These are this year's best hotels and resorts in Canada—as voted by readers by CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER.
REOPENINGS SALES & RENOS July 14, 2020
Coast Hotels now on Vancouver Island. Element Toronto opened in June. Fairmonts reopen across the country. Great Wolf Lodge replaces huge shingle roof. Naramata opens its restaurant. Financing for Delta Quebec City. Ricky’s All Day Grill comes to Hinton Best Western. Vibrant Hospitality takes over HIEX in Regina. W Toronto opening delayed. Whistler’s Crystal Lodge has major rebranding.
Coast Hotels now on Vancouver Island
VANCOUVER — Late last month, Coast Hotels announced that it has entered into a franchise agreement to convert the Sandcastle Inn, Parksville, B.C. to a Coast Hotels property — Coast Parksville Hotel. The hotel welcomed guests under the Coast Hotels banner starting July 1, 2020.
The 36‐room property, which underwent modernization, is ideally located in the beach-side community of Parksville. Guests to the property will enjoy a comfortable stay in the refurbished rooms as well as easy access to key Parksville attractions and amenities – within a couple of blocks.
“We’re really excited about this partnership, and the direction we’re taking the property, working with Coast Hotels”, remarked Shakil Adam, president Evergreen Hotels. While we’ve always enjoyed strong summer occupancy, we’re looking forward to channeling the power of the Coast Hotels brand to grow our business success year-round.
Coast Parksville Hotel is located at 374 Island Highway West, across the street from Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park and two blocks from the beach. The perfect location for family-friendly travellers, the property also boasts pet-friendly rooms.
“Core to the Coast Hotels brand is being what we call refreshingly local, and Coast Parksville definitely fulfills on that promise. The property look and feel embraces the west coast colour palate, with its cedar accents. The ownership is invested in the Parksville community and on-property ambassadors are well versed on local businesses and services, encouraging guests to experience Parksville like a local”, noted Coast Hotels VP Hotel Development & Revenue Strategy, Mark Hope.
Coast Parksville marks Coast Hotels’ fourth property on Vancouver Island. Coast Hotels has existing properties in Victoria (Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA), Nanaimo (Coast Bastion Hotel), and Campbell River (Coast Discovery Inn). In 2021, Coast Hotels will also add a property in Duncan.
Element Toronto opened in June
TORONTO — The 144-room Element Toronto Airport opened on June 24, across the street from the Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 3.
The new all-suite extended-stay hotel is operated as a Marriott franchise and is owned and managed by Easton’s Group of Hotels. The hotel also represents the third Marriott hotel Easton’s has opened in the last three months.
The modern, eco-conscious hotel features in-suite water-filtration systems, bikes to borrow and electric-car charging stations. Each outdoor-inspired guest suite is larger than a traditional hotel room and includes a fully equipped kitchen, separate living area and workspace, oversized closets, a spa-inspired bathroom, a signature Heavenly Bed, high-speed Wi-Fi and 55-inch Smart TVs.
“The Element by Westin will be the 10th Marriott-branded hotel that the Easton’s Group has built and developed. We are so proud to bring this brand to Toronto; the brand targets a market and need that is in demand and unmet. We are all excited to welcome our guests and have them divulge in all the Element has to offer,” said Reetu Gupta, president and CEO, The Easton’s Group of Hotels.
The hotel will offer Element’s signature Rise complimentary breakfast, Moments restaurant & lounge and a 24⁄7 market.
This dual-brand property will share a lobby and services with the Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport. Amenities include an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa; a 24-hour fitness centre; an outdoor patio with barbecues; an onsite grab-and-go café; a complimentary airport shuttle; and 10 flexible meeting rooms with 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.
Fairmont reopenings and promos across the country
Fairmont is reopening and promoting its hotels across the country. The Fairmont Pacific Rim is unveiling a summer pop-up patio; Fairmont Hotel Vancouver will reopen on July 23; Fairmont Le Château Montebello celebrated its 90th anniversary by reopening and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu welcomed the public back on June 20.
On Wednesday, July 1, Fairmont Pacific Rim unveiled a summer outdoor pop-up patio at the hotel’s front plaza in partnership with hotel owners, Westbank. The pop-up patio (with physical distancing) highlights BBQ creations by the hotel’s executive chef Damon Campbell, together with a menu of local craft beer, cocktails, and wine. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., the pop-up is a full-service dining experience. The patio is serving up a menu of patio pleasers such as burgers, sandwiches, poke bowls, and desserts, together with Bulleit Bourbon Old Fashioned cocktails, a line-up of local brews from Stanley Park Brewing, and live music. Food and drink tickets can be purchased upon entry through contactless payment.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, downtown Vancouver’s “Castle in the City,” has reopened its doors to guests and visitors as of Friday, July 3, 2020. The hotel closed on March 21, 2020, in an effort to support halting the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time the doors were closed in the hotel’s 80 years of operation.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac invites its customers to relive the legend for the summer and, for the occasion, offers attractive offers for those who wish to travel to Quebec City in the coming months to live “la vie de Château”. Since the beginning of June, the hotel offers a 20 per cent discount on the price of its rooms for Canada residents. To this, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, as well as its sister Fairmont properties in the province of Québec, have been rolling out its “Stay close” campaign, where travellers receive one complimentary night for every night’s stay until the end of 2020. These two new promotions (not combinable) are part of the initiative for stimulating local economy by offering great opportunities to Canadians who wish to favour travel in Canada and visit iconic properties for their vacation.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello announced on June 29 that the hotel would reopen its doors to guests and visitors on July 1, a historic moment as the hotel celebrated its 90th anniversary. In an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the hotel closed its doors for almost four months — the same amount of time that it took to build the famous log château in 1930. While the hotel served as a private member’s club during its first 40 years, it opened its doors to the public in 1970 and to this day, remains the world’s largest log cabin.
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, in La Malbaie, Que., reopened its doors to guests and visitors June 20. This includes all guest services permitted by the health and government authorities. “The hotel’s top priority remains the safety, care and well-being of our guests and colleagues. Welcoming, safeguarding and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do and who we are,” says Jean-Jacques Etcheberrigaray, general manager of Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. “Today, this means keeping our guests and employees safe by preventing the spread of COVID-19 — partnering with top experts to implement new standards of safety and enhanced operational protocols and procedures which are among the most stringent in the hospitality industry.”
Great Wolf Lodge replaces Canada’s largest shingle roof
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls remains closed but passersby may be surprised by the activity level at the year-round family waterpark resort. The lodge is currently upgrading the roof, which holds the title of ‘Largest Shingled Roof in Canada’. The property was first shingled 15 years ago during the original building construction and was designed to look like a giant, little log cabin. The total roof is 250000 sq. ft., roughly 15 NHL hockey rinks of surface area. Now, 180000 sq. ft. will be replaced with a Boral Steel roofing system, which has a 50 year lifespan.
Vice president and general manager, Keith Simmonds added, “The timing of the project was unavoidable. A new roof was due and financial commitments for materials and contractors had already been finalized. Prior to the pandemic shutdown, our operational teams were focused on how to juggle a full occupancy resort with a major construction project. The pandemic certainly eliminated that challenge and we no longer have to be concerned with negative guest impacts. The project is progressing at an efficient pace and will be completed in late October of this year.”
Kevin Martin from Boral Canada Ltd notes, “the metal is being applied over top the existing shingles. By installing a metal roof Great Wolf Lodge is eliminating approximately 540,000 lbs of asphalt shingles, nails, underlayments, and other roofing related materials from being sent to a landfill.” Metal roofs not only have 25 – 95 per cent recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100 per cent recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building related waste stream — up to 20 billion pounds per year.
“Keeping our little log-cabin on the Niagara Parkway in a ‘like new’ condition remains a priority. The new roof will be a more crisp and contemporary northwoods Lodgelook,” said Simmonds. “The environmentally friendly aspect and longevity were definite advantages to changing over from asphalt to metal. But, really the decision to switch was not overly difficult. The new roof will be 10 – 25 per cent more energy efficient, it is far more durable so the maintenance is much less and there were several appealing safety features, like not igniting from a lighting strike.”
Naramata opens long-awaited restaurant
Naramata, B.C, – Garlic scapes from the neighbours, prosciutto from up the hill, apples from a few orchards over, and wines from throughout the valley: the much-anticipated Restaurant at Naramata Inn opened on Monday, June 29, focusing on chef Ned Bell’s celebration of the unique ingredients and flavours of Naramata.
The lauded Canadian chef has spent decades in high profile kitchens across the country. With deep connections to the Okanagan valley, Bell and his wife and partner Kate Colley return to the place that has long captured their heart and soul, committed to creating a culinary experience like no other.
Open for dinner seven nights a week, diners can expect dishes like wild sage cured and pan seared Road 17 char, raised in the middle of an Oliver apple orchard, and kohlrabi from Medley Organics just across the lake in Summerland. Organic beef from Blue Goose is served with browned butter hollandaise and vegetables grown by Jordan and Vanessa from Unearthed Farm. That prosciutto comes from just 1 kilometre away at Bella Wines, where Jay and Wendy’s pigs put the Restaurant’s kitchen scraps to good use.
“Supporting local farmers and small producers has never been more important,” says Bell. “I really want to highlight these amazing ingredients with the tender love and care they deserve, right here where they’re grown. This is ‘Naramatian cuisine.’ We literally could not create this dining experience anywhere else.”
Bell has assembled an all-star team, with sous chefs Stacy Johnston and Minette Lotz relocating from Vancouver to join him in the kitchen, excited to push the envelope of hyper-local dining in the Okanagan. Served in the stylishly updated heritage dining room, and on the gracious verandas, the food will be matched by one of the most comprehensive lists of Naramata and Okanagan wines available anywhere.
“Naramata is like no place else in the world, “ says co-owner Paul Hollands. “Being right on Lake Okanagan and surrounded by mountains, orchards and vineyards, it is blessed with an amazing agricultural bounty. For 112 years, Naramata Inn has been the heart of this wonderful place. Revitalizing the Inn, and launching the Restaurant has been a dream come true.”
Financing for Delta Quebec City and CFO expands
MARKHAM, Ont. — On behalf of SageBlan Investments, CFO Capital is proud to announce during these unprecedented times the financing of the Delta Quebec City, a full-service hotel. The property is 294,150-square feet, has 377 guest rooms, and 19,044 square feet of meeting space.
In related news, CFO Capital has announced that it is expanding. They’re hiring three additional SVP Business Development roles for Ontario. Candidates must have minimum 10 years of commercial banking experience. CFO Capital is looking for individuals with entrepreneurial spirit that can capitalize on their strengths to grow their team!
Candidates with Industry knowledge in the following asset classes would be considered: Apartments, Condos, Industrial, Retail, Office, Land and overall general real estate investment. If you have any questions or want further details, please contact Mark Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ricky’s All Day Grill comes to Hinton Best Western Plus
HINTON, Alta. — The latest addition to one of Canada’s most popular family-style restaurant chains, Ricky’s All Day Grill, opened in Hinton, AB on July 8 at 340 Smith Street, conveniently located inside the Best Western Plus, Hinton Inn & Suites.
The newest addition to Ricky’s family is run by general manager, Trushar Parmar, who sees a natural fit with the newly built Best Western Plus, Hinton Inn & Suites, and Ricky’s. “Hotel guests have tons of great options to choose from, including en