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(2018 - Fall/Winter Issue)


On December 15, 2018, the Keio Plaza Hotel will open two additional floors to expand its “Premier Grand” facilities and add new Premier Grand guest rooms suited for luxury family accommodation. The two new floors add 56 new Premier Grand guest rooms, bringing the total number to 167. Premier Grand rooms feature Sealy brand mattresses, traditional 300 thread count bed linens, L’OCCITANE natural cosmetic and personal hygiene items and BOSE Bluetooth speakers. An exclusive concierge desk caters to the special needs of Premier Grand guests and a 535-square-metre Club Lounge provides breathtaking views of Tokyo as well as breakfast dining, tea and bar services from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. keioplaza.com

After being pummeled by Hurricane Irma in fall 2017, nearly all Florida Keys resorts are expected to be fully open by the end of 2018. Hawks Cay Resort, one of the island chain’s largest properties, offers 177 renovated rooms, two new restaurants and a new oceanfront, adults-only relaxation area. New properties slated to open soon include Bungalows Key Largo, the area’s first luxury all-inclusive adults-only resort, and Baker’s Cay Resort, the Keys’ first Curio property by Hilton. In June the chain opened the 80-room, full-service Hampton Inn Marathon with a 24-hour fitness centre. In other news, all Florida Keys attractions are open, including fishing, snorkelling and diving charters. fla-keys.com

The 2019 Stratford Festival features 12 productions built around the theme of Breaking Boundaries. Shakespeare’s Othello opens the season, followed by the Bard’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, also on the Festival stage. The Front Page, one of the great 20th-century satires about the world of journalism, will also play at the Festival Theatre, adapted by playwright Michael Healey. At the Avon theatre, Donna Feore will direct and choreograph the blockbuster musical Little Shop of Horrors, a send-up of sci-fi and B movies with a love story at its core. stratfordfestival.ca

Experience the beauty and uniqueness of Akko, Israel, when you stay in one of the historic port city’s numerous boutique hotels, such as the Efendi, Akotika, Arabesque, Akkotel or Zarqa Luxury Suites. Dine overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Uri Buri, owned by celebrated chef Uri Jeremias. One of the most stunning ways to see Akko is to arrive by ferry from Haifa. The 45-minute ride offers visitors a tranquil view of the Old City’s port, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. touristisrael.com

Artistic director Tim Carroll promises old favourites and spectacular surprises for the 2019 Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The festival returns to Narnia with the world premiere of The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. Enjoy beloved musical Brigadoon or sign up for one of just 17 performances of Man and Superman with Don Juan in Hell by Bernard Shaw, which includes a luncheon interlude from Niagara’s finest chefs and wineries. Tennessee Williams’ classic The Glass Menagerie and Sex by Mae West, set in a Montréal brothel, play at the Jackie Maxwell Studio Theatre. Shaw’s Getting Married plays at the Royal George Theatre, along with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a holiday favourite, and Irwin Berlin musical Holiday Inn. shawfest.com

With the recent addition of five new beach houses, the Paradise Beach on Nevis now features 12 dwellings with private concierges and chefs, guided hikes and sunrise yoga. The thatched-roof structures are raised on stilts above a private beach and feature two bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and wrap-around deck with copper plunge pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea and St. Kitts. At the push of a button, a drawbridge staircase descends to the sand. Even the furniture and beds are custom-made. Nightly rates start at CAD$1,943. Air Canada and WestJet offer seasonal service from Montréal and Toronto to St. Kitts, just a 15-minute boat ride away. paradisebeachnevis.com

To experience the fun and adventure of the all-new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, consider staying at one of the seven hotels in the Disney Springs resort area. The hotels are an easy walk to Disney Springs, which offers more than 130 shops, restaurants and live entertainment. In addition, there’s a shuttle transport every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and two Disney water parks. With FastPass+, hotel guests can access select attractions and entertainment up to 60 days prior to check-in and can also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours in the theme parks. Both benefits are valid through December 2019. DisneySpringsHotels.com

Butterfield & Robinson has unveiled more than 29 trips for 2019, including 21 new biking, walking and family trips and active expeditions across four continents. Book a six-day walking trip through the Cotswolds in England or venture off to Romania to explore the Saxon bastions of Brasov and the intricate architecture of Sibiu. Bike and boat through Sardinia, from the glitzy beaches of Costa Smeralda to the northwestern towns and islands. Cycle from Verona to Venice or through the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. Take the whole family on an adventure in Switzerland, Morocco, Peru or the Galapagos Islands. New active expedition trips, which explore local culture, include a voyage through wildly beautiful Patagonia, beginning in Argentina and ending in Chile. butterfield.com/new-trips

Orlando is gearing up for holiday fun under the Florida sun. From now to December 21, Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World Resort becomes an ice palace for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Celebrity narrators will take part in Epcot’s Candlelight Procession and join the holiday wonderland at Disney Springs. From November 17 to January 6, experience Macy’s holiday parade at Universal Studios. Light up with “Grinchmas” cheer at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will once again be transformed with wondrous holiday spirit at both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. At SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration (November 17–December 31), guests of all ages can meet and greet beloved Christmas characters and enjoy live shows amid glittering trees. visitorlando.com

Did you know Canada was the only country outside the U.S. where Elvis Presley performed on stage? To celebrate this Canadian connection, fans with a burning love for Elvis are invited to Niagara Falls April 26 to 28, 2019, for three days of non-stop entertainment at the Vegas-style Greg Frewin Theatre. The full festival package includes tickets to three Elvis gala shows featuring world-class tribute artists, good food, access to the after-party and dance and all four rounds of the Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. The grand champion will be crowned on April 28. niagarafallselvisfestival.com

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