Why you need a concierge in your life
I love to meet passionate people, especially passionate women who are turning their passion into a dream job. The first time I met Cynthia Polanco, the bubbly Salvadorian lady behind Cynthia Conciergerie, I was entirely charmed by her contagious energy, her unparalleled style and her unconditional love for Montreal. This former hotel concierge is now offering her services as a personal concierge, which means that she will search the city extensively to recommend the best places, and often the hidden gems our town has to offer. As a true Montrealer, she likes the city for its multiculturalism, for its diversity and also for its legendary conviviality. I sat down with her to discuss the in and outs of her exciting job and to chat travel, fashion, beauty and more...
1. What is the role of a personal concierge not affiliated to a hotel? What kind of services do you offer?
The role of an independent personal concierge is similar to what regular hotel concierges do in the sense that we both provide main recommendations anything tourism related. For example, we will recommend places to eat, places to visit, places to shop, etc. However, since we are not affiliated to a particular hotel, we are free to recommend any hotels in the city to our customers and we have the privilege to have different partnerships with luxurious hotels such as the St-Paul Hotel, the Crystal Hotel and others.
Cynthia Conciergerie strives in providing not only regular or basics recommendations but THE Best recommendations in town. We are ready to do anything that could make our customer’s life easier. Another thing that makes us different compared to a hotel concierge is that we also take care of event planning where we organize all different type of events such as bachelor/ette parties, engagement sessions, corporate parties and even weddings!
Although we are Montreal based and concentrate ourselves mainly in our city, we do travel often and provide the same type of services and recommendations to major cities such as for Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Miami, etc. At Cynthia Conciergerie, we don’t see people as room numbers, but as what they really are: People with different backgrounds, experiences and challenges. Therefore, our goal is to really get to know them and create a special relationship founded with trust, personal interest, love and good vibes only.
2. What inspired you to become a personal concierge?
I think what has motivated me the most is my genuine interest and love towards the other person and my immense love about Montreal. As l say all the time, l am a «Montreal lover» and l can’t get enough of discovering new places, experiencing new menus, learning about new galleries, etc. I think that in nowadays, it is hard to keep a balance between our personal and professional lives. This is why my team and l have committed ourselves to make people’s life easier by taking care of them so they could rely on us and discover or rediscover Montreal if applicable.
3. Are your clients mostly Montrealers or tourists?
Our clientele is mostly composed by local people, business women and men, Montrealers who requires all types of recommendations & coordination and event planning. However, we do have tourists coming outside of Quebec, Anglo-Canadians and Americans. We do get a little more women than men and their age group is located between 25-40 years old.
4. Can you tell me about an event that you are proud to have organised?
One of our most recent experience was a total premiere this summer when we were first asked to help to organize a wedding, which it is not something that we have promoted as a service, but that we are certainly able to manage as l have personal experience in that field. We were very excited to coordinate a wonderful vintage and luxurious car transportation for our guests and provide them assistance with private entertainers, DJ, and more.
We also took care of a group of 40 Americans coming for an Engagement party that we assisted in organizing. It was quite a challenge to set everything up in restaurants and brunch places, especially on a Sunday, when it is very busy in Montreal, however, they were all very happy about the service and their experience in Montreal!
5. Can you describe your perfect weekend in Montreal?
My perfect weekend would start with a delicious brunch from Le Cartet in Old Montreal, followed by a spa retreat to one of my favorite spas at Bota Bota. Then l would take a bixi to follow the Lachine Canal from Old Montreal to explore the Atwater Market and its local products. I will then stay in the Little Burgundy area to enjoy a delicious meal from Joe Beef and come back to Old Montreal to enjoy a Spritz Aperol on a rooftop terrasse at the Nelligan Terrasse. There is so much that l would do that this small paragraph won’t have enough space to contain everything! For more ideas and recommendations don’t hesitate to contact us via the following form. (Plus we could get you VIP dining reservations at Joe Beef for real!!)
6. Can you name three Montrealers you find inspiring and explain why?
Three is a hard number… I think about Tea-You for building her local fashion empire through the social medias, The Elias Sisters from Elama Fur, Danielle Otou from Female Department, Nalie Agustin from Nalie.ca, Lolita Dandoy from Fashion is Everywhere, Marie-Annick Boisvert from Marianik PR, Thomas Vernis owner of Dolcetto & Co, Santos and Tommy Café + Apéro Jakub Srodtz from Régal Matinal, etc. All the things they have in common and that l admire is their passion for what they do, their commitment towards their goals and dreams and their hard work to make their dream reality. Entrepreneurship is never easy but patience, passion and hard work are the keys to the success.
7. What are your favourite places for shopping in Montreal?
I have different boutiques l always go to and have a thing for local boutiques such as Willis Couture, Masabni, Mèche The Label and Denis Gagnon. I also love the classic and simple style from Judith & Charles and the personalized service l get from their team. For home décor, l love Artemano and L’Intervalle for shoes.
8. How would you describe your personal style?
I like to have a professional appearance, especially l participate to different media launch events or press conferences when l met new customers or during business meetings with different vendors or partners. However, l am a natural fashionista and a fashion lover, therefore, when l attend anything fashion related, l tend to be a little less formal and add more pop to my outfit.
9. Since you are a busy lady and that you are always out and about in the city, what are your go-to beauty products to freshen up before going out? Although l love makeup and beauty products, my best go-to beauty products will be my lipsticks. I never leave the house without a bright lipstick on my lips and in my purse. If it is missing, l literally feel incomplete haha! A good lipstick that illuminates your skin tone and a nice touch of bronzer to raise you up when you feel tired would be my best go to products! Those and water! I drink a lot of water during the day and l think it helps a lot to have a nice bright and clean skin.
10. What are you most grateful for in life?
I think the most important thing l am grateful in life would be at first the fact that l am alive and in good health. Having health is the most important thing in life as it allows you to do the things you love and experience wonderful things. I am truly grateful to count my mom, Lissette Polanco as my biggest supporter, who has taught me the value of hard work in life and to not be afraid of what you are neither what you do, and so my boyfriend Mihailo, who could not be any more supportive and helpful with all the work that Cynthia Conciergerie entitles. In fact, Mihailo is not only a supporter but is also part of the team!
I am grateful for my team and the choice l have made through entrepreneurship by allowing myself to do what l love the most and create a name and a reputation little by little and especially to all my customers who have put their trust in Cynthia Conciergerie and allow me to be what l am, their Personal Concierge.