Accent Inns, which owns Hotel Zed, recently announced plans to transform the 38-room Jamie’s Rainforest Inn in Tofino into the newest Hotel Zed. This will mark the third Hotel Zed to launch since Mandy Farmer, president & CEO of Accent Inns, founded the new brand in Victoria in 2014. A second Hotel Zed opened in Kelowna in 2016.
Farmer says Tofino’s Hotel Zed, still in the planning stage, will be designed to fit in with Tofino’s community. “I don’t think Hotel Zed would work with every town,” says Farmer, who also hints at future expansion beyond Victoria, Kelowna and Tofino. “It is perfect though for a cool and funky town like Tofino.”
“Each Hotel Zed has its own personality and unique experiences,” adds Farmer, “and the Tofino property builds on that.”
Jamie’s Rainforest Inn is located on four acres of rainforest in the middle of a bird sanctuary that attracts birders from all over the world. The hotel will continue to operate as Jamie’s Rainforest Inn until the transformation to Hotel Zed begins this fall with a possible spring 2019 opening.
Farmer says the creativity and sense of fun her team has invested in Hotel Zed have also infused the Accent Inns’ hotel brand, taking it from staid to full of fun. In each of the hotel chain’s five locations throughout B.C., rubber ducks with instructions have appeared in hotel guest rooms, comment cards are humorous, and elevators have been transformed to look and feel like hot air balloon rides.
For Farmer and her team, the success of both Accent Inns and Hotel Zed in a highly competitive market are proof that rebelling against the ordinary can lead to something extraordinary.
This article is from the June/July 2018 issue of Douglas.