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December 2013

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Entries in Canada (31)


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 for complete terms and conditions.



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

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

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 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

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

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



Country Inns & Suites

“Home for the Holidays”, a campaign inviting us to choose Country Inns & Suites as our “home away from home” this holiday season. Special offerings and packages will allow us to create the ultimate holiday travel experience.

“At this particularly hectic time of year, we are committed to providing a home-like experience for our guests traveling during this holiday season,” said Aurora Toth, vice president, brand marketing, Midscale Brands, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “Whether you are traveling with family or need some extra space for out of town guests, Country Inns & Suites is your home away from home.”

At participating Country Inns & Suites in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, we are invited to enjoy complimentary holiday cookies, hot cocoa, and cider. Additionally, Country Inns & Suites will feature packages that suit our seasonal travel needs. Packages are tailored to fit each hotel’s region and may include: 

Shopping– Designed to help us finish our holiday shopping, this package includes a $25 gift card to a local retailer.

Park & Stay – Avoid the stress of holiday travel with this package, which includes complimentary parking and round-trip airport transportation.

Romance – Ideal for a romantic New Year’s Eve, this package’s amenities include complimentary wine, champagne, or sparkling cider.

Beginning December 12, we can send holiday greeting cards to family and friends. Facebook Fans can select from a series of holiday images to customize our postcards. We can also enter to win a chance to reconnect with that person in real life. One lucky Facebook fan will win the opportunity to travel and meet their friend or loved one with a three-night stay at Country Inns & Suites and $2,000 for travel.  Visit Country Inn Facebook page and Twitter for more holiday fun.

For additional travel tips and information, visit Talk of the Country, the official Country Inns & Suites blog, featuring expert holiday advice from lifestyle expert, celebrity interior designer, and television personality Genevieve Gorder.

Country Inns & Suites offers a caring, consistent, and comfortable hospitality experience with complimentary amenities like high-speed Internet and hot breakfast served on classic diningware all year long. For reservations and more information, visit



UK Ski Travel Deals

£100pp savings in La Plagne

This season marks the 10th anniversary of the linking of La Plagne with Les Arcs. This area is better known as Paradiski with plentiful and varied terrain for all levels of skiers. Depart on the 12th January with VIP SKI and save £100 per person. There are 7 chalets in La Plagne all set within the Summit View building right on the piste’s edge. Prices start from £739 per person with the offer applied. Prices include 7 nights accommodation on a chalet board basis along with return flights from London Gatwick and resort transfers. For the chance to take advantage of this offer, bookings must be made before Christmas with the offer applicable on any La Plagne chalet.  For more information or to book visit or call 0844 557 3119

Save with Ski Weekends £150pp

Grab a last minute trip before Christmas to Les Menuires or Morzine with savings of up to £150 per person. The snow keeps falling so surprise a loved one and book that special treat. The Chalet Cleopatra and Chalet Sapiniere are available in Les Menuires whilst the Club Chalet Gourmets is available in Morzine. Prices are from £399 per person for 4 nights on chalet board basis with flights and return transfers included. For more information or to book visit or call 02380 206 971

Sweet Madness in Alpe d’Huez           

The most exciting date of the 2013/14 season has arrived – it is the opening of a new La Folie Douce in Alpe d’Huez. La Folie Douce translates to ‘Sweet Madness’, an apt name for the après activities. The new venue opens with a bang this Saturday with the opening party is set to kick off Alpe d’Huez’s season. The venue is the fourth to open in France with the renowned combination of fine food followed by lively cabaret on the mountain. Stay with VIP SKI late in the season from £869 per person at the VIP CLUB Chateau for 7 nights chalet board including return flights from London Gatwick and resort transfers. For more information visit and for accommodation in the resort.

Half price Christmas in Val Thorens

For the enthusiast looking for the best snow available and fast lifts to whizz around, it is difficult to beat Val Thorens and Pierre & Vacances has half price accommodation available for Christmas week arriving in resort on the 21st December. The Residence Les Temples du Soleil is now available from just £525 for a studio apartment sleeping up to 4, a saving of £525. The apartments are located right next to the slopes as well as facilities in the residence including mini-market, sports shop, bar and fitness area including swimming pool. For more information or to book visit or call 0870 0267 145

An Alpine New Year

Welcome in 2014 with Ski Weekends in Brides Les Bains with live music and a gala dinner to celebrate with like minded skiers. Travelling by coach to the 3* Club Hotel Verseau on the 28th December the 7 night trip includes 5 hotel nights (2 on the coach), half board accommodation and the special gala dinner. Prices start from £499 per person based on two sharing. For more information or to book visit or call 02380 206 971

January sales start early - £100 off per person to Norway

New for Ski Safari for 2013-14 is the Norwegian resort of Trysil, located two hours north of Oslo. Trysil is a fantastic family ski resort with plenty of ski-in ski-out accommodation options and for those wanting to take it easy with effortless blues and flattering reds on wide open slopes. A 7 night holiday at the 4* Park Inn Trysil Mountain Resort in a 2 bedroom self-catering apartment starts from £499 per person, based on 4 sharing with flights and transfers. Departs 12th January 2014. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit

January skiing with Pierre & Vacances

With 225km of its own slopes, of which almost 80% are blue or red, La Plagne is an intermediate’s paradise. Pierre & Vacances has savings on stays beginning on the 4th January. One of the picks of these is the Residence Le Mont Soleil which has savings of £155 available. The apartments have easy access to the slopes from their position overlooking the pistes with a lounge bar with a south facing terrace within the residence. Prices start from £363 for a 1 bedroom apartment sleeping up to 4, from £518. For more information or to book visit or call 0870 0267 145

Lift pass discounts in the Jungfrau region

The Jungfrau Region encompasses some imposing and impressive mountains, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Buy a Jungfrau Sportpass (2-10 days) more than 21 days in advance of arriving in the resort and receive a 20% discount off the price. The Sportpass is name for the Jungfrau’s lift pass covering Grindelwald, Wengen, Murren and Interlaken. Discounts are automatically applied on the website. A 6 day pass is usually CHF 323 (approx.. £225), lowering to CHF 258.40 (approx.. £180) when the discount is applied. For more information visit

Under £1000 – Two weeks, Two resorts

Visit the Canadian resort of Banff with amazing skiing and snowboarding at Mount Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, before heading to Panorama to see for yourself why this resort is known as the heli-skiing capital of the Rockies. New shuttle transfers mean that this exciting Rockies twin centre can now be done without the need or expense of hiring a car. Book by 20th December and save £440 per person on a 14 night holiday, staying 7 nights at the 3* Mount Royal in Banff on room only and 7 nights at the 4* Upper Village Condo in Panorama. Prices starting from £925 per person, based on 2 sharing with direct flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit


Relais & Châteaux Western Canada

Celebrate your senses with the Relais & Châteaux properties of Western Canada, where the array of spectacular landscapes only complement genuine hospitality with award-winning accommodations, cuisine and experiences to fulfill your travel wishes.

The Post Hotel provides a classic, all-season alpine getaway in the Canadian Rockies by the unspoiled, turquoise waters of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. A veritable jewel in Vancouver’s vibrant city centre, the Wedgewood boutique Hotel is an oasis of tranquility and opulent comfort right by Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Return to an era of grace and simplicity with a getaway to Hastings House Country House Hotel on Salt Spring Island. Take the road less traveled to discover the Wickaninnish Inn by remote, eclectic Tofino on Vancouver Island’s west coast. Situated off the east coast of Vancouver Island, on its namesake island, Sonora Resort offers adventure and pure luxury in the midst of pristine wilderness.

Experience two or more of these landmark Relais & Châteaux accommodations properties within a two-week period, and benefit from the following added value:

  • The Post Hotel : A bottle of French Champagne and a complimentary accommodations upgrade on arrival based on availability,
  • Wedgewood Hotel: 10% off the best available rate and a complimentary accommodations upgrade on arrival based on availability,
  • Hastings House: Complimentary picnic for two and a complimentary accommodations upgrade on arrival based on availability,
  • Wickaninnish Inn: $40.00/night off the regular room rate and a complimentary accommodations upgrade on arrival based on availability,
  • Sonora Resort: One hour eco-tour for two and a complimentary accommodations upgrade on arrival based on availability, per room.

For a more detailed overview of this promotion, please visit the Western Canada Relais & Châteaux microsite here.