Presented by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa was the winner of the Air Canada Business of the Year Award.
“It felt really nice to be recognized for the work that we’re doing at Brentwood Bay,” said Natasha Richardson, general manager at Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa.
“What we’re doing in Brentwood Bay is unique and very progressive for our industry as we’re focussing on staff development,”
The award ceremony took place on Nov. 30 in Gatineau, Quebec. Richardson attended with executive housekeeper of the resort, Pablo Reyes.
Opening in 2004, the resort was later sold to a Chinese company three years ago, which is when Richardson came on board.
Since starting at the resort, Richardson has been focussed on organizational health and developing, empowering and supporting employees to grow their skills and personal careers.
“I’m really aware that this is a transient employment opportunity for most people who work in the industry,” she said, adding they assist employees to find their work purpose and go on to have big careers after that.
She said they embrace the fact that while many of their employees stay, the Resort can be a temporary place for many, like servers and front desk staff. She said some are still going to university and figuring out what they want to do in their lives.
“We’re unique because of that culture that we offer with our staff, but from a guest experience, we’re a destination resort, so we offer independent luxury travellers an opportunity to get away,” she said.
A visitor’s average length of stay, she said, is two-and-a-half nights, with a focus on couples who are getting away to reconnect and decompress.
Although their busy time is in the summer, they are still able to maintain a healthy occupancy all year round.
“We have a beautiful location — this stunning building — but a lot of the feedback we get is the only thing that makes the view even better is the service people are receiving, and that’s because we have genuinely happy employees.”