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Travel Bug, Author at Air Canada Vacations

25 Nov

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A New Vision of Luxury

November 25, 2016 | By |

Sandals has created new room categories across Jamaica that transform your home-away-from-home into an oasis of spectacular design and elegant comfort with the best views in the world.

 

Sandals Royal Caribbean

From Britain to Bali — exotic adventures in Jamaica

Three new room categories take your vacation to the next level. Over-the-Water Villas hover over the sparkling sea. Romeo & Juliet Suites elevate the romantic getaway. And the new Windsor Beachfront Club Level Rooms directly on the beach transform your vacation into a royal experience. All three rooms feature a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two.

 

Sandals Ochi Beach Resort

Jamaica’s most dramatic luxury all-inclusive resort

This resort captures the true soul of Ocho Rios and celebrates the lush beauty of its rolling mountains and picture-perfect coastline with a new adventurous spirit. It’s a fusion of the French Riviera, with the laid back rhythms of a Jamaican beach resort. Be sure to try the Caribbean’s first speakeasy, the Rabbit Hole.

 

Sandals Negril

A little bit exotic. A whole lot of chic.

Sandals Negril epitomizes the laid-back cool that made Negril the exotic playground it is today. The new Sunset Loft Suites are open and spacious and breathe chic, contemporary design. And the Caribbean Beachfront Walkout Grand Luxe Club rooms and Caribbean Oceanview Luxury Rooms mean the beach life is always near at hand.

 

Sandals Montego Bay

True beachfront resort where the party never stops

A true original resort and so are the new Beachfront Millionaire Butler Suites and the Oceanfront Honeymoon Club Level Rooms. Both have stunning views and a Tranquility Soaking Tub for two. The new Palm Suites redefine beachfront living. And the Beachfront Romeo & Juliet One Bedroom Butler Villa Suites offer up paradise itself.

13 Nov

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The best Romantic Retreats at Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa Resort

November 13, 2014 | By |

Beach House Honeymoon Oceanview Club Level Junior Suite

These oversized junior suites let you walk out directly onto the resort, only a few short steps from the beach. With a glamorous ambiance that's cosmopolitan yet casual, these accommodations include the elite services of Club Sandals—concierge service for the 21st century.

Royal Estate Beachfront Two Story One Bedroom Butler Villa Suite with Pool

Reminiscent of a true Bahamian manor, the Royal Estate Villa is a luxurious, sprawling beachfront retreat with every luxury imaginable including a private pool, direct beach access, and the services of a butler to attend to your every whim and need.

Beachfront Oversized Walkout Butler Villa Suite

These spacious suites come with every luxury, including the services of your very own butler. With a nod to the casual elegance of the Bahamas, these beachfront suites boast an elegant entrance hall leading to a large sitting room off a luxurious master bedroom with direct access to the beach.

Prime Minister Honeymoon Beachfront One Bedroom Walkout Butler Villa

A true beachfront retreat, this oversized butler suite offers the utmost in Caribbean sophistication. The master bedroom boasts a king-size bed and walk-in closet with a luxurious bathroom. Meanwhile, the large separate living room leads to a private patio with direct beach access.

26 Jun

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Views of Zurich

June 26, 2014 | By |

Your first stop in Zurich has to be the fun and buzzy Zurich-West. It’s your best bet to bust open your preconceptions about Zurich.

The city has over 2,000 places to eat and drink, anything from glass-clad modernism to cool reclaimed factories and Michelin stars, and Zurich’s chefs proudly spin local seasonal ingredients like air-dried Grisons beef, high-quality cheeses and organic vegetables. For more traditional fair, head to the sidewalk taverns of the lakeside medieval old town, particularly the Nierderdorf area. (For art buffs, check out Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of Dadaism).

If shopping is your thing, head to Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s shopping mile, or the 135 stores at Zurich’s Main Railway Station, or the 116 shops at Zurich Airport, the perfect place to pick up some classic souvenirs like fine chocolate (the best in the world) and watches (also the best in the world). Zurich’s International Airport is only a 10-minute train ride from the city and makes a charming final destination for your trip to Switzerland. After your shopping, take advantage of free WiFi, comfortable lounges, a kids play area, and even an observation deck if you want to take in one more inspiring view.

26 Jun

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Spectacular Views of Switzerland

June 26, 2014 | By |

When you order fondue in Switzerland, it will be a warm, gooey decadence of Gruyere and  Emmental. It’s a Swiss classic and not to be missed, but let this be the beginning of your explorations, not the end.

To start with, its transport system really is as wonderful as you’ve heard and can get you pretty much anywhere you want to go, on time. Zurich is a forward-looking lakeside town of restaurants and artists nested in medieval stonework with a world-class airport nearby. The Lake Geneva region has a delicious undiscovered wine country, while Lucerne, one of the great destinations of the Alps, will always make you feel on top of the world.

Air Canada Vacations wants you to take all of this in. That’s why we have non-stop year-round flights to Geneva and Zurich, lots of hotels across the country and easy options for train passes, car rentals and activities, so you can get out and embrace the wonder of a mountain hike, a scenic bike ride or a lakeside stroll. We’ve even put together some pre-planned itineraries, taking you to the most spectacular views we could find.

26 Jun

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Views of the Alps

June 26, 2014 | By |

The view from Mt. Pilatus is one of the best in Switzerland, possibly all of Europe. 73 peaks fade endlessly into the horizon. Below, the crisp mountain lake, and next to that, the charming Alpine town of Lucerne, where you started your journey on the Golden Round Trip.

From the winding historic streets of Lucerne, take a steamboat across the lake. Next, it’s a ride up the world’s steepest cogwheel train, which actually celebrates its 125th birthday this year. (A cog train uses a wheel with teeth to grip a special track up the mountainside.) The section through the tunnel is particularly exciting.

Once at the observatory, spend some time with the local band, have a drink or take the last few steps to the very top of Mt. Pilatus. Theodore Roosevelt and Queen Victoria reached the summit, so you’re in good company.

Your return is just as spectacular. A gondola lift takes you through panoramic views, over the foothills and back down to the lakeside forests. In the summer, be sure to stop in Frakmuntegg on your way down for a go on the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland – it’s a fun ride!

26 Jun

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Domaine du Daley

June 26, 2014 | By |

The Lake Geneva Region grows unusual grapes like Chasselas and Gamay, creating a unique and flourishing wine culture. Winemaker Cyril Séverin, owner of the Domaine du Daley, takes us to his vineyard and this beautiful part of Switzerland.

What makes a great wine?

The grapes. Well balanced, not too big, not burned by the sunshine. The top wines have to be worked by hand on the vine as in the cellar.

Your vineyard was founded in 1392, what does that mean to you?

We are the oldest brand in Switzerland. It pushes us to improve and express through our wines our tradition and respect for this place.

How would you describe your wines?

We try to give the best elegance and finesse to all our 22 wines. Each wine is only produced in 1,000 to 8,000 bottles. Quite special.

Do you have a special seasonal wine?

The Chasselas or Gamay are very nice in spring or summer. Viognier is more enjoyable in autumn and winter.

Your wines are unfiltered, how does that affect the experience?

We call them “alive wines”. No filtration, no treatments on the wines, gives an authentic expression of the structures. They are more emotional wines.

What will surprise us on a tour of your vineyard?

The view! This region of Lavaux is a steep hillside of terraces facing south to Lake Geneva, a UNESCO World Heritage since 2007. You can see Lausanne to Geneva, and even France.

Can you recommend any restaurants or bars that we should visit?

Flon and St-Pierre are good areas in Lausanne. Au Chat Noir is my favourite restaurant. It’s a fine-dining brasserie with lots of surprises.

One thing every Canadian should do here?

Visit in the summertime. We have a lot of music festivals and Lake Geneva is like a Swiss seaside.

What’s next for the Domaine du Daley?

To bring Swiss wines to the world.

19 Jun

By

Views from the Train

June 19, 2014 | By |

Air-inclusive rail tours

Swiss Pass your ticket to ride

This is the only ticket you need to get unlimited access to all of the Swiss Travel Systems’ amazing trains, buses and boats. Plus, you get free admission to more than 450 museums and 50% off most mountain railways. These two rail itineraries are just suggestions; feel free to use your pass however you like.

UNESCO Switzerland

9 days | 7 nights

Discover three of Switzerland’s most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites. From Zurich, ride to Bern, the nation’s capital. The well-preserved medieval old town was listed in 1983 and is a wonderful afternoon walk. Your next destination is La-Chaux-de-Fonds, the heartland of Swiss watch-making. The iconic mountain railroad takes you to your last stop on this 7-day tour, Jungfraujoch, site of the largest glacier in Eurasia and the highest rail station in Europe.

Cultures of Switzerland

11 days | 9 nights

This exhilarating 11-day itinerary takes you to the heart of Switzerland’s German, French and Italian cultures. Fly into vibrant, German-speaking Zurich. Then ride the scenic rails of the Wilhelm Tell Express south through medieval Alpine Lucerne all the way to the gelato and palm trees of Lugano. Next, it’s west to the sophistication of Montreux, the international savoir-faire of French-speaking Geneva and your flight home.

12 May

By

Your trip to the Bahamas

May 12, 2014 | By |

The Bahamas' crystal-clear waters and spectacular reefs make it perfect for snorkelling and diving. Nassau is the archipelago's capital and cultural centre, with gourmet dining and activities for the whole family. Great Exuma is an exotic paradise, filled with national parks and charming coastal villages.

Fast facts

  • Language : English is the official language.
  • Electricity: 110-120 Volts (same as Canada)
  • Currency: Bahamian dollar (BSD). The US dollar is also generally accepted.
  • Famous Landmark: The Cloisters, built in France in the 14th century and eventually moved to Paradise Island.

To do list

Nassau

Dolphin Encounters on Blue Lagoon Island

Tour Nassau's scenic harbour en route to the private island home of friendly dolphins and sea lions. The Close Encounter program allows visitors one-on-one contact with these amazing creatures.

City and Country Tour

Drive through old Nassau, and see ancient forts and historic buildings including the Queen's Staircase and Gregory Arch. Stop at a unique market featuring work from local artists and craftspeople.

Sandy Toes, Rose Island

Cruise to Sandy Toes, Rose Island, an uninhabited private island, for an unforgettable day. Enjoy delicious daiquiris, relax in a hammock, snorkel over beautiful reefs or kayak in private coves.

Great Exuma

Exuma Cays Adventure Tour

See starfish, iguanas and stingrays on this fascinating tour. Visit Thunderball Grotto for incredible snorkelling and see sharks. A delicious lunch is included.

Island Tour

Explore Exuma! Learn all about the island's history and top sites. See the old plantation at William's Town, elegant churches and historical tombs, the Pompey statue and more.

Did you know?

  • The name “Bahamas” comes from the Spanish word bajamar, which means “shallow water.” The Bahamas is surrounded by shallow waters.
  • The Bahamas is an archipelago, made up of about 700 islands. About 40 of the islands are populated.
  • Some islands in the Bahamas are owned by individuals and companies.

30 Apr

By

Brighter Cuba

April 30, 2014 | By |

Canadians love Cuba! And with good reason. It’s the best value for an all-inclusive vacation, plus it’s a really quick non-stop flight, which means you’re on the beach in just a few hours. Air Canada Vacations flies to six separate areas of the island and offers you a huge choice of resorts on long, powder-white beaches with warm turquoise waters. But that’s not the end of it. Eco-adventures in World Heritage nature reserves, inspiring history, romantic architecture and unforgettable music that reaches deep inside will have you wishing that every day could be a Cuba day.

30 Apr

By

Gustavo’s Havana

April 30, 2014 | By |

Gustavo Rodriguez Zaldumbide started out as a tour guide in Havana. He’s now the Director of the Cuba Tourist Board in Canada and takes us back to his hometown.

Why is Havana such an inspiring place?

It’s the impressive European facades. The tang of the sea. The music. The spirit of the Habaneros. The city’s full of light and poetry.

One thing we have to see in Old Havana?

The Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. It was the home of the Spanish governors, now it’s a wonderful city museum.

What’s your favourite place?

The Morro Castle. It has a spectacular view of the harbour.

The best place for an afternoon of people watching?

The Malecon, the seafront promenade. It’s where everyone seems to live and let live.

What’s the best spot to pick up some salsa steps?

Salón Rosado de la Tropical on 41st Avenue. It’s the salsa capital of Cuba.

Where can I get authentic Cuban cooking?

Try a small, family-run “paladar”. The food is great.

How can I get a ride in one of those vintage cars?

It’s very easy. Just rent a car with driver from Gran Car and tour the city.

One thing to bring with us to Havana and one thing to take away?

To bring: a camera. To take away: rum, cigars, art and jewellery from local artists.

Any events or shows coming up?

International Ballet Festival in November and Havana Jazz Festival in December

Where can I get the best mojito?

As Hemingway wrote: my mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita.

What do you think the future holds for Havana?

The future is bright for Havana. The restoration of the city will go on and the city will keep evolving.