Kea Diamond

GM, Canalta Hotel, Moosomin SK

Canalta Hotel | Moosomin SK

I have been in the Hotel Industry for 4 years.
I have worked in 2 hotels in Canada + Internationally.
My first job/position in the hotel industry was at a Sandman Hotel in downtown Calgary in 2007.

The number of times I have…
opened a hotel: 1
renovated a hotel: 0
removed a dead body: 1
escorted a guest off the property: 4
seen a ghost in a hotel: 0
kept “it” confidential: 25
driven a guest to the hospital: 2
dealt with an “Act of God”: 3
performed Housekeeping Duties (made beds, scrubbed toilets): 100
taken a sick day: 0

What does it take to be a GM?
Multi-tasking!!!! Always smiling, willing to listen and always help out.

The three things I can’t live without are:
1-My supervisor.
2-My maintenance person

My caffeine fix: Coffee, 2-3 cups.

When I wake up, the first thing I think about is they didn’t have to phone me in the middle of the night for anything! Yay!

The Hotelier (or person) that has inspired me the most is my mentor, Darrlynn Fair (from the Canalta Hotel in Melfort). She has the most phenomenal customer service skills I have ever seen. She seamlessly juggles her staff, guests and family life for a balanced and happy workplace. She is confident without being cocky and has a way of making an angry guest into a happy one within a matter of moments. She always defends her staff and backs them completely.

My most famous hotel guest was The Honkeytonk Man (former WWF Wrestler from the 1980’s).

My most bizarre special request from a hotel guest was a guest who repeatedly asked for extra coffee in the morning (not bizarre, I know) but he would always answer the door buck naked! It got to the point that we would leave an entire basket of coffee in his room for him.

Best CANADIAN hotel for business travel: I have stayed in many hotels, I love the Canalta chain (biased I know, but we really cater to the corporate traveler  and I really like the Home Suites Inn in Regina SK.

Best RESTAURANT in a CANADIAN hotel: I LOVE the Walliser Stube in the Chateau Lake Louise.

The best advice given to me.
Breathe! Just do what you can and stay calm.

My biggest pet peeve when visiting “other” hotels are dirty rooms, and limited amenities.

The Hotel amenity I can’t live without: Wireless Internet.

The worst feeling in the world is firing someone. I still get sick to my stomach.

If I could change one thing about the hotel industry, it would it be for a universal rewards program instead of a different one for each chain, like a HAC Rewards Card or something like that.

If I could meet one person (alive or dead) it would it be Jack Layton. He was such a charismatic man. I think he was a big force in catching young people’s attention. I am sad to see our government without him.

If I had to do it all over again, I would take more days off. The work is still waiting for you when you get back.

I prefer:
Night over Day
Summer over Winter
West Coast over East Coast
Sunset over Sunrise
Loud over Quiet
Rock over Classic Music

The “best hotel story” of my career.
May 1st 2011. BIGGEST Snowstorm Of The Year.
A very isolated snowstorm along the number one highway only stretching a few hundred km. People had left their homes in t-shirts  shorts and flip flops because the weather had been beautiful. By 9am, there was over a foot of snow. The hotel was sold out completely by 11am with stranded travelers. By noon,  there was close to 3 feet of snow so they closed the highways as people were getting stuck repeatedly.
Despite the weather, it was a great day to see people come together and help one another out. People who had rooms with two beds, offered their spare beds to people who were not able to get their own room. There were card games in the lobby and guests cleaned  the rooms (only 3 staff members were able to make it that day!). People arrived with strangers that they had picked up on the side of the highway. Our maintenance man was running back and forth to a local restaurant getting people food. I took 3 teenage girls to my house with me because we had nowhere for them to stay. The next morning saw clear skies and plowed roads. Everyone left in a huge convoy to their destinations. It was a remarkable day to see so many people come together and make the best of a bad situation.