Benchmark Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Naramata has been named No. 1 among its 223 counterparts in the Okanagan, according to reviews on TripAdvisor.
“This is huge recognition for an important Penticton & Wine Country stakeholder,” said Tourism Penticton CEO Jessie Campbell. “TripAdvisor and consumer review sites like this are some of the most influential for travellers trying to decide where to stay and what to do in a destination. Sincere congratulations to Benchmark B&B.”
The honour came after Benchmark received 119 perfect reviews from recent travellers, each of whom gave five out of five stars to the resort-style bed and breakfast perched atop the hill looking west over the lake and mountains. The B&B had held the top spot in the local area for some time but was recently catapulted to the top in the entire valley and is No. 3 in British Columbia.
“It seems to me that any hotel or B&B that has 116 five, well-deserved star reviews kind of deserves a sixth star. I think Trip Advisor will have to give a special medal for such an accomplishment. The hospitality is superb. The food is superb. The view is superb,” said one recent guest in their TripAdvisor review.
Proprietors Gail and Steve Walker said providing a fabulous experience for guests is their top priority.
“We were totally unprepared for and have been simply blown away by the kindness, courtesy and appreciation shown to us by our guests,” said Gail. “It really is very rewarding to greet strangers on a Friday evening and say good-bye to friends two or three days later. We have met some of the nicest people on the planet just by staying at home. We never expected this to happen.”
The Walkers opened the B&B in 2011 after recognizing a need for top quality resort-style accommodation.
“When we started Benchmark we believed that there was a niche for a modern resort-style B&B with great home cooked food made from local ingredients, attentive and friendly service and modern well equipped rooms that gave guests privacy yet enabled them to meet fellow travelers, make new friends and swap often very amusing stories over a glass of wine,” said Gail. “In short to create an atmosphere more akin to visiting old friends,”
Campbell said the accolades and the sheer popularity of Benchmark, which was sold out for the entire summer, often with a waiting list, is indicative of the increasing consumer demand for more higher-end and boutique-style accommodation.
“The profile of the guests seeking this type of accommodation are those with higher incomes and the ability to travel year-round,” she said.
“They book their trip because of our wine and food offerings, but add on everything from beaches to outdoor adventure. Key to their stay is accommodation, and Benchmark B&B is obviously fulfilling that market demand.”