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Hotelier Christiane Germain on Risk and Perseverance

Business tips from the co-president of Groupe Germain Hotels.

Christiane Germaine

Since launching the first Le Germain Hotel in 1988 in Quebec City, Christiane Germain has opened another five across the country as well as a line of budget-friendly, design-savvy accommodations known as Alt. With a new Alt slated to open in St. John’s this fall (and four more properties in 2018), she’s on track to reach her target of running 20 hotels by 2020.

1. My go-to app, so I can browse detailed world maps without using data.

2. In business, now’s a good time to build on Canada’s momentum. The country is seeing a rise in global travellers, so we’re building new properties as well as launching a brand of hotels called Alt+.

3. The biggest risk I ever took was opening a hotel. My brother Jean-Yves and I invested everything we had in our first Le Germain. I was 33 at the time.

4. What I had to learn on the fly How to be a hotelier! At the beginning, I was extremely hands-on with the operations, working at the front desk and taking care of guests as well as staff.

5. In my luggage, you’ll find my folded Longchamp bag, in case I need more space on my return trip.

6. Best place for a business lunch Laurie Raphaël in Montreal. It has a nice view of the city, it’s not too loud and the Quebec-inspired food is amazing. I usually order one of the fish dishes.

7. I always listen to my daughter, who’s the general manager of the Alt Hotel Montreal. I appreciate her perceptive vision of corporate culture and employee management.

8. My business mantra When something is important to you, never give up. I’m all about perseverance.

9. My eureka moment was in 1986 when I stayed at the Morgans Hotel in New York. I fell in love with its minimalistic design. My brother and I looked at each other and said, “Why don’t we do this in Quebec City?”

10. Window or aisle? Aisle, so I can get up whenever I want without bothering anyone.



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