Oak Bay among Canada’s top luxury hotels

Beach Drive hotel earns traveller’s choice awards for top hotel, luxury and romance

General manager Michelle Le Sage says it’s all about the team when creating award-winning service at Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel earned a trio of traveller’s choice awards.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is one of Canada’s Top Hotels as awarded by TripAdvisor for 2015.

The hotel was ranked fourth in the category Luxury Hotel in Canada; ninth in Top Hotel in Canada; and 20th in Top Hotel for Romance in Canada.

“This was the first year we were nominated for top luxury hotel,” said general manager Michelle Le Sage. “That is some pretty great company to be in.”

Trump International in Toronto was top of the list and Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver ranked just below the Beach Drive establishment.

“It’s a testament to the staff and management team. It’s the culture we’ve built in the hotel,” Le Sage said. “It’s the experiences they’re having at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. It comes with not only meeting and exceeding guests’ needs but anticipating them.”

In the romance category, for example, preparing a room for a recent rose-petal-strewn marriage proposal comes to mind for the manager. Those types of things are something staff get excited about.

“If someone even mentions to the reservations desk that it might be a girlfriend’s birthday or an anniversary … there’s absolutely chocolate-covered strawberries in the room. We just go way above and beyond to make sure they have special memories with us,” Le Sage said. “That is our promise – intentional hospitality. We want to be the best at it. We want to make sure that when guests come here they have exceptional memories of not only Victoria and Oak Bay but of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.”

They rely on building great customer experience that spreads through word of mouth and some not even beyond our Vancouver Island boundaries.

“So many of our clientele are from Victoria or even Oak Bay,” Le Sage said. “They tell us they come out here, they get on the waterfront and they could be anywhere. It’s their getaway without having to drive very far at all.

“It really has that amazing feel.”

Little things like having a coffee in the conservatory, the plush towels and fresh flowers in the rooms and access to the pools at all hours add to the luxury, she said.

“I think the difference between us and other hotels is it has that manor house feel to it,” Le Sage said. “You feel like the whole place is yours when you’re here.”

The hotel went into receivership late last year and has maintained its business as usual since.

“Obviously, it’s always a difficult time and very sad, it’s such a success story around here,” Le Sage said. “But the team all understand it’s really important to carry on with the promise of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. We know the Oak Bay Beach Hotel is going to be here for another 100 years and we’re going to be part of it for the next little bit and taking that legacy to the next level.”

Reopened in the fall of 2012, the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel was completely rebuilt on the same spectacular oceanfront lot where the previous hotel sat for more than 80 years. It features 100 hotel rooms with amenities that include seaside mineral pools, a fitness studio, Boathouse Spa & Baths, The Snug pub, the David Foster Foundation Theatre, Kate’s Café and a fine-dining restaurant with a 1,600-bottle tasting room.

“We’re proud. We’re excited and we all walk around with our heads held very high,” Le Sage said. “It’s all the touches. Then you put all that with a warm genuine smile when you walk in the door, it’s kind of a winning combination.”

Visit tripadvisor.ca/TravelersChoice to see all the winners.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

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