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Wickaninnsh Inn Newsletter - July 2012

A Note from Charles 

We extend a warm summer greeting to you from Chesterman Beach in Tofino. 

At this time of year our little town at the end of the road is bustling and we have the privilege of welcoming guests from all over the world.

Not only are many of our guests international - the Inn is also fortunate to have a good percentage of staff from around the world as well. This international influence allows us to offer a nuanced level of service and on most occasions have someone who understands both the language and culture of all our guests. In this newsletter you will meet the Inn's Human Resources Manager, Melody McLorie. Melody is the one responsible for recruiting both our Canadian and international staff, and for facilitating all staff's transitions into becoming a valued member of the Inn's team.

In large part thanks to the contributions of our staff, the Inn was recently named the top resort in Canada by the readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine and in addition we were also recognized as Hall of Fame winners for having made the T+L "Worlds Best" awards for more than 10 consecutive years! We thank those of you who took the time to make your vote count, your support is very much appreciated. I am also proud to say that Vancouver Island was also voted the best island in Continental North America and for the first time among the top 10 islands worldwide. We are proud to be in such great company.

Another reason the Inn is such an awe-inspiring place to visit is the community of Tofino our home in Clayoquot Sound and the many adventures available here. Whether you enjoy the thrill of a wildlife tour to see bears and whales in the wild, a fishing excursion or a surfing lesson, or the calm tranquility of a hike, kayak or beach walk, Tofino has so much to offer travelers of all ages, interests and abilities especially when it comes to experiencing the outdoors.

Just yesterday I had the amazing experience of hearing and then viewing a young humpback whale just off the rocks in front of the Inn as it cruised by and then began lunge feeding on bait fish, wow, you never know what amazing experience Mother Nature will provide from one moment to the next.

We hope Tofino will be part of your "Endless Summer" plans this year.

- Charles

Staff Profile: Melody McLorie

A select number of the Inn's staff members have been part of the team since opening day. Thankfully Melody is one of them! Originally from neighbouring Port Alberni, BC, Melody first started as a Guest Services Representative checking in our very first guests on opening day, August 9th 1996, and moved on to two supervisory positions before her two daughters were born. When she returned from her last maternity leave in 2003 the position of Human Resources Manager was waiting for her, as was the addition of the Wickaninnish-at-the-Beach building.

Melody points out a property the size of the Wickaninnish rarely has a department dedicated to human resources: "It's amazing, really, for a small, family-run property to have an HR department. The McDiarmids made a decision in 2003 [when the Beach building was added], to offer further support not only to the managers but also the employees by creating a dedicated HR role. This additional support allowed the managers to focus on their areas of the property and allowed the Inn to streamline its recruitment, hiring and overall HR best practices. "

In her role, Melody is responsible for relating to our 150 person team, recruitment of new employees and their orientation once they arrive in Tofino, as well as staff housing. Given that a number of employees also hail from overseas, Melody has become an expert in immigration and the provincial foreign workers program as roughly 40 percent of the Inn's staff comes from out of country.

"Foreign workers play a big part in the Inn's success because in Tofino much of the available staff are transient workers and young people," she said. "There simply are not enough resident candidates to fill the positions we have and the standards we require."

She has been so successful in recruiting out-of-country workers that the Inn is recognized as a leader in this area and Melody herself has been consulted by journalists and other companies on the Inns approach to the foreign workers program.

She notes with pride the Inn has sponsored many successful employees for permanent residency. One aspect of her job that she really enjoys is the attention she gets when she puts up the Wickaninnish Inn banners at trade fairs. "People know of Tofino and people know the Inn," said Melody. "I inevitably find myself answering questions about the area to prospective visitors. It's pretty amazing that we get to live here."

Relais & Châteaux Property Spotlight: The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, located in the heart of Hawke’s Bay Wine Country, also a 6,500 acre working sheep and cattle farm features a world-renowned golf course designed by architect Tom Doak. Situated high above the Pacific, atop dramatic white cliffs, this layout has been hailed as one of golf’s modern marvels by the world golfing press, including a ranking among the Top 35 courses on Earth. Aside from its celebrated wines, the area’s exquisitely rugged landscape represents a singular opportunity to explore the beauty of this island nation’s rare and idiosyncratic wildlife.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, is pleased to offer you, our newsletter subscribers, a complimentary upgrade on arrival, based on availability.

Inn and Around the Wick

 What could be more summery than a beach cookout? Join us for a Dungeness crab cookout during your stay this summer. Fresh steamed crab, sumptuous salads, housemade breads and dessert are all included, as is the spectacular view! Contact The Pointe Restaurant for additional details and to book.

 Care to join us in celebrating Food Day Canada in style? Founded by Canadian food pioneer Anita Stewart, it is a day-long, coast-to-coast celebration of Canada’s rich culinary heritage on August 4th. A special Food Day dinner tasting menu will be in effect at the Pointe Restaurant and guests can also join us for a Crab Cookout special event.

 Do not miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the local flora and fauna with Long Beach Nature Tours. Complimentary hikes are offered every Wednesday and Saturday for guests of the Inn and private walking and hiking tours can also be arranged by calling LBNT at 250-725-8305.

 For more tasty delights to tickle your palate, the Summer Sensations package has been extended into August. Now available until August 31st, this delightfully delicious package includes two nights accommodation in the room of your choice at $40 per night off, one four-course regular Tasting Menu dinner for two (customized wine pairings are available), two full breakfasts and complimentary valet parking.

  • A Proud Relais & Chateaux Member
  • Rated a Top Travel Destination
  • Travel & Leisure - Best Hotels in the World
  • Traveller - The Gold List 2012
  • Travel & Leisure - Worlds Best Awards
  • CAA - Four Diamond Award
  • J - Award Winner
  • Travel & Leisure - The Ultimate in Travel
  • 20th Annual Restaurant Awards Vancouver