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TRAVEL GALLERY - FALL 2012
 
(2012 - Fall Issue)

Writer: CATHY STAPELLS



The elegant Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach on Oahu features a number of highlights that appeal to visitors to Hawaii. Currently, a free-night promotion is in effect and applies to specific accommodation categories for travel up to March 31, 2013. Kids, 17 and under, stay for free. Guests receive a free shopping and dining discount booklet upon check-in and do not pay resort fees. Honeymooners receive a complimentary amenity and couples can renew their vows through the hotel’s complimentary vow-renewal program. Dining options include Duke’s Canoe Club and Pal’s Sandwiches Shop. The Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach features 524 contemporary-style guest rooms and suites and is located across from an International Marketplace in the heart of Waikiki. Be sure to ask about Air Canada Vacations packages from Canada. outrigger.com; aircanadavacations.com

The Helmsley Park Lane Hotel in New York City offers business travellers a perfect balance between comfort and function. Spacious, wireless executive rooms are located on the 25th floor and up, where guests are accommodated safely above the noise of the city. And if you’re looking for a little extra in the way of amenities, The Park Lane offers a full-service, round-the-clock business centre and fitness centre as well as several executive meeting rooms that are ideal for presentations, board meetings or even intimate dining or cocktails. helmsleyparklane.com; 1-800-221-4982

Nestled in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Wedgewood Hotel and Spa offers full-service North American facilities with traditional European hospitality. The elegant hotel was named to Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” in 2011 and Travel & Leisure Magazine’s “Top 500 World’s Best Hotels” in 2011. Its 83 guest rooms and suites are elegantly decorated with fine antique pieces and original works of art from the personal collection of owner, Eleni Skalbania. Facilities include a business centre, exercise room, spa (with a special selection of signature treatments) and a new state-of-the-art gym overlooking a garden terrace. The Liaisons salon is a favourite for small weddings and intimate gatherings. Executive chef Lee Parsons oversees the epicurean experience of the restaurant and lounge, Bacchus, which is complemented with nightly live entertainment in the elegant piano lounge. wedgewoodhotel.com

Created more than 12 years ago, Expo Cruises and Tours has one goal in mind—to be a leader in organizing destination-focused cruises and land tours throughout the world, including to the Canadian Arctic, Iceland and Greenland. The company also offers other fully-hosted group tours to exotic destinations worldwide from Canada to Asia, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Burma, Cambodia, India and many more. Trips planned for 2013 include two exclusive departures on board the Pride of Africa—the most luxurious train in the world with ROVOS Rail between Cape Town and Dar es Salaam—in the winter of 2013 and their special departure aboard the Golden Eagle for the Trans-Siberian Train Adventure between Seoul and Moscow in September 2013. Expo-Cruises.com

There’s plenty of entertainment planned in Sunny Isles Beach this fall and winter. Called the “City of Sun and Sea,” Sunny Isles Beach is located on a barrier island midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida. For an evening of music under the stars, the 5th Annual Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest takes to the stage October 13 featuring local jazz artists and headliner David Benoit. Check out Boogie by the Beach, October 26–27. On October 17, the Four Seasons Cultural Series kicks off with the FIU Symphony Orchestra, followed by the Amernet String Quartet on November 17, the Musical Theatre Scenes performance on January 19, 2013, and the FIU Studio Jazz Big Band on April 14. sibfl.net

UNESCO has added two new intriguing sites to its World Heritage List—one in Germany, the other in Israel. The Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, Germany, has been declared to be a unique monument to the festivals and music of the European baroque. And the Nahal Me’arot caves—Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad and Skhul—located on the western slope of northern
Israel’s Carmel Mountain range, illustrate a fascinating link in human evolution. The caves contain artifacts, which span more than 500,000 years of history and include early stone architecture and ancient burial sites, and provide evidence of the existence of Neanderthals and “early anatomically modern humans” in the region. germany.travel; goisrael.ca

Break your everyday cycle and escape to Lake Charles in southwestern Louisiana where outdoor adventures abound along the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road. Spot an alligator; tap your toes to the Cajun rhythm; catch a glimpse of Mardi Gras; take in the city’s burgeoning nightlife; tour a variety of museums and art galleries; try your luck at the casino (a venue for popular entertainers such as Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Bill Cosby and more); and taste spicy cuisine. In between, there are 75 annual festivals, year-round golfing and plenty of southern hospitality to enjoy. visitlakecharles.org; 1-800-456-7952

The highly-anticipated expansion of the 1,394-square-metre Quartz Crystal Spa™ located on the 31st and 32nd floors of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto® is complete. Overlooking the Toronto skyscape, spa patrons can relax in a natural salt infinity lap pool and infinity-edge whirlpool. A fitness facility equipped with Italian TechnoGym equipment; a movement studio for yoga, Pilates and personal training; and a cedar sauna in each of the new men’s and women’s change rooms round out the list of amenities available at this popular downtown destination spa. The pool and fitness facility are open to hotel guests, residents and spa patrons daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. quartzcrystalspa.com; TrumpTorontoHotel.com

Take your favourite family photos and holiday snaps and turn them into postage stamps. Picture Postcard from Canada Post lets you create personalized stamps and postcards online or through your mobile device (BlackBerry, Apple and Android). Picture Postcard stamps are real stamps, each valued at the current domestic rate and can be used to mail a standard-size envelope weighing up to 30 grams anywhere in Canada. A keepsake sheet of 20 domestic stamps plus one bonus stamp and a larger souvenir image of your stamp costs $27.95. Forty domestic stamps on a sheet cost $44.75, with other quantities and prices available. Ordered stamps will be received by regular mail. canadapost.ca

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Air Transat is investing millions of dollars to enhance its in-flight experience. Three of its Airbus A330s featuring a new, fully-redesigned cabin interior are already flying. Travellers in both Club (12 seats) and Economy (333 seats) classes will enjoy more comforts including roomier, ergonomically-designed leather seats with state-of-the-art touchscreen-based personal entertainment systems. The lavatories have also been entirely redesigned, as have cabin layout features including a new mood lighting system. Cabin interior refurbishments for the remainder of the Airbus A330 fleet will be completed gradually over a two-year period at a cost of $4 million per aircraft. An added green bonus is that all of the A330s in the fleet will be lighter (by two tonnes) once the cabin redesigns are complete, which will mean substantial fuel and cost savings. The environmentally-aware airline was rated the world’s greenest airline in the long-haul category by the Atmosfair Airline Index for 2011. transat.com

Following an extensive $200-million restoration, the Ritz-Carlton Montréal has reopened. The façade of the “Grande Dame of Sherbrooke Street” has been preserved and restored, as have the lobby, the Palm Court, the Oval Room and the hotel’s famous garden. Public spaces were renovated and upgraded and the guest rooms (now 98 rooms and 31 suites) were redesigned to feature the very best in luxury and comfort. The revitalized Ritz-Carlton Montréal now offers Maison Boulud restaurant by acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud and a Tiffany & Co.’s jewellery boutique. Inaugurated in 1912, the Ritz-Carlton Montréal has welcomed many famous guests including the Queen Mother, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton who celebrated their first wedding at the hotel. ritzmontreal.com

Click & Collect, the free online foreign currency reservation service from International Currency Exchange (ICE), is now available at Montréal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, the seventh airport in Canada to offer the service. Customers can choose from more than 25 foreign currencies, then select their desired pick-up date and location. ICE is also located at airports in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Québec City and Ottawa, as well as more than 70 other locations across Canada. Orders can be placed from 24 hours to a year ahead, with no advance payments or credit cards required. Customers pick up and pay for orders in person. Benefits include ICE’s TravelCash Guarantee, no service charges and free buy-back service. The TravelCash Guarantee gives Click & Collect customers access to ICE’s lowest exchange rates. In addition, the bilingual specialists at ICE’s signature Currency Concierge Team (accessible toll-free, seven days a week) provide currency expertise and customer support. clickandcollect.ca

After two consecutive years in Barbados, the Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival is heading to the Spice Isle of Grenada. From November 2–3, 2012, this two-day event at the Grenada Cultural Centre in the heart of the tourist area of Grand Anse is designed to showcase rum and beer products from across the Caribbean region and beyond. A highlight of the festival is the annual Caribbean Alcohol Beverage Tasting Competition with judges from Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Caribbean Airlines offers year-round, twice-weekly direct flights from Toronto to Grenada. Air Canada Vacations operates a seasonal non-stop flight from Toronto to Grenada between December and April while Air Canada operates year-round daily flights from Toronto to Barbados (Saturday and Sunday departures from Montréal) with connections on LIAT to Grenada. rumandbeerfestival.com; grenadagrenadines.com

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is set to open its doors to the company’s new flagship property on October 5. Located in the heart of Yorkville, the property has been designed by Yabu Pushelberg. The main entrance features a “Victorian carpet” driveway, a spectacular Claude Cormier-designed rose garden and a large fountain, which is four storeys tall. The hotel will feature a two-storey, 2,787-square-metre spa-and-fitness centre, Chef Daniel Boulud’s casual Café Boulud as well as dbar lounge with its six-metre, floor-to-ceiling windows and a spacious seasonal terrace. Each of the 259 rooms and suites features interactive tablets, Wi-Fi, climate control, digital signage and marble bathrooms with discreetly hidden televisions inside mirrors. fourseasons.com/toronto

The 393-room St. Kitts Marriott Resort is offering golfers headed to Sugar City this fall a great deal with its Sun, Sea & Golf package, which, from September 1 to October 31, 2012, includes overnight accommodation in luxury guest rooms trimmed with West Indian accents, complimentary green fees at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, and breakfast daily. The resort also features the Royal Beach Casino, the largest Vegas-style casino in the Caribbean; spa treatments at the Emerald Mist Spa; dining options at eight restaurants and two lounges; and a great Kids’ Club program. Rates start from $159 per room per night, based on double occupancy, plus taxes, cart fees and club rentals. stkittsmarriott.com

Debuting shortly before the North American release of the newest James Bond movie, Skyfall on November 9, an extensive film program will run concurrently with the James Bond exhibition Designing 007—Fifty Years of Bond Style at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, from October 26 to January 20, 2013. The exhibit will focus on the distinctly British heritage of the movie brand’s influence on art, music, lifestyle, automotive design, travel, technology and fashion. Highlights include the steel teeth worn by Richard “Jaws” Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me; storyboards for Diamonds Are Forever; the Anthony Sinclair overcoat worn by Sean Connery in Dr. No; the poker table from Casino Royale; and multiple gadgets from Q Branch including the attaché case given to Bond in From Russia With Love. The Shaken, Not Stirred: Bond on Film series will feature the 22 official Bond films made by EON and, on October 26 and 27, a Bond vs. Blofeld series will feature the six films in which Bond battles with his arch-nemesis, criminal mastermind Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Beyond Bond: The Other Secret Agents, a sidebar program, focuses on the wave of spy films from Europe, Asia and the U.S., which sprang up in response to the enormous international popularity of the Bond series. tiff.net

 
 
 
 
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