Alexi Hakim – General Manager, InterContinental Toronto Centre

Alexi-Hakim,-General-Manager,-InterContinental-Toronto-CentreThe InterContinental Toronto Centre was ‘holiday-central’ recently with its first annual Festival Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. From the early days of December to the ‘Countdown in Downtown’ on New Year’s Eve, the property pulls out all the stops for the holiday season, says General Manager Alexi Hakim.

1. What can guests at the InterContinental Toronto Centre look forward to over the holidays?

Hakim: “We enjoy making the hotel as festive as possible for the month of December. It adds a welcoming touch for guests, making them feel more at home during the holiday season. In addition to our tree lighting ceremony we are offering various holiday specials at Azure Restaurant & Bar, from daily festive lunches and dinners, Christmas dinner on Dec. 24 and 25 , and our annual ‘Countdown in Downtown’ on New Year’s Eve, inclusive of a four-course dinner, party favours and featuring live DJ stylings of Bello sound.”

2. With its high-profile street-facing location and beautiful décor, Azure has become a dining destination in its own right. What is Chef cooking up for Christmas Day?

Hakim: “Our four-course prix fixe Christmas lunch and dinner have several choices for guests to pick from. Some of the highlights include our pomegranate and Bosc pear salad, a maple bourbon glazed Ontario turkey with sage stuffing, sweet potato and cranberry, and finally our sticky toffee pudding. As always, Chef is very accommodating to different dietary needs, and everyone will surely find something to entice their appetite.”

3. The hotel is a stone’s throw to the Rogers Centre and Ripley’s Aquarium, and connected to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. What’s your corporate / leisure mix and are you looking to boost either of those in 2016, or do you see both markets as stable?

Hakim: “The convention and corporate markets are strong in 2016, which is complemented by being the only hotel attached to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We anticipate growing our meeting and event business due to our fresh and renovated function rooms in May 2016. Our new and loyal leisure travellers will continue to enjoy our location since we are easily accessible by Union Station and the new Union Pearson Express, with many attractions nearby. All of these markets play an important role in our success and while it is stable, we are always looking for ways to increase and boost our share in all markets.”

4. The hotel is offering a special package in conjunction with the new musical, Cinderella. Can you give us some details about the package?

Hakim: “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella is an amazing production, and our package lives up to that. With the tickets we have included overnight accommodations in our renovated Feature Rooms, a Cinderella shoe shopping spree, a bottle of sparkling white wine and a delicious cake. We have also included complimentary WIFI, late check-out and a buffet breakfast for two at Azure Restaurant. This package would make a truly magical holiday gift!”

5. How do you connect with travel agents?

Hakim: “InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) provides special rates to travel agents worldwide which are subject to availability and can be reserved on ihgagent.com or by calling our central reservations office. In addition, our business travel team regularly visits our travel agency partners year-round. This gives us the opportunity to share exciting updates about our property, and connect with our loyal supporters in person.”