2000 – 2009
As its fifth decade began, Four Seasons continued to grow – in both size and recognition – around the world. The company now welcomed guests to 50 properties, on every continent except Antarctica. More than ever, Four Seasons Private Residences, Residence Clubs and other branded residential offerings were integrated with urban and resort Four Seasons locations. The strength of the brand had become a promise of a quality of life.
In 2000, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence became the company’s first hotel in the Middle East. It was followed in the next few years by significant expansion in the region, including the first resort, at Sharm El Sheikh, opened in 2002.
In 2002, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai marked the company’s entry into the growing Chinese market.
In 2003, the company’s first mountain resort, Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, satisfied guests’ desire for year-round alpine adventures, with skiing as well as warm-weather activities.
In 2004, Four Seasons entered Fortune magazine’s Hall of Fame for the 100 Best Companies to Work For, as one of only a few firms included every year since the list began. Two years later, in 2006, Four Seasons became one of only five companies to earn the magazine’s Great Place to Work® Respect Award.
Less than a decade after its launch, www.fourseasons.com reached $100 million in cumulative online bookings.
In 2006, Four Seasons was included in the 30th-anniversary issue of the Robb Report, which celebrated “the most exclusive brands of all time.” The group of 20 celebrated Icons and Innovators Who Define Excellence also included Armani, Cartier, Château Lafite Rothschild, Ferrari, Glenlivet, Louis Vuitton and Rolls-Royce.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts – the new home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada – opened in 2006 in Toronto, the birthplace of Four Seasons.
In 2007, a deal was completed that returned Four Seasons to private ownership in a partnership between Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, one of the major shareholders of Four Seasons. Isadore Sharp and his family retained a significant share and operating involvement in the company Sharp founded.
In 2008, Four Seasons marked its entry into the Indian market with a contemporary hotel in Mumbai’s Worli district.