Dremscapes Print Subscription Form
Canada Guides Ad
San Antonio
Search Past Articles
(2013 - Fall Issue)


In celebration of its 30th anniversary in 2014, Aeroplan is making big changes to one of Canada’s favourite loyalty programs. The best news is that Aeroplan Miles no longer expire in seven years for active members. Starting January 1, the new Distinction program rewards frequent flyers and reduces the number of miles required for travel by up to 50 per cent. There are three tiers of membership: Silver (25,000 miles accumulated per year), Black (50,000) and Diamond (100,000). Look for special partner and reward offers, flights to popular destinations reserved for Distinction members and invitations to exclusive events. Regular members will also be rewarded as new Market Fare Flight Rewards reduce mileage levels by up to 20 per cent. Also in the news, Aeroplan has two new partners. Taiwan-based EVA Air serves more than 60 destinations in Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America. The Langham Hospitality Group owns 19 luxury hotels and resorts around the world where members can earn 500 Aeroplan Miles for each qualifying night, up to 1,500 miles per stay at participating hotels. aeroplan.com

Turn dreams into reality after leafing through the colourful 2014–2015 Americas brochure from Contiki Holidays, specialists in adventure travel for the 18 to 35 set. The new brochure, in print and online, features itineraries in both North and South America. One of the newest is the epic 22-day Big West tour, which starts in Los Angeles and ends with a dinner cruise in Vancouver. Stops along the way include San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas, along with a sunset catamaran cruise in San Francisco, a gondola ride in Banff and a thrilling ride on the Ice Explorer over the Athabasca Glacier. Optional activities include a hot-air balloon ride over the Sonoran desert, a zip line adventure in Whistler and a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. contiki.com

Iron chef Masaharu Morimoto, Ming Tsai and Scott Conant of Scarpetta restaurants are among the stars bringing their culinary talents to St. Petersburg, Florida, November 15–17 for the first-ever Enjoy Arts & Tastes St. Pete. The food, art and wine festival features themed dinners, tastings and cooking demonstrations in artsy locations around St. Petersburg and Clearwater, already known for world-class beaches and art. To kick off the weekend, chef Todd English and five colleagues will cook a sit-down “sense immersion” dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts. Other events include a late-night dessert and chocolate tasting at the Dalí museum hosted by pastry chef Duff Goldman and an afternoon burger cook-off and wine tasting. enjoyartsandtastes.com

On a clear day, you can see London’s Canary Wharf from the Terrace Bar at The Manor, Laura Ashley’s brand new boutique hotel. Situated in Elstree, Hertfordshire, 20 kilometres from the capital, the 49-room Tudor-style boutique hotel is owned and furnished by the classic British design house. Each room is individually decorated with luxurious fabrics and furniture from Ashley’s current collection. Guests can purchase the products online to replicate the look at home. The property dates back to 1540 and the hotel is set in four hectares of gardens and woodlands, making it ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway or a stop for afternoon tea. Rooms run from $250 a night for a standard room to $800 for a premium suite. lauraashleyhotels.com

A 300-year-old park overlooking the city of Kassel in Central Germany is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a spectacular waterfall dating from 1689 that cascades down a hill and through the park via a succession of intricately-designed water features. Be sure to time your visit to catch a choreographed display of water, light and music. At the top of the hill stands a statue of Hercules eight metres tall perched atop an obelisk. The 239-hectare park, filled with landscaped gardens and stately castles, represents Germany’s 38th UNESCO designation. Kassel also marks the middle point of the 600-kilometre fairytale route, which links German towns, cities and rural areas associated with the Brothers Grimm and their stories. Kassel-marketing.de/en/home

Canada’s newest “stylishly affordable” discount airline, Air Canada Rouge, is adding more destinations almost every month from its hubs in Toronto and Montréal. Rouge already flies to 23 destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Florida, and in Europe to Edinburgh, Venice and Athens. In November, Las Vegas, Orlando and Sarasota are joining the network, and Dublin is scheduled to come on board May 1, 2014. As well as great prices, Rouge promises newly-designed cabins with comfortable seats, welcoming staff and wireless entertainment. Guests can pay $5 for unlimited access to entertainment during the flight or rent an Apple iPad for $10. Book air only or packages from Air Canada Vacations. aircanadarouge.com

Two boutique resorts in Grenada have teamed up to let vacationers experience both ends of the Spice Island in one week. True Blue Bay is a 48-room resort five minutes from the airport in the island’s south end. Set among tropical gardens that slope down to the bay, it’s close to the lively Grand Anse tourist area and you can dive or sail directly from the hotel’s marina. In the north, meanwhile, Petite Anse offers a relaxing and romantic retreat with its 11 cottages and two deluxe suites. Choose between a stunning sandy beach and a free-form swimming pool, and enjoy fruit and vegetables fresh from the garden. One- or two-week packages include breakfasts, transfers and an island tour. Caribbean Airlines and Air Canada both offer non-stop flights. info@canlinktravel.com

An ideal Waikiki beachfront location awaits you at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. The views are fabulous, there are plenty of fun-in-the-sun ocean activities, and complimentary Hawaiian cultural activities include lei making, hula lessons and a vow-renewal ceremony. Enjoy oceanfront restaurants or dine poolside at Kani Ka Pila Grille while listening to live Hawaiian music. Rooms and suites feature contemporary decor and ocean-inspired artwork. Call 1-800-688-7444. Outrigger.com

Take your taste buds to Massachusetts, where lobster suppers, cranberry bogs, food festivals and farmers’ markets await. Come for a clambake, or sip and savour local wines and cheese along the Massachusetts Wine & Cheese Trail, stretching from the dunes of Cape Cod to the hills of the Berkshires. On October 6, more than 120 New England vendors will tempt visitors at the family-friendly Boston Local Food Festival. On the same weekend, garlic rules at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival in the town of Orange. Even if you don’t make it to a festival, you’ll always find a bowl of clam “chowdah” and some fresh-baked bread for lunch with Boston cream pie for dessert. massvacation.com 

The sound of musicals will again fill the Shaw Festival’s main stage in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2014 when the cast of Cabaret takes the stage in the first of three productions set for the Festival Theatre. The Tony Award-winning play is set in Berlin in 1931 and focuses on life in the seedy Kit Kat club. Cabaret’s director Peter Hinton directed this year’s hugely successful production of Lady Windermere’s Fan. Next up is The Philadelphia Story, a 1939 romantic comedy made famous in a film starring Katharine Hepburn as socialite Tracy Lord. Playwright George Bernard Shaw gets the last word as the theatre hosts the original version of one of his early plays, the “delightfully barbed” comedy The Philanderer. It will be directed by acclaimed director Lisa Peterson making her Shaw debut. shawfest.com

Air Transat is the first airline in the world to renew its IOSA registration under the newly-enhanced auditing process all airlines will have to pass by 2015. Jean-François Lemay, General Manager of Air Transat (left), said the achievement shows that Air Transat meets  the highest international safety and operational standards. The airline has also been busy upgrading the cabins on its A330 planes. Travellers to Europe will find more comfortable seats, touch-screen TVs and mood lighting that simulates natural light to help reduce jetlag. The entire fleet will be refurbished by the end of 2014.

Journey back in time in New Orleans Plantation Country, a 113-kilometre route that winds along the picturesque Great River Road between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Eight majestic, historic plantations are open to the public, filled with antiques and shaded by centuries-old oak trees. Tour the slavery exhibit at Oak Alley Plantation, two years in the making, and stay for a Cajun-Creole dining experience. Make it a day trip or spend the night in luxury at The Inn at Houmas House Plantation. Destrehan Plantation holds its annual Fall Festival of arts and crafts November 9 and 10. For a change of pace, explore Louisiana’s bayous on a swamp boat and get up close and personal with a ’gator. Holiday visitors must stay for the lighting of the bonfires along the Mississippi, a 300-year-old Christmas tradition. VisitNOPC.com

The tiny town of Red Bay, Labrador, population 200, is one of UNESCO’s newest World Heritage Sites, right alongside Egypt’s pyramids! Between the 1500s and early 1600s, hundreds of Basque sailors crossed the Atlantic to establish a whaling station in the fishing village and produce whale oil, prized in lamps, soap and pharmaceutical products. Today’s visitors can hike along the beach to the local interpretation centre and explore scale models of buildings and original artifacts including a 400-year-old chalupa or whaling boat, raised from the ocean floor and reassembled. Visit a Basque cemetery and travel by boat or kayak to nearby Saddle Island, where interpreters in period costume tell stories of the whalers’ lives. History and nature buffs can also experience the province’s two other World Heritage Sites: Gros Morne National Park with its landlocked fjords and the Vikings’ L’Anse aux Meadows. destinationlabrador.com

Turquoise lagoons, sandy beaches and lush green mountains await guests at Laucala Island Resort, a veritable Garden of Eden on a private island in Fiji in the South Pacific. The 1,295-hectare all-inclusive resort has only 25 luxurious villa-suites, yet nearly 400 employees, including 44 chefs in five restaurants and bars, are available to cater to your every wish. Begin your stay with a complimentary jetlag massage in the jungle spa overlooking the ocean. Activities vary, from 18 holes of golf to diving and riding horses on a sugar-sand beach. The exclusive resort, owned by the man behind Red Bull drink, prides itself on being self-sufficient and incorporating elements of the entire island into each guest’s experience. laucala.com

The laid-back coastal city of Sunny Isles Beach is renowned for its luxury resorts and as a shopping mecca. And now, visitors to the city of Sunny Isles Beach in South Florida can once again fish for Spanish mackerel, snapper, barracuda and more with the reopening of the Newport Fishing Pier, the only public fishing pier in Miami-Dade County. The restored pier, first built in 1936, was designated a historic site in 1982 but sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The $6.5-million project brings the pier to a total length of 236.5 metres, much of it extending over the ocean. There’s a lifeguard observation area and a public fishing concession and a brand new restaurant is scheduled to open in spring 2014. sunnyislesbeachmiami.com

Philadelphia’s fall calendar is packed with new attractions, big-name exhibits and a first-time art festival. The Benjamin Franklin Museum, which opened August. 24 in Franklin’s private residence, focuses on the life, times and legacy of this great American statesman and inventor. Another must-see is the Fernand Léger exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Inspired by the artist’s painting The City, the multi-media exhibit explores the work of the French master and his contemporaries. For the month of November, the entire city will join in the first CITYWIDE exhibition as more than 20 groups representing more than 200 regional artists fill neighbourhoods with their work. visitphilly.com

Best Western
Website Hosted and Designed by The Biz Services Inc.