Restaurent and Bar Awards 2024

Restaurant & Bar Awards 2024 | 41 Best Thai Cuisine Restaurant 2024 Northeastern Ontario Pristine rooms, exquisite food, and a warm welcome are all key components of time spent at Le Voyageur Inn. We speak with owner Sudawan Butt to learn more about running the historic building, following the Thai restaurant’s title in the Restaurant and Bar Awards 2024. On the confluence of the Mattawa and Ottowa rivers sits the small town of Mattawa, home to Le Voyageur Inn. Due to its positioning, Mattawa was used regularly by Indigenous peoples to transport goods through the area using the river system. Once non-Indigenous settlers began to inhabit the area in 1881, Le Voyageur Inn was constructed to accommodate for them, though it was originally named the Mattawa House Hotel. Sudawan and Qaisar Butt immigrated to Mattawa from Thailand in 2006, when they bought Le Voyageur Inn. When establishing the foundation for their business, Sudawan recalls their mission, saying, “We strived to create a space where guests could experience the vibrant flavours of our culture while also enjoying the comfort of our hotel.” The restaurant specialises in a blend of authentic Thai cuisine and favourite Canadian comfort dishes. Le Voyageur Inn stands apart from its competition due to its dedication to preserving traditional recipes whilst using the best ingredients, ensuring that every dish leaving the kitchen is of the highest quality possible. To further this commitment, the company prides itself on sourcing the freshest ingredients and creating sauces from scratch in the kitchen. Not only renowned for its authentic cuisine, the hotel also boasts a reputation for its pristine rooms, regularly receiving positive reviews on its cleanliness. Certain features of the original build have been maintained, such as the staircases and main entrance doors, while many amenities have been updated, including beds, mattresses, and bathroom facilities. The company recognises the importance of providing a comfortable stay to its guests whilst preserving the historical features of the building. This need for comfortability translates into Le Voyageur Inn’s mission to maintain a high level of accessibility in both its restaurant and hotel. The culinary team have worked to include gluten-free and vegetarian dishes for guests with varying dietary requirements, so all guests are able to enjoy a fresh meal served in the restaurant. Through the remodelling of the building, Sudawan and Qaisar were sure to include a touchless door and keycards for more accessibility, catering for individuals of all abilities. The internal culture at Le Voyageur Inn is one built on a foundation of respect, teamwork, and striving for continuous improvement. When asked about how employees contribute to such amazing service Sudawan tells us, “Our employees are the backbone of our establishment, playing a crucial role in delivering exceptional service and upholding our values.” The hotel provides staff with ongoing training, recognition programs, and a supportive work environment so that they are empowered to perform to their full potential. With a team of such hardworking employees, it is no surprise that Le Voyageur Inn was awarded the Small Business of the Year 2024 award by the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce. The employees are all trained to provide a service full of warmth and authenticity, which creates memorable experiences for each guest that enters its doors. The hotel has faced adversity during its renovations and was particularly impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent enforcements. As with many businesses in the hospitality sector, Sudawan noticed a shift in the industry following the pandemic: “Challenges such as rising costs, labour shortages, and changing regulations have impacted the industry.” To counteract the changes, Le Voyageur Inn focused on innovation and improving the customer experience. This included altering the menu and utilising digital solutions for making orders and reservations to meet the increased demand for an online presence. The ability to adapt and evolve is of most importance in the hospitality industry. As the consumers’ tastes change over time, businesses must ensure that they are adapting their products to match them. In 2024, the company is excited to announce the launch of new signature Thai and Canadian dishes in the restaurant, alongside the modernization and improvement of the hotel’s features. One thing is for sure, Le Voyageur Inn looks forward to another year of providing its guests unforgettable experiences and will remain dedicated to its mission of providing unparalleled hospitality. Contact: Sudawan Butt Company: Le Voyageur Inn Web Address: