Kilmorey Lodge, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada
Kilmorey Hosts Murder Mystery
- By Chris Brown
- Pincher Creek Echo, February 15, 2005
The Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton will be offering all aspiring Sherlock Holmes' and Agatha Christies the chance to show off their detective skills and experience a weekend of mystery and intrigue from Feb. 25-27 as the host their always popular Murder Mystery Weekend.
"It's a lot of fun and completely different from any other murder mystery weekend that I’ve heard about," said Nicki Schoening, from marketing and Group Sales.
"They go for the entire weekend, beginning on Friday evening with a wine and cheese party," she explains.
"Without giving too much away, something happens and that sets the stage for the rest of the weekend."
The extent to which you participate in the weekend's events is entirely voluntary.
"Some people will begin to act suspicious to throw a red herring out there, some will just become detectives, whatever they want to do really," Schoening said.
"We bring in a professional acting group to play some parts and add some drama and help keep everything going throughout the weekend," she said. After the fateful events of Friday evening, more is revealed the next morning. The guests are allowed to slip out of their detective shoes for the afternoon before the plot thickens on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning the weekend wraps up as each guests take a turn at identifying ‘who-dunnit; and the truth is revealed.
"We've done these for more than a dozen years and they are always a good time," Schoening said.
"Everyone always enjoys themselves and I've never heard any complaints from the guests."
There are still a few spots available for those interested. The weekend package costs $315 per person and includes the wine and cheese reception, two nights accommodation, three-course dinner, your choice of breakfast or lunch both days and of course the weekend mystery theatre. All room taxes and gratuities are included.
Call 1-888-859-8669 for more information or to book your stay for a weekend of mystery.
Sometimes It's Great To Be In A Jam
- By Darby Gilbertson
- The Boundary, Tuesday, June 21, 2005
While comfortable rooms and a beautiful view are often big draws in chosing a hotel, the Kilmorey Lodge has another berry good reason for visiting their establishment – homemade Saskatoon jam.
For the past 19 years, chefs at the lodge have been making the jam and shipping it out through their website to buyers across the globe.
"It's very popular," says Kilmorey Lodge groups and promotions director, Nicki Schoening.
"We get letters from all over the world about the jam."
Although the Kilmorey chef is key in making the jam, Schoening says the process is a group effort.
"The whole team works on it," she says, stating their kitchen workers cook up the jam and the serving staff label the jars and attach notes explaining the origin and uses of the berry.
Among the facts compiled by the Kilmorey Lodge is that the berries were considered one of the most important foods by indigenous cultures, with the Blackfoot using fresh berries in soups, stews, and pemmican.
The berries were also used to make dyes and remedies for stomach aches and liver problems and dried berries were a very important winter staple and trade item.
When matured, the berry, which is about 1 centimetre in diameter, turns dark purple in colour with the seeds giving it an almond-like flavour. The fruit is high in iron and copper and grows on shrubs or small trees, blooming from May to June.
"People can see the Saskatoon bush when they come into the park, it's a very identifiable local product – and it’s really good."
It's evident that the finished product is quite popular, with the staff making up about three thousand to four thousand jars each winter, using around 1500 Saskatoon berries using fruit from outside the park purchased from local Hutterite colonies.
And while Schoening says the jam is simple to make, using mainly four ingredients – berries, water, sugar, and pectin, the lodge also puts in an extra special component.
"Of course the secret ingredient is love," laughs Schoening.
For more information visit www.kilmoreylodge.com or phone 859-2334.
A Diamond in the Rough
- By Brenday and Bob Wood, Field Editors, Calgary, Alberta
- Country Discoveries, July/August 2005
We love to get away to Waterton Lakes National Park, a spectacular Rocky Mountain oasis tucked in the southwest corner of Alberta. It just might be the province's best-kept secret!
Unlike some large parks, this jewel remains quiet and undisturbed. With its rugged, sheer-sided mountains, plunging waterfalls, alpine lakes and pristine woodlands, it's now wonder some folks say it's Canada’s prettiest mountain park.
Waterton Lakes is often overshadowed by its adjacent American cousin, Glacier National Park. But after you visit, we're sure you'll agree that Waterton Lakes is second to none.
At 203 square miles, Waterton Lakes is the smallest national park in Canada's Rockies. But there's still plenty to do – view wildlife, rent boats, enjoy scenic boat cruises or go horseback riding, golfing or mountain biking, to name a few activities. This truly is an outdoor lovers paradise.
The community of Waterton Park, located on the shore of Upper Waterton Lake, is a good base from which to explore. It features many amenities, including 10 hotels, restaurants, gas stations, automated cash machines, delightful boutique shops, grocery stores and outfitters. Be prepared to see deer wandering around the town – a vivid reminder of the area's plentiful wildlife.
One of our favourite places is Welch's Chocolate Shop (401 Windflower Ave,;1-403-859-2363;open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily fromm May through October 15. Be sure to try the homemade fudge or the Grizzly Bear ice cream!
We always stay at the charming Kilmorey Lodge, a romantic and rustic country inn. We love the cozy atmosphere, friendly service and the great meals at the Lamp Post Dining Room, not to mention the snuggly down comforters. You may never want to leave – but when you do, take home a jar of homemade Saskatoon berry jam!
One of our favourite part activities is a 2-hour cruise aboard the tour boat International. The guides are entertaining and knowledgeable, and the boat stops often for wildlife photo opportunities – you'll get a chance to see bald eagles, bear, moose, deer and mountain sheep and goats.
All in all, we can't say enough about the breathtakingly beautiful park. We think it's the crown jewel of Canada's national parks!
Celebrating our Centennial
- By Rusti Lehay, Alberta Food and Beverage Magazine, Summer 2005
From 1911 throughout four significant owners, The Kilmorey Lodge acquired and maintained a reputation for fine food and comfortable lodging. The Kilmorey Lodge Lamp Post Dining room continues the legacy. Leslie and Gerry Muza bought Kilmorey Lodge in 1987. They are the first owners to operate the lodge year-round, extending the reputation for quality throughout Alberta and internationally.
Nicki Schoening, Marketing and Group Sales, speaking for the Muzas, stresses,
"The way the market is now, service is extremely important. Back in the old days, people concentrated less on service. Product used to be number one. Quality product is essential for our success. With service as our number one priority, people come back." When new employees are hired, the lodge runs a rigorous 3-week training program. As the Kilmorey Lodge's reputation expands, it seems Schoening is right.
"The investment in our staff definitely pays off."
The Muzas also invest in thoughtful change, as they recently spent a month revamping the menu to be relevant to people's current needs and lives. One other change to accommodate present trends led to installing online access in the lodge's library. Schoening states,
"We move with the times honouring what's important to people while maintaining the country inn feeling."The thick
"thank you" files predict The Kilmorey Lodge is set to cruise far beyond their centennial in 6 years.
Customers Can Escape to Kilmorey
- By Dave Mabell
- The Lethbridge Herald, February 14, 2004
Deer at the doorstep, sunshine highlighting the Rockies, and a fireplace crackling while you and your partner sip a hot drink.
Sound cozy and romantic?
It certainly does for many couples, who head to Waterton National Park for a weekend getaway at Kilmorey Lodge.
Not surprisingly, the historic inn's rooms are booked solid for the Valentine's weekend. The Lamp Post Dining Room will be close to capacity tonight as well, although reservations may be possible later in the evening.
But for the Kilmorey, one of a handful of Waterton businesses that remain open year-round, there's always romance in the air.
"We celebrate a lot of weddings and anniversaries," says Paul Burgess, general manager of the picturesque inn.
The Kilmorey welcomes many wedding parties and honeymooners throughout the year, as well as its Valentines Day guests.
"And we also book weddings in our library, our outside in our gazebo," he adds.
For Burgess and his staff, the challenge is to provide food, drink and lodging to complement the location's natural beauty.
"We’re pleased to do special dinners for those guests," he says.
"First, we ask about their favorite foods."
Bison and elk are among the Kilmorey’s specialties, but chefs also prepare seafood, vegetarian dishes and traditional prime Alberta beef.
"We're a casual fine dining facility in the evenings," he says. "We have knowledgeable wine servers, and a very professional staff."
Special-event dinners are prepared ahead, of course, but Burgess says the kitchen staff cooks almost everything else from scratch.
"About 95 per cent of our menu is cooked to order."
Of course, food isn't the Kilmorey’s only attraction. Couples enjoying a Valentine’'s retreat this weekend will find antiques and down comforters in each of the 23 guest rooms. And in addition to the library and the dining room, they can enjoy a visit to the Ram's Head Lounge.
Burgess says the inn’s stone-encased fireplace attracts its own crowd at this time of year. But so do the mountain goats and deer just outside the door.
Venturing just a little further, Burgess says guests stroll the village, or drive to see some favourite spots encased in snow. Cross-country skiing is increasingly popular, he adds, and there's plenty of snow to tour the village and nearby areas this winter in addition to dedicated trails closer to Cameron Lake.
"There’s also ice climbing, and we actually have people coming to scuba dive in Emerald Bay this
American Royalty Dines at Alberta’s Charming Inn
- Travel Alberta website
To the delight of the American tourists dining at the Kilmorey Lodge, Waterton Park, Laura Bush and four friends, in the area for an environmental conference stopped by Friday evening (July 23) to dine on some of Alberta's regional cuisine. Bison, elk and Saskatoon pie was served to the group.
"It created a flurry of activity having the building surrounded by the secret service, all with ear phones," said Gerry Muza, co-owner, Kilmorey Lodge.
"They were a pleasure to serve, and so polite," said Leslie Muza, co-owner.
"The other American tourists who were dining were delighted, because only in Canada can you dine with the First Lady!"
- By Debbie Olsen
- Red Deer Advocate, February, 2004
A weekend at a country inn makes a perfect romantic getaway for any couple
A blanket of winter snow covers the forest and rugged mountains of Waterton Lakes National Park. The park, which is bustling with tourists during the summer months, is now quiet and many of the cabins and stores in the townsite are boarded up.
With the absence of people and traffic, deer and bighorn sheep run freely across local roads nibbling on branches and dried grasses under the snow.
Some would assume that this is the worst time to visit the park, but for many visitors, the quiet of winter is the best time to visit Waterton, especially if you're staying at the Kilmorey Lodge.
Situated on the shore of Waterton Lake's Emerald Bay, the 23-room Kilmorey Lodge is one of the original buildings in the townsite and has been operating since the 1920s. Each romantic guestroom is uniquely decorated with antique furnishings and soft eiderdown comforters. The award-winning Lamp Post Dining Room is one of the best restaurants you'll find and boasts the largest selection of Canadian wines of any establishment in Alberta.
Every winter, the Kilmorey hosts special Wine and Spirits Weekends that give guests the opportunity to cook a gourmet meal alongside the executive chef, learn how to mix cocktails and sample and select quality wine and scotch. During the breaks between cooking and sample sessions, you can cross-country ski or go on a winter nature walk around the townsite.
Other winter specials include Cross-Country Ski Escapes, Valentine's Weekends, Spa Weekends, and Murder Mystery Weekends. For reservations or more information visit: www.watertoninfo.ab.ca/kilmorey.html or call 1-888-859-8669.
Explore Cultural, Architectural Treasures Around the
- By William Tomicki
- El Paso Inc., June 2002
Q: Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada is our destination for a hiking and camping trip. Can a delicious meal and bottle of wine be found here when we tire of our campfire meals?
A: The Lamp Post Dining Room, located at historic Kilmorey Lodge in the alpine village of Waterton Park in Southern Alberta, pairs an award-winning menu with an extensive selection of Canadian wines. Diners can choose from hearty breakfasts to elegant dinners. Open 364 days a year, the Lamp Post is a welcome spot after a day of incredible hiking and wildlife viewing. Menu selections change from season to season. Favorites include Wild Mushroom Kilmorey, Prime Alberta Beef, and Caribou with Juniper Berry Sauce. Save room for homemade Saskatoon Berry pie or a sinful Chocolate paradise.
Kilmorey Lodge has a long tradition of Western Canadian hospitality, and also offers guest rooms with antique furniture and down comforters. Contact Kilmorey Lodge at (403) 859-2334 or at www.kilmoreylodge.com
Training and Professional Development
- By Nadine Fillipoff
- Canada Communique, June 2001
Whatever the size of your organization, you should think seriously about a systematic approach to training for you and your employees. Staff commitment, staff continuity, recognition of existing skills and strengths, and determination of skill gaps can all be achieved when you use a well-developed training plan. It can also benefit your employees by contributing to their personal growth and development, providing recognition for good work, and giving them the opportunity to use initiative and take ownership of their work.
According to Leslie Muza, co-owner and manager at the Kilmorey Lodge and Aspen Village in Alberta, training is essential for success in the workplace. At the beginning of her career, Muza worked in an extremely progressive organization that invested in training for its employees.
"With the training I received at the beginning of my career, I acquired essential skills for my future", Muza states,
"It is because of my experiences that I developed a belief in training and the benefits that it provides for employees." Kilmorey Lodge is well known for its exceptional service and attributes its high rate of clients to its customer service. Muza adds,
"Our staff are not allowed on the floor until they are fully trained. By doing this, we believe that our staff have increased confidence when they interact with the customer."
The first step in developing a training plan is assessing what the training need is. The need, the gap between what is happening and what should be happening, will determine what type of training you choose to implement. Conducting a needs assessment will assist in identifying the need. A needs assessment looks at three different aspects of a particular situation including the present situation, the desired situation, and the way of closing the gap between the two…
Friendly Inns Beckon
- By Joanne Elves
- Edmonton Journal, August 2001
I visited another of the Charming Inns down in Waterton National Park at the historic Kilmorey Lodge.
Back in 1911, the famous Kootenai Brown, then superintendent of the new park gave A.C. Kemmis permission to build a small boarding house. By 1924, the eight-room lodge was known for its fine food and comfortable lodging.
As the years went on, more rooms were added. They even were attached to the next building, which explains why the hall floors are not flat. The big year was 1955 when bathrooms were added to most of the rooms.
When Leslie and Gerry Muza bought the inn in 1987, they did more renovations, mostly to insulate the building for year-round use. The main floor suites were also modified to accommodate guests with physical challenges.
To keep the old world charm, each room is decorated with antiques, dainty floral prints, soft comforters and – no TV or phone! The wood paneled halls are adorned with old black and white photos of the
"old days" in the park, artifacts, and more antiques. The Rams Head Lounge is a cozy corner of the building where hikers and hunters alike swap many a story. More artifacts grace the walls here, including the shotgun from 1911 that brought down the largest ram on record in a canyon nearby.
The Lamp Post Dining Room is rustic but the food is far from antique. Fresh food and new world ideas splash colour and taste through every entrée.
Kilmorey Lodge Among the Best the South Offers
For fine dining and cozy rooms, the Kilmorey is the perfect getaway
- By Garry Allison
- The Lethbridge Herald, May 18, 2000
WATERTON- Leslie and Gerry Muza have received an array of awards, including this year, for their dining and hotel operations.
Their presentation of fine dining experiences, hospitality and tourism excellence in their Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton Lakes National Park is envied by many in the tourism industry.
This month they received word the Kilmorey has earned even more honours, being named the gold medal winner for Class A hotels from the Alberta Hotel Association for both their dinner and lunch menu and the silver medal for their breakfast menu.
Among the other prestigious awards received by the Muzas, who also operate the Aspen Village Inn in Waterton, are the Alberta Business Award of Distinction for Tourism and numerous menu awards to their Kilmorey Dining Room.
Last year alone, the husband and wife team were recipients of the Alberta Service Best Property Award; Alberta Hotel Association Menu Award – Gold for Fine Dining Menu, Class A Hotel; Alberta Hotel Association Menu Award – Gold for Breakfast Menu, Class A Hotel; Alberta Hotel Association Menu Award – Bronze for Fine Lunch Menu, Class A Hotel; Alberta Restaurant and Food Services Menu Award – first in the province for Hotel Fine Dining; and the Alberta Good Housekeeping Award.
Their commitment to service excellence is reflected through dedication to extensive staff training, including the Service Best Program, and to the importance they place in promoting Waterton Lakes National Park.
But, despite all the awards, Gerry and Leslie Muza are not standing pat. They have made a number of changes for the coming tourist season.
"Paul Burgess came to us this winter and our dining room is now under his leadership," says Gerry.
"Paul is in charge of our overall food operation. We have done away with our head chef concept and now have three chefs, with Paul to have a strong presence in our dining room."
The dining room has many of its staff returning again this year, from all across Canada, and the three Red Seal Chefs and several apprentices. Operating under Burgess, will be Wayne and Kim Finnson and James Rowley.
The hotel has a brand new breakfast menu in place and changes to the dinner menu as well. Diners will be able to enjoy the usual excellent cuisine as well as specialty dishes featuring buffalo, ostrich, elk, caribou appetizers and other intriguing dishes as well.
The dining room has earned numerous special menu and service awards through the years and features superior quality food, and the best of service.
As well, the Kilmorey offers the Gazebo Café and the patio deck at the lodge for outside dining, a special experience in Waterton, surrounded by trees, mountains, birds and the occasional deer.
Muza is also busy setting up a new marketing group involving the smaller, quality hotel and dining combinations throughout the province, called Charming Inns of Canada.
The new alliance would involve the Kilmorey and quality inns in Fort McMurray, Cold Lake, Hinton, Edmonton, Rosebud, Calgary and Canmore.
"These are all small inns, under 40 rooms, with fine dining and the same basic principals of personalized service and private ownership," says Muza, whose Kilmorey Lodge has 23 personalized rooms.
"These are inns with quality food service, and are not bed and breakfast outlets, but commercial properties.
"We are looking at only one property per city or town, at least until the concept gets rolling. We are still into the marketing research and have received some assistance from Alberta Economic Development."
The Kilmorey Lodge and Aspen Village Inn are also part of the new Cowboy Trail concept, linking heritage western experiences along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Muza encourages people to visit the Kilmorey, in person and on its Web site, www.watertonpark.com.
The site provides maps of the park and the surrounding area, detailed information on everything including the rare three-toed-salamander, food service and lake cruise information, facts about the Kilmorey's Murder Mystery weekends and Romantasy, as well as booking information.
The Kilmorey is in an ideal setting and every room is different," Muza says.
"The Kilmorey is basically a country inn, cozy and friendly…and when the lights are dimmed…"
Kilmorey's Menu Second to None
- By Garry Allison
- The Lethbridge Herald, May 18, 2000
WATERTON- It's tough to find anyone more enthusiastic about the splendor of Waterton Lakes National Park than Gerry Muza who, with wife Leslie, owns and operates the Kilmorey Lodge.
He's also a stickler for quality and service at the Kilmorey itself, in its dining room, lounge and at the couple's second motel, the Aspen Village Inn.
One of the special experiences you can enjoy at the Kilmorey is a Romantasy Weekend.
This is a two-night package and includes fresh flowers, breakfast in bed, a bottle of champagne, a dinner for two in the Lamp Post Dining Room and choice of breakfast or lunch, including all taxes and gratuities, for $379 per couple.
"The Romantasy is one of our most popular packages," Muza says. "It is just super for couples looking for a place to get away from everything. I often think it is the perfect package for men who don’t quite know what romance is."
And what is romance without fine dining and superb wines?
The Lamp Post Dining Room in the Kilmorey Lodge is truly a superb taste experience. Featuring a dining area, with wildlife and native pictures on the walls, complimented by attentive, knowledgeable and courteous staff, the dining room seats 55 comfortably and offers and extensive wine list.
"We specialize in Canadian products and doing our dishes in a Canadian manner," says Muza.
"Each year we go to the Okanagan and test hundreds of different wines to select the ones we wish to present in our dining room. We have the largest Canadian wine selection in Alberta."
The Kilmorey's one-of-a-kind menu is truly superb, and diversified.
Naturally Alberta beef is a feature, and if looking for a special taste treat, try the French rack of lamb or caribou with juniper and Saskatoon berries demi-glaze.
You can also enjoy a seafood selection which includes raspberry mango sea bass, salmon Athena and Indian curry
almondine. There's an array of soups, salads, and appetizers as well and before dinner you can enjoy surroundings of the Kilmorey lounge.
On the shore of Emerald Bay, the Kilmorey Lodge is first seen as visitors drive down the hill into town, with the bay to their left and the Kilmorey just ahead.
Muza is fond of pointing out the United Nations has declared Canada as the finest country in the world, and then there’s the fact Alberta is obviously the best province.
"Waterton is easily the nicest place in Alberta, hence it is the center of the universe." He says with a confident smile.
The Kilmorey, now in its 74th year, has been owned and operated by Gerry and Leslie Muza for the past 13 years. They have expanded it into a true four-season hotel.
Playing host to cross-country skiers and snowshoers in the winter, the hotel is a home for travelers the world over, including southern Albertans who enjoy the fall and spring seasons as well as the summer months.
Birdwatchers, hikers, photographers, sightseers and park visitors of all descriptions make the hotel their home base while visiting Waterton.
For room rates, bookings, special packages and other inquiries phone the historic Kilmorey Lodge at (403) 859-2334, Fax (403) 859-2342 or e-mail:
Rendez-vous for Two at Kilmorey Lodge
- By Linda Barnes
- Canadian Country Inns Magazine, Spring 2000
Tucked away in the extreme southwestern corner of Alberta's Waterton Lakes National Park, Kilmorey Lodge is a perfect destination for guests seeking the simply romance of an unencumbered time in an incomparably beautiful setting. Over seven decades of operation, this historic Country Inn has been extensively expanded and renovated, yet retains the eccentric charm of an old-style family cottage.
Rooms in the rambling log structure have been comfortably refurbished with private baths, a smattering of antiques and cushy down comforters. Each room is unique. Some area cosily tucked under the eaves; some include separate sitting areas and expansive lake views; all are blissfully free of phones and televisions!
The relaxed atmosphere is underscored by the award-winning Lamp Post Dining Room and with its consistently excellent food and extensive wine list. Morning offerings range from robust Rancher's Benedict, medallions of sirloin topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, to old-fashioned hot oatmeal. Lunch features light fare like ostrich burgers or Kilmorey Spinach salad with Portobello mushrooms and feta cheese. Dinner is outstanding and, depending on the season, might feature wild boar paté, caribou with juniper and wild Saskatoon berries or sea bass with tropical fruit salsa. Each entrée comes with a suggestions an accompanying wine from the Lodge's discriminating collection of British Columbia estate wines.
Peaceful and uncrowded, Waterton Lakes National Park offers spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, a charming townsite and superb hiking, golf, fishing, and horseback riding. In co-operation with Montana's Glacier National Park, which borders Waterton to the south, the unique eco-system, created where the prairie meets the mountains, has been jointly preserved as the Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park and designated a World Heritage Site.
Leslie and Gerry Muza, owners/operators of the Lodge, are committed to maintaining the tradition of warm hospitality and highly personalized service which has become a Kilmorey hallmark. To encourage guests to experience the park year-round, the Lodge offers specialized off-season packages such as
"The Romantasy' to celebrate a special occasion or encourage time out for two; The
'Cross-Country Ski Escape' to sample the serenity of the winter landscape; or The
'Murder Mystery Weekend'. In addition, the Lodge is happy to make special arrangements at the request of its guests. How about fresh flowers or chilled champagne in the room; an engagement ring delivered with dessert; or a personal picnic lunch?
No matter what the season of the year you choose to visit Kilmorey Lodge, you will find time slows to a pace where leisurely strolls, long conversations and dallying over dinner become the day’s objective. What could be more romantic!
's Lamp Post Dining Room won a gold medal last year form the Alberta Hotel Association for its dinner menu, and the menu was rated first in the province by the Alberta Restaurant and Foodservices Association. Along with choices like buffalo, caribou, tandori cicken and Alberta beef on the fine multicultural menu by chef Andre Rainville, you’ll find more than 60 Canadian wines, the largest selection of fine Canadian wines in Alberta.
Great eating spots along rural Alberta's highways and byways
- Cinda Chavich
- Calgary Herald, July 6, 1997
Waterton Lakes National Park. This is a classic small inn that’s been part of the little town of Waterton since 1926. Inside this quaint lodge is a great little pub with a cozy fireplace, serving Big Rock on tap, a formal dining room and a garden patio for savoring the mountain views.
With only 23 rooms, the Kilmorey has a warm, homey feel – bigger than a bed and breakfast, but nothing like a big hotel. The lodge’
It's open year round but reservations are a must in high summer season. Call 403-859-2334.
- By Rachel Evans
- Pincher Creek Echo, October 1997
Upset with recent renovations to her home at the rustic Kilmorey Lodge in Waterton Lakes National Park, Mrs. Kilmorey rearranges the heavy beds and wingback chairs and performs other tricks to let the staff know of her displeausure.
Mrs. Kilmorey, as the staff affectionately calls the friendly phantom, is rumored to have been Ada Louise Kemis, the founder of Kilmorey Lodge in 1932 who did not meet her death in tragedy, but istead roams the hotel because she could not bear to leave it.
Her presence is usually felt in Room 1 on the third floor which used to be the staff lodging where Mrs. Kemis may have lived in the first half of the century.
A psychic once walked into the building without any particular knowledge of the ghost or her encounters with the living and announced to the manager that there was a presence in the hotel.
She said the woman has a small frame, white hair and wears a floral dress from early in the century.
That is the same description giving by staff members and guests to which Mrs. Kilmorey has appeared in the past.
When the apparition gets into mischief, she teases employees by turning on the lights when they have been turned off, moving furniture in her suite and opening closed curtains.
One employee recalls turning off the coffee pot and making sure it was cold, only to have it fly across the room and spin on the floor without being touched.
Some repeat guests stay in Mrs. Kilmorey's room because they are comforted by her presence and knocking up the wall and over the roof.
Mrs. Kemis is reputed to have been an unusual women when she was alive, having run the hotel by herself which was unheard of for a woman in the early part of the century.
She is said to have been the most dominant female presence of her time in the lodge and apparently didn’t want death to prevent her from continuing to hold that
bump up how service is delivered with the inclusion of colleges and universities across Canada and to get some articulation in Western Canada and Northern Canada," Stafford said, noting that secondary school transfers in the tourism field are now possible because of the national program.
Waterton Workers Meet the Standard
- By Chris Morrison
- The Lethbridge Herald, June 1997
WATERTON- Seventeen employees of Kilmorey Lodge, Aspen Village Inn and Canadian Wilderness Tours were honored Wednesday with national certification from the Alberta Tourism Education Council.
Certification requires extensive class room work, on-the-job training and evaluation to meet standards of professionalism in the tourism industry.
According to John Stafford, ATEC vice-president, the certification program has been completed by 2,500 people in Canada since it began in 1989.
"It shows the world that tourism is not just any job," he told those gathered at Kilmorey Lodge for the presentations.
"It takes the right skills and the right attitude.
"It provides us all with a sense of pride and recognition. Tourism is now the largest industry in the world and the third largest industry in Canada."
ATEC has begun a 10-yar project to "
"The certification program challenges people through skill mastery and evaluation and is the same across the nation and is recognized by employers," he said.
At the moment, 7,000 are currently registered for certification (training)."
Stafford also said increasing number of job openings are being advertised with
"ATEC certification preferred."
Of the 17 Kilmorey employees receiving certification, more than half qualified in more than one occupation.
Hotel Wins Award for Menu
- Waterton-Glacier Views, August 21, 1996
WATERTON- One of this town's long established hotels was recently awarded a gold level award from the Alberta Hotel Association.
The association gave the distinction to the Kilmorey Lodge for their evening menu in the class for establishments with up to 99 rooms.
Kilmorey spokesperson Susan Stephen says the award is based on presentation, variety, value for money and for addressing special needs of the diner. The association also considers
"unique extras", according to Stephen, and the Kilmorey's theme. She explains the lodge's kitchen staff take dishes from all over the world and adapt them to a western style of cooking.
Last spring, the hotel won first in the Alberta Restaurant and Foodservices Association's best dinner menu. At the same time it won first place in the customer testimonial category, based on a letter sent from a customer after a Valentine's dinner.
Waterton Welcomes Winter Visitors
- By Larry Earl
- The Spokane Review, Northwest Travel, December 1995
Q: We are planning a nordic ski trip to the Canadian portion of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Can you suggest a place to stay?
A: I can recommend the historic Kilmorey Lodge (403-859-2334) in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.
The full-service, country-style inn offers a cozy, relaxed ambience. Guests routinely mention the homey feeling of the rooms, and they like snuggling under the down comforters.
I was particularly pleased with the restaurant's exceptional service, menu selection, quality and quantity of entrees, and prices.
This attention to guest hospitality is noteworthy, considering the remoteness of this part of the park and the very low tourism population during the winter months.
The lodge's Romantasy package includes two nights accommodations, fresh flowers and champagne, two breakfasts (one in bed) and one dinner for two. The cost is approximately $225 (U.S.) for a couple.
The lodge’s Murder Mystery Weekends are popular, too. The package includes a wine and cheese reception, mystery theater, two nights accommodations, one dinner and two breakfasts.
Winter activities include skating, strolling along the pristine lakeshore, nature photography, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
It is common to see deer, elk, and mountain sheep sometimes right on the lodge's property.
Nordic skiing is popular in the park. There are several designated trails to meet the needs of all ability levels.
The lodge offers a special budget-priced Ski X-Country package for about $60 (U.S. equivalent) a person, based on double occupancy. It includes room, breakfast, bagged lunch, dinner and all the nordic skiing you want. All taxes and gratuities are included.
Waterton designated World Heritage Site
100-year-old park recognized by UN
- The Canadian Press
- The Calgary Herald, December 7, 1995
To the list of the world’s great places of physical beauty – the Grand Canyon, the pyramids of Egypt – add a mountain park in southern Alberta and an old section of a Nova Scotia port town.
The United Nations has designated Waterton Lakes National Park on the Montana-Alberta border and the Old Town portion of Lunenburg, N.S. as World Heritage Sites.
Waterton is a national par of rugged beauty, established in 1895, that connects with an American counter-part to form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
"The designation means the park is of value and interest not only to the immediate community and Canada, but also of larger interest to all people on Earth," said Tom Lee, assistant deputy minister of Parks Canada.
The UN committee called Lunenburg "an outstanding example of planned European colonial settlement in North America in terms both of its conception and its remarkable level of conservation."
From the late eighteenth century onward, the people of Lunenburg have maintained the town’s homes and commercial buildings with the same care and skill as the founding fathers 242 years ago.
The United Nations recognized the significance of both parks by designating them biosphere reserves for research, education and the preservation of biological diversity.
Murders at Kilmorey LodgeWe have to constantly revise the plot and make sure the alibis and opportunities are credible," Eva says.
"We get lots of people who come back many times, so we can't just repeat the same presentation."
- Waterton–Glacier Park Views, Fall 1992
Murder is a messy business, but when the bodies start multiplying, as they have at the Kilmorey Lodge for the last five years, it’s definitely business for the finest detective minds to be found.
Actually, for Eva and Tom Stanley, murder is a business – a very entertaining one to be sure – but the couple are the brains and talent behind Murder Ink, the theatrical production group that produces murder mystery weekends at the Kilmorey, Lethbridge Lodge, and other places.
And the detectives – guests who come for a weekend of mystery and mayhem at the Kilmorey Lodge.
Murder Ink started about four years ago. The Stanleys, who are both heavily involved in the tourism industry and act with amateur theatre in the Crowsnest area, had put together a Medieval Banquet for a toursim industry get-together in Medicine Hat. The step from medieval banquet to murder and mayhem seemed a short one. Mystery parties are a relatively new phenomenon on the entertainment scene and are, in effect, a form of small scale interactive theatre.
Actors and guests mingle, unknown to one another, till suddenly a scream is heard or a shot rings out. A body – sometimes two – is discovered and the assembled group tries to figure out whodunit, using clues, character portrayals and deduction to solve the crime.
At the Kilmorey, the mystery presentations are combined with good food and hotel accommodation, for a kind of expanded dinner-theatre. In the six years the weekends have been held, several hundred guests have taken part in the activities.
“The level of participation really varies," says Eva. "Some people get right into it, others just sit back and try to figure out the clues without really getting involved."
"Some people get so involved in it, they'll follow you to the bathroom, thinking it's part of the mystery," Tom says.
"I've practically been strip searched after I've been killed off, by guests thinking I had more clues on my body."
The Stanleys write, produce and act in all their shows, and often wind up as bodies before the weekend's over. Assisting them is a company of about 20 people, mostly residents of the Crowsnest Pass. Each production uses about half a dozen members of the company.
The Stanleys try to arrange for several murders to happen in the course of the plot, to keep things moving, and for different ways of killing off the corpses.
Among the repeat guests is an Alberta coroner, Dr. Butts, who obviously likes to pretend mysteries as well as real ones. Gerry Muza recalls one time when Butts was standing over a newly murdered corpse and another guest recognized him and assumed the body was for real.
The Stanleys try to make the plots realistic and use the age-old themes of lust and greed as the basis for the murders. As well, depending on the time of year, a holiday motif is wound into the plot.
Guests at the mystery weekends come from all over North America. Young professional couples make up the largest single sector, but teachers, salespeople, retired couples and others also attend.
"I remember one of the best groups we ever had was this party of nuns," says Leslie Muza, co-owner of the Kilmorey.
"They got right into the spirit of the thing"
- Golf Traveler, July/August 1992
While visiting Waterton, the Kilmorey Lodge is a 25-room English country-style inn offering Golf Card members Stay and Play privileges. Built in the 1920s, Kilmorey Lodge features antique furniture with down comforters on every bed. Since owners Leslie and Gerry Muza took over six years ago, the lodge has undergone extensive renovations and is now open year-round.
The Kilmorey features the best dining in town in its Lamp Post Dining Room – Muza especially recommends the peppercorn steak – and brunch in the outdoor Gazebo Café provides an ideal start to a memorable game on the nearby Waterton Lakes Course.
Training Pays Off in Big Ways for
Lodge Owner Training is a difficult thing to measure at first glance because there is no line in the financial statement that says
'training- return on investment' and I don't see it on a day-to-day basis," she said Wednesday.
"But we can measure it in terms of customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and in higher income.
- By Chris Morrison
- The Lethbridge Herald
WATERTON- Leslie Muza, co-owner and manager of Kilmorey Lodge and Aspen Village Inn, has been a leader in developing training standards for tourism since 1989.
Now in her second term on the board of directors of the Alberta Tourism Education Council, Muza represents small businesses on the board which now recognizes 60 different occupations, certifying 26 of them in the industry.
ATEC began its work in Alberta, expanding it to a nationwide program and is beginning to work in other countries as well.
A strong believer that training makes a difference, Muza has invested heavily in her employees.
"It contributes to the success of our business, It makes our employees feel more comfortable and satisfied customers reduce marketing expenses," she pointed out.
One of Muza's best examples that solid training pays off came last year when her daughter had open heart surgery during May, the start of the busy season at the lodge.
Muza was able to take the entire month off to attend to her daughter while her staff competently and confidently ran the business.
"Our trained staff took over because they were empowered to do so," she said.
"It proved to be a marker year in terms of trust."
While hesitant to reveal exact figures, Muza said she spends thousands of dollars each year. She pointed our the training teaches not only transferable skills in a highly transient industry but also life skills.
"It's not just waiting tables, it’s time management, conflict resolution and team work.
"In today’s highly competitive marketplace, simply telling customrs you care isn't enough,"; she added.
"They want consistent, professional service that makes each encounter a positive one. That type of service takes training."
She pointed out another benefit: "The impact the training has had on our staff has been incredible. Not only does the training increase their sense of pride and job satisfaction, it gives them a better importance of doing their jobs well."
The Muza operation employs 65 full and part-time people in the summer months and 23 in the winter.
Winter at Alberta’s Waterton Lakes offers a few diversions, lots of peace and quiet
- By Nancy Sefton
- Special to Travel
The small town at lake's edge lies cloaked in ermine. The silence seems as thick as the ice on Waterton Lake itself.
On a small knoll just above town, the Price of Whales Hotel rises as a solitary seninel, gabled and ornate, reaching for the sky in concert with the towering stone monoliths of the Rockies that nearly surround it.
One would guess that Alberta's Waterton Lake was neatly padlocked for winter, cold and somewhat lonely, waiting for summer crowds to return. Not so. In one corner of town at least, things are warm and humming.
Eight years ago, the owners of historic Kilmorey Lodge decided to take a chance and remain open all year. Although their decision was greeted with some local skepticism, the gamble seems to be paying off. More and more people are finding their way to this unique spot to savor the unparalleled winter scenery, packaged in a kind of quiet peace that has a tranquilizing effect on many beleaguered mind.
The lodge represents a getaway for snow lovers and just about anyone wishing for a snug haven in an awesome winter wilderness. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and wildlife viewing are all set in a frosty landscape quite unlike any.
Deep snow and colder temperatures in Waterton's high country drive large elk herds to lower elevations; it's not unnatural to see elk lounging alongside the road like elegant vagrants, as one approaches the Waterton Lakes townsite.
There's also a chance of sighting moose, cougar, coyote and bear within the park.
The most popular Nordic ski trail is on the Akamina Parkway to Cameron Lake, and is ideal for beginners. Skiers park at the Little Prairie Picnic Shelter and ski a wide pathway through a coniferous forest to a cirque basin carved by glaciel ice and snow, holding Cameron Lake.
A moderately challenging single width track called Dipper Ski Trail follows babbling Cameron Creek, meanders over wooded slopes, glides over knolls and dips and finally joins the wide trail to Cameron Lake.
Other routes access Crandall Lake the Waterton Golf Course, Rowe Meadows and Summit Lake. Trails are rated from easy to expert.
Skating, when conditions permit, is popular on what may be the world's most scenic skating rink: Upper Waterton Lake in the Emerald Bay area near Kilmorey Lodge, and also on Middle and Lower Waterton Lakes.
The Akamina Valley offers several options for snowshoeing. For winter strolling, the dazzling landscape includes Cameron Falls, a popular townsite feature created as Cameron Creek plunges into deep Waterton Valley over some of the oldest exposed bedrock in the Canadian Rockies. These falls, illuminated at night, are a study in nature's struggle between moving ice and water.
Situated in the midst of all this white splendor, Kilmorey Lodge, an English country-style inn, has captured the Alberta Tourism Award of Distinction for its unique atmosphere and fine service. Built in 1911, the log lodge was originally a modest eight-room boarding house. Today it has grown to 26 rooms, each with private bath, each tastefully furnished with antiques. No two rooms are alike, but every bed is warmed by a down comforter.
The Lamp Post Dining Room also deserves its past awards. Appetizers like artichoke caps stuffed with crab and mushrooms, and entrees such as Thai chicken skewers and linguine pescatorie are welcome surprises in such a remote location, especially in the dead of winter when tourist traffic is minimum.
One of the lodge's special winter offerings is its Murder Mystery Weekends, four of them offered between late October and mid-March. Launched by a wine-and-cheese party, the main event is prefaced by a bloodcurdling scream and the deadly thud of a fallen victim. Through the ensuing weekend, guests use their deductive skills to interpret clues and identify sinister characters. Participation is voluntary, but it's tempting to play sleuth, make a stab at identifying the murderer, and ultimately find out whodunit when weekend wraps up.
Winter visitors to Waterton Lakes shouldn't expect to find much action beyond that described above. With the exception of Kilmorey Lodge, much of the town is padlocked until late spring, when warm weather descends over the lakes, and the small town starts to awaken from its slumber beneath winter snows.
But while it slumbers, memorable scenery and winter activities reward the traveler who is willing to venture off the beaten path.
Kilmorey Ghost Believed to be Kootenay Brown’s
Just inside the main entrance to Waterton Park's Kilmorey Lodge sits a comfortable chair covered in red velvet and reputed to be the resting place of a special and unique lady.
She's an elderly woman wearing a light blue and white dress, and although there are a few additional descriptions of her, she’s likely slight of build and light on her feet. At least, one would assume a ghost would be light on its feet.
The woman is the Kilmorey Ghost, as she has been thoughtfully named, and few people have ever had the pleasure of her acquaintance, at least not during her ghostly
Who the ghost is, or was, is a matter for speculation, but lodge owner Gerry Muza says she could be Isabella Brown.
Brown was the Cree Indian wife of Kootenai Brown, the famous white mountain man, scout, guide and explorer whose own grave is just north of the Waterton townsite along the western edge of Lower Waterton Lake.
Brown, who's Cree name was Chee-pay-tha-qua-ka-soon, roughly translated into Blue Flash of Lightening, was Kootenai's second wife. She died April 1, 1935 and is buried beside her husband and his first wife, a Metis named Olive.
But whether the Kilmorey Ghost is actually Brown is only guesswork.
"We really have no idea who it is," Muza admits.
He says Brown's cabin used to be located on what is now the Kilmorey Lodge parking lot.
There aren't any photographs of the ghost, or even drawings to indicate she might be real. But Muza says several guests over the years claimed to have seen her.
"We've had some guests say there's no question in their minds they have seen a ghost," he says.
And as if to confirm the sightings, a spiritualist brought in by Muza’s wife, Leslie, says she sensed a
"friendly entity". It was the spiritualist who told Muza the ghost sits in the chair by the door.
Despite the claims, Muza isn't sure he believes in the ghost. But he's not ready to denounce it, either.
"I've never seen it myself," he says. "Maybe I'm not sensitive enough."
Only about three guests have laid claim to seeing the ghost in the four years Muza has owned the lodge. But he has lived in Waterton for 15 years and he’s heard the ghost stories before.
The guests see the ghost in their rooms, usually in the middle of the night, but can’t offer a description other than it’s an elderly woman wearing a light blue and white dress. The ghost never bothers guests and has never created any problems for the lodge or participated in any ghostly practical jokes.
"Of course, if anything bad does happen we blame it on the Kilmorey Ghost," Muza says.
But it's usually the opposite. Muza says good experiences are usually attributed to the ghost.
"We believe she's our guiding spirit to some of our positive experiences."