When you enter the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, your eyes go straight to the concierge desk. Behind it, Margarita welcomes me with a smile. Thanks to her daily yoga practice, her serenity is apparent and even manages to relax our past president, Toni Daoud, who is standing next to her.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Margarita graduated from Centennial College’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Program in 2004. After falling in love with the mountains, while working in Park City, Utah, during the 2002 Winter Olympics, she decided to move to Banff, Alberta to work at the majestic The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. It was during her time as a lounge server that she realized her passion for providing excellent service to her guests. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, after two and a half years and worked at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. During her time in Vancouver, she realized how much she enjoyed giving guests advice on where to go and what to see in Vancouver.
Margarita then decided to move back home to Toronto. She drove across the country with her husband, Mike. During the cross-Canada drive, Margarita set a goal to become a concierge once she arrived in Toronto. Her career began when she was hired at the InterContinental Toronto Centre as a concierge. After a couple of years, she started her journey to become a member of the prestigious international concierge association, Les Clefs d’Or Canada, by attending meetings and she became a full member of Les Clefs d’Or in 2011.
In 2012, Margarita decided that she was ready for a new challenge and joined the pre-opening team of the Shangri-La hotel, Toronto. Very involved within the association, she is currently serving a successful first term as the Regional Secretary of Ontario.
Q&A with Margarita:
Craziest concierge story? A guest asked me to come up to her room because she was stuck in her boots. I was with her for about 30 minutes trying to open the zipper.
Celebrity you would love to meet? Adam Levine: he is talented, good looking and a dedicated yogi.
Best memory as a Les Clefs d’Or member? When I received my second key and became a full member.
What’s your hidden talent? I’m crafty.
Favourite place in Toronto? I have 3: my home, the yoga studio and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
Favourite meal? Breakfast for lunch and dinner, followed by dessert!
Biggest fear? Falling – bungee jumping, sky diving, etc.
Biggest pet peeve? Spelling errors
Favourite word? “Funny” – I always say “Wanna hear something funny?” or “That’s so funny.”
Coffee or tea? I prefer water…
Favourite pizza topping? Pepperoni
Favourite TV show? I (secretly) love reality shows.
Favourite website? YouTube
Edited by Xavier Guidis
Concierge, Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto.