When You Fly Into Richmond…
When people fly into Vancouver, BC, they usually can’t wait to jump on the Skytrain and check out all those gorgeous views downtown on the waterfront. Or rent a car so they can drive up the Sea to Sky Hwy for those incredible views from Vancouver to Whistler. You can’t blame them. Who wouldn’t want to inhale all that fantastic combination of nature, city and highway?
But if you got some time for coming, going or exploring, it wouldn’t hurt to stay for a night in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond where the airport resides. Complimentary airport shuttle, stress free parking and Skytrain are available. Apparently, a lot of people agree with me, as after a night of staying at a nice suite at the Executive Hotel Vancouver Airport and enjoying a yummy breakfast at Free Bird Table & Bar, when I asked if I could stay another night, was informed all four towers were sold out. Oh well, look forward to staying there again.
Before I had to hit the road, had a fab lunch with the hotel’s big cheese, Regional Director of Hotel Operations, Harald Kurtzke at their casual restaurant Free Bird Table & Bar. Always fun to talk to a total pro with a ton of experience. So between bites of my Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich and sips of Harald’s coffee, we had a nice time doing the NSI quiz. The web gal was unavailable for the meeting but she was envious when I described my chicken sandwich. Cheers and enjoy…
What was last night’s dinner? Dined at home with my wife, had filet of sole. Delicious.
What’s your favorite music? I like all types of music, but to unwind, I like country and western.
What makes a great hotel? It’s changed a lot over the years, but in the end, it still comes down to the staff you hire. If you hire the right people who care about making the guest’s stay the best experience as possible, then you’ll always be in a good spot.
What’s your favorite drink? Depends on the day, but I always love a good scotch on the rocks.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Richmond? I like the Free Bird right here for casual. But if I want to blow it out a little or entertain clients there’s no better place than Shanghai River Restaurant, just down the street. Just fabulous Cantonese cooking that I’ve had a lot of compliments on.
Favorite thing about living and working in Richmond? The diversity. Just incredible all the stores, restaurants and business that come from all over the world who settle here and thrive.
Any brush with celebrity? When I ran a place in Toronto, I got to meet Paul McCartney, nice guy, very down to earth, but in the end, celebrities just want their privacy and be treated like anyone else.
Any wine, restaurant or trip on your bucket list? I’d love to take my wife to Argentina. I was very lucky as a young man to experience Buenos Aires, incredible food, wine and culture. So, I’d love to show my wife around.
Final thoughts? Coming out of the pandemic it’s going to be a lot harder to hire and keep good staff. Just a fact of life now. But I love this business. And I live to serve.