Mountain culture elevates guest experience


The Pinnacle Hotel Whistler is a small establishment making a big impact on its guests. The boutique size ensures guests never feel like just a number, but what makes the hotel truly stand out is authenticity. The hotel’s unique culture encourages shared experiences that channel the character of its community.

Leading this service team is guest services manager Sonia Anderson, who believes that creating an outstanding stay is not simply about a smile upon arrival and a perfectly fluffed pillow. Her guest experience credo is guided by mountain culture. What that means is that in order to create memorable experiences, she and her team take time to connect with guests and share an authentic slice of local life. At the Pinnacle you can still be professional while swapping personal tales from favourite bike trails or sharing gear advice as a guests heads to the hill.

“One of my philosophies has always been that instead of just giving a service, give an authentic experience and a genuine exchange. The guest gets so much more from the staff member and the staff member in return is getting a meaningful interaction and it’s win win on both sides” said Anderson, who believes the secret ingredient that keeps their loyal tribe of repeat guests returning is the warmth and wonder of shared experiences.

Service with a smile (and a few local secrets)

Coming from a corporate hospitality background outside of Canada, Anderson said it took time to shake up the formality she was well trained in, but when she did she saw how rewarding it could be.

“When I started to share my experiences I saw the guests really open up and it was so much more fulfilling for myself as well,” said Anderson.  She’s now been making guests feel at home at the Pinnacle Hotel for over 12 years and encourages her team to share everything from photos to directions to secret spot. The happy hotelier believes that when someone gets excited about sharing experiences it can really let the character of the community shine to the guest and increase job fulfillment for staff.

“Good relationships develop out of that environment, which essentially grows your bottom line (with repeat customers), but also contributes to the growth of that staff member as a person.”

Having a small, but mighty team means the same staff connect with customers at many points of the guest experience journey. The person who makes a reservation and helps plan a vacation is also likely to be there at check in and throughout a stay.

“Being a smaller company and having an on-site reservations department is a huge service game changer. We often hear from our guests how much they enjoy seeing the person they’ve spoken to on the phone,” said Anderson.

A product of a mountain environment

Every room at the Pinnacle Hotel has a mountain view with a layout that makes the most of what visitors need, including some unexpected extras. Deep jacuzzi soaker tubs are located in the open plan living area of most suites, surprising guests with the option to relax weary muscles after an active day while in front of the a fire or TV and enjoying spectacular mountain vistas.

Amenities also check all the mountain life essential boxes with a ski shop on-site, Alta Bistro, serving up seasonally inspired dishes and Quattro, one of Whistler’s favourite Italian restaurants. With Whistler being a doggie paradise, the Pinnacle ensures four-legged family members get pampered and speaking of pampering, mountain bikes get ample TLC at a fully loaded bike service and wash station (accompanied by staff-recommended bike trails of course).

Partners who make it personal

For Anderson, a truly immersive experience ensures that guests aren’t just checking in, they’re getting a warm welcome, given thoughtful advice and personalized recommendations that will make their visit unforgettable. This standard of authenticity has shaped some of the Pinnacle Hotel’s most successful packages with local businesses like Sea to Sky Gondola, Scandinave Spa and Crêpe Montagne.

“We partner with people who give an authentic immersive experience, just like we try to do. It’s very symbiotic. Guests get a very unique experience at the partner with the same level of authentic service,” said Anderson, who points out that personalized care can be just as impactful as adrenaline to carve a lasting memory. As important as adrenaline is to mountain culture, it is the relationships and that feeling of belonging to a tribe that often form lasting bonds in mountain culture, and with guests coming in record numbers this year, now is an important time for this team to make meaningful connections that will keep guests coming back.”

Link to Whistler Question article: http://ow.ly/VJSJX