“We fell in love with Newfoundland and its people. To succeed in life you really have to love it, where it is and those involved. For us, all that culminated into one really great project, the Best Western Plus in St. John’s, Newfoundland,” said Ted Toner, entrepreneur and former owner of one grocery store and current owner of three hotels in Atlantic Canada.
From New Brunswick, the Toner family has a history of awards and accolades as a result of their entrepreneurial spirit. Ted tells the integral story, “I was in the grocery business for 23 years and Madeleine, my wife was a pharmacist for 17 years. We both wanted something new and exciting to work on. There wasn’t a hotel in our hometown in the main highway of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, so we embarked on building one. It was a great learning experience, a new endeavour and eventually, we became well known for our hotel success and we were approached to expand and built the first Best Western in Fredericton. Six years ago we came to St. John’s for a visit and we fell in love with the place and the people. We knew this could be a great location for our third hotel. One day we were at the St. John’s Airport, waiting for our flight, and we got the idea to meet with the Airport authorities …. and it all spawned from there. We built the first Best Western Plus in St. John’s shortly there after.”
When asked what it is like to own so many businesses, Ted replied, “I don’t think we’ve had time to realize that we now have three hotels. It takes enormous effort to build and run businesses. We haven’t taken the time let the results sink in. We’ve been too busy doing it.”
St. John’s, Newfoundland is the new “home” of Christian Toner. The Toner family and they have worked diligently to connect and work with local people and industry in every possible way. Ted explains, “We’ve been very cognizant in hiring local companies to design and construct our building and our goal is to employ local people. We estimate about 60 new jobs will be created as a result of the Best Western St. John’s location. It makes perfect sense to do so because the people here are amazing.”
Madeleine Levesque Toner is a woman of detail, perseverance and vision and manages over 150 people within her business organizations. She’s hands-on and creative and is a true leader in the hospitality industry.
Madeleine said, “We feel we have created a “wow” factor for our guests. We are constantly focusing on what our guests want and need. We’ve focused on implementing Best Western Plus standards and beyond. Attention to detail has been key and we are very proud of our efforts so far. The hotel is absolutely beautiful and it provides people with many experiences that go above and beyond the norm. With 175 rooms to think about we are constantly integrating best practices in each room and ensuring we meet our own standards of excellence.”
The Toner couple have four children all of whom are involved in the businesses in one way or another. A true testament that families actually can build great companies together and that families can be a strength and a source of diversity and integration as well as an inseparable bond. It’s something to be truly proud of.
The Toner family acts from a clear mission and vision. They are committed to strong relationships and being leaders in all aspects of the hospitality industry. Madeleine said, “Each day we commit to making our guests feel at home, feel safe, and feel totally taken care of, in such a way that we hope to become their first choice when they are selecting their home away from home. We are in a constant state of improvement and we have six core values that our team works from every day. These core values ground us in an operation of excellence and they include respect, communication, hard work, honesty, teamwork and continuous improvement. They are not just words for us, they are a self-expression.”
Christian Toner, son of Madeleine and Ted has been overseeing the St. John’s hotel since its inception. He will proudly give you a tour and share the amenities that they have taken such pride in developing at the new location. Everything from the local beer bottles made into a chandelier to the 120 ft slide that promises to bring out the kid in you are all part of the experience at Best Western Plus.
Christian says, “The Best Western Plus is officially opening this April as the newest airport hotel. It is conveniently situated at the airport yet it is only 10 minutes from downtown. Our goal for this Best Western Plus is to serve the business and leisure community.”
Christian is proud of the ambience, “This is a brand new building and the guest rooms and suites reflect the local culture and heritage with a modern urban spin. Elegantly styled with exquisite decor the Best Western Plus offers people an “experience” all on its own. Guests have access to a restaurant, bar, cafe, lounge and special event rooms with the latest of digital technology for superior presentations and training. The lobby lounge is exciting, inviting and the perfect place to entertain clients in that important business meeting. Room service and a complimentary hot buffet breakfast will elevate your stay with Best Western. Other attractions include a 24-hour Airport shuttle service, each room is equipped with a microwave, Keurig coffee, mini-fridge, and free WIFI. Other facilities include a ballroom, gym, a friendly bar, and the pool has an exciting water slide and a huge hot tub! I believe we’ve covered it all.”
When you walk into the front lobby of the Best Western Plus you get the sense that you’ve just stepped into an almost middle eastern ambience. Refined and elegant tastes, complimenting colours, tantalizing textures and interesting art forms delight the senses and welcome you to stay a while and not want to leave! That’s what true craftsmanship is all about.
The Best Western Plus team welcomes you to the experience of their hotel and offers you something really, really special. See you there!
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