The Delta Hotels by Marriott - Kananaskis Lodge, located in Alberta, Canada will always be a special place for my wife and I. Three years ago we began looking at potential venues for our wedding, we knew we wanted a mountain wedding as it was representative of our relationship which limited our options a fair bit. This took us on a road trip adventure through Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden/Kicking Horse, Fernie and more. We came across some amazing spots, but nothing quite matched-up to what we were looking for, then when it looked like hope was lost we came across the Kananaskis Lodge, it was the perfect distance from Calgary, at the right price with the perfect mountain setting. Upon visiting the venue for the first time we went to the Big Horn Lodge for lunch where we were served by Gilbert. If you looked up hospitality in the dictionary, you'd probably find a picture of Gilbert, he is a true delight, kind heart and someone who honestly cares about bringing his best with him to work. Gilbert is Filipino and as a half-Filipino myself, I could relate to his story of coming to Canada to make a life for himself, much like my family did. When I asked Gilbert about his family, he said the people there at the Kananaskis Lodge were his family now, this is something I'll never forget. As someone who grew up with very limited extended family around, I know what it's like to find a sense in family in others, even if they aren't your own blood.
Fast forward a year later, me and my wife got married at the Kananaskis Lodge, we had requested Gilbert be a part of the banquet team for our wedding, but unfortunately he was already spoken for. The following year in 2016 we revisited the lodge for a wonderful first anniversary, then earlier this month in 2017 we celebrated our 2nd anniversary at the lodge. For our second anniversary there were a lot of changes, the Lodge is going through a much needed renovation and is actually said to be re-branding as part of Marriott's Autograph Collection. Although much work is still in progress, what has been finished so far is very impressive, I can't wait to see the final product. One of the changes was the Bighorn being transformed into a new higher-end restaurant known as the Cedar Room. Naturally we booked our anniversary dinner here. Upon arriving for our reservation we see a Filipino man caught off guard by familiar faces, it's Gilbert! 3-years later after not seeing the man, he still remembers our faces and then to our astonishment he recalls my wife's name, wow! That's just the kind of person Gilbert is, he leaves a lasting impression that stands the test of time. We enjoyed another fantastic dinner, with Gilbert once again at the helm making the experience that much more memorable. If that's not a true testament to what good service is, I don't know what is. So on that note, I would like to nominate Gilbert for The Spirit to Serve award. Gilbert is not only dedicated to his customers, but he's also dedicated to his family at the Kananskis Lodge, I can't think of anyone more deserving.
Thanks for reading!