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TRAVEL GALLERY - FALL WINTER 2012
 
(2012 - Fall/Winter Issue)

Writer: CATHY STAPELLS



Refined elegance is what you can expect at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences, in Miami Beach. Located in the chic Village of Bal Harbour directly across from the Bal Harbour Shops, the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort spans 36,422 square metres on a 305-metre stretch of white sandy beach just minutes from South Beach. The resort offers 243 guest rooms and suites and 245 private residences, all featuring private balconies with ocean views, along with its signature St. Regis Butler Service, a Remède Spa and a world-class dining experience inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten at J&G Grill®. With the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort opening, Starwood Hotels & Resorts adds to its list of luxury properties under its St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotel brands. This year, St. Regis will also open The St. Regis Doha, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi and The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, in addition to the debut of the newly-renovated St. Regis Aspen Resort. stregisbalharbour.com; starwoodhotels.com

The 32-storey Marriott Gateway on the Falls, situated in the heart of the Niagara Falls Fallsview district, has undergone a $15-million upgrade, transforming its lobby and featuring the new Marriott Great Room, offering a place to socialize, relax, conduct business, have a light meal or enjoy a drink. There is an upgraded business centre as well as an all-new fitness facility. The Marriott Gateway on the Falls is the largest Marriott convention facility in Canada, and is the closest hotel to the new Scotiabank Niagara Convention Centre. It is also within a short distance of the Falls, two casinos, the Niagara Parks, dining venues and other attractions. marriottgatewayonthefalls.com

Lady Liberty shines anew. Following a year-long renovation, New York City’s famed Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public on October 28, her 126th birthday. Visitors will be allowed entrance on a limited basis while the US$27.25-million project, which included safety and other critical facility renovations, moves to completion by the end of 2012. Located on a 59,558-square-metre island in New York Harbor, the statue, Liberty Enlightening the World, was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986. nycgo.com/venues/statue-of-liberty-national-monument

Fancy some fungi? This fall and winter, Bernardus Lodge on California’s Monterey Peninsula is offering foraging packages that take guests into the oak-studded fields of Carmel Valley and the redwood forests of Big Sur and Monterey Bay in search of delicious local porcinis, chanterelles and candy cap mushrooms. Programs include Big Sur foraging treks, mushroom-infused cocktails, anti-
oxidant “FunGal” spa treatments, and a special à la carte menu at Marinut Restaurant. For example, the new Funguy & Girl two-night package includes accommodation, a three-hour foraging trek for two, mushroom spa package for two and $150 credit at Marinus Restaurant or Wickets Bistro. Rates start at US$1,050 double and packages are available through December 30, 2012. bernardus.com

New developments top the agenda for the rapidly-expanding destination of Riviera Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific coast. The Mayan Resort Nuevo Vallarta, in south Riviera Nayarit, just opened the new Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy, the third Jack Nicklaus Academy in Mexico. There are also plans to open a Greg Norman Signature design course at the resort in the coming year. The five-diamond award-winning Four Seasons has been making significant improvements to its property, including a luxury “tented” suite scheduled to open by the end of the year as well as extensive spa renovations to be completed in 2013. Iberostar will open a US$100-million five-star resort in Litibu near Punta Mita in 2013 with 450 rooms, and the Vallarta Palace in Nuevo Vallarta has been transformed into the new Hard Rock Vallarta. For foodies, the 18th Festival Gourmet International, November 8–12, will attract top chefs from around the world to the area’s finest restaurants. The World Chef’s Welcome Party will take place at the luxurious Marival Residences & World Spa in Riviera Nayarit. rivieranayarit.com; festivalgourmet.com

Until January 20, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is hosting the exhibition Once upon a Time . . . Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark, the only Canadian venue. The 74 paintings on display include works by Bonnard, Corot, Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Millet, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Sisley and Toulouse-Lautrec, including a selection of 21 canvases by Renoir, and the Degas sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. And, until January 6, 2013, the Contemporary Art Museum in Montréal showcases the paintings of Canadian artist Pierre Dorion. This exhibition brings together more than 60 major works produced since the mid-1990s, including a series of recent paintings created specially for the exhibition. mmfa.qc.ca; macm.org

Assemble the minions! Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Universal Orlando Resort’s new blockbuster ride, has opened in Florida. The 3-D ride takes guests on an adventure with their favourite characters from the film—Gru, Margo, Edith, Agnes and an army of mischievous minions. Join Gru’s minion army and boogie down during the world’s first minion-inspired dance party, complete with disco ball overhead and large projection screens so that guests can see themselves partying with the minions to the legendary disco tune, Boogie Fever. universalorlando.com

Birdwatchers will be descending on Israel this fall and next spring when the country hosts two birding festivals, the Hula Valley Bird Festival (November 11–18) and the Eilat Birds Festival (March 13–20, 2013). Hula Valley annually welcomes such rare migratory species as the greater spotted and eastern imperial eagles, along with local species including the black francolin and pygmy cormorant. The Hula Valley Bird Festival will offer comprehensive birding workshops, a photography seminar, a birdwatching competition and tours led by local birding experts. The seventh annual Eilat Birds Festival will offer birding lectures, workshops and guided tours to birdwatching sites in Eilat, allowing travellers to witness the migration of more than 500 million birds, including rare raptors, pelicans and cranes. hulabirdfestival.org; eilatbirdsfestival.com; goisrael.com

ONE Restaurant, by Mark McEwan, situated in Toronto’s luxurious Hazelton Hotel, has been included in The Daily Meal’s first annual 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World List. The Daily Meal is one of the top food-and-drink resources available online. Other Canadian restaurants that made the list include gaZette at Le Westin (Montréal), Hawksworth Restaurant at Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Vancouver), Mount Burgess Dining Room at Emerald Lake Lodge (British Columbia) and Tiara at Queen’s Landing (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario). The list includes restaurants from six continents, 40 countries and more than 80 cities. thehazeltonhotel.com; thedailymeal.com

The luxurious, all-inclusive Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort in the Dominican Republic has completed its outstanding redesign, adding 110 Royal Service Suites to its guest rooms, as well as a new Royal Service Lounge with its own private Italian restaurant, new juice bar, pool, ECO spa and fitness areas. The resort’s service has also been upgraded in every sense, from pre-arrival to Punta Cana and resort arrival, as well as personalized and butler service throughout. Each of the 220 Royal Service Suites comes complete with an in-suite Jacuzzi, a 32-inch flat-screen television, iPod docking station, Espresso coffee machine and customized mini-bar, and bathrooms are stocked with Thierry Mugler bath amenities. The new Italian restaurant, Il Palazzo, is under the direction of executive chef Mario Crespi. Sure to delight gourmet diners is Passion by Martin Berasategui, a fine-dining restaurant that juxtaposes chef Berasategui’s Spanish cooking philosophy and style with the remarkable local ingredients of the Caribbean. paradisuspalmareal.com

The five-star Outrigger on the Lagoon Fiji on the beautiful Coral Coast has launched its new wedding packages for 2013 valid through March 2014. Against a backdrop of striking tropical gardens and sparkling water views, the resort offers a selection of Wedding Ceremony and Reception Packages. For example, the Bure Ni Loloma Package offers use of the resort’s hilltop chapel with uninterrupted views over the Pacific Ocean. Priced from FJD$4,000 ($2,211), this package includes a marriage licence, personalized wedding coordinator, the choice of a church minister or celebrant, a tropical flower arrangement and a wedding cake. For couples whose dream is to wed outdoors, the Garden Wedding Packageoffers a choice of tropical beachside venues. From FJD$3,000 ($1,658), the bride and groom can choose to say “I do” on one of Fiji’s sandy white beaches, the spectacular reef lawn, the sunset lawn or the tropical garden lawn. A Renewal of Vows Ceremony for FJD$1,850 ($1,022) is available at a choice of four beachside venues with tropical flower arrangements for decoration. Prices vary depending on the number of guests in attendance. outriggerfiji.com

The new 2013 Globus escorted tour brochure features 256 pages of classic and innovative touring, showcasing more exotic European destinations as well as new local favourites. And for those who like to book early and save, travellers will receive $500 off per couple when they book an air-inclusive 2013 Globus European holiday by November 27 ($100 per couple when they book just the tour, or save 10 per cent off the tour price when they book and pay in full nine months prior to departure). Globus has 11 new tours ranging from seven to 18 days in 2013 to countries such as Iceland, Russia, Ukraine, the Crimea, Albania and Macedonia. GlobusJourneys.ca

 
 
 
 
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