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La Romana Archives - Air Canada Vacations

11 Sep

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Quiz: What vacation type are you?

September 11, 2015 | By |

When planning a beach holiday, there’s one more box to tick off besides destination, hotel and location: vacation type. Don’t know what that is? No worries, we’re here to explain and help you find yours. Take this short quiz and you’ll be one step closer to finding the palm tree- and piña colada-filled vacation that’s right for you.

When on vacation, what does your perfect day look like?

  1. I like to get an early start and go snorkeling as a family, followed by an afternoon of golf while the kids enjoy fun activities.
  2. Quiet and soothing – I want to be pampered from head to toe. First up, a hot steam bath to relax and then a heavenly massage by the sea.
  3. It doesn’t matter what time I wake up because I’ll be ordering room service. I’ll probably head to the pool at some point and order a mojito from my lounge chair. If only I could live like this everyday…
  4. I’ll play tennis in the morning, soak up the sun in the afternoon, and enjoy a private hot tub at sunset.

How do you feel about kids?

  1. Love ‘em, of course! Vacations are all about creating lifelong family memories.
  2. Kids are great, but this trip is really about recharging my batteries.
  3. As long as they’re happy, I’m happy. Bonus if I don’t have to lift a single finger. I won’t say no to some alone time with my honey either.
  4. No, thanks! I want a holiday geared towards 18+.

It’s been 7 nights in paradise, your bags are packed and it’s almost time to leave for the airport. How do you feel?

  1. Wonderful! The week went by quickly because I was having fun with my family and I can’t wait until the next adventure together.
  2. Content, recharged and ready to take on any challenges at home.
  3. Amazing – I slept in because I had a late checkout and managed to squeeze in one last massage while my bags were packed for me.
  4. Sentimental and romantic. The trip celebrated my relationship with my partner and our bond is stronger than ever.

Now that you’ve finished our quiz, tally up your answers to find out which vacation type best reflects your needs:

Answer 1  >>  1 point

Answer 2  >>  2 points

Answer 3  >>  3 points

Answer 4  >>  4 points

So, what is your idea of the perfect vacation?

3-5 points >> Family Vacation

Allegro Papagayo Resort Family Vacation

Allegro Papagayo Resort

The happiness of your family is a priority and a vacation without your kids is unimaginable. To ensure everyone has a great time, be sure to check out our Play hotels (family-friendly resorts where kids stay and eat free) such as the Allegro Papagayo in Liberia, Costa Rica. Surrounded by beaches, rainforests and active volcanoes, this resort is the epicenter of adventure. From kayaking to nature excursions, there’s plenty to keep the kids active and entertained.

If you prefer to head to a Caribbean island, we recommend the Be Live Collection Marien in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. With a supervised kids club, take some time for yourself and head to the spa or play a round at the nearby Playa Dorada golf course.

No matter which hotel you choose, keep in mind that our Play hotels also come with exclusive flight perks: pre-boarding privileges, free seat selection and a $10 meal voucher for every family member. Your family vacation truly starts at the airport.

6-8 points >> Spa Vacation

Melia Resorts Cuba Spa Vacation

Melia Resorts Cuba

Where are the best indulgences found? Only at our collection of Spa hotels, of course.

Our top pick is the Melia Buenavista All-Inclusive Royal Service & Spa in Santa Clara, Cuba. Designed with total privacy in mind, this adults-only resort is an oasis for rejuvenation. Choose from a range of body treatments and massages at its full-service spa and we promise you’ll leave feeling invigorated.

If you want to spoil yourself and you’re travelling with children, we suggest the neighbouring Melia Las Dunas. This popular hotel provides the perfect balance as it’s tailored for families seeking activity and adults looking to relax. The supervised kids clubs arrange activities according to age, which gives you the chance to retreat to Spa Aguas Claras for a Japanese Shiatsu massage. The kids will be so busy, you’ll even have time for that much-needed pedicure.

9-11 points >> Luxury Vacation

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso Luxury Vacation

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso

You want the royal treatment and nothing less. That’s what vacations means, after all. For an unforgettable luxurious holiday, you will definitely want to stay at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraiso. Located directly on the beach in Playa Paraiso, in the heart of Riviera Maya, this adults-only, dream paradise has 5 shiny stars attached to its name – and for good reason. At check-in, enjoy a warm welcome with champagne and a minibar stocked with your favourites. By mid-afternoon, lounge poolside and accept a cold beverage from your butler. For dinner, choose between 2 buffets and 4 à la carte restaurants, or perhaps make use of the 24-hour room service. Come bedtime, select the right pillow for your tired head from the elite pillow menu. Rest now because tomorrow will be busy – there’s a Par 72, 18-hole golf course on site, a casino and spa in the massive Complex Shopping Centre, and numerous sports to try.

For similar vacation ideas, discover our complete list of Luxury hotels.

12 points >> Adults-Only Vacation

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection Adults Only

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection

You want serenity, intimate moments and above all, a kid-free holiday. Whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or traveling just because, Adults-only hotels are right up your alley. The Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection in La Romana, Dominican Republic, for instance, caters to couples and guests aged 18+. With no less than 8 bars on its premises, local area tours (a visit to Catalina Island is a must!) and nightly entertainment, this resort provides the ideal setting to unwind and let loose. For something different, try merengue, bachata and salsa classes. For something more sensual, try the spa’s aromatic relaxation treatment. Deep breath in and exhale, it doesn’t get much better than this.

 

Curious about what other vacation types exist? Check out our complete list of vacation types to find your dream holiday.

 

02 Apr

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Top 10 Resorts to Check Out This Summer

April 2, 2015 | By |

Trying to find the newest, hottest resorts to stay at this summer? Search no more, as we have shortlisted the top 10 resorts to check out this summer in Mexico and the Caribbean. These include some brand new and recently renovated properties, as well as properties that have been newly added to the Air Canada Vacations lineup. From villa accommodations to boutique hotels, these are 10 resorts you definitely want to check out.  

1) Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria (Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba)

Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria

Snack La Caleta

The beach at Eurostars Cayo Santa Maria is an absolute pièce de résistance, with its pure white sand and turquoise water. If you want to maximize your intake of ocean views, make sure to dine at the Mediterranean Aire de Mar Restaurant, or stop by Snack La Caleta, a poolside snack bar that also overlooks the Caribbean Sea. A variety of activities are on offer at this resort, including non-motorized water sports, 2 tennis courts, a kids club and a yacht club.

2) Beach House Turks and Caicos (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Beach House Turks and Caicos

The 21-suite Beach House Turks and Caicos is a boutique hotel with an intimate setting. As a guest, you are entitled to dedicated lounge spaces on stunning Grace Bay Beach. Ranging from 1,150 to 1,580 square feet, guest suites feature a kitchenette, as well as a balcony or terrace with a day bed. The on-site Beach House Restaurant is a popular dining spot in Providenciales and showcases a creative Caribbean and contemporary menu. For additional dining options, you can take a shuttle to the hotel’s 2 sister properties, Alexandra Resort and Blue Haven Resort.

3) Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta (Riviera Nayarit/Nuevo Vallarta)

Bel Air Collection Nuevo Vallarta

Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta has your wellbeing in mind. Its Asian-style spa is perfect for some R&R: in addition to various spa treatments, it offers daily yoga and meditation, as well as a special low-calorie diet program for the health-conscious. Its infinity pool overlooking the beach does nothing but inspire relaxation, and a variety of special services like tea time and a nightly turn-down service with petits fours adds to the serene experience offered by this resort.

4) ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas (Willemstad, Curaçao)

ACOYA Lakefront Villa

Lakefront villa

Lush lodging is the name of the game at ACOYA Hotel Suites & Villas. Deluxe rooms feature a private patio surrounded by a tropical garden. Suites range from 2 to 4 bedrooms and are appointed with a large private balcony, fully equipped kitchen, living room and dining area. Featuring a garden, pool or lake view, villas come fully furnished and offer the ultimate private sanctuary. On-site amenities include a swimming pool, a spa and fine dining at Restaurant Seasons.

5) Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Spa

The new, adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is the epitome of luxury. Stylishly decorated, each guest room features handcrafted furniture, a furnished terrace, designer toiletries and plush bathrobes. Dining is a regal affair as well with access to 3 exclusive restaurants, as well as 6 restaurants that are shared with its sister property, Hyatt Ziva. When you want to go for a swim, you can choose from a total of 14 pools, including 9 swim-up pools and 5 whirlpools, and when you’re in the mood for relaxation, indulge in a service at the oceanfront spa.

6) Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Lobby

It’s amazing that Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta can provide an oasis so close to bustling downtown Puerto Vallarta. The hotel lobby itself is like a mini sanctuary, housed in an enormous palapa and adorned with a calming, rushing waterfall. The resort is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and it offers a beautiful private beach on the Bahía de Banderas, the second largest bay in the Pacific Ocean.

7) Be Live Collection Canoa (La Romana, Dominican Republic)

Be Live Collection Canoa La Romana

Be Live Collection Canoa offers a convenient location in La Romana, right on Bayahibe Beach. It also facilitates day trips to neighbouring Del Este National Park, where you can explore over 400 caverns (some of which contain ancient pictographs), a variety of flora and fauna and Saona Island. The resort’s amenities cater to all ages: a lagoon-shaped pool, multiple dining options, a spa, fitness centre and kids club make it perfect for either a couple’s getaway or family vacation.

8) Point Grace (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos)

Point Grace Beach

Featuring a remote location on the point of 19-km Grace Bay Beach, the 28-suite Point Grace offers a quiet, peaceful setting. Appointed with British Colonial architecture, this boutique hotel offers guest suites that are over 1,000 square feet in size, and that include a kitchen, terrace and upscale bathroom. It is also home to 2 Caribbean restaurants, as well as the oceanfront Thalasso Spa which incorporates the properties of sea mud and sea water into its treatments.

9) Meliá Jardines del Rey (Cayo Coco, Cuba)

Melia Jardines del Rey

Opened in January 2015, the Meliá Jardines del Rey is a beautifully styled hotel that blends contemporary décor with a design that emulates a sugar cane plantation. It is home to 9 restaurants, 6 bars and a sweet corner called Macao, which offers a variety of ice cream and snacks. There is a boulevard that extends from the lobby to the beach, and guest rooms are located in 3-storey bungalows.

10) Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort (Riviera Maya, Mexico)

akumal-bay-beach

Though Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort is now sporting a brand new look after a recent renovation, it has preserved what is at its core: a laidback, beachy vibe and unspoilt natural surroundings. Rooms are now ultra-sleek junior suites with outdoor hot tubs, but have retained their main focal point: an amazing view of Akumal Bay. The resort also offers pop-up beach bars and access to a world-class snorkelling site that is home to sea turtles and a beautiful coral reef.

 

Looking for more resorts like these? If you did not get a chance this past season, you may still wish to look at our Top 10 Resorts To Check Out: Winter Edition, or consult our full listing of properties in the Caribbean & Mexico.

 

27 Jan

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Top 5 All-Inclusive Luxury Resorts in Dominican Republic

January 27, 2015 | By |

Looking to lounge in the laps of luxury in Dominican Republic? As if the perks of all-inclusive resorts weren’t sweet enough, these resorts have stepped it up a notch with added bonuses like secluded locations and butler service. If indulgence and opulence are at the top of your Dominican Republic vacation wish list, you’ll definitely want to take a look at these top 5 all-inclusive luxury resorts.

1) Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, Don Pablo Collection (Samana)

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado Don Pablo Collection Samana

Ever dreamt of escaping to your own private island? Well, a vacation to the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, Don Pablo Collection comes very close to that dream. As the only hotel located on Samana’s remote island of Cayo Levantado, this adults-only, all-inclusive resort offers all the privacy and tranquility you need. Here, absolutely nothing can get between you and the beach, which by the way, features hammocks, “Bali beds” and a massage gazebo. Plus, the resort is part of the Don Pablo collection, Bahia Principe’s luxury guarantee.

2) Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa (La Romana)

Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa La Romana

When staying at a resort chain that boasts “Unlimited-Luxury®” as its motto, you know you’re in good hands. At Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, you can indulge in a body treatment at its 21,000-square foot spa, enjoy name-brand liquor at all on-site bars and savour gourmet cuisine at 11 different restaurants (where reservations are never required!) If you’re feeling particularly parched, hungry and/or lazy, take advantage of a pool and beach waiter service or 24-hour room service.

3) IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bavaro (Punta Cana)

Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro Punta Cana

From its majestic Greco-Roman architecture to its personalized “Grand Experience” service, the adults-only IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bavaro rolls out the red carpet. Stroll throughout the grounds and you’ll notice landscaped gardens, lakes and flamingoes. If you’re in need of some rejuvenation, spend an afternoon in the 2-floor spa or in the fitness centre (with views!) In the evening, cool down with a drink and some entertainment in the hotel’s on-site ship (that’s right, a ship). If that’s not enough, you are also entitled to a free butler service throughout your stay. Talk about red carpet treatment!

4) Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana (Punta Cana)

Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Zoëtry resorts focus on the “Art of Life®.” At the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana, that means wellness features such as a spa, 24-hour fitness centre, yoga and stretch classes. For the foodies, that’s wine tastings, culinary classes and unlimited top-shelf spirits. A free 20-minute massage and 45-minute horseback riding lesson are also included with your stay, as part of the Endless Privileges® program. Rooms are no exception to the resort’s lavishness either: all suites feature a balcony or terrace with beach or garden view, as well as hardwood floors and natural stone accents. Plus, the resort’s remote location means access to a much less crowded beach (a somewhat rare find in Punta Cana).

5) Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection (La Romana)

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection La Romana

Boasting colonial-style architecture and a peaceful setting, the adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, Don Pablo Collection in La Romana has plenty of charm. Couples may particularly appreciate its romantic allure: Private dinners on the dock, long walks on a long stretch of beach and gazing at sunset views over the bay are all very love bird-friendly activities. Rooms may also spark a little romance – each suite has a jetted tub for two, a separate shower with rain showerhead and 24-hour room service. A day at the spa can also up the ante.

 

Ready to get a taste of lavish vacationing in the Dominican Republic? Browse for more resorts on our Dominican Republic travel page.

20 Jan

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6 Caribbean Carnivals to Kick Off 2015

January 20, 2015 | By |

How do you transform a cold bleak winter into a bustling landscape of tropical delight? We recommend sashaying towards the pulsing Calypso beats and flamboyant dancers that await in these 6 Caribbean destinations. Primed for their best ever Carnival seasons, prepare to be rejuvenated by the grand street parties and passions of the everyday people. But hurry – the celebrations are heating up, so start practicing those savvy dance moves and check out these 6 Caribbean Carnivals before it’s too late.

Curaçao

Boasting one of the longest carnival seasons in the Caribbean, Curaçao knows how to keep the party going. The Dutch island officially jumpstarted its celebrations at the beginning of January and the good times will continue in the coming weeks. First up, local artists will compete during the five-day Tumba Festival (Jan. 26-30), an epic music battle where the winning Tumba (song) is crowned the 2015 Carnival anthem. February ushers in more fun and talent with a jam-packed parade schedule featuring extravagant costumes inspired by folklore, impressive floats and even specially trained horses. Be sure to catch the main daytime parade, “Gran Marcha,” on Feb. 15, and the night-time finale, “Marcha di Despedida,” on Feb. 17, the day before Lent. Locals ceremoniously mark the farewell by setting fire to a straw-filled King Momo, a traditional evil symbol that needs to be cleansed before the fasting period begins. Coupled with fireworks, this is one feast for the eyes that is not to be missed.

Dominican Republic

If you want the ultimate Carnival experience in the Dominican Republic, simply head to La Vega any Sunday this February. Centrally located between Puerto Plata in the north and Santo Domingo in the south, La Vega is a two-hour drive from either coast and home to the country’s most popular Carnival. See if you can spot the city’s famous characters, the “Diablos Cojuelos,” who flood the streets in bright costumes and elaborate devil masks. They may just catch you off guard with a playful whip of their "vejiga" (looks like a balloon) as you nibble on a frío frío (a snow cone).

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe’s Carnival season started two weeks ago, but it’s full steam ahead until the last street party runs dry on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 18). While festivities can be found in every town, make your way to Pointe-à-Pitre and Basse-Terre for the biggest parades and celebrations. On the last day, expect the streets to be filled with black and white Carnival devils and be prepared for the crowd’s cries when King Carnival “Vaval” is cremated at night. Once he is laid to rest, let the late night dining and dancing begin!

Martinique

Up for a challenge? Test your endurance in Martinique this February when revelry takes over Fort de France. The island’s Carnival is five intense days (Feb. 14-18) of lively street parades, zouk music and indulging joviality. From cross-dressing brides to elected Carnival Queens, there is something new to discover every day.

Panama City

Photo by mashmuzik via Instagram

Photo by mashmuzik via Instagram

If you’re looking for a party that rivals the likes of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then look no further than Panama City. Taking place from Feb. 14 and culminating in an extraordinary parade on Feb.17, Panama City’s Carnival celebration is one of the largest in the world. Catch all the action at the “Cinta Costera,” the waterfront boulevard next to the city’s busy Avenida Balboa, and you won’t miss a beat…or stay dry for very long. Sure, in true Latin American style, there are live salsa and reggae bands, but there is also at least one tradition unique to this Carnival: the “mojaderas.” By bucket, water balloon or fire hose, be prepared to get soaked in a Caribbean dance party.

St. Martin/St Maarten

One island, two different Carnival affairs. The northern French part, St. Martin, is the first to host the festivities (Jan. 30-Feb. 18) and you can count on glittery costumes, loud drums and dancing processions to take over the streets in Marigot. Sint Maarten, the Dutch southern side, then welcomes partygoers mid-April (April 16-May 4) for its own brand of merrymaking, complete with international concerts and a Carnival Village that offers a wide selection of tasty local treats (Johnny cakes, anyone?). Don’t miss the Grand Carnival Parade on April 30, also known as King’s Day in the Netherlands.

 

Ready to sway your hips and move your feet? Don’t miss a beat! Learn more about these Caribbean destinations now.

 

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

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