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Kiwi Collection, the world’s largest and most diverse curated collection of luxury hotels, today announced that Trout Point Lodge has been selected for the VISA Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, as well as Kiwi’s own exclusive grouping of hotels. Every hotel in Kiwi Collection is personally reviewed to ensure it offers truly outstanding guest experiences before it is invited to join. Kiwi, in turn, is in charge of the VISA Signature credit card program.

The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection is a hand-selected portfolio developed exclusively for Visa Signature cardholders. VISA Signature is the company’s premiere credit card product. Gathered together by Visa invitation and appraised regularly, all properties, from boutique gems to world-famous hotels, provide guests an exclusive, unique collection of benefits, specially designed to offer an unparalleled experience.

Kiwi’s experts review and rate each of the selected hotels on a regular basis without regard for brand, size, or affiliation. Hotels that fall below our rigorous standards are diligently removed. As an absolute rule, no hotel is ever allowed to buy its way into the Kiwi Collection. This keeps the collection fresh, honest, and dependable. Forbes has stated: “Kiwi Collection is to luxury hotels what the Michelin Guide is to restaurants”

“All of us at Trout Point are extremely proud to be the first accommodation in Atlantic Canada for Luxury Hotel Collection,” said the Lodge’s chef/proprietor Vaughan Perret.

Trout Point will be listed on both the VISA and Kiwi web sites shortly.

After a review of recent upgrades to Trout Point Lodge facilities, the major travel portal Expedia has given the Lodge one of its top star ratings. In addition, the Lodge has recently received its first verified review on Expedia, of 5 stars. All Expedia.ca reviews are vetted and verified, meaning multiple steps are taken to ensure the validity of customer reviews, including ensuring that the reviews are posted by travellers who have paid for and stayed in a room in the hotel they are reviewing.

According to Expedia, the recent rating upgrade is meant to reflect Trout Point’s attention to luxury and detail. Among the criterion used by the travel company are “fresh flowers, original art, and luxurious furnishings”  adorning the lobbies. “Amenities customarily include fine-dining restaurants  and automatic turndown service. Personalized service aims to anticipate guest needs. Guest rooms typically feature premium hardwood furniture, luxurious bedding with triple sheeting, and large bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers, and materials such as granite or marble,” says Expedia.

Wine Spectator magazine has granted a 2013 Award of Excellence to Trout Point Lodge for its wine list and wine service. Wine Spectator gives the Award for “lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.” Trout Point was noted for its particular strength in wines from France.

2013 is the 5th consecutive year that the Lodge has received the Award.

TripAdvisor 2013 Award of Excellence for Trout Point Lodge

TripAdvisor 2013 Award of Excellence for Trout Point Lodge

Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

“Trout Point Lodge is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Charles Leary at the Lodge in Kemptville, Nova Scotia. “We strive to offer our customers memorable experiences, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.” Last February, Trout Point was among 3 hotels whose complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the United Kingdom resulted in a ruling against false claims made by TripAdvisor. The ASA ordered TripAdvisor to remove claims that its reviews were from real travellers, and that reviews are “honest, real or trusted.” While Leary said online review sites are still open to abuse, he said he believes that the ASA’s action resulted in a benefit for the travelling public and some positive changes at TripAdvisor.

“TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

Trout Point Lodge is pleased to announce it has been declared a “champion of sustainability” and received 2 stars from the Sustainable Restaurant AssociationLondon, England-based Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), in the very first instance of the SRA’s rating scheme implementation in North America. The global launch of the Rating complements the granting of the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 ceremony on April 29. Organized by Restaurant magazine and sponsored by San Pellegrino, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 900 international restaurant industry experts.

The SRA announced the new global reach of its rating in conjunction with the unveiling of the 50 Best list, which receives worldwide press attention. According to the Association, restaurants across Asia, Africa, Europe and North America are lining up to take the Rating, with the aim of earning the coveted stars – called ‘the Michelin Stars of sustainability’ by The Sunday Times in the UK.

The Lodge, located within the UNESCO-recognized Southwest Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve, has long received acclaim for its kitchen while also endeavouring to excel in eco-friendly and sustainable practices, earning 5 Green Keys and the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award several years ago. “After reading about the worldwide launch of the Sustainable Restaurant Association program at the 50 Best Restaurant Awards, we contacted the Association in London to undergo an assessment,” said the Lodge’s co-owner Charles Leary. The Lodge has also offered cooking classes emphasizing sustainable seafood and local ingredients for over a decade. Scientific American termed Trout Point a “serious venue for culinary ecotourism” in 2009.

Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, said: “For an increasing number of consumers a critical part of a good dining experience is knowing the restaurant is taking care to source its ingredients responsibly, treat its staff well and manage its resources efficiently. That’s why we introduced this rating system in the UK and are now offering it to restaurants worldwide – to provide diners with a directory of restaurants that share the same values. Congratulations to Trout Point for blazing a trail in Canada.”

The SRA assessment, covering Sourcing, Environment and Society, is open to restaurants, hotels, pubs and cafes or anywhere else serving food and the initial online assessment is free to take. The Sustainability Rating process involves thorough and independent assessment across 14 key areas of sustainable practices and management. Those establishments that excel gain One Star (good), Two Star (excellent), or Three Star (exceptional) status. A Sustainability Champion badge is the hallmark of a restaurant going the extra mile to achieve sustainability, according to the Association.The assessment process was completed yesterday.

“The criterion are strict and engage us in reviewing and thinking about all aspects of our operation,” said Leary. “Earning 2 stars at the outset is a testament to sustainable practices we’ve already engaged in, while the assessment also pointed out areas for improvement to be truly exceptional on a world stage.” Consumers increasingly pay attention to green practices and sustainability in choosing hotels & restaurants, at all levels of style and cuisine.

Renowned chef Raymond Blanc OBE is President of the non-profit Association. The Chef Patron of two Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and founder of Brasserie Blanc restaurants has always been a campaigner for sustainability and food ethics. “He is the perfect chef to continue our mission to help restaurants to be more sustainable and give diners the chance to choose restaurants that match their ethical and environmental standards,” said the Association of his appointment last year.

“We greatly appreciate the great company we’re in,” stated Leary. In the 2013 World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the award for the most Sustainable Restaurant went to Narisawa of Tokyo, Japan, the result of an SRA assessment.

Trout Point Lodge achieved 5 stars from Canada Select last year, and belongs to the stringent quality accommodation groups Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America.

About the SRA

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a not-for-profit membership organisation providing restaurants with expert sustainability advice through a team of specialist account managers. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community.  Members enjoy the economic benefits of greater sustainability and the SRA promotes their activities to consumers.

The SRA Rating System involves Restaurants completing a rigorous survey, providing answers and evidence to questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The SRA then assesses the results and rates the restaurants accordingly.

Three-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated exceptional all round sustainability, scoring consistently well across every category totalling at least 70%.

Two-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated excellent all round sustainability, scoring at least 60%.

One-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated good all round sustainability, scoring at least 50%.

Trout Point Lodge has always been dedicated to growing its own vegetables, herbs, and flowers without chemical pesticides or herbicides. Each year since 2000, gardens have grown in size & diversity, first in ever-expanding beds next to the main lodge itself, next at River Bend, and last year at a new vineyard/market garden site off the East Branch Road.

This year the edible delicacies sustainably produced at Trout Point are greater than ever!

The sustainability of operations has bounded forward with the addition of Alpacas and a new barn this Spring. While the Alpacas will help pack on day trips to Billy’s Hill in the core of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve, their composted manure will fertilize the extensive plantings. This will compliment the composted organic waste from the kitchen and the local seaweeds we have always used to make our soils more fertile. Plantings are now so large, a new Kubota tractor will help with tilling and hauling. Tests plots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes continue.

The new Farm at Trout Point encompasses all these great advancements. This is true frontier agriculture, with the Lodge having to clear, fertilize, and sustain virgin soils with every advancement. Guests will see these items on the Trout Point tabel d’hôte menus throughout the summer and fall season. The menu at Trout Point also incorporates wild edibles, wildcrafted seasonally from the local environment.

Here’s a sampling of what we’re planting and/or harvesting this year:

HERBS

Tarragon
Rosemary
parsley, Italian and curly
cilantro
Thai basil (3 varieties)
purple basil
ruffled purple basil
nufar basil
Genovese basil
sage
chervil
lovage
borage
oregano
marjoram
Vietnamese cilantro
dill several varieties
chives
lavender
bergamot
mints, spearmint, mint, pineapple mint
Thyme, French, English and orange

VEGETABLES

Shiitake mushrooms grown on local hardwood logs
Jerusalem artichoke (Fuseau, stampede)
Asparagus
Artichoke Tavares
Squash (golden scallop, buttercup, butternut, crook neck)
Okra, purple and green
Parsley root
Mache
Arugula, wild and cultivated
nasturtium leaves
Purple fleshed potatoes
White and red fingerling potatoes
Sugar snaps
Broad beans
Scarlet runner beans
French snap beans
sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, mung)
Tomatoes (striped, andean, black plums, amish paste)
Hot peppers (jalepeños and sweet hots)
Mesclun mix, red mix, butterhead mix
eggplant
leeks
kale, white and black
purple brussel sprouts
New Zealand spinach
cantaloupe
Swiss chard
beets
onions
shallots
Heirloom garlic varieties
Brocoli Raab
Chinese brocoli
Chinese cabbages
spinach
cress
chicory
cucumbers (traditional, English, Turkish heirloom)
Cape gooseberries
tomatillos
carrots
French sorrel
spinach
horseradish root
purple Japanese mustard
celery (green & red)

EDIBLE FLOWERS

scarlet runner bean blossoms
nasturtium
pinks
calendula
viloas
marigolds
Monera
squash blossoms
borage flowers
chive blossoms
mustard blossoms
arugula blossoms

WILD FOODS

burdock root
evening of primrose root
dock
sweet fern
violets
pin cherries
sea beans
sea lettuce
kelp
Black trumpet mushrooms
Golden chanterelles
Hen of the woods mushroom
Chicken of the woods mushroom
Lobster mushrooms
various russulas
velvet foot mushrooms
indian cucumber root
wild sorrel

Travel & Leisure has selected Trout Point for its list of “The best places to travel after a divorce.” Part of the May, 2013 issue of the popular magazine, author Victoria Hardy searched for places offering “a change of environment helps clear your head and rejuvenate your spirit,” adding that the list also consists of destination with “there’s the added benefit of putting some physical space between you and your ex.”

Search for black bears, moose, or flying squirrels in the Tobeatic Wilderness, or try your hand at the cooking school to learn how to cure seafood and forage for chanterelles, black trumpets, and lobster mushrooms. After dinner, an on-staff astronomer will point out constellations and, depending on the season, the aurora borealis.

Trout Point finds itself in good company, including the Equinox Resort of New Hampshire and Dunton Hot Springs of Colorado.

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