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Air Canada Vacations - Travel Blog

17 Jun

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6 Places You Have to Visit in the USA

June 17, 2016 | By |

The USA is full of surprises and wonders that should be on everybody’s bucket list. Family fun in Florida. Amazing adventures in Hawaii. And colourful charm in California. Here are 6 places you have to visit.

ORLANDO_Magic-Kingdom-Fireworks

1. Orlando

The Theme-Park-Capital-of-the-World will never disappoint with world-famous Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando®, and Universal Orlando® Resort and tons of others choices. Discover great shopping and golf at more than 150 local courses. And be sure to check out the new dining and entertainment options on International Drive.

Where to stay

The Liki Tiki Resort by Diamond Resorts is a beautiful resort-style hotel with amenities for the whole family including a water park. Plus, you’re only minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando®, and Universal Orlando® Resort.

At the International Palms Resort, you’re right in the heart of the theme park action of Orlando. Your family will love the free shuttle service to the parks, and great deals on dining.

HONOLULU_surf

2. Honolulu

The heart of Hawaii, the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu is bursting with island magic. Try surfing or snorkelling at Waikiki Beach. Hike Diamond Head Volcano. Or make some colourful friends at the Honolulu Zoo. Enjoy it all with a tropical breeze and the easygoing spirit of the islands of aloha.

Where to stay

The beachfront resort-style Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa has everything you need for a great vacation including restaurants, a spa, a pool and live entertainment. Plus, Waikiki Aquarium and iconic Diamond Head Volcano are close by.

The vast Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort boasts Waikiki’s best stretch of white-sand beach and 22 acres of lush tropical surroundings. Enjoy daily activities, great dining options and luxurious rooms.

MAUI_BluePools Waterfall

3. Maui

Maui is marvelous. No island can boast the incredible diversity of this beautiful place.

Scenic Hana Highway winds through the deep pools and soaring waterfalls of Oheo Gulch. Mt. Haleakala towers above. Snorkellers discover incredible colours and diners delight in a rich and delicious food culture. It’s one adventure after another.

Where to stay

The AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers you 40 acres of tropical gardens just minutes from the famous Whalers Village shopping complex. Enjoy 7 restaurants and bars, a water slide and kids’ lagoon, snorkelling and kayaking.

The completely refurbished oceanfront Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa delivers a stylish vacation of modern luxury and conveniences including a new restaurant, Humble Kitchen, by world-renowned chef and Hawaii native Roy Yamaguchi.

Los Angeles

4. Los Angeles

The City of Angels can make any dream come true. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, to the cooling mountain air and rambling wine country, whatever you’re looking for you’ll find it. And if family comes first, you’ll find theme parks and activities for every age.

Where to stay

One of our most popular hotels in California, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach offers spectacular amenities and great restaurants including Watertable, one of the top 100 Best Restaurants in America. Plus, scenic Orange County is just minutes away.

The Holiday Inn Anaheim at the Park is a great, affordable choice if you’re going to Disneyland! Enjoy the hotel’s facilities or head a few minutes down the street to all the restaurants, shops and entertainment of the Downtown Disney® District.

MIAMI_BeachUmbrellas

5. Miami

Miami is alive with a vibrant art scene, great shopping and activities for everyone. Hit the beach for long lazy days in the year-round sunshine, or go cosmopolitan with gourmet dining and a jumping nightlife. Miami is golden.

Where to stay

In stylish South Beach, the Eden Roc Miami Beach is an upscale oceanfront hotel with a glamorous pool scene. You’re just a 10-minute drive from Lincoln Road’s world-famous shopping.

The ultrachic beachfront W South Beach is across the street from the sophisticated Bass Museum of Art. Discover the hotel restaurants, lively poolside grill, opulent lobby nightclub, and rooftop basketball and tennis courts.

San Francisco

6. San Francisco

The City by the Bay is as beautiful and inviting as you’ve always imagined. Lose yourself in the shops, art galleries, restaurants and theatres around Union Square. Cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. And be sure to wander through the Victorian architecture of picture-perfect Alamo Square.

Where to stay

Centrally located near Union Square, the upscale Westin St. Francis is just a 10-minute walk from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Enjoy a sophisticated steakhouse, cozy cocktail bar, and a serene beauty and wellness spa.

The contemporary Parc 55 San Francisco – A Hilton Hotel is just a 2-minute walk from Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall and offers a hip Thai restaurant, a gym, and a business center with free WiFi.

Ready to book your vacation in the USA? Get started today.

15 Jun

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All in for Grenada

June 15, 2016 | By |

Sandals LaSource Grenada gives you more: more dining, more service, more style, and more fun. Everything you could ask for to make this a truly unforgettable Luxury Included® vacation.

Endless Pools

You’ll always find a refreshing place to relax with three freshwater swimming pools and two river pools. The ocean-side infinity pool blends seamlessly into the horizon, and the Pink Gin Pool boasts a living room in its centre. It’s the perfect place for a late night cocktail.

Butler Service

In top-tier room categories, your butler, trained by the Guild of Professional English Butlers, will take care of everything like dinner reservations, excursions, even unpacking your bags. Throughout your stay, your butler is only a phone call away with your very own butler cell phone.

Rooms beyond Imagination

Discover accommodations designed to deliver the most awe-inspiring experience ever. Swim-up suites boast patios that open to an infinity-edge river pool, and Skypool Suites, top floor suites of the Italian Village, feature infinity-edge plunge pools that blend seamlessly with the distant horizon.

Unlimited Water Sports

Sandals are the only resorts in the Caribbean to include unlimited diving for certified divers. Explore Grenada’s spectacular dive sites that include well-preserved wrecks and colourful reef systems. Above the waves, enjoy unlimited kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boarding and more.

Health & Wellness

Sandals exclusive Red Lane® Spa* offers the finest in Caribbean-inspired treatments with nine treatment rooms, a beauty salon and a steam room. Looking for a little workout? You have access to a state-of-the-art, air-conditioned fitness centre, 24/7.

(*additional cost)

5-Star Global Gourmet™

Savor an epicurean adventure that takes you from the passionate palate of Rome and the sophistication of France, to the delectable bounty of the sea and the Caribbean’s first true steakhouse. The world is yours at 10 delicious restaurants – all included.

15 Jun

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The Sandals of Tomorrow

June 15, 2016 | By |

Sandals LaSource Grenada truly is the Sandals of Tomorrow, taking innovation beyond the realm of imagination to create a resort unlike anything you have ever seen. General Manager, Peter Fraser, takes us on a tour of this unique resort in the heart of Grenada’s exclusive Pink Gin Beach.

What are some of the unique innovations that set Sandals LaSource apart?

The resort has three distinct villages each housing a unique innovation. All three have Tranquility Soaking Tubs™ for two, the Italian Village is home to our Skypool Suites and the Pink Gin Village has a living room in the pool.

How does the choice of villages improve the vacation experience?

Each village has a unique ambience and great service. You can go from stylish and sophisticated to upbeat and vibrant in one vacation.

For you, what is the highlight of these innovations?

The stunning architecture allows for many niches of privacy. The resort never appears crowded and has a sense of exclusivity.

What’s your favourite dish at the steakhouse?

I love the Wagyu striploin. It’s a massaged beef, slightly grass fed but mostly corn fed which gives it a little sweetness. It is just the right size when you are discovering all the courses on the menu.

What’s the best scuba diving site in Grenada?

Monument Park. It has these beautiful underwater sculptures. The Flamingo site is also spectacular and has lots of seahorses and tropical fish.

For you, what is a must while visiting Grenada?

A visit to the Carenage with its quaint buildings and historic architecture makes for a nice walk around. From any point in St. George’s you can get a breathtaking view. And of course, a visit to the rainforest to see the Mona Monkeys at Grand Etang National Park.

15 Jun

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Sandals LaSource Grenada

June 15, 2016 | By |

Welcome to a world that defies convention, where there are pools in the sky and living rooms in swimming pools. Sandals LaSource Grenada is an exotic island paradise designed to deliver a vacation beyond the unexpected.

Discover impeccable accommodations, graceful service, elegant dining and so much more. Fill your days with explorations of Grenada’s amazing scuba diving sites, lush rainforest and irrepressible local charm.

It’s the best of everything coming together to create a whole new vacation experience.

24 May

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Fun for the Family

May 24, 2016 | By |

Grenada is the perfect choice for your family with beautiful beaches, fascinating wildlife, and enough adventure for even your most energetic little traveller.

Seafaris Powerboat Adventure

This custom built powerboat is a thrill a minute as you race across Grenada’s coastal waters. Stops include secluded bays where you’ll learn about the unique marine wildlife, and an opportunity to snorkel at the famous Underwater Sculpture Park, designed to help regenerate the coral population.

Spice Island Waterpark

Grenada’s first waterpark is a hit with kids of every age. On Morne Rouge Beach, your kids will love the great choice of oversized inflatable water toys and structures. This is a very quiet bay where the water is always calm and warm – perfect for every level of swimmer.

Turtle Watching

A life-changing experience for every member of your family. Between April and August the magnificent Leatherback Turtle comes ashore to lay their eggs. Join a guided excursion for an unforgettable encounter with this amazing creature.

24 May

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The Island à deux

May 24, 2016 | By |

Getting away for some quality time with that special someone? Grenada reignites the flame with beautiful scenery, lots of fun, and plenty of quiet moments.

Champagne Sunset Cruise

This is the definition of romance; a glass of champagne, a glorious sunset across the Caribbean Sea, and a warm evening breeze. The luxurious Shadowfax catamaran takes you and your loved one on a romantic journey around some of Grenada’s most scenic coastline.

Sulphur Springs

Dive into Grenada’s volcanic origins with a dip into a warm, soothing and therapeutic sulphur spring. There are a number across the island but the easiest to reach is the Claboney spring in Grenville. The gentle hike through the rainforest makes the final destination all the more rewarding.

The Belmont Estate

The Belmont Estate began as a sugar cane plantation in the 17th century. It survives today as an inspiring story of organic tree-to-bar chocolate production, nutmeg farming and agri-tourism. A day here is a unique celebration of Grenada’s past, enthusiastic present and vibrant future.

24 May

By

Magdalena Knows Chocolate

May 24, 2016 | By |

Magdalena Fielden is a leading figure in the Grenadian chocolate movement. She shares her unique experience of the food industry that’s taking the world by storm, one bar at a time.

Why are you so passionate about chocolate?

I was born in Mexico. I remember my grandmother making amazing hot chocolate, cakes and chicken mole. After living in Grenada for many years and looking for new experiences for our guests at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort, I asked Mott Green to share his story. That was the beginning.

What does Mott Green’s tree-to-bar legacy mean to you?

Mott had the vision of creating the first tree-to-bar organic, ethically produced and sustainable chocolate bar in the world. Mott put Grenada on the map.

Why is Grenadian chocolate so special?

The unspoiled ecosystem around the plantations help the final chocolate have fantastic notes and flavours. Grenada is one of eight countries where all the cacao production is “fine quality”.

What should we look for in next year’s Grenada Chocolate Festival?

We’ll see more workshops about chocolate and cacao. More participation from schools and farmers. One of the main goals of the festival is to create more farmers and chocolatiers in Grenada.

What was the inspiration for the new House of Chocolate?

After organizing the second Chocolate Fest and seeing all the enthusiasm, I felt it was necessary to have a place where we could continue to showcase Grenadian cacao and chocolate.

As a visitor, what will surprise me most?

The aroma of cacao, chocolate and spices. But also what it takes to produce an ethical bar of chocolate. You will never see chocolate the same way again!

Do you have a favourite chocolate treat we should all try?

Difficult question… I love it all, but probably the Grenada-style cacao tea with a scoop of our homemade nutmeg ice cream.

24 May

By

It’s Always a Good Time for Grenada

May 24, 2016 | By |

Welcome to the island of Grenada, a beautiful, secluded piece of paradise in the southern Caribbean. Whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family or with friends, you’ll discover an exciting island with a rich culture and joie de vivre.

Be sure to check out the local tree-to-bar organic chocolate movement, spend a day at a breathtaking beach, and broaden your horizons with an experience of one of the Caribbean’s most pristine rainforests.

Air Canada Vacations flies year-round to Grenada and has some great resorts with all the best activities, so it’s always a good time to try something new.

20 Apr

By

Cuba with the kids

April 20, 2016 | By |

Cuba with the kids is one of the best choices you’ll ever make: tons of activities, warm, calm waters, and resorts for every style.

Havana

The largest city in the Caribbean welcomes you with rich heritage, glorious colonial architecture and a lively atmosphere of love, music and life. Be sure to wander the streets of Old Havana, a fascinating World Heritage Site.

With the Kids: Lenin Park

Inaugurated by Fidel Castro in 1973, this sprawling park makes for a great day for the family with an amusement park, an aquarium, pools and lots more.

Choose from 20 hotels & resorts

Holguin

Christopher Columbus called this area “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever seen.” Explore pristine reefs, spectacular beaches, rolling hills and a provincial capital full of life and history.

With the Kids: Bahia de Naranjo Nature Park

A beautiful natural aquarium lets you swim with dolphins and watch trained sea lions. Be sure to enjoy some great home cooking, the mini-zoo and the lovely nature trails.

Choose from 10 resorts

Varadero

One of the world’s greatest beaches! Glistening white sands stretch on forever, touched by turquoise waters and cool breezes. Here, you’ll find lots of family-friendly resorts and activities for everyone.

With the Kids: Boca de Guamà Crocodile Farm

Cuba’s largest crocodile farm is great fun for everyone, offering a unique experience of these incredible animals in a facility that has saved two species from extinction.

Choose from 33 resorts

Cayo Santa Maria (Santa Clara)

Ringed by the whitest, softest beaches you’ve ever seen, this pristine island is a vacation paradise. Spend your time relaxing on the beach, dining at your stylish resort or exploring the wonderful natural world.

With the Kids: Swim with Dolphins

At the Dolphinarium Cayo Santa Maria you get to swim, interact and have your picture taken with these graceful animals. Now, that’s a pretty great childhood memory.

Choose from 11 resorts

Cayo Coco / Cayo Guillermo

Tucked away in the brilliant King’s Gardens (Jardines del Rey) archipelago, these two islands offer a getaway full of white-sand beaches, great resorts, watersports, pristine nature and lots of family fun.

With the Kids: Catamaran Tour

For a new perspective, take to the water onboard a smooth-sailing catamaran. Many tours include snorkelling and lunch, so you can make a day of it.

Choose from 12 resorts

20 Apr

By

Sabrina is in the Know

April 20, 2016 | By |

Sabrina Brassard is the Air Canada Vacations Destination Supervisor in Varadero, Cuba. She’s the one that makes sure your vacation is full of all the things you want to see and do. She tells us why she has the best job and why you’ll love Cuba.

What makes this the best job?

This is the best job because it’s different every day; I’m always learning something new. We have an amazing team of destination representatives who love what they do. We all feel great when we help our guests have the best time on vacation.

What do you like most about Varadero? Cuba?

Varadero is an all-in-one kind of place. You can enjoy the beautiful beaches and then go out in downtown Varadero. And you are close to Havana. What’s great about Cuba is that the local people are really welcoming and there’s so much history and culture.

Why will families love this destination?

Almost every hotel has dedicated services for children. Off the resort, there are lots of tours and activities that are fun for kids. And Varadero is very safe.

What’s special for couples, friends or groups?

Lots of our hotels have special packages for honeymooners. For groups, you can book private excursions and activities, and most hotels are open to organizing special group events.

One place we all have to visit?

The Rancho Cangrejo Dolphinarium. It’s in the middle of the Atlantic and you can only get there by boat. All the dolphins were either rescued or born there which makes it extra special.

One thing we all have to try?

A catamaran cruise. You’ll get to go snorkelling, visit a beautiful beach and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch.