George and Rachel Freitag

George and Rachel Freitag

Elizabeth Lake Lodge recognized

Cranbrook’s Elizabeth Lake Lodge is ranked ninth in the country for exceptional service

For the sixth year in a row, Cranbrook’s Elizabeth Lake Lodge has won a coveted Trip-

Advisor Travellers’ Choice Hotel Award.

The lodge, which sits beside Elizabeth Lake on Cranbrook’s south-western edge, ranked as the ninth best hotel in Canada for Exceptional Service.

“We were absolutely thrilled to get it,” said George Freitag, who owns the lodge with his wife Rachel.

It was joined in the top 10 by the likes of Trump International Hotel in Toronto and the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

TripAdvisor is a travel website where hotel guests can rank their stay and write reviews of the accommodation. It contains reviews of about 10,000 Canadian properties.

Each year, TripAdvisor looks at the hotels ranked in the top 25 positions in five categories: luxury hotels, family hotels, resorts, best bargains, and exceptional service.

For three years, Elizabeth Lake Lodge was awarded in the bargain hotel category. However, a slight rate increase saw it priced out of that category. Since 2012, the Cranbrook hotel has won in the service category.

“It becomes tougher to win it every year, because now you get people booking just because of our reviews. So their expectations walking in are very high,” said George.

“For that reason, I’m thrilled that we got it for one more year, and it shows that we have been able to continue to up our game a little bit.”

Elizabeth Lake Lodge has 276 reviews on TripAdvisor. Of those, 250 ranked the lodge as excellent with 5 stars, 21 ranked it as very good with 4 stars, 4 ranked it as average with 3 stars, and only one of the 276 gave it a poor review with one star. None of the reviews failed to give the lodge any stars.

In the six categories, the lodge has five stars for five out of six: sleep quality, rooms, service, value and cleanliness. In the remaining category, location, it has four and a half stars.

Although the reviews from guests are overwhelmingly positive, George is humble about the ranking.

“I try and let people know that it’s not saying we are the absolute best property. These are properties that have exceeded expectations for what they have paid and what they have come for; these properties have delivered more than what they were expecting.”

George and Rachel purchased the former Ponderosa Motel in September 2004 and have since completely transformed the motel and mini golf into what it is today.

The original motel was demolished and the first phase of the lodge built in 2006 and early 2007 with a grand opening in June 2007. The second phase was completed in 2011.

Along the way the mini golf course was completely refurbished, and artist Cristine Macdonald, who works under the name CD Mac, has painted numerous murals on the walls of the lodge. Cristine continues to work every summer on adding to the art.

George has a hospitality background, working for the Pan Pacific and Ritz Carlton hotels in Vancouver, and later in a training position for Ritz Carlton worldwide.

He said his experience has crafted the service model at Elizabeth Lake Lodge.

“The whole check-in procedure in a five-diamond hotel is more than just checking in a guest. It’s figuring out exactly what would make their stay a little bit better and doing it. You can’t do that just in the time that they sign the registration card. So every guest who checks in, we escort them to the room and show it to them. The whole underlying reason we are doing that is we are trying to figure out what we can do to make their stay a little bit better. Usually we are able to do that one more thing.”

He acknowledged the lodge’s staff for helping make guests more comfortable.

“Even though it’s Rachel and I who do most of the check-ins, our housekeeping staff are a big part of doing those extra things for the guests. It’s often them who get us the review. On their own initiative, they take the time to find the extra thing the guest wants.

“Our staff is wonderful and you can’t do it unless everybody is making it happen.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Shypitka named opposition critic for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation

The Kootenay East MLA has held the energy and mines portfolio since 2017

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

File Photo
Missing hunter found dead in South Country

A hunter was reported as overdue on Nov. 29, and was found deceased on Nov. 30 following an RCMP and SAR operation

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP seeking driver of burnt out car found on HaHa Creek Road

Cranbrook RCMP are looking for the driver of a vehicle that was found on fire Monday

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read