dedicated to wellbeing.
An impeccable track record
When he finished high school the young man naturally enrolled in Hotel Management at Collège LaSalle, despite his father’s fears. “Courses in hotel management weren’t thought of very highly back then and unfortunately they still aren’t, despite the crying lack of manpower. My father was afraid that I wouldn’t have a career that met my aspirations,” he recalled. To somewhat soothe his father’s fears, he took a few courses in the Faculty of Law at Université de Montréal. He had a number of positions in the hotel sector then worked at Collège LaSalle for a few years before going to work for the sales departments of two grand hotels in the region of Montréal. He found these experiences very enriching.
In the Laurentians, in 2004, his career took a turn that brought him back to his passion. Sean O’Donnell and Steve Courey, founders and partner-managers of Hôtel Quintessence, asked him to join the team as Director of Sales and Marketing, then as General Manager. “From the very beginning, they wanted an old-fashioned five-star hotel with matchless, authentic and warm customer service.” Michel Tremblay jumped at the chance to join their adventure. Twelve years later and after a short detour to manage three hotels at Station Mont-Tremblant (Le Westin Resort & Spa, L’Ermitage du Lac and Le Bondurant), the same flame still burns inside of him and he still speaks about his profession with contagious enthusiasm. “We want our clients to feel at home here. Our staff is very attentive to our visitors. For instance, every day we deliver wood to the suites for the fireplaces, we prepare a hot chocolate bar for children’s après-ski activities during the school holidays and we’ve adapted to the specific needs of the Ironman athletes who are around in June and August.”
Note that to satisfy the guests in its thirty suites, Le Quintessence doesn’t hesitate to deploy up to eighty-two employees in the high season. “To maintain the standards of a luxury hotel, we have to provide a vast range of services all year round,” Mr. Tremblay explained. With incomparable hosting and personalized service Le Quintessence has seen generations of clients come through its doors, all experiencing the same pleasure.
Commitment to the community
Michel Tremblay is deeply attached to the Tremblant region and pours his energy into various community organizations. Every year, as vice-president of the Fondation Tremblant, he helps to organize fundraising campaigns for children in underprivileged families. He also sits on the marketing committee of Tourisme Mont-Tremblant, which works to promote the destination and its attractions. “Le Quintessence has an enviable occupancy rate, but we have to work closely with our regional partners for our businesses and help the community,” he said with characteristic modesty. In the hotel itself, every fall, there is a benefit wine tasting, La Quintessence des Vins, to support the Rotary Club in Mont-Tremblant.
Le Quintessence also loans its walls to local artists to display their works and is a major sponsor of Chœur Tremblant, a choir in the area.
More than a luxury hotel, Le Quintessence is an emblem and its success is good for the whole region. What else could we hope for in coming years? “Over time we have developed the Quintessence brand and I really hope it will extend to major destinations around the world,” the manager confided. A Quintessence in Canada or Europe someday? It’s his new dream!
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