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enRoute Archives - Page 14 of 14 - Air Canada Vacations

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!


23 Apr


Miss Universe Curaçao

April 23, 2015 | By |

June 7th, 2014 was Laurien Angelista’s 27th birthday and on this day one of her biggest dreams came true: she was crowned Miss Universe Curaçao 2014. This bright island star takes us to her private Curaçao, that special place she calls home.

What’s one of your fondest childhood memories of life on the island?

One of my fondest childhood memories is the sea. We used to live so close to a beach that I would wake up and hear the peaceful sound of the waves.

If I asked you to take a guest out for the evening, where would you go?

I would definitely go to the Rif Fort, a 19th-century landmark. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a cozy meeting point in the centre of Willemstad, great for dining and nightlife.

Where do you and your friends like to spend your days off?

We like to go to the beach; Knip Beach and Mambo Beach are good. Sometimes we’ll walk or jog near Fort Nassau. If we want to escape the city, we head to Banda Abou on the western side of Curaçao. Lunch at Dokterstuin restaurant is always great.

What’s your favourite meal?

Papaya stoba. That’s Papiamentu for stewed papaya. It’s ripe and unripe papaya with goat, pigtail and spare ribs. I love it because of the sweet and salty in one dish.

Who is your favourite chef?

My father. Although he's not a professional chef when it comes to a local meal, he rocks it.

Do you have a favourite island fashion designer?

Marjorie Kort. She’s a talented lady. She creates beautiful, unique and easy-to-wear outfits. She has a nice boutique in town named Bamali.

What festivals should we all be excited about?

You should definitely experience our Carnival, which is a big national celebration. The Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival and the Curaçao International BlueSeas Festival are amazing events with international musicians.


23 Apr


Bon Bini Curaçao

April 23, 2015 | By |

Bon Bini is Papiamentu – the local creole – for welcome, and it is very sincere. Home to more than 35 captivating beaches, a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures, and unrivaled European architecture, Curaçao thrives on a live-and-let-live attitude that welcomes everyone.

This charming island in the South Caribbean was recently added to Air Canada Vacations’ lineup. The weather is always perfect, and you’ll find the best for every kind of traveller, whether you travel for cuisine, history, relaxation or adventure.

Fly non-stop to this inspiring destination from Toronto year round and take your pick of 14 resorts.