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Air Canada Vacations - Page 24 of 28 - Travel Blog

02 Dec

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The best of Grenada

December 2, 2013 | By |

Brighter Grenada

For 30 years, Air Canada Vacations and Sandals® Resorts have delivered the very best vacation experiences to Canadians. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the opening of the newest Sandals Resort, Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa, another fantastic Luxury Included® Resort, unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

And the beautiful Caribbean island of Grenada is the perfect choice. Discover a rich and colourful history in the port capital of St. George’s. Spend the day on spectacular Pink Gin Beach. Dive the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park. Or head into the rainforest and explore the Grand Etang Nature Reserve. Grenada, warm and welcoming, offers nothing but the best.

That’s Air Canada Vacations. That’s your brighter Grenada.

Non-stop flights from Toronto

Connect through Toronto from 65 cities across Canada. View our complete flight schedule.

 

02 Dec

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Interview with Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International

December 2, 2013 | By |

An All-Inclusive Resort Unlike Any Other

Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, gives us a sneak peek into the incredible Sandals LaSource Grenada, the newest addition to the Luxury Included® brand.

What attracted you to Grenada?

We’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to take Sandals Resorts to Grenada for over a decade and it’s as wonderful as we could have wished for. If you took the best of the Caribbean and merged all the islands into one, you’d get Grenada! Great people, stunning beaches, rich culture – it’s the perfect backdrop for a Sandals Resort.

What is unique about the newest Sandals?

We’re always looking for new ways of making the best better and at Sandals LaSource Grenada, we’ve poured 33 years of experience into one resort. You’ll find lush natural gardens, a stunning ocean and beach coupled with the incredible warmth of the Grenadian people and a luxurious property to create magic.

There are so many unique features: the SkyPool Suites with private infinity-edged plunge pools on the balconies; Butch’s Chophouse, the company’s first ever steakhouse; and the South Seas Village, an exotic village that takes its inspiration from Bali.

What’s new at the pool?

We’ve created one of the best resort pools in the Caribbean, featuring a sunken seating deck and sexy firepits where guests can walk into the pool and enjoy the modern and lush atmosphere without ever getting wet – unless they want to! We’ve also added a variety of different settings, from poolside cabanas to private lounge areas and outdoor covered seating areas – and of course, guests can count on poolside butler service.

What are some of your favourite additions?

There are so many but if I had to choose, I’d say our new and exclusive Tranquility Soaking Tubs. They’re located on private terraces and patios creating a whole new way to celebrate romance in the Caribbean.

 

02 Dec

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4 destinations to kick-off the New Year

December 2, 2013 | By |

Crack open the bubbly It's New Year's!

by Ilona Kauremszky

Every holiday has its traditions. Why not start the New Year with your own? I did and haven't looked back. Over the years I've been to amazing places with blockbuster year-end celebrations. So get ready to fasten your seatbelt for this ultimate New Year's party list.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Banderas Bay is the place to be. Just as the clock strikes midnight, spectacular fireworks burst into the sky along this popular hotel strip. Each resort prepares a memorable medley of Technicolor, all vying for the best displays. It's a symphony of fire in the sky. I also like how the pubs are packed along the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. It's sheer mayhem.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun's all about the ultimate sun vacation and makes a great stress-free getaway. With so many direct flights, you can opt to travel with family and friends and be on the beach with your favourite umbrella drink. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the ample New Year's Eve celebrations too. I like staying at the hotel for New Year's madness because of the convenience factor. You can dance for hours and make an easy return to your room.

Las Vegas, USA

They don't call it the Entertainment Capital of the World for nothing. Just when you thought the celebrations can't get any bigger in Vegas, they get bigger. I can't get over how the Las Vegas Strip packs in the revellers, and fireworks light up the Nevada sky. Meanwhile A-listers attract their own following as they perform their greatest hits on stages across the city.

New York City, USA

I kept my round-rimmed 2000 glasses as a souvenir of my rocking good time in New York City when we blew our party horns there. Head to Times Square where traditionalists converge. Others find party madness across the boroughs or go all Woody Allenish and sit beside their paramour by the Queensboro Bridge with a glass of bubbly.

26 Nov

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Top 10 travel apps

November 26, 2013 | By |

Sun protection

Coppertone Sun SmartCoppertone Sun SmartTM

Apple, Android | Free

Keep your family well protected from the sun’s rays with UV index and weather forecast information, and sunscreen re-application reminders set according to your activities and personal preferences.

Communication

WhatsApp MessengerWhatsApp Messenger

Apple, Android, BB | $

The easiest way to share text messages, pics and even video messages through the magic of WiFi. Great way to stay in touch with friends and family.

Planning

Pack & Go Deluxe Packing ListPack & Go Deluxe Packing List

Apple, Android | $

Personalized packing lists, task lists, alerts and even a packing status report. You’ll never forget to pack extra underwear again.

Currency

Xe CurrencyXE Currency

Apple, BB | Free

This free app converts every world currency on the go, automatically refreshes rates and can be reset with a shake of your device. You can also convert prices without Internet access!

Internet

Wifi FinderWiFi Finder

Apple, Android | Free

Reported to track over 650,000 WiFi locations in over 140 countries worldwide, this app even lets you download locations offline so you can stay connected while on the road.

Public transit

MetrOMetrO

Apple, Android, BB | Free

Download select public transit maps for more than 400 cities worldwide and then plot your own routes by subway, bus,  tram or rail. Best yet — no network connection is required once the map has been downloaded to your device

Translation

iTranslateiTranslate

Apple, Android | Free

This app translates words and phrases into over 50 languages, has extensive dictionaries and can simultaneously  translate your conversations into a language you understand. Olé!

Photo

InstagramInstagram

Apple, Android | Free

Probably the most easy-to-use app for taking pictures. Choose from more than 15 filters to change the mood of your  snaps, and then instantly share them on Facebook and Twitter.

Restaurant

Open TableOpen Table

Apple, Android, BB | Free

Table reservations: free, instant and confirmed. You can use filters to narrow down your search and the handy maps will help get you to where you’re going.

Bathroom

Where to WeeWhere to Wee

iPhone, iPod Touch | Free

Not only will this app help you find the nearest available restroom in cities worldwide, it can also be used to rate facilities and add new restrooms to the map.

Article originally published in Passions 2013-2014 written by Adriana Palanca

18 Nov

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Tips to stay connected while you’re away!

November 18, 2013 | By |

Travelling in the digital age is an amazing thing, but before you pack those charger cables, here are some crucial tips you need to know.

Buy an international plan before you go

Most travellers make the mistake of calling their providers at destination, usually after receiving an urgent message from accounts! When buying a plan, be realistic about how much data, calling and text messaging you expect to do. Find out if your plan offers preferential roaming rates and/or if the plan includes a limited amount of data and airtime. Also, don’t forget to ask about charges if you go over the limit.

Shut off data roaming

Even if you have purchased an international plan, turn off your data roaming when possible — or even better, switch into airplane mode when you’re not using the device. In doing so, you are reducing the risk of accidentally incurring additional charges. This means getting to know the settings of your device before you leave!

Turn off notifications and alerts

Although you may love the alerts that pop up on your screen, letting you know that an email has come in or that you’ve been retweeted, every alert represents a data transfer. And that could mean extra charges. Perhaps use airport waiting  time to deactivate those alerts!

Regularly check usage to make sure that you’re not going over

If you’ve purchased a plan, it’s crucial to track your data transfers, text messages and phone calls while on your trip. The easiest way? Log in to your profile on the website of your service provider and check your numbers on a regular basis. That way, if you need more, you can contact your provider for an additional package.

Use WiFito make calls and send texts

In addition to Skype and Facetime, there are a number of other apps that will let you make phone calls and send texts — free of charge or for a nominal fee — over an Internet connection. This will not only save you money, but it’s also a worry- free way to stay in touch with loved ones.

30 Oct

By

The best of the Dominican Republic

October 30, 2013 | By |

Let the sun-filled flavour of the Dominican mango lead you through the most diverse and fertile island in all the Caribbean, which grows, farms and catches almost everything that’s served on dinner tables everywhere, from tropical fruits, to organic cocoa, fresh seafood and rich Dominican coffee.

Explore the possibilities whether you’re loving the sun on the perfect beaches of Punta Cana, kite surfing in Cabarete near Puerto Plata, whale watching in Samana or catching some culture in Santo Domingo while vacationing in beautiful La Romana.

Multiple non-stop flights, excellent hotels including the all-inclusive Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts and exciting excursions to keep you going.

That’s Air Canada Vacations. That’s your brighter Dominican Republic.

Non-stop flights to Dominican Republic

  • Fly to Punta Cana from Halifax, Montréal, Ottawa or Toronto
  • Fly to Puerto Plata from Halifax, Montréalor Ottawa
  • Fly to Samana from Halifax, Montréal or Toronto
  • Fly to La Romana from Toronto

FUN facts

  • Over 800,000 children play organized baseball in the Dominican Republic.
  • The Dominican Republic is credited with creating and developing Merengue,
  • a fast-paced rhythmic dance music.
  • The Dominican Republic is known as the “breadbasket of the Caribbean” because it grows, farms or catches almost all of its food.
  • Novembre 25°C – 30°C
  • Spanish is the official language.
  • 110-120 Volts (same as Canada)
  • Dominican peso (DOP). The US dollar is also generally accepted.
  • Los Haitises National Park, in Samana, with beautiful islands and mangroves.
  • Local cuisine is a combination of Spanish, Taíno, and African influences.

Read More

30 Oct

By

Chef Palacios’s Bahia Principe

October 30, 2013 | By |

Executive Chef Oscar Palacios brings his unique wisdom to all the Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, creating brilliant dishes to savour in some of the world’s most beautiful beach locations, including the Dominican Republic.

When did you realize you wanted to be a chef?

When I was very small I would watch my grandmother making fried aniseed and cinnamon rings and I saw the love that she devoted to them. When I tasted them I experienced a world of sensations I had never felt before and that was when I knew I wanted to be a chef.

Where did you study?

I trained under great teachers including Chef Eric Samaniego [of the celebrated Los Angeles Comme Ça], Chef Paul Luna [the mad genius of Atlanta, born in the DR] and Grand Chef Juan Amador [holder of three Michelin stars].

What’s your cooking style? 

I love classic cooking, perfectly timed cooking and resting. I am also a lover of how a dish is presented. Dishes always turn out better with love and passion.

Is there a famous Dominican dish everyone should try? 

Fried chicharrón, chicken marinated in garlic and lime, served with a very cold beer.

What inspired the menu for the Don Pablo Gourmet Restaurant?

In the gourmet restaurants we try to introduce our guests to a world of different flavours and textures. We hope that they feel like they are in one of the most sophisticated restaurants in France.

What do you recommend at Takara?

In Takara we created a fusion of traditional Asian cuisine from various countries and Caribbean ingredients, for example Taco de Atún Rojo (red tuna taco) inspired by Thailand.

Can you recommend a vegetarian dish at the resorts?

Mesclun salad with extra-mild cheese and mango, walnuts and French dressing, cream of courgette soup with morel droplets

Why should we visit the Dominican Republic at least once in our lives?

For the paradise locations with beautiful beaches and the kind and friendly people. 

What’s next?

To keep working. You never stop learning in a kitchen and there are always new challenges to face.

30 Oct

By

Where to stay in the Dominican Republic

October 30, 2013 | By |

Punta Cana 

Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar, Don Pablo Collection 

Winner of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013, this resort, on a stunning stretch of Punta Cana, offers adults only a superior experience of service and fine dining.

Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana 

This resort invites every member of your family to explore their ideal vacation. Discover lots of restaurants, daily and nightly activities all on the sunny shores of Punta Cana

Samana 

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, Don Pablo Collection

The capital of the prestigious Don Pablo Collection brand, this adults-only resort is a perfect union of white sand and privacy on a beautiful island surrounded by pristine wildlife

La Romana

Grand Bahia Principe La Romana 

In the charismatic region of La Romana, this charming resort welcomes your family to enjoy excellent dining, spacious accommodation and lots of activities on a wonderful beach. What not to miss

 

30 Oct

By

What to do in La Romana, Puerto Plata and Samana

October 30, 2013 | By |

La Romana

Altos de Chavon 

This half-day tour explores the picturesque artists’ village of Altos de Chavon. Visit a cigar factory, then enjoy free time for shopping at a local market. 

Puerto Plata

Paradise Island

Start off at El Castillo, where Christopher Columbus dropped anchor. Next stop is Cayo Paraiso, a sandbank surrounded by a coral reef. Snorkel amidst colourful fish or soak up the sun. 

Samana

Los Haitises National Park Ecological Tour 

Travel via speedboat to the Los Haitises National Park. See flocks of birds, lush rainforest, mangroves and maybe even a manatee! Explore the park’s intricate maze of caves and limestone formations. 

 

Punta Cana

4 Wheels

Experience the exhilaration of driving a four-wheeler through the breathtaking countryside. Head to Macao Beach for a refreshing swim in crystal clear waters. 

 

25 Sep

By

What not to miss while in Jamaica

September 25, 2013 | By |

What not to miss

Appleton Estate Rum Tour

St. Elizabeth (near Negril)

Tour the famous Appleton Estate and Rum Factory, in continuous operation since 1749 and still using many of the traditional techniques and processes. Tastings of this out-of-this-world rum are included.

Bob Marley Jeep Safari

Ocho Rios

Enjoy a scenic drive to the quaint village of Nine Mile. Tour Bob Marley’s childhood home, accompanied by a Rastafarian guide. See the mausoleum where he was laid to rest.

Dunn’s River Falls Cruise

Ocho Rios

Experience an unforgettable day of fun and sun aboard Cool Runnings, a 75-foot catamaran. Cruise to a crystal cove for swimming or snorkelling, then dock at the magnificent Dunn’s River Falls.

Jamaica Jazz & Blues

Montego Bay

For the last weekend of January, Jamaica is the place to be for lovers of world-class jazz and blues. This famous festival attracts thousands of guests to sunny Montego Bay with names like Michael Bolton, John Legend and Dionne Warwick.

Contact your Air Canada Vacations representative at destination for more information or to book an excursion.

Fun facts 

  • Ian Fleming, creator of the character James Bond 007, had a home in St. Mary, Jamaica, which he dubbed Goldeneye. 
  • Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics. 
  • Jamaica is home to the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt.

Fast facts

  • Language: English is the official language. Jamaican Patois is widely spoken. 
  • Electricity: 110-120 Volts (same as Canada) 
  • Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD). The US dollar is also generally accepted. 
  • Famous landmark: Dunn’s River Falls, a beautiful and ?awe-inspiring waterfall near Ocho Rios. 
  • More destination facts about Montego Bay