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The Questionnaire: Three hotel GMs on fulfilling impossible requests

“Our job is to never say no”

By David Paterson
The Questionnaire: Three hotel GMs on fulfilling impossible requests
George Sovatzis

The Drake Hotel

What you do: “I hire great people and then get out of the way.” Celebrity doppelgänger: “I get asked regularly on the street if I’m education minister Stephen Lecce.” Secret to a well-made bed: “How you tuck the linen—it has to be crisp, with all corners even.” Toronto gem you recommend to visitors: “Roncesvalles. It’s within walking distance of the Drake, and it’s like a little town within the city.” Travel light or pack everything but the kitchen sink: “I pack the entire kitchen.” Dream vacation destination: “Always Greece.” Your summer reading includes…Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. I’ve been meaning to read it for years.” Best drink in your hotel bar: “Our Classic Drake Caesar. I’ve never had a better caesar in my life.” Best room in your hotel: “Our rooftop suite. The decor, the views, the furnishings, the oversized terrace—it is something to behold.” What people don’t know about your job: “I have no desk.” The biggest challenge for hotels right now: “Business has started to recover after Covid, but our slow periods are very slow and our busy periods are very busy. There isn’t a middle ground.”


The Questionnaire: Three hotel GMs on fulfilling impossible requests
Anthony Campaniaris

Nobu Toronto

What you do: “I make magic happen. In the hotel industry, you get the most elaborate requests—I’ve been asked to import Russian caviar in 24 hours and have a department store open for private shopping—and our job is to never say no.” Celebrity doppelgänger: “Gabriel Macht, who played Harvey in Suits.” The secret to a well-made bed: “Flat—not fitted—sheets and a tight tuck.” Travel light or pack everything but the kitchen sink: “Travel light. Who has time for baggage claim?” Item you never travel without: “My Nexus card and Lysol wipes.” Favourite mini-bar indulgence: “I have both a sweet and salty tooth. I clear them out.” Dream vacation destination: “I’ve travelled most of the world, so it would have to be outer space with Virgin Galactic.” Dream job as a child: “I was one of the most argumentative children ever, so lawyer.” Your summer reading includes…The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.” What people don’t know about your job: “They think I have a desk job, but I roll up my sleeves. I could never make a bed as a child, but it’s something I’ve mastered now.”


The Questionnaire: Three hotel GMs on fulfilling impossible requests
Lyle Pauls

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Ace Hotel Toronto

What you do: “I bring guests into our hotel to discover new vibes, great music, local culture, amazing food and kind people.” Celebrity doppelgänger: “Bruce Willis.” Travel light or pack everything but the kitchen sink: “I take a T-shirt, flip-flops and one posh frock. The rest of the space is for my wife’s stuff.” Dream vacation destination: “I just did a trip to Kyoto. I wanted to get a table at Noma before it closed.” Standout celebrity encounter: “I hosted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in Trinidad in 2008. And I’ve had dinner one table over from Mick Jagger.” Your summer reading includes…Che: A Memoir by Fidel Castro. I just came back from Cuba.” The best room in your hotel: “I like the coziness of our smaller rooms, which give you the vibe of the city and have views of St. Andrew’s Playground.” The key to making a great hotel is… “The kindness and care of the people who welcome the guests.” What people don’t know about your job: “People think that my life is all socializing and hospitality, yet most of my time is spent analyzing market data and engaging with team members.”

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