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INDEPENDENT LUXURY HOTELS ARE IN FASHION !!

Small Luxury Hotels of the World(London)-January 2013. Trout Point Lodge recently joined Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) and is delighted to announce that after 21 years in the business, 2012 marks SLH’s best year ever. Reporting an increase of 10% from last year, SLH delivered an unprecedented number of room nights at 341,000 and $119 million in revenue.

It’s a good news story all round – not only have reservations and room nights hit an all-time high but the recognition of The Club is also a great success story. This year SLH added 56,000 members to their loyalty club, a 46% growth compared to last year, making our club 190,000 strong. Our activation rate for our Club Members has also increased by 18% and Club Revenue by 38%.

The home website, slh.com has had an impressive 4 million visits this year, a 19% increase on last year. Reservations through the site have gone up by 26% and slh.com increased its share of bookings by 15% compared to last year. iPad visits, totaling close to 500,000 improved by 167% this year and iPhone visits increased by 132% showing the growing trend towards new technology.

Vaughan Perret, chef/proprietor, remarked: “Membership in SLH is very exciting, as the Lodge looks forward to further growth in 2013. We were among Atlantic Canada’s fastest growing companies in 2012, according to Progress magazine, and the Lodge will expand its guest capacity this year as well, resulting in new jobs and great economic benefits to our local community.”

According to Paul Kerr, CEO for SLH; “It’s extraordinary that after over 20 years in the business we’re still managing to exceed the work we’ve done the year before, especially when you consider the current economic climate. The secret to our success is choice – put simply. With over 520 INDEPENDENT LUXURY hotels in more than 70 countries and multiple means of booking, we give the customer the freedom to choose how, where, when and why. Our Club is also a big part of the reason we have so much to celebrate – this year our Club has accounted for 22% of our bookings, which is significant compared to last year.”

Trout Point Lodge is looking forward to what the New Year will bring and already has some great plans for the year ahead including the addition of 2 new guest units, expanded guided star gazing opportunities with a brand-new Meade telescope, and year-round operation.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000 and has earned 5 stars in the Inn category from Canada Select, the national accommodation rating agency. The Lodge resigned from Relais & Chateaux to join the prestigious collection of hotels known as Small Luxury Hotels of the World last year.

About Small Luxury Hotels of the World: The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property online at http://www.slh.com, via the free SLH iPhone app or by contacting your favourite travel agent. You can also call a Small Luxury Hotels of the World reservations office; to view a listing by country please click here: http://www.slh.com/contact-us/.

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Condé Nast Johansens, the international luxury travel guide of premium resorts, hotels and spas from the most trusted name in travel, Condé Nast Publications Ltd.,announces the release of its stunning new portfolio of guides including the 2013 Recommended Hotels, Inns, Resorts and Spas – The Americas, Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific. For the 6th year, Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia was selected for inclusion after independent inspection. For the 1st time, the Lodge remains open year-round with dining and a full range of activities.

The Guides, which are celebrating their 31st year of publication, have attracted a loyal readership throughout Europe and the Americas by guaranteeing that each Recommended Property undergoes a rigorous annual inspection process to ensure exceptional quality is maintained. A property is specially selected for its dedication to the highest standards of comfort, unique personality, warmth and service, impressive facilities and surroundings. Only then is it awarded the “Condé Nast Mark of Excellence” wall plaque. This distinctive sign is a visible endorsement for more than 10 million of the world’s most discerning and experienced travelers.

Trout Point Lodge selected for 6th year in a row

“We do all the research for you”, says Charlotte Evans, the London, England-based Group Publishing Director. “Our inspectors visit all the properties to make sure that each meets the exacting standards of the Guides and in turn the expectations of our 10 million readers. The Guides help you to pick your perfect vacation – whether it’s relaxing on a beach at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, enjoying an exquisite romantic getaway at the historic country house hotel Blantyre, in Lenox, Massachusetts, or escaping to a luxury lodge resort like Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia, Canada. We make it easy.”

The Condé Nast Johansens website (www.condenastjohansens.com), a vital part of the Condé Nast Johansens benefits, reflects the varying ways in which the Guides’ users research hotels and destinations. The user friendly website allows visitors to find a hotel by country, state, island, or by special offer such as “spa” or “beach” breaks. The site also sends an availability request directly to the hotels. Other features of the site include a meeting venue finder, spa finder, special offers, and online gift certificate purchasing.

Readers also interact and find suggestions via the new Condé Nast Johansens social media sites on both Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CNJohansens and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CNJohansens. There is also the innovative and interactive Condé Nast Johansens iPad application featuring the entire collection of hotels.

The 2013 Recommended Hotels, Inns, Resorts and Spas – The Americas, Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific – and the entire Condé Nast Johansens international collection of guides is available now at select bookstores nationwide and major online bookstores. Consumers can also purchase Condé Nast Johansens Guides by calling the US Toll Free +1 800 564 7518 or via the online bookstore at http://www.condenastjohansens.com.

The complete international collection of Condé Nast Johnasens includes:
Recommended Hotels & Spas, Great Britain and Ireland
Recommended Small Hotels, Inns and Spas, Great Britain and Ireland
Recommended Hotels and Spas, Europe and the Mediterranean
Recommended Hotels, Inns, Resorts and Spas: The Americas – Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific
Recommended Luxury Spas
Recommended Venues

With 5 stars from Canada Select, Trout Point Lodge is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

About Condé Nast Johansens

Condé Nast Johansens is owned by Condé Nast Publications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Advance Publications and Condé Nast International, which publishes a wide portfolio of magazines around the world, including Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, GQ, Tatler, Vanity Fair, Brides, Glamour and Wired.

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Top 10 Inns in Canada

Trout Point Lodge along the Tukset River in East Kemptville, Nova Scotia has been selected as a top 10 Canada property in the 2012 Best of BedandBreakfast.com® Awards. The Lodge is recognized as a top inn around the world providing the best travel experience, hospitality and customer service. Earlier this year, Trout Point became the inaugural Canadian member of  BedandBreakfast.com’s Diamond Collection™, an exclusive group of professionally inspected and guest-reviewed luxury inns.

BedandBreakfast.com is the most comprehensive global site for finding bed and breakfast properties around the world, with more than 13,000 properties worldwide representing nearly 80,000 rooms.

The Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award winners are selected based on the quality and quantity of the traveler reviews from the past year on BedandBreakfast.com, as well as the quality of inns’ photos, listing descriptions and overall online customer experience on BedandBreakfast.com.

“The eighth annual Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award winners, including Trout Point Lodge, really showcase bed and breakfasts and inns that often become the destination for travelers and not just a place to stay,” says Gregory Sion, general manager of BedandBreakfast.com. “Travelers select bed and breakfasts because they enjoy staying in a one-of-a-kind place that offers not only character, special amenities and unmatched hospitality, but also enables them to discover new experiences.”
“It’s an honour to be chosen for a 2012 Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award, and we thank our guests for the positive reviews that resulted in this award,” says Vaughn Perret, proprietor.”It is gratifying our guests took the time to share their feelings about the experience, which set Trout Point apart,” commented Perret.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000. During 2012, it joined Small Luxury Hotels of the World™, earned its 5th star from the national accommodation rating agency Canada Select, and appeared on a list of the world’s top 10 eco lodges published by USAToday Travel. Progress magazine named it among Atlantic Canada’s top 100 fastest growing companies in an award ceremony this past Monday.

For a complete list of Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award winners, please visit http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/toplists/top10canadaawards?icid=il_mainawards_tl_t_button_ct_proppg_awdpg.

About BedandBreakfast.com
BedandBreakfast.com, based in Austin, Texas, is the most comprehensive global site for finding bed and breakfast properties, with more than 13,000 properties worldwide representing nearly 30,000 rooms. It is owned by HomeAway, Inc., which operates the world’s leading online marketplace of vacation rentals. BedandBreakfast.com helps travelers find and book the ideal B&B or small inn through informative descriptions, photos, and more than 210,000 consumer reviews. BedandBreakfast.com offers convenient gift cards welcomed at more than 4,000 B&Bs in the United States and Canada, with no restrictions or blackout dates.

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In its 13th season of operation, Trout Point Lodge has been named among Atlantic Canada’s 100 fastest growing businesses for 2012. Each year Progress magazine polls hundreds of companies to find incredible stories of explosive growth and shares with its readers how these companies do it. To qualify a business from Atlantic Canada must have experienced revenue growth of at least 25% over the last 3 fiscal years.

Progress will take the Fastest Growing issue of the magazine live with the Fastest Growing Companies Award reception, recognizing the  CEOs and their teams as the region’s dynamic change agents – those that are shaping the way business will be done in the future. At the reception, Trout Point will learn its ranking among the list of 100 companies. Along with Presenting Sponsors, PwC and Rogers, Progress hosts the Awards on Monday November 5th, 2012 at The Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown.

The event will also include roundtable discussions with other Fastest Growing Companies. The findings of the moderated discussions will result in exclusive editorial content for upcoming issues of Progress Magazine.

Launched by award-winning magazine publisher and regional advocate Neville Gilfoy, Progress was founded on a single premise – to promote wealth creation through profitable business growth. A new mindset and a new generation of entrepreneurs has emerged, and Progress is devoted to chronicling their stories and revealing key insights for readers. Subscribers rely on us for independent intelligence and expert commentary. Essential subjects are covered in depth, in a language and style suited to the region’s most influential audience.

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5 star Inn, Canada SelectTrout Point Lodge is pleased to announce that it has achieved a 5 star rating in the Inn category from Canada Select, the national accommodation rating agency. The Lodge previously had a 4 1/2 star ranking. According to Canada Select, “a 5 star property is luxurious at a world standard, offering outstanding facilities, guest service and amenities.”

The Lodge made capital improvements this year that allowed Ronald van der Weegen, Managing Director of Quality Visitor Services, to grant the final 1/2 star increase after an on-site inspection today.

Trout Point was also accepted for membership in Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a prestigious London, England-based hotel group, earlier this year after a thorough inspection process.

Trout Point’s managing directors Charles Leary and Vaughan Perret believe the increased ranking will assist their effort to keep the full service lodge open year-round in 2012-13.

Trout Point is among just 4 Nova Scotia accommodations in the Inn category to have the 5-star designation.

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To celebrate the Lodge’s year round opening and its new membership in Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Trout Point currently has the following specials on offer:
  • 20% off online rates for certain rooms (reservation is non-changeable and non-refundable)
  • Book 4 nights and pay for 3 in select main lodge rooms (Half Board required to be purchased each day)
  • Romantic Hideaway Special: 1 night in a Fireplace Junior Suite, 1 guided kayak, star walk, or hike, Champagne & chocolate in your room on the night of arrival, and Half Board $499/couple.  Book packages here.

The above prices do not include tax or service fee.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000 next to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Secluded at the junction of 2 river, Trout Point offers the “darkest night skies in eastern North America,” as noted when USAToday called the Lodge 1 of the 10 best eco lodges in the world earlier this year.

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Lodge Chef/Proprietors Vaughn Perret and Charles Leary will participate in the panel on Acadian/Cajun cuisine at the Canadian Chefs’ Congress, September 18, 2012, in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia. Paul Kennedy, host of CBC Radio’s popular Ideas program, will moderate the discussion of how an Acadian food culture based in Atlantic Canada was transplanted to the Mississippi Delta, and transformed into trendy Cajun cooking. Perret & Leary, who operated Chicory Farm and New Orleans’ Chicory Farm Cafe before moving to Nova Scotia, are co-authors of The Trout Point Lodge Cookbook: Creole Cuisine from New Orleans to Nova Scotia. They have served as the Lodge’s chefs as well as cooking school instructors since 2000.

Perret & Leary will share the stage with Stephen Stryjewski, Chef/Owner , Cochon, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Karen Mersereau, Chef/Owner, Hotel Paulin, Caraquet, New Brunswick.

For more information on the Congress, click here.

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Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia is pleased to announce that it will join Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH; slh.com), an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small luxury independent hotels. Fewer than 5% of hotels expressing interest in membership ultimately attain that status, according to Michael Moloff, Development Director for the Americas.

In addition, the Lodge has just won an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for its now 180+ selection list. The award listing appears in the issue of the magazine currently on newsstands. Earlier this year, Trout Point was selected by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) as the only accommodation in Nova Scotia to join its Signature Experiences Collection.

By associating with SLH, the Nova Scotia wilderness lodge has chosen to leave Relais & Chateaux (R&C), a Paris, France-based association of boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants it joined in 2009. R&C has about 14 members across Canada.

SLH has just 3 other Canadian properties, the Windsor Arms in Toronto, the Georgian Court in Vancouver, and Echo Valley Ranch & Spa in Jesmond, BC.

The move to SLH reflects the hard choices small independent hotels face in appealing to an ever more competitive international marketplace of vacation experiences. In this case, the proprietors of the 12-unit Nova Scotia lodge believes it has made the right decision in switching to Small Luxury.

Comprising over 520 hotels worldwide in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual SLH hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is truly exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts – the breadth and depth of the brand is far reaching.

While a hotel undoubtedly enjoys the benefits of being part of a global brand, SLH places enormous emphasis on celebrating the individuality of each hotel, a factor important to Trout Point.

Individuality remains one of the group’s core values and is central to the continued success of the brand. In the same vein, the CTC celebrates unique experiences with its Collection of authentically Canadian tourism opportunities.

The strength and credibility of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand is dependent on the quality of its individual hotels. Strict controls are applied to ensure that only the very best hotels with the highest standards are accepted into the brand, thus ensuring that the quality of the experience that guests receive is consistent across all SLH properties. To ensure that these exceptional standards of excellence are maintained, SLH has a carefully monitored ‘mystery guest’ programme which relies on valuable reviews from inspectors who importantly are also consumers.
According to CEO Paul Kerr, over the last 20 years SLH has been transformed from a Club of hotels to a Club of customers – customers who are loyal to the brand.

Trout Point will continues its commitment to world-class culinary & wine experiences for its guests—something emphasized within R&C—as exemplified by the Wine Spectator award. However, the owners believe SLH’s brand is more in line with the Lodge’s specific values in overall hotel operation.

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Trout Point Lodge proudly announces that it appears on the top 10 list of eco lodges published today by USAToday Travel. The worldwide list of accommodations that “adhere to green values, offering nature adventures in a sustainable setting” was compiled by veteran travel journalist Larry Bleiberg and green vacation expert Irene Lane of greenloons.com. The article forms part of the popular national newspaper’s “10 great places” series.

“You’re not sleeping on a straw mat on a dirt floor. There are opportunities to stay in very comfortable accommodations” says Lane in the article. While emphasizing Trout Point’s outdoor activities such as star gazing, fishing, kayaking and mountain-bike safaris, the article also pointed to the Lodge’s emphasis on local foods. “You have local delicacies, which, from an eco standpoint, is great,” states Lane.

Other hotels on the top 10 list were as far flung as Ecuador, Kenya, the Czech Republic, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Trout Point was the only Canadian property. Earlier this year, Where magazine placed the Lodge on its list of “15 Deluxe Wilderness Retreats for All Seasons.”

USA Today remains number one in total daily print circulation in the United States. It also has one of the largest average-issue print audience of any national newspaper, with 3.2 million readers daily.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000 next to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Secluded at the junction of 2 river, Trout Point offers the “darkest night skies in eastern North America,” as noted by USAToday. The 2012 season starts May 1.

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Last September, the Lodge was pleased to announce that 90% of its 14 employees were from the local area.

In its 12th season of operation, Trout Point is proud to say that has a truly home-grown (and fantastic) staff, truly representative of the local area. The only employee out of a current 14 from the outside area is the new staff astronomer, who graduated from Halifax’s St. Mary’s University and is native to New Brunswick. All 13 live in Yarmouth County, most in Kemptville itself.

Why is local so important? For one, it greatly increases the beneficial impact that Trout Point can have on the local economy. For another, it enhances the Lodge’s geotourism values; employees who live and play in the local region provide a more worthwhile, experiential experience for our guests. They become our concierges. Finally, it restores a Kemptville, NS tradition of guides, lodges, and nature tourism that deserves reinvigoration.

Trout Point has concluded its planning for the 2012 season, extended now from May 1 to November 30, and it looks as though 100% of the fabulous core team of 14 will be returning employees!

This includes locals hired as early as 1998 & 2003 to those who just joined the Lodge staff last year. As noted in this presentation, local hiring is an integral component in developing and sustaining a tourism destination:

What does Geotourism add?

  • Builds on “sense of place” ‐ a destination’s geographical character & distinctiveness
  • It’s synergistic ‐ All the elements of geographical character work together to create an experience that is richer than the sum of its parts
  • Involves the community ‐ Provides a distinctive, authentic experience
  • Informs both visitors & hosts – As residents become more informed & develop pride & skill in showing off their locale, tourists get more out of their visit  (both take responsibility for destination stewardship)
  • Benefits residents economically ‐ Travel businesses hire local workers & use local services, products & supplies
  • Supports integrity of place ‐ Destination‐savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale; In return, local stakeholders who receive economic benefits appreciate & protect the value of those assets
  • Means great trips ‐ Enthusiastic visitors bring home new knowledge; They encourage friends & relatives to experience the same thing, which brings continuing business for the destination

When Trout Point was honoured as worldwide top 10 finalist in the Geotourism Challenge, Power of Place: Sustaining the Future of Destinations, it reinforced the Lodge’s commitment to geotourism and sustainable tourism practices. Efforts were redoubled to hire locally, which in turns gives guests an enhanced experience of place and benefits the local economy. As the Wikipedia entry on geotourism explains:

Like ecotourism, geotourism promotes a virtuous circle whereby tourism revenues provide a local incentive to protect what tourists are coming to see, but extends the principle beyond nature and ecology to incorporate all characteristics that contribute to sense of place, such as historic structures, living and traditional culture, landscapes, cuisine, arts and artisanry, as well as local flora and fauna. Geotourism incorporates sustainability principles, but in addition to the do-no-harm ethic, geotourism focuses on the place as a whole. The idea of enhancement allows for development based on character of place, rather than standardized international branding, and generic architecture, food, and so on.

Lodge proprietors and staff look forward to welcoming new and returning guests starting May 1! In so doing they will be continuing a century old lodge, camp, and guide traditionin Kemptville and Yarmouth County. As renowned local travel writer Bruce Bishop notes in his article “What might have been is not (yet) what is,” 

In another life, I’ve reviewed hotels and resorts for guidebook companies in places as far away as Bintan, Indonesia and Cape Town, South Africa…and I still contend that what we have here is a natural goldmine waiting for proper and sustainable tourism use. The state of New Hampshire has taken a keen interest in its old grand hotels and inns, many of which have been refurbished by private enterprise. And similar to the volume of visitors to that state over 100 years ago, Canadians alonemade more than 359,400 visits to New Hampshire in 2006, spending $78 million.

Let those fellow Canadians come here instead – and Americans, too – and make Loran Ellis Baker proud of what he began in 1892: a strong, self-reliant tourism industry in western Nova Scotia.

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