DREAMSCAPES Fall/Winter 2017
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TRAVEL GALLERY - FALL 2016
 
(2016 - Fall Issue)

Writer: CYNTHIA DAVID



Air Canada Rouge has launched non-stop service between Montréal and Casablanca, Morocco. It’s Air Canada’s first African route and the only scheduled non-stop service to North Africa by a North American carrier. Flights between Montréal and the famed Moroccan city will operate until October 29 and resume May 1, 2017, aboard a B767-300ER aircraft. Air Canada Vacations packages feature various Casablanca hotels as well as car rentals, tours and excursions. Rouge also introduced new seasonal service from Toronto to London–Gatwick, Prague, Budapest, Glasgow and Warsaw, plus a Vancouver to Dublin flight. And beginning October 20, Air Canada is also introducing non-stop service from Vancouver to Delhi, just in time for India’s Diwali festivities. These seasonal, three times weekly flights complement the airline’s Toronto–Delhi non-stop service launched in fall 2015. aircanada.com

Québec-based Groupe Germain has opened its first hotel in Ottawa. Located in the business district, it’s the group’s seventh Alt property, promising design, comfort and service at an affordable price. A mural com-posed of 9,000 photographs featuring famous Canadian landscapes and hidden treasures adorns the lobby of the Alt Hotel Ottawa. The 14-storey, 148-room hotel boasts ultra-comfortable beds and spa-inspired bathrooms, along with a well-equipped fitness room and 372 square metres of meeting space. Some guest rooms boast a special interactive installation on the windows. The Altcetera Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by local caterer Epicuria. althotels.com

Adventure Canada’s 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour departs Québec City next summer for the Mighty St. Lawrence expedition named one of 50 trips of a lifetime by National Geographic. Next is the Sable Island expedition, featuring the mysterious 42-kilometre sandy island off Nova Scotia. Circumnavigate Newfoundland before sailing north up the Labrador coast to Greenland to explore the Inuit hamlets of Baffin Island and coastal Greenland. Visit Nunavut’s northernmost national parks and wildlife. The season finishes with two sailings through the legendary Northwest Passage. Book a 2017 excursion by September 30 to receive a 15 per cent reduction on the cost of the berth. adventurecanada.com

Adventurers who are looking for a challenging and less-travelled alternative to the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu can sign up for the Lares Trek, a three-day trek from Cusco organized by Toronto-based G Adventures. Participants on the trip visit a number of “G Adventures for Good” projects along the way, including a stay at a community-owned, eco-friendly campsite, a visit to a women’s weaving co-op and a Parwa community restaurant. gadventures.com

Following a 20-month, US$180-million renovation, the InterContinental New York Barclay has reopened in Midtown Manhattan. The reno preserved the historic railroad hotel’s original 1920s elegance while adding expansive meeting spaces and a new Gin Parlour offering 88 premium gins and other spirits plus a locally sourced menu. The more open lobby leads to a spectacular new grand staircase made of Carrara marble. The redesigned property also features 704 spacious guest rooms and suites reminiscent of a classic Park Avenue home. intercontinentalnybarclay.com

The new Visit Barbados website helps visitors plan the ultimate vacation. Virtual 360-degree views of the island make viewers want to hop on a plane immediately. Useful information on tours and adventures make trip planning easy, while accommodation choices range from picturesque plantation houses and villas to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning five-star resorts. The revamped website is also rich in culture and history. Its launch corresponds with the nation’s year-long celebration of 50 years of independence from Britain. VisitBarbados.org

Best Western Hotels & Resorts is changing the way guests see their hotels before they step on the property. With the immersive 360-degree Best Western Virtual Reality Experience, guests can now see the rooms, lobbies and amenities of hotels they’re considering before making a decision. The company partnered with Google Street View to gather 1.7 million photos of its 2,200 North American hotels, then added narration and music. The videos are available on Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube and Facebook. bestwestern.com

Book early and save on a 2017 Trafalgar guided tour of Europe and Britain. New trips include the eight-day Rome Explorer, with its market visit and pasta-making class; an eight-day London Explorer with a visit to Royal Windsor Castle and Stonehenge plus dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen; and an 11-day Celtic Filmscapes vacation to famous movie and TV locations for Game of Thrones, Outlander and James Bond. Serious Outlander fans get their own 13-day guided vacation to Scottish locations in Diane Gabaldon’s novels and the TV series and spend a night on the Isle of Skye. Meanwhile, Trafalgar’s new 2017 USA, Canada and Central America program features 43 handcrafted itineraries that introduce guests to characters, storytellers and experts who bring their destinations to life. Experience ranch life with the Guinn family in Alberta’s beautiful Kananaskis Country; admire the star-spangled sky over California’s Sequoia National Park with an astronomer; fish for lobster with Captain John in Maine; and stay with the Quintana family at their eco-friendly hacienda in Costa Rica. trafalgar.com

Following an extensive multi-million-dollar rebuild, the brand new andBeyond Matetsi River Lodge has opened near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Situated on a 500-square-kilometre private wildlife concession on the banks of the Zambezi River, the lodge offers luxurious accommodation and unique wildlife experiences. The reserve is known for its elephant herds and large prides of lions along with cheetah, leopards and daily sightings of zebra, giraffe and Cape buffalo. The two camps each have nine suites, including one family-size unit. Matetsi is decorated with traditional abstract carvings of wood and stone with copper accents. A tour of the world-famous Victoria Falls is included when you stay for two nights or more. andBeyond.com

Arizona’s Grand Canyon Skywalk has been named one of the world’s 10 most beautiful skywalks and viewpoints for its breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon West Rim. The horseshoe-shaped cantilevered bridge with glass walkway hangs 219 metres above the canyon. Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying depends on your state of mind. Its owners, the Hualapai Tribe, opened it in 2007. In 2015, the area attracted more than one million visitors. grandcanyonwest.com

Two adjoining houses designed in 1927 by visionary Swiss architect Le Corbusier outside the southern German city of Stuttgart have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Modernist structure, part of the Weissenhof housing estate, is Le Corbusier’s only German project. Explore the homes and Germany’s other 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Cologne Cathedral, on eight different themed routes, featuring architecture and natural wonders to palaces and parks. germany.travel/unesco

Rejuvenate mind, body and soul this October in The Palm Beaches. More than 15 spa and wellness centres in South Florida are taking part in the first-ever Spa & Wellness Month, offering exclusive treatments at special prices. At 360 Beauty, Health, Wellness, for example, the anti-aging Eye Bright facial, regularly US$155, is just US$99 in October. At The Breakers Palm Beach, a 50-minute mani-pedi using vegan and organic products is also US$99. Guests take home an Essie nail kit, and half the profits go to breast cancer research. Eau Spa clients can try sea salt and honey pumpkin polish and mask, starting with a sea salt exfoliation. palmbeachfl.com/spa-and-wellness

Photographers of all skill levels are invited to the Four Seasons resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, from October 31 to November 4 to polish their craft with celebrated U.S. photographers Robert Caplin of National Geographic fame and portrait/sports photographer Peter Lockley. Between workshops, location shoots and critiques, guests can enjoy the white-sand beaches, golf, take a cooking class and blend their own tequila. The resort is located in a picturesque fishing village in Riviera Nayarit, 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. The four-day adventure starts at US$4,999 per person. fourseasonsworkshop.com

From marathons to cultural events, fall is a busy time at Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas. On October 29, the annual Wine and Art Festival highlights new wines and works by local artists. This event is held at The Retreat, part of the Bahamian National Park, with proceeds supporting the national park system. From December 5 to 11, the 13th annual Bahamas International Film Festival offers films from around the world along with cocktail parties and receptions. For runners, the oceanfront Marathon Bahamas on January 14 and 15 is a Boston Marathon qualifier. NassauParadiseIsland.com

Newly renovated Artegon Marketplace in Orlando is a retail art museum of handcrafted home decor, furniture, fashion, art, media, candles, natural bath and body products along with familiar brands. More than 150 artisans and craftspeople rent space on-site daily, including food court and food-truck owners. Exclusive events and attractions showcase the artists. Artegon is Orlando’s only daily indoor artisan marketplace. artegonmarketplace.com

Dominican Republic is the perfect playground for nature enthusiasts. Explore Lake Enriquillo by boat to see flamingos and other tropical birds. From Jarabacoa, take a two- or four-day trek to Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest peak. Visit sand dunes in Bani, an hour from the capital Santo Domingo, or take a cable car to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres in Puerto Plata, home of a botanical garden and a massive statue of Christ. In Samaná, take a boat through the mangroves of lush Los Haitises National Park and marvel at ancient Taino Indian pictographs in caves. The cool pine forests of Valle Nuevo National Park in Constanza offer spectacular birdwatching, mountain trekking and camping. From the northeast Samaná Peninsula, watch migrating humpback whales between December and March. GoDominicanRepublic.com

The Sea Pines Resort, on the southern tip of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, is set to open its Atlantic Dunes golf course in October. Designed by golf champion Davis Love III, the new course recreates the resort’s original design incorporating beachfront, restoring natural sand dunes and creating fairways lined with native pines and oaks. Tens of thousands of indigenous plants complete the seaside feel. The Lowcountry resort features eight kilometres of beaches, 22.5 kilometres of bike and walking trails and over two square kilometres of forest preserve filled with wildflowers, wetlands and more than 130 species of birds. seapines.com

Learn the traditional art of mukluk and moccasin-making from Aboriginal elders and artisans this fall at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum. Weekly sessions at the new Storyboot School, geared to native youth, are open to the general public. The not-for-profit school is sponsored by the TreadRight Foundation to promote cross-cultural exchange and provide opportunities and life skills for Aboriginal artisans. treadright.org/project/storyboot-school

When you’ve seen the sights of Manhattan, link up with A Slice of Brooklyn for a guided bus tour of Brooklyn’s favourite foods, neighbourhoods, landmarks and famous movie locations. Tour guides are NYC-licensed and native Brooklynites. Popular tours include the Pizza tour, Neighbourhood tour and the Christmas Lights tour of Dyker Heights. Ask about the new chocolate tour. Tours leave from Manhattan. asliceofbrooklyn.com 

World traveller Robin Barone has turned her hand to writing adventure books that teach children about the world’s cultures and traditions. Where is Robin? USA, the first vividly illustrated book in the series, follows the adventures of a bird named Robin as it flies around the U.S. exploring landmarks like the Grand Canyon. The New York-based author believes that by learning about the world at an early age, children develop greater respect for diversity in an increasingly interconnected world. whereisrobin.org; bookgrabbr.com; diplomatbooks.com

 
 
 
 
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