Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

enRoute Archives - Page 13 of 14 - Air Canada Vacations

21 Aug


The trendiest beach club

August 21, 2015 | By |

It's a beach party by day, the hottest outdoor lounge at night. It’s the heart and soul of Sandals Ochi Beach Resort. General Manager, Ramel Sobrino, takes us inside the Ochi Beach Club and tells us what it means to be a trendsetter.


Everything at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is on trend. How did you do it?

We are always looking to innovate. Our guests come to the Caribbean for great food, fun and entertainment. We’ve simply provided the perfect frame for them to look good in.


What do you look forward to most at the Ochi Beach Club?

We have a Caribbean Beach Party on Mondays, a Jamaica Ho’Down on Tuesdays, and Beach J’ouvert on Wednesdays. But my favourite is the Ultra Sizzle pool party on Fridays. The music is great. The bartenders are amazing. It’s the highlight of the week.


Why did Sandals choose Ocho Rios for this new style of resort?

It’s really beautiful here. And Ocho Rios is pretty chic but still has that laid-back Jamaican attitude.


If I’ve never been to a Sandals before, what am I in for?

We’ve changed the game. We’ve recreated the feel that you get when you travel around the world to hip and trendy locales, and paired that with the Luxury Included® difference.


Why did you include a mechanical bull?

Once we’d decided to go country in the tropics with our Jamaica Ho’Down, the bull was a natural fit. Nothing says country and western like taking a bull by the horns.


One place we should all visit?

Dunn’s River Falls, definitely. Island Routes runs a fun catamaran tour where you get to climb the falls, snorkel and party onboard.


One thing we should all try in Jamaica?

Meet some locals. Head to a jerk shack for some authentic cuisine, a Red Stripe beer and some easy-going conversation.


21 Aug


The most happening place is happening NOW

August 21, 2015 | By |

The new Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is trendy when you want, private when you don’t. The gourmet restaurants, surprising bars, endless pools and the famous Ochi Beach Club are jumping with a fun, chic, adventurous spirit. The other side of the story is the glamorous quiet of the rooms and suites – all fantastically well appointed and immaculately stylish.


This is Sandals’ latest resort and it’s a distinctive fusion of the French Riviera, with all its savoir faire, and Jamaican island rhythms in beautiful Ocho Rios.


And Air Canada Vacations couldn’t be more excited to take you there.


16 Jul


The IBEROSTAR Grand Collection: All-Inclusive | Adults only

July 16, 2015 | By |

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)

Indulge at this spectacular beachfront resort. From personalized butler service and spacious, elegant suites complete with a pillow menu, to a relaxing, two-story ocean front, brilliant spa and gourmet dining, everything here is created to spoil and pamper like never before. Plus, enjoy access to all 3 IBEROSTAR sister properties.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Few places on earth are as captivating and inspiring as the AAA Four Diamond IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall. Here, guests are treated to all-inclusive, all-suites paradise, rich in luxurious personalized butler service, gourmet dining and dazzling amenities.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

Experience the ultimate in luxury at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso. Here, personalized butler service fulfills every whim. Dining is unforgettable. An incredible spa melts the world away. And each suite is, in a word, spectacular.


16 Jul


The Grand Experience

July 16, 2015 | By |

The Grand Experience is totally personal, romantic and intimate, inviting you to surrender and enjoy the extraordinary. Sophisticated and captivating, the IBEROSTAR Grand Collection resorts offer the most idyllic beaches, luxurious amenities, exclusive spas, and everything you need to make you fall in love all over again.

All-suites accommodation

Experience the best with spacious, immaculate suites with nothing less than the finest of everything. Indulge in European linens, pillow menus, oversized Jacuzzis, soothing rain showers, in-suite bars and a private balcony or terrace. Opt for a secluded villa with a private plunge pool for moments of true romance.

Exquisite gastronomy

Fine dining is an essential part of the Grand Experience. Enjoy four specialty restaurants including refined Japanese, a classic American Steak House, decadent Italian and international gourmet. You can also enjoy dining at IBEROSTAR sister resorts or in your suite with 24-hour gourmet room service for those very special romantic evenings.

Endless activities

Stay fit and have fun with the full range of Life Fitness equipment at the fitness centre. Take your pick from a host of water sports, like on-site snorkelling, and daily activities, like yoga or zumba. Try your hand at golf with one free round of golf. And make it a perfect evening with spectacular entertainment and lively shows.

Impeccable service

The outstanding service begins with a cool towel and drink when you arrive. The concierge and personalized butler service are attentive without being obtrusive. And the Grand Star Service, for oceanfront rooms, includes luggage packing and unpacking, nightly pressing service, and personalized checkout for a truly luxurious experience.

Exclusive spas

The Grand Spas are expansive, two-story sanctuaries featuring world-class treatments, heated pool, and juice and wellness bars to help you reach a new level of relaxation. Enjoy personal treatments or a range of couple’s options in the spa, in your suite or beachfront with no distractions but the sound of the waves.

Unforgettable weddings

Combine breathtaking settings and endless pampering to create a wedding like no other. Exchange vows on a pristine beach, poolside, in the tropical gardens, or at a variety of romantic venues. Wedding packages are full of personal choices, include a dedicated wedding coordinator to take care of every detail, and yours will be the only wedding that day.


16 Jul


Andrew knows golf

July 16, 2015 | By |

Andrew Gilchrist, Director of Golf for IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts in Mexico has golf in his blood. He was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf, and has devoted his life to the sport. He takes us on a tour of the championship IBEROSTAR Playa Paraíso Golf Club.

What does it mean to you to have had P.B. Dye design this course?

This is the only P.B. Dye design in Mexico. For me it’s a great opportunity.

What’s the character of this course?

Most of the courses in the Mexican Caribbean are flat and wide open. But Dye likes to put a lot of movement in to his courses. You can’t just grip it and rip it.

What’s your favourite hole?

Definitely #9. There’s a rock river running alongside the tee boxes and a perfect replica of Chichen Itza.

How does golf complement the Grand Collection experience?

The Grand Collection is all about hassle-free luxury. Great golf is part of that.

What impact did the Golf Channel’s Big Break have?

It’s unbelievable the amount of people that come through the pro shop and mention Big Break. The show put the course on the map!

When you’re not on the course, how do you enjoy the Riviera Maya?

When I have a chance, I visit the Tulum archaeological site, it’s like going back in time. I prefer the late hours when the last visitors are leaving and you can enjoy the silence and the ocean.

Do you have a favourite local food we all need to try?

Cochinita Pibil. It’s a traditional Mayan pork dish wrapped in banana leaves and slow baked overnight. You can try it at our Mexican Restaurant “La Brisa” at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso.

Any tips for a great round of golf

Make sure you have fun! You're on vacation.


16 Jul


Grand Star!

July 16, 2015 | By |

Air Canada Vacations has been a fan of IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts for a long time. They consistently deliver a vacation that’s a cut above and their Grand Collection is no exception to their pursuit of excellence.

In Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, couples are invited to relax, recharge and rekindle their love like never before. Lay back on sun-kissed beaches, try championship golf, dine on fine gourmet cuisine, feel inspired at the luxurious spa, and enjoy exceptional service that brings it all together into one unforgettable grand experience.

Fly in style aboard Air Canada or Air Canada rouge and you just might have the perfect vacation.


20 May



May 20, 2015 | By |

Feel instantly renewed on this Caribbean island that boasts silky stretches of white sand beaches, sunken treasures adorned by corals, and unspoilt landscapes undiscovered by crowds.

Romance never ends

You will never run out of quiet moments and secret spots. Stay in a sophisticated boutique hotel or a spectacular all-inclusive. From there, set out and explore the secluded beaches like La Sagesse Beach in the Parish of St. David, fine dining at the Lighthouse Ship Restaurant, or Jassmine Eden Garden, which sparkles at dusk with thousands of fireflies.

Dive the blue

Clear warm waters, amazing marine life and colourful reefs make Grenada great for diving year-round. You can explore over 50 dive sites, including many shipwrecks like the largest shipwreck in the Eastern Caribbean, the Bianca C or “Titanic of the Caribbean”, and the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park, an artistic and ecological celebration of the ocean.

Eco meets adventure

From beach to rainforest to waterfall in less than half an hour is the fun-filled reality of this magical island. Head into the rustic interior, especially Grand Etang National Park and the Seven Sisters Waterfalls for experiences of incredible natural beauty. Be sure to keep a look out for the local Mona Monkey and the many spectacular birds.

Tropical chocolate

World-renowned, award-winning and ethically produced, Grenada’s organic cocoa is in high demand these days in culinary capitals across Europe and Japan. Tour a chocolate factory and see the unique Bean-to-Bar process. For true chocolate lovers, visit during the annual Chocolate Festival for lots of cocoa-related activities, like tastings and a sunset bonfire chocolate cook-up.

Dig the dish

Food in Grenada is superb. The rich volcanic soil means local organic produce is plentiful and delicious. Seafood is fresh and enticing, and the rum is old and smooth. This island is also the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg and this savoury spice can be found in imaginative creations across the island, including at the weekly Fish Friday in Gouyave.

Carry on Carnival

The three islands of Grenada boast two of the Caribbean’s liveliest carnivals, where colourful parades, upbeat music, and fantastic costumes celebrate the islands’ European and African roots. The highlight of Carriacou’s carnival is Shakespeare Mas, a fun take on the bard’s Julius Caesar. Grenada’s best day is J’ouvert (from French jour ouvert), an unforgettable street party.


20 May


The spice of the island

May 20, 2015 | By |

Nutmeg has been grown on Grenada since 1843. The island now produces 40% of the world’s supply, a fact that has earned this tropical paradise the nickname, the Spice of the Caribbean. Daniel Sinclair has been a nutmeg farmer for 25 years and tells us all about it.

Why has nutmeg been so successful in Grenada?

I believe it has a lot to do with the volcanic soil. The soil here is rich; very very rich and it is not hard to grow things in Grenada.

How has nutmeg cultivation affected the history of the island?

It has given us our identity. It has transformed our economy and given many people a chance to earn a living.

What is your greatest joy in farming?

I love to see things grow; I love to see the trees grow and mature and bear. There is something creative and spiritual about it. It’s like raising a child.

Which variety of nutmeg do you grow?

There are many varieties of nutmeg but the one I grow is called Banda (named for the Banda Islands in Indonesia where the British got the original plants).

Other than as a spice, where can we find nutmeg?

There’s nutmeg butter, which is very good for baking, and nutmeg oil is good for the digestion.

What’s your favourite nutmeg recipe?

Nutmeg ice cream is my favourite nutmeg dish. It’s best when it’s handmade in an old ice cream maker. Or you can grate some on vanilla ice cream.

When you’re not working, where do you like to go?

Grand Anse Beach, of course! It’s very big, good for walking, and I love the way the white sand looks.

One place we should definitely visit?

The nutmeg farms! And Grand Etang Lake, the rainforest there is very beautiful.


20 May


Grenada – authentic and inspired

May 20, 2015 | By |

Welcome to Grenada, a Caribbean island that’s rustic and pure, where turquoise waters kiss pristine beaches and a quick drive inland reveals cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers and hot sulphur springs. Lose yourself in the lively festivals and not-to-be-missed events inspired by the culture of the island, like the Chocolate Festival, the Nutmeg Festival, and the colourful Carnival.

Air Canada Vacations now offers vacation packages to this unique Caribbean island all year-round, so whatever the reason, or the season, you can explore the authentic islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, the beautiful sisters that make up this three-island nation.


23 Apr


Why Curaçao?

April 23, 2015 | By |

This island’s rugged volcanic surface, lush green-scenery and colourful Dutch-inspired architecture speak to the curious explorer in all of us – the adventure seeker, the beach lover, diving enthusiast, history buff and modern city traveller.


This lively port – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the most fascinating city in the Caribbean. Lined with brightly painted 18th-century buildings, you’ll find cafés, island boutiques and other local stores; it's a little haven of European architecture. Cross the unique, floating Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge to Otrobanda (the other side) or watch as ships sail through the harbour.


Curaçao is a global melting pot of cultures, with over 50 different nationalities, all colourfully expressed through the people, museums, forts, galleries and historical sites. Although Dutch is the official language, English and Spanish are widely spoken. Many residents speak Papiamentu – a curious creole of African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English and Arawak Indian.


Like its culture, the flavours of Curaçao are an international fusion. Sample authentic, local food at Curaçao’s famous old market, Marshe Bieuw, in downtown Willemstad. Staples of the local menu include Kabritu (stewed goat), Keshi yená (stuffed Gouda cheese), Dradu (mahi-mahi), and Funchi (just think – delicious fried corn bread). Enjoy!


With more than 35 named beaches, Curaçao offers a great choice for sun, sand and surf. Some are intimate pocket beaches in finger coves surrounded by massive cliffs. Others are expansive stretches of secluded sand while others bustle with activities. You can swim, snorkel and dive, plunge off sea cliffs, build sand castles, and enjoy a fresh-catch lunch or romantic sunset dinner.


The Curaçao Ostrich Farm is not only one of the biggest farms in the Caribbean, it’s one of the biggest outside of Africa. Tour the farm and meet some of the 600 birds. Hold an ostrich egg, stroke a little baby chick and much more. In the farm’s Zambezi restaurant, enjoy African style food, including ostrich meat, and South African wines and liqueurs.


The island offers over 65 dive sites and was chosen as one of the top three locations for “Best Snorkelling”, “Best Shore Diving” and “Best Macro Marine Life” by the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine. Visibility is amazing and the diversity of marine life is staggering. The Mushroom Forest made the Top 100 list as one of the best dive sites in the world!