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Whistler hotels named best in Canada at World Ski Awards

Tech company Guestfolio awarded at World Travel Awards

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A pair of Whistler hotels was recognized at the World Ski Awards (WSA) last month.

At the WSA gala in Kitzb├╝hel, Austria on Nov. 22, the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Hotel was recognized as Canada's Top Ski Hotel while the Summit Lodge took the honours of Canada's Best Ski Boutique Hotel.

"We're pretty excited," said Lorraine Yeung, director of operations at the Summit Lodge.

"We're really thankful for everyone who voted for us. It's super encouraging."

Yeung credited the award to the direction the hotel has taken since new general manager Tony Medd took the reins in 2011.

"Summit has really evolved (since then)," she said.

The Summit has undergone a lot of changes in the past few years, Yeung said, starting with the workplace culture and how the staff operates as a team.

"(That's) just kind of manifested in how we do our customer service, how we want to invest more money into our guests and marketing, how we have changed our rooms and renovated our rooms and things like that," she said.

In the case of the Pan Pacific, its ideal location at the base of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains played a large part — but not the only part — in the win, said Lloyd Daser, general manager of the Pan Pacific.

"At the end of the day it's the people," Daser said.

"Anybody with some money can build the hardware, but it's the people that make the difference. We have a great team and give great service here."

It's the second year in a row that the Pan Pacific Whistler has been named Canada's top ski hotel at the WSA.

"We're certainly in good company," Daser said.

"There's some great hotels that were nominated that didn't win from Whistler and all across Canada, so it's great."

Whistler's Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Nita Lake Lodge and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler were all up for the award as well.

Coming out on top provides great marketing opportunities, Daser said.

"We get to use it in all our promotion and public relations on our website as having won the award so it's good," he said.

"We're exceptionally proud of our hotel and team and the destination."

WSA winners are decided by the votes of skiers and travel industry professionals.

The WSA is an offshoot of the World Travel Awards — the self-described "Oscars of the travel industry."

At the 2014 World Travel Awards on Dec. 8, Whistler-based tech company Guestfolio was named the World's Leading Hotel Customer Relationship Management Technology Provider.

"This is a huge honour for us at Guestfolio. We put guest engagement at the heart of what we do and what we provide to our clients. It's important to us, and of course, important to our clients," Guestfolio CEO Duane Hepditch said in a press release.

"Winning this award is a testament to what we do, as well as a testament to how much our clients are recognized by travellers around the world."

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