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Four Seasons: A globe of opportunity

The Four Seasons Resort SeychellesThe Four Seasons Resort Seychelles
The Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Living in paradise sometimes just isn’t enough. Before LisaJane McBain, a guest services manager at Four Seasons, contended with ice storms at the company’s flagship hotel in Toronto, she faced tropical downpours (and occasional mudslides) at its resort property in the Seychelles. And after three years, paradise lost.

“A big part of why I work here is I can live in places around the world that are unusual and different,” McBain says. She is one of 280 employees who relocated within the company last year to satiate appetites for adventure and to advance their careers. The company says roughly 15% of its internal transfers have necessitated a physical relocation. And the perk is getting more popular. In 2014 the number of transfers rose by 27 people, and Four Seasons’ newest U.S. property, a 26½-acre resort in Orlando, attracted its highest-ever number of moves—more than 100—when it opened this past summer.

When employees are promoted or transferred to another hotel, they are often given a big sendoff and a framed photo of the hotel signed by their peers, as well as a personalized going-away gift. Relocation benefits are provided for employee moves requested by the company. Those who pursue a transfer, however, must pay for their own moving costs and generally have to have been on the job for at least one year.

“It’s something our employees highly prize,” says Christopher Hunsberger, executive vice president of human resources. “We encourage it. And it helps us deliver on our level of consistency across the brand.”

The differences between Toronto and the Seychelles are vast—starkly, the temperature—but one unifying factor remains: McBain says her colleagues’ commitment to quality makes all Four Seasons locations great places to work.

With more than 90 properties globally, Four Seasons has built a common culture based on service. Employees are asked to abide by a simple, universal rule—treat others as you would like to be treated—that serves as a lingua franca among transplanted workers.

For those in the travel industry, such peregrinations are no surprise. One year ago Verena Lasvigne, a senior spa director, exchanged Parisian rain clouds for unblemished Moroccan skies when she moved to Marrakesh with her husband (also a Four Seasons employee) and their 6-week-old daughter. Lasvigne hopes to continue exploring the hotelier’s geographic variety. “For me it’s the magic of Four Seasons. You walk in and talk to new colleagues as if you’ve known them forever because you speak the same language, share values, have the same visions,” she says. “It makes you feel immediately at home.

“This is probably the start of a long journey,” she adds.

The same goes for McBain—she’s eyeing Prague or Paris next. “I do not want to stop here,” she says. “I want to continue to move with Four Seasons. That’s why I joined the company.”

This story is from the February 2015 issue of Fortune.