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during 2013 and looking forward to more

great travel deals in 2014.

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December 2013
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All travel deals have my recommendation.

These hotels have been personally visited by me and await you…
Parrot Cay Resort & Spa Turks & Caicos
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa Vancouver
Atlantis Resort Nassau Bahamas


Tuesday
Dec172013

Montréal Québec

Through the winter season, Montréal heats up with a unique lineup of festivals, exhibitions and events. If you’re looking to get active, there’s no shortage of fun wintry activities from snowshoeing to hiking trails to the city’s many ice-skating rinks. Don’t neglect your taste buds with delicious world class resturants. Arrival is easy and you’ll discover hotels at every price point along the way with tons of activities to enjoy all season long!

 

Fitz & Follwell, Montreal’s premier provider of guided walking, snow and cycle tours is offering a Winter on the Mountain adventure on the scenic Mont-Royal that includes ice skating followed by snowshoeing through the wooded trails, lunch and some fun sledding designed to bring out the child in everyone!

 

Discover the secrets behind Québec’s ice wines and apple ice wines

A wine connoisseur in training? VDM will be launching a day-long journey that takes you through the wintry landscape to discover ice wines and apple ice wines that the region is well known for.  The day begins with touring the facilities at 3 Wineries with the owner to learn the unique process of producing ice wine.  Also try being a bartender for a day and get a chance to mix creative ice wine cocktail recipes.   This new offering will be available every Saturday from February 15 - April 12, 2014.

 

Coup de Chapeau au Chef: Hats off to the Chef

Known for its bustling culinary scene, Montréal is on the cutting edge of trends in presentation, ingredients and atmosphere. Now it’s time to get in the kitchen.  The new Maison Christian Faure provides an ideal venue for an introduction to pastry creations and the basics of pastry making, all in a stylish environment with state of the art equipment.  Both beginner and advanced-level classes specialize in French pastries are available and those who want to skip the classes and just try the delectable treats, the café provides numerous choices.

 

The Culture Collection

Through January 19, 2014: The new exhibition at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Splendore a Venezia.  This is the world premiere of this outstanding exhibition that features works from 61 prestigious museums and collectors globally such as The Louvre, the Uffizi, the National Gallery London and more.

Through January 5, 2014: Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture at the Musée d’art contemporain.  Discover a generation of artists that juxtapose urban culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative new works. 

December 14 – January 5, 2014: Merry Montreal, a new festival in Old Montréal, offering free activities for the whole family, restaurant specials for foodies, indoor & outdoor holiday shopping a New Year’s Eve party and throughout the month TELUS Fire on Ice: Music, fireworks and fun. Every Saturday in December, the sky over the Quays of the Old Port lights up with a unique lightshow set to music.

January 16 – February 18: Igloofest: Dance the night away under the stars at the Port of Old Montréal. Renowned for its striking architecture, local and international DJs and over-the-top visuals, Igloofest heats up Montréal bringing thousands of electronic music fans to the city annually.

February 20 - March 2, 2014: Montréal en Lumière & Montréal All-Nighter (Nuit blanche à Montréal).  Ten days of exceptional food and wine tastings, spectacular shows and more mark this annual Montréal en Lumière festival.  For those who want to stay up all night, there’s no better place than at the Montréal All-Nighter, taking place March 1 - 2 when music, live performances, exhibitions and design take over three districts in the city.   An event not to be missed!

 

Score a “Sweet Hotel Deal

Through December 31, enjoy rates starting at $99 CAD and 50% of the second night at over 30 participating hotels. Visit www.tourisme-montreal.org/Offers for complete terms and conditions.

 

Tuesday
Dec172013

The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel in the heart of Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA is extending a “Friends & Family” rate this holiday season from now until January 9.

The hotel just opened their ice rink that is just steps from the front door and features two delicious restaurants, an intimate cocktail lounge and thriving jazz club. 

The deluxe guestroom is $159/night and $179/night with parking compared to the usual starting rate of $259/night.
Please book online using the code “FF2013” or call 800.882.1818 to make a reservation. Sorry, the Friends & Family rate is not available on December 31.
Tuesday
Dec172013

Alexandra Resort Turks & Caicos

The Alexandra Resort, a four star beachfront resort on world acclaimed Grace Bay Beach in beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands, is offering a new honeymoon package just in time for the “marriage proposal” season.

Market trends suggest that approximately one third of marriage proposals are made during the holiday season. January is normally the busiest time for engaged couples to plan their wedding and search for the perfect honeymoon destination.

Those seeking perfection need look no further than the Alexandra Resort in one of the most exclusive and romantic Caribbean honeymoon destinations – the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Located just 575 miles south of Miami, the islands are easily accessible by direct flights from major centres in the United States and Canada.

The Honeymoon Package starts from just $1045 for a three night stay in a spacious suite and includes:

  • Breakfast room service for two each morning from Mango Reef Restaurant
  • $100 food and beverage credit from Mango Reef Restaurant
  • Welcome bottle of sparkling wine and amenity
  • $100 credit for a relaxation massage with Spa Sanay
  • $100 credit for an excursion with Caicos Dream Tours

The Honeymoon Package is valid for new reservations made directly with the resort  for travel from April 26 until December 18, 2014. Other conditions apply.

The Alexandra Resort is an all-suite resort located on Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos Islands that features studios, one and two bedroom suites, and a four-bedroom penthouse.  Facilities include a large lagoon style swimming pool, tennis courts, beachfront Mango Reef Restaurant, exercise room, Spa Sanay, Caicos Dream Tours excursions desk and Pelican Kids’ Club.  Complimentary services include non-motorized water sports, pedal bikes, concierge desk, in room coffee service, weekly manager’s cocktail party and WIFI property wide.

For more information please visit www.alexandraresort.com or call 1.877.776.3073.

 

 

Tuesday
Dec172013

Ski Safari 

For some of the most inspiring winter adventures look no further than tailor-made ski specialist Ski Safari.

A lasting legacy - Winter Olympic Games
Following the golden summer of 2012 there was as much emphasis on the legacy of London 2012 as on the Games themselves and it has become the buzzword of the decade so far. But how does this continuing legacy apply to the Winter Olympic Games? With the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics taking place from 7th to 23rd February 2014, will the Olympic movement be able to build on their legacy plans for long-term changes and will we see a marked increase in skiers and boarders on the Russian slopes by 2020? To predict the future, we need to gauge the success of previous host cities to see how Sochi can secure their Olympic legacy for the future.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy: 1956
The Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics and was propelled into the limelight as the first Games to be televised to an international audience. After the Olympics, the resort became a magnet for skiing celebrities, sports personalities and big name stars keen to be seen on the slopes. Its Olympic legacy continues to this day with a number of themed ski tours, including the spectacular Olympia ski tour, which follows the Olympic run down to Rumerlo, where the Olympic flame burned. There is also the long Vitelli piste, which was host to the Olympic giant slalom and has since become a dedicated slow-ski area. For over 20 years the Olympia delle Tofane piste has hosted the Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup and, in doing so, has helped Cortina to remain at the forefront as a world class ski resort. This season there will be a new piste on the south-western slopes of Col Drusciè, which will be dedicated to female skiers and is to be named after Toni Sailer, who won three Gold medals at the Cortina Winter Olympics.

How much:
Stay 7 nights B&B at the centrally located 4* Hotel Ambra in Cortina, with prices starting from £809 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, including return flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com.

Innsbruck, Austria: 1964, 1976, 2012 (YOG)
2014 marks half a century of Olympic heritage since Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Tirol, first hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964. It was a mere 12 years later in 1976 that the Olympic flame returned, after the unexpected decision by the people of Denver not to host the Games. The IOC had to find a quick replacement and Innsbruck soon became the obvious choice, with a proven track record as organiser in 1964. Building on their legacy, Innsbruck became the first city to host the Olympics for a third time in 2012, with the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG). It was thanks to its continual preservation of existing venues, some of which were first used in 1964, and have since been upgraded to state of the art facilities, that Innsbruck was chosen. Anyone can try the Olympic  bobsleigh run at Igls, have a go on the cross-country trails in Seefeld or ski the Patscherkofel, where most of the downhill action took place. Re-designed in 2003 by esteemed London-based architect Zaha Hadid, the Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium has become one of Innsbruck’s most popular tourist attractions and stands out as a symbol of Innsbruck’s continuing Olympic heritage.

How much:
Stay 4 nights B&B at the 5* Grand Hotel Europa in Innsbruck, with prices starting from £491 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, including return flights to Innsbruck and private transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com.

Nagano, Japan: 1998
At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president declared the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics to be the best organised Winter Games in Olympic history, and it was the first Games to use a dedicated website to provide real-time results and information. At the same time the IOC launched the official www.olympic.org website and, utilising the internet as a means of communication, helped spread the message and bring the world’s attention to mainland Japan as a winter sports destination. Snowboarding had its debut as an official Olympic sport at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, and curling returned to the Games programme. The Asama bullet train from Tokyo to Nagano was completed in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics, reducing the journey time to just under 80 minutes. The 10-day Nagano Ski Safari covers the resorts of Hakuba, the Olympic venue for ski jumping and Alpine skiing, and Nosawa Onsen, the venue for the biathlon events, as well as a ride on the Bullet train to Tokyo.

How much?
A 10 night holiday in March costs from £1675 per person based on 2 sharing, including 4 nights B&B at the 4* Phoenix Hotel in Hakuba, 3 nights B&B at the 3* Kiriya Ryokan in Nozawa Onsen and 2 nights room only at the 3* Shiba Park Hotel in Tokyo. Price includes return flights with British Airways and a 5-day Japan East rail pass. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com.

Salt Lake City, USA: 2002
In 2002 the capital of Utah, Salt Lake City, hosted the 19th Winter Olympic Games and it became one of the most successful Games in history, entering the record books for more than its sporting achievements. Viewing figures worldwide reached the 2 billion mark, whilst the venues packed in the largest crowds ever for an Olympic Winter Games, a record that still remains today. Financially the Games raised more money with fewer sponsors than any other previous event, leaving a surplus of $40million which was used to create the Utah Athletic Foundation, the body responsible for maintaining and operating many of the remaining Olympic venues. The legacy of the Winter Olympics is still very much apparent and the Utah Olympic Park is well worth a visit for a do-it-yourself Olympic experience. You can take a ride on the Comet Bobsled, with a pilot, reaching speeds of 80mph, go head first down the Rocket Skeleton ride at 50mph, try curling or have a go at ice skating! This season Park City is tying in their Olympic legacy by hosting several Olympic qualifier events, held in the resort prior to the Sochi Games. In December, there will be the Bobsled & Skeleton World Cup, as well as the Luge World Cup and Nordic Olympic Trials. In January, there will be the Freestyle Ski World Cup in Deer Valley Resort and the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix. This year also sees the 50th anniversary of skiing and snowboarding at Park City.

How much?
Stay 10 nights B&B at the 3+* Park City Peaks in Park City, with prices starting from £1100 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, including return flights and resort transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com.

Vancouver, Canada: 2010
As the largest city to ever hold the Winter Games, Vancouver is continuing to reap the rewards from being an Olympic city thanks to its carefully planned legacy. Olympic villages were constructed in Vancouver and Whistler and improvements to the Sea-to-Sky highway greatly improved the journey between the venues. Within the city, transport was improved by the addition of the new SkyTrain cars and diesel-electric hybrid buses. The construction of new facilities, including the Richmond Olympic Oval, the Vancouver Olympic Centre and the Whistler Sliding Centre, has helped get more people into sport, whether it’s local teenagers heading to the skating rink or tourists testing their nerves on the skeleton or bobsleigh. Visitors to Whistler can further experience the 2010 Winter Olympics by taking a Whistler Olympic venue tour, ice-skating outdoors at the former medal ceremony venue, the Whistler Olympic Plaza, or trying Nordic skiing or biathlon at the Whistler Olympic Park.  On the mountain, visitors can ‘feel the need for speed’ down the Dave Murray Downhill, where they held the Men’s Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalom and Slalom events, or experience the thrill of the bob sleigh and skeleton track at the Sliding Centre.

How much?
Stay 7 nights room only at the 4* Crystal Lodge in Whistler, with prices starting from £1229 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, including return flights and resort transfers. Add a city stay in Vancouver at the 3* Listel Hotel Vancouver, with prices starting from £35 per person, per night. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com.

 

Sunday
Dec152013

Aqua Hospitality

Anyone dreaming of a relaxing Hawaiian getaway in 2014, won’t want to miss Aqua Hospitality’s “Snow For It” online holiday promotion. With the click of a button, we can instantly win discounts, designer travel accessories or even a two-night stay at one of Aqua’s 25 hotels in Hawaii. Since Aqua wants everyone to be a winner, those who don’t win one of the daily Instant Win prizes will be rewarded simply for playing with an exclusive discount code for participating Aqua locations.  

 

To play, please visit online. First time visitors will be asked to register; returning visitors will be recognized by their email and can bypass registration. Upon registering/logging-in, we will be able to play a creative Instant Win Game to reveal if we have won one of the daily prizes. After playing the Instant Win game, we will be able to choose to explore Aqua hotels, “Like” Aqua on Facebook and invite friends to participate in the promotion via Facebook or email.

 

Aqua’s “Snow For It” holiday promotion where everyone is a winner is taking place now through December 31, 2013. We may play the Instant Win game once per day. Prizes include two night stays at participating Aqua properties, Kate Spade Beach Bags, Mar y Sol Beach Bags, Eco Extreme Waterproof Speakers, Chloe Beach Bags, Aqua Beach Towels and discounts for stays at Aqua properties in Hawaii. Prizes must be redeemed by December 31, 2014. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who are ages 18 and older.