Guests may not realize how intertwined the fashion and hospitality industries are. Actually, in the hospitality industry, fashion influences a hotel’s or resort’s interior décor, amenities, restaurant menu, floral arrangements, art on display and, yes, uniforms.
The history of hotel uniforms is as old as the concept of the hotel itself and has been influenced by a number of trends. In the very early days, a simple badge indicated a person’s role. As cities grew and industrialization began to shape modern society, so did the beginnings of the modern hotel begin to evolve. As competition grew, hotels and resorts turned their focus to projecting an image, which those in search of superior accommodation could recognize. And with that, the concept of the hotel uniform was born. The more prestigious or superior the establishment, the more ornate the uniform. Many of these ornate uniforms were modelled after military styles or the styling of the uniforms worn by the personal servants of the nobility, the implication being guests would receive disciplined service of a type only previously enjoyed by the privileged upper classes. Comfort was merely a secondary consideration when it came to uniforms.
Fashion is part of the hospitality industry’s ever-changing story. Uniforms have come a long way. Gone are the days of the stiff, formal front-desk suits and all-polyester housekeeping garments. Today, it’s about stylish comfort wear, breathable fabrics and, in some cases, even high fashion.
Even so, uniforms still play an important role in communicating a property’s image and play a major role in any service encounter because a uniform can influence customer expectations about performance quality.
Some of us seek a laid-back holiday, one that is completely opposite from our hectic city lives. We yearn to be soothed by nature and partake in activities that bring us pleasure, someplace where casual attire and relaxation are not only accepted but expected. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at many Resorts of Ontario properties.
Dreaming about off-the-grid, solar-powered comfort and wide-open spaces? Look no further than Algonquin Log Cabin & Cottages, operated by Voyageur Quest, on Kawawaymog Lake in Algonquin Park. For privacy, the Algonquin Island Retreat, a tiny private island, offers the ultimate escape for couples. Feeling more social? The Algonquin Log Cabin features three day-guided adventures for small groups of eight to 12. At the end of each day, tasty home-cooked meals are served at the harvest table in front of a massive stone fireplace. Of course, there’s always time to relax with a book or reflect on life’s simple pleasures on the sun deck and in the wood-fired sauna.
More adventures and sustainable outdoor fun are found at Owl Rafting & Resort, owned by Claudia and Dirk Van Wijk and their family, who are committed to reducing their impact on Mother Nature and sharing those actions with you. Whether you book an adventure rafting expedition or a gentler family floating experience, from local organically grown food and reusable dinnerware, cups and cutlery to recycling programs and energy conservation, every aspect your experience reflects the family’s promise to Mother Nature.
Located near the West Gate of Algonquin Park, Blue Spruce Resort on Oxtongue Lake in Muskoka offers upscale cottages, complete with wood-burning fireplaces, as well as motel accommodation in an ideal setting of pristine lakes and diverse forests. Hosts Lynda and Scott Hayden and their staff encourage guests to take it easy in this restful ambiance or participate in the abundance of activities available in and around one of the largest fully equipped housekeeping resorts in the area.
Owned by the Hungerford family for four generations, Lumina Family Resort has been seducing guests with Muskoka hospitality since 1921. At this large cottage resort, which features 36 chalet cottages and a main lodge on Lake of Bays, guests are treated to full maid service, outstanding food and a fully supervised children’s program in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
The lakeside Severn Lodge in the Georgian Bay area of Muskoka had a long history of as a summer retreat for the American elite from Pittsburgh since the 1870s before the Breckbill family took over the property in 1937. Today, under the family’s watchful eye, the property features 10 resort-style rooms as well as lakeview cottage accommodation in relaxed, natural surroundings, making it an ideal destination for vacationing families and couples as well as a beautiful venue for romantic wedding ceremonies, which, if you desire, can include use of a 37-foot Ditchburn mahogany motor launch originally built for Lady Eaton of the Eaton Department Store fame.
Meanwhile, the Bryant family has owned and operated the waterfront Shamrock Lodge on Lake Rosseau for 38 years, providing unrivalled personal service, spectacular lakeside dining, cozy, traditional Muskoka waterfront accommodation as well as meeting and wedding facilities in a family-friendly environment. The Bryant family’s commitment to going and above for their guests has won them awards along the way.
Another magical spot to commune with nature is the Bonnie View Inn, a 28-room, family-owned country inn with big-resort amenities. This landmark resort on Lake Kashagawigamog in the Haliburton Highlands has been around since 1924 and offers a plethora of activities as well as beautiful trails for hiking and cycling. Whether she’s hiking mountain summits, adventure racing or finding her inner peace on her stand-up paddle board, owner Andrea Hagarty is sure to put a smile on your face the moment you meet her.
Fully contained lakefront cottages and loads of activities in scenic natural surroundings make the award-winning Elmhirst’s Resort on Rice Lake in the Kawarthas a delightful place to vacation, but it’s the Elmhirst family and resort staff who make your experience truly memorable. From check-in and housekeeping to meals and recreation, everyone is committed to making your stay as enjoyable as possible. Since the resort is still a working farm that has been passed on through generations dating back to the early 1800s, there are always plenty of chores to be done and guests are more than welcome to join in the fun.
Fashionable trends may come and go, however, the dedication of the Resorts of Ontario owners and staff to provide the service you’ve come to expect never waivers.