Meet: Davina Bernard
As the Director of Wellness for Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Davina hand-curates wellness and meditation retreats for this iconic destination hotel, set in the heart of Banff National Park against the backdrop of the stunning Canadian Rockies.
The retreats are facilitated by top thought leaders and offer self-discovery and rejuvenation amidst the sparkle and mystery of Lake Louise.
An energetic and community-minded leader, Davina has built a career based on developing partnerships and fostering communication.
What does the perfect Sunday look like for you?
Davina: The absolute best day off is one where I can start by watching the latest episode of ‘Survivor’ while eating fresh, air-popped popcorn for breakfast, followed by getting outside in my backyard playground of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
A solo paddleboard session on a glacier lake or a mountain hike with a best friend in the summer; powder turns at the Lake Louise Ski Resort in winter. Finishing the day by making a healthy meal to share with friends.
Zany (or strange!) travel experience you can share?
Davina: I love to experience new things, a new trail, a new country, a new area of Canada. One awesome experience was eating ‘muktuk,’ which is whale blubber, while on a First Nations tour up in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada.
It was a trip of a lifetime for my father and me as we have a family heritage in that part of the world. It was delicious and I went back for seconds of the cubes. Our guide was excited to have a whole steak of it to himself since his wife was away from home and he was alone for the evening.
We’re having a potluck dinner. What do you bring?
Davina: I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was 20, with Celiac Disease when I was 34 and have since gone dairy free and follow roughly an 85% plant-based diet.
My go-to contribution to a potluck is fresh, zesty guacamole and salty, crispy chips. I love sharing food with my friends and family that is healthy and safe for me to eat.
Go-to comfort at the end of the day?
Davina: Walking into my home and being greeted by my 12-year-old, 16 pound, orange rescue cat. He is the best mix of cat and dog, mostly independent, but snuggly and social with me. Seeing him brings a smile to my face and releases the weight of the day from my shoulders.
What’s in your carry on?
Davina: I have three giant wraps that serve as blankets, pillows and comfort when I travel. Plus my refillable water bottle and a wide range of snacks that I bring from home because airports haven’t yet figured out the healthy, quick options for gluten/dairy-free.
I feel that flights are like a summer day on a boat or at a campsite, they are “free time” and I can snack non-stop for a four-hour flight. Finally, I’ll make space for a current book, my journal and headphones, so that I can be entertained while I’m snacking.
Best wellness or travel tip?
Davina: Go with the flow. In life and definitely in travel. You never know what line will be long, what flight will be delayed, what person you will sit next to, what the weather will be, etc.
Travelling is the best mindfulness practice. You have to be in the moment to witness the northern lights outside your window or to connect with a seat neighbour that also lives in a mountain town and loves to ski.
We have little impact on what is happening around us while we are in transit, but we can choose to embrace these moments and find the joy in watching a young person be so proud of the backpack that is as big as them and that they get to carry all by themselves.
What excites you about your company?
Davina: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and our parent company Accor Hotels are committed to the well-being of our guests. The focus on this is growing quickly as a basic service standard and a chance for us to truly take care of our guests while they stay with us.
Over the past eight years, I have been blessed to be able to grow a wellness program at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise by sourcing incredible facilitators to host retreats that change the lives of our guests.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Davina: I love setting the stage so that our guests can have incredible experiences. I know that our guests are learning life-changing tools at our retreats, tools that they take back to their regular lives.
The ripples of wellness from Lake Louise are impacting their families, friends and co-workers. It is a wondrous thing to be able to impact the world one person at a time!