Inclusion Checks In: The Alt Hotel, St. John’s, NL

Alt Hotels is a brand of the Germain Hotels group, which started in 1988 with Hôtel Germain-des-Prés in Quebec City. Since then, it has grown into 3 branded hotel chains (Le Germain, Alt and Escad) and stretches across Canada. The Alt Hotel St. John’s was opened in 2017 and overlooks the St. John’s Harbour, offering spectacular views of the world-famous Narrows. While the view may truly be second to none, it’s just the start of the Alt guest experience. Because at Alt Hotels, it all comes down to comfort. It’s a maxim espoused by Hugo Germain, Director of Development at Germain Hotels, and is infused into every aspect of hotel design and the guest experience. For Clarah Germain, Director of Rooms at The Alt Hotel St. John’s, building that comfortable guest experience starts with the most basic and yet indispensable aspect of the hotel experience: linen and laundry.  

Clarah said: “Alt and Le Germain Hotels pride themselves in offering extremely high-quality linen and very comfortable bed. Our laundry team cleans, folds and presses the linen and is responsible for bringing it on the floors so our room attendants can make the beds. It’s a very important piece of the puzzle!”

So when Alt Hotel St. John’s needed to ensure they had a solid team taking care of guest needs, they did not hesitate to make inclusion one of the cornerstones of building that team. Ready Willing and Able (RWA) reached out to Alt in the summer of 2021, and Clarah was eager to learn more about inclusion: “RWA approached us and we were very happy to book that meeting,” said Clarah.  

RWA connected with one of its community supported employment partners, Empower The Disability Resource Centre, and candidates were quickly forwarded. Alexandra joined Alt Hotel St. John’s as a Laundry Attendant shortly thereafter, and has been working there now for almost 6 months. When asked about Alexandra’s contribution to the Alt team, Clarah said: “It is an absolute success and honestly, there have been no challenges. Alexandra does a fantastic job and is very well adapted to her work environment. She is very appreciated by the team. Alexandra is responsible, with her colleagues, for one of the most important aspect of the guest experience.”

About the relationship with Alt, Taylor Cassell, RWA Labour Market Facilitator, said: “Working with the Alt has been fantastic because they did the one thing an employer needs to do to participate in inclusive hiring: HIRE. The Alt really put their support of inclusive hiring into action by hiring Alexandra and after hearing how beneficial she is to the Alt team, it’s evident that the inclusive hiring model works”

Inclusive hiring is working so well for Alt Hotel St. John’s that Clarah is delighted not only to maintain an on-going relationship with RWA, but also to recommend that other employers make the leap to inclusive hiring as well. Clarah said: “I believe in inclusivity for EVERY position, and I do genuinely believe that it just makes a better place of work for everyone. Inclusion is not just a philosophy, it needs to be a concrete action. Employers should just do it!”