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(2015 - Winter/Spring Issue)


Starting February 14, 2015, WestJet is launching a weekly non-stop flight between Calgary and the Islands of Loreto in Mexico’s Baja peninsula. This unspoiled getaway offers more than 160 kilometres of coastline, 300 sunny days a year and an average temperature of 27 C. Fly on board a Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft with hassle-free connections from major Canadian cities, then relax at Villa del Palmar where “a million stars”shine at night. Adventurers can hike, paddle a glass-bottom kayak, book a world-class sport-fishing trip or learn to scuba dive in the blue waters explorer Jacques Cousteau dubbed the Aquarium of the World. Enjoy beachfront yoga, five swimming pools, themed nights, three gourmet restaurants and much more. villadelpalmarloreto.com

CondéNast Traveler readers have named Manoir Hovey, 140 kilometres east of Montréal in North Hatley, Québec, the top-rated hotel in Eastern Canada. A Relais & Châteaux member, this charming and romantic 37-room inn presides over eight hectares of woods and English gardens on the shores of scenic Lake Massawippi in the Eastern Townships. Le Hatley, its four-diamond restaurant, is renowned for its regional cuisine and extensive wine list while a beach and outdoor pool, tennis courts, a fitness room, massages and numerous on-site activities keep guests engaged year-round. manoirhovey.com

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach not only has an acclaimed permanent collection, including noteworthy French Impressionists, but this year is the first venue in the United States to showcase the special exhibit, Pastures Green: The British Passion for Landscape, featuring more than 60 masterpieces by Gainsborough, Constable, Turner, Monet, and others spanning five centuries from the 1660s to the early 2000s. Organized by the American Federation of Arts and Amgueddfa Cymru—National Museum Wales, the exhibition, on view through April 5, 2015, is divided into six thematic sections, unfolding a story that runs from before the Industrial Revolution through the eras that saw the emergence of Romanticism, Impressionism and Modernism, to the postmodern and postindustrial present. norton.org

Anyone with an eye for good design and an interest in Irish culture must head to the Emerald Isle this year. What better way to celebrate Ireland’s National Holiday than at the St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin from March 14 to 17, which offers an extravaganza of music, film, arts, dance, culture and fun? Also in Dublin, ID2015 promises a packed program of festivals, exhibitions and workshops to celebrate Irish design throughout 2015. Begin your tour at the Design Hub in historic Dublin Castle. Then head off to Galway, one of only five cities in the world to achieve the much sought-after UNESCO City of Film title. And while in the area, be sure to tour Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. tourismireland.com

Visiting the site where explorer Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated crew abandoned ship is one of many adventures awaiting passengers on the Great Canadian Travel Company’s Northwest Passage expedition from August 12 to 24. The 13-day cruise starts with a flight from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where you board the 96-passenger ship, Akademik Ioffe, and cross the Davis Strait to Canada before heading north along the coast of Baffin Island to Pond Inlet and through Lancaster Sound. Along the way, expect to observe narwhal, beluga, bowheads, polar bears and a variety of birds. The price includes shipboard meals, lectures by noted naturalists, shore excursions and Zodiac cruises. greatcanadiantravel.com

Explore Vancouver Island’s west coast and discover the ancient cultures that call it home on one of two exclusive Outer Shores Expeditions with award-winning archaeologist Denis St. Claire. Each five-day voyage on board the luxurious wooden schooner Passing Cloud sails through the diverse ecosystems of Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands, where ravens drop clams from the sky, grey whales search for herring roe, black bears feed on shellfish and killer whales hunt for seals and salmon. The five-day expeditions with St. Claire depart April 26 and May 2. outershores.ca

From now through March 2015, spend a Discovery Weekend at Cobble Beach, a luxurious waterfront golf resort community on Georgian Bay located two hours northwest of Toronto. The package includes two nights’accommodation at the award-winning inn, dinner and wine tasting, choice of manicure or pedicure at the Spa and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing on more than 18 kilometres of groomed trails. Also check out the new golf simulator featuring 28 famous courses. Rates start at $390 per person, based on double occupancy, plus taxes. livecobblebeach.com.

More than 90 paintings, drawings and prints from Barcelona’s Museu Picasso are part of the Picasso/Dalí, Dalí/Picasso exhibit at The DalíMuseum in St. Petersburg, Florida. This groundbreaking exhibit places works of these legendary artists side by side and includes a seldom seen collaborative painting done by both artists as well as personal correspondence between them. With works culled from more than 20 international art museums and private collections worldwide, the exhibit runs in St. Pete through February 16, 2015, and reopens in Barcelona on March 19. thedali.org   

Off to West Hollywood, California? The luxurious London West Hollywood Hotel, perched below Sunset Boulevard on the edge of Beverly Hills, has unveiled the first phase of its $23-million renovation program, which features five one- and two-bedroom Gate suites with sweeping views of Los Angeles, plus 16 ninth-floor Royal Vista suites overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Or book a stay at the Andaz West Hollywood between now and June 1 and score complimentary tickets to the Comedy Store, VIP access to some of the hottest Sunset Strip bars and music venues as well as a dining voucher for two at RH, Andaz’s esteemed restaurant. Be sure to check out various shopping packages and spa and dining specials in the area as well. visitwesthollywood.com

From June to October, the Stratford Perth Museum is hosting an exhibit from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Relating the story of the Jewish girl who went into hiding during the Second World War to escape the Nazis, it coincides with the Stratford Festival’s presentation of The Diary of Anne Frank at the Avon Theatre. Buy advance tickets to the exhibit through the Stratford Festival box office or same-day tickets at the museum. In association with this exhibit and production, THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener will present a related exhibit, entitled “Fragments: Portraits of Survivors,”which explores the broader story of the Holocaust and includes artifacts from the Montréal Holocaust Memorial Centre.


You can now purchase tickets online to more than 110 attractions across the state of Florida through Reserve Direct. Currently operating in Orlando, Destin, Panama City Beach and St. Augustine with plans to launch websites for Tampa, Miami and the Florida Keys in 2015, the online travel company includes theme parks, airboat rides, water parks, gardens, museums, family entertainment centres, dinner shows, zoos and aquariums represented by the Florida Attractions Association. The site is also easy to access from smartphones and tablets. Reserve Direct also serves Branson, Myrtle Beach, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Williamsburg, New York City, San Diego and Hawaii. reservedirect.com; floridaattractions.com

Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada recently acquired seven major works of 19th-century French art. Six are by Gustave Doré, one of the most important French landscape painters of the late 1800s, and the seventh is a sculpture by Aimé-Jules Dalou, considered one of the most influential sculptors of his time, on a par with Rodin. The sculpture and landscape paintings are particularly timely acquisitions, as they bridge significant gaps in the Gallery’s collection of 19th-century European art. Also among the Doréworks acquired are two illustrations for Samuel Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1875) and two early-edition books illustrated by Doré, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1877) and Dante’s Inferno (1884). gallery.ca

The Israel Antiquities Authority has launched a computer app to introduce archaeology to children, ages seven to 11, through games and puzzles. Players who download Dig Quest: Israel select between two dig sites. For instance, at Lod, players can clear the dirt from an ancient Roman mosaic, then identify the mosaic’s animals and objects in a fast-paced quiz game. At the Qumran caves, players piece together fragments of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, then scan pieces to reveal their text more clearly, the same process real archaeologists use. Download Dig Quest from the Apple store for iPhones and iPads. goisrael.com.

Following a $250-million renovation since the Trump family purchased this landmark in 2012, the Trump National Doral Miami has undergone a dramatic redesign, resulting in world-class service and facilities featuring 643 luxurious guest rooms and suites, more than 9,200 square metres of meeting and event spaces, premier restaurants with panoramic views and 72 holes of championship golf, including the Golden Palm and Silver Fox, which opened in late 2014. At the new Royal Palm poolscape, guests experience three spacious centrally located pool areas flanked by 18 lavish cabanas complete with state-of-the-art amenities and butler service. trumpcollection.com

Charleston, South Carolina, was named the Golf Destination of the Year North America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO). Home to more than 19 championship courses created by legendary architects including Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arthur Hills, Tom Fazio and Robert Trent Jones, Sr., miles of breathtaking coastline, award-winning dining, inshore and offshore fishing opportunities, a historic downtown and a year-round calendar of festivals and events, the Charleston area’s unique combination of both on- and off-course offerings deem it a premier destination for a golf vacation. charlestongolfguide.com

Soon air travellers tired of dealing with traffic congestion in Toronto will have a new, stress-free transportation option between Toronto Pearson International Airport and the heart of downtown. Torontonians and visitors eagerly await the launch of the Union Pearson Express train in spring 2015. UP trains will whisk passengers between Pearson’s Terminal 1 and downtown Union Station in just 25 minutes, with two quick stops. Trains will depart every 15 minutes and offer comfortable seats, Wi-Fi, tray tables, power outlets and ample room for luggage. Passengers can even check in for their flights and print baggage tags at Union. A one-way adult ticket costs $27.50. upexpress.com

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