Only two hotels in Canada have received the American Automobile Association’s Five Diamond Award, and only one resort — the Four Seasons Resort Whistler.
“We’re quite proud of that,” said general manager Scott Taber.
“It’s a great reflection on Whistler as a community and on us as a destination. It will be a great boost for public relations this winter.”
The AAA Five Diamond Award winners make up just 0.27 per cent of the 60,000 Diamond Rated lodgings and restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
"Five Diamond establishments reflect the characteristics of ultimate luxury and sophistication," Michael Petrone, director of AAA Tourism Information Development, said in a release. "The physical attributes of these properties are extraordinary in every manner, and personalized services for guests consistently exceed expectations of even the most refined traveller.”
It generally takes at least two-three years of operation before the AAA presents a Five Diamond Award to a hotel or restaurant, as the organization wants to see consistency of service over time./span>
Taber noted that while the Four Seasons name is fairly well known — the company currently has 74 hotels in 31 countries — it’s not recognized by everyone. However, the rating system is understood by all.
"We dedicate this award to our employees who make it happen and create incredible experiences for our guests,” said Taber. “It is their unwavering attention to detail and ongoing commitment to service that has earned us this distinction. We attract the best, we strive for excellence and we go for gold everyday."
While the award is a first for the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, which opened in 2004, it is not new for Taber. Three other Four Seasons hotels he has managed prior to coming to Whistler have won Five Diamond Awards.
WB Foundation awards $85,000
The Whistler Blackcomb Foundation awarded more than $85,000 in grants to Sea to Sky non-profit organizations last week. The grants were handed out after a lengthy review of all proposals submitted.
“Our mandate is to provide support to lasting community projects with an emphasis on those that benefit children, youth and families in the Sea to Sky corridor,” said Foundation Interim Executive Director, Kasi Lubin. “The foundation’s board of directors feel these grants will achieve that goal and greatly enhance our local communities from Lions Bay to Mount Currie.”
The Myrtle Philip Parent Advisory Council and the Stawamus Elementary School in Squamish both received $25,000 (based on matched funding) to help build a new playground benefiting the two schools and the surrounding communities.