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Yes, it’s winter and yes, Canada can be cold. But that also means fluffy snow and chestnuts still roasting by an open fire. Starwood Hotels & Resorts wants to entice you to visit the country with some “winterful” packages (yeah, yeah, we know!).
1) “Two Nights are Never Enough in Canada: Two for the Price of One” package –- This sweet deal lets you book a long weekend of your choosing at over 50 Starwood Hotels across the country so that you can cuddle up during those cold, dark nights of winter. You pay for two nights and they’ve got the third one covered. Rates in a Deluxe King at the Westin Calgary, for instance, will only set you back $179, but you need to arrive between Thursday and Saturday.
2) It’s Hockey Night in Canada –- With the “Hockey Night Special” package at the newly-reno’ed Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, you get a special rate of $139 for a Traditional King on home game nights. Montreal’s Bell Centre is across from the hotel, so if you have that beer swagger going on after the game, you’re nice and close.
We've seen some pretty inventive cocktail concoctions in our time, but this one has us pretty intrigued. The Opus Vancouver has partnered with doTERRA Vancouver to create essential oil-infused cocktails. Yep, we can hear you now. "Huh"? We had the same reaction. Last time we checked essential oils were used in spa treatments or hokey feel-good remedies. But a drink? Nah, man.
Guess we needed to be schooled, and that happened when we asked for more info. Apparently these cocktails are made with dōTERRA's certified therapeutic grade essential oils that can be ingested (not all oils have that quality) by adding them to water or in this case, booze.
So, the hotel's Opus Bar created cocktails like the Opusition, a mix of passionfruit liqueur, fresh grapefruit juice, Brut sparkling wine, poached pineapple and grapefruit essential oil. And in addition to sipping this yummy blend, you're actually boosting your digestive and immune system and uplifting your mood. You can't be mad at a multi-purpose cocktail!
Then there's the Hugo, the bar's version of a gin & tonic made with Bombay gin, mint, soda and lavender and lime essential oils. Now, with this drink apparently relaxation is meant to occur along with natural aphrodisiac, mind calming and restorative feelings. We read this to mean you can drink a few, let your hair down, and maybe not regret it in the morning? We say cheers to that!
[Photo: Opus Vancouver]
Raise your hand if you've had sex on the beach.
Congrats, you're one of a million. You got sand in your shorts (or worse). You positioned yourself in the corner of the small lifeguard stand. We're awfully proud. Did you watch the sunset and brush her hair behind her ear, too? Yawn.
Now, a show of hands, who's melted a forearm into a bed before? No? That's what we thought!
But, seriously, our headline is meant to be taken literally, kids. Ice hotels can be hella romantic, and the novelty of the experience will knock your socks off. Though keepin' 'em on is a special kind of sexy we can't imagine.
We're fresh off a stay at Sweden's Ice Hotel, and we can tell you firsthand the stories of individuals breaking a sweat in the heat of the night are totally true. Can you get sticky in your sleeping bag? Youbetcha!
So instead of moaning about the plummeting temps outside, we'll show you how it can get steamy, even in the Arctic.
Airport Hotels / Hotel Openings / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Canada Hotels / Alberta Hotels / → All Tags
Edmonton’s set to get its first Renaissance Hotel this summer (the first in Alberta, as it turns out). The new 213-room hotel will open at the recently-expanded Edmonton International Airport. As the only hotel attached to the airport terminal, this is good news for those of you who find a bed more comfortable than your airport chair.
The hotel was originally scheduled to be a Courtyard by Marriot property before that was kyboshed and it was decided to make the property the more boutique-like upscale Renaissance. The owners felt that the new airport terminal was so modern that the Renaissance was a better fit with the airport re-do.
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Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. We figure, he won't be laying his salt-and-pepper head just anywhere, after all, he's big time now.
So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we’ll give you some details on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city that’s sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
Layover Hotel Episode 5:The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto: This advice from Bourdain: "If you're traveling for work and want to stick your accounting department with unpaid bills for your swank accommodation, you should probably stay at the excellent Ritz-Carlton." He goes on to big up their comfortable beds and ability to get "a good steak" on the premises. Top praise for this hotel located in the middle of the city's financial district that also commands top rates beginning at 545 CAD ($543) in the dead of winter.
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Yep, it's just about time for some Fantasy Friday dreaming!
This is a package made-in-heaven for shopaholics, so warm up that American Express Black card and be prepared to give it a workout.
The Hazelton Hotel in Toronto’s tony Yorkville neighborhood is offering a Bespoke Holiday Season Shopping Package, starting at a mere $199,000. (Oh wait... that’s Canadian so the price is actually $200,725 US, but, really, at this level what’s an extra grand or two?)
For this sky-high figure, you get some time high in the sky aboard the private jet that will whisk you from your home to Toronto. There you’ll be picked up in a luxury sedan and taken to The Hazelton to get settled into your behemoth 1860 sq ft Bellair Suite (the dressing room alone, outfitted in zebrawood, is 80 sq ft, so there’s plenty of room to try on your new purchases). This one-bedroom suite also has an 800 sq ft windowed seating area, a media center with a wireless touch screen remote media controller, piped sound throughout the living area, two plasma TV's and a separate dining area capable of seating up to ten. There are two bathrooms – the ensuite is done entirely in galaxy green granite and has heated floors, a deep soaker tub and separate rainfall shower, as well as the requisite TV in the mirror.
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Each year on December 8th, the day Lennon was murdered, roses are left anonymously by the door of suite 1742 at Montreal's Fairmont Queen Elizabeth.
This room was the location of John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace back in 1969.
It was the second of two sit-ins the newlywed couple held as a non-violent way of protesting war, hoping to create awareness and inspire others to promote peace.
After the first Sit-In in Amsterdam, the plan was to originally hold the second in New York City, but John was denied a US visa because of a previous conviction for marijuana possession. They changed plans and headed to the Bahamas, but apparently John couldn’t find a big enough fan and he wasn't one to get sweaty between the sheets, so the couple left abruptly for Montreal after John found the island too hot to stay in bed for a week.
Airport Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Ontario Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Canada Hotels / Groupe Germain / → All Tags
We had the chance to stay at the new ALT Hotel Toronto Pearson, owned by Canadian boutique hoteliers, Groupe Germain and, we gotta tell ya, this hotel-in-a-box is stylin’!
Back in April we reported Groupe Germain planned to open several ALT Hotels across Canada, and Toronto is the first up. The ALT Hotel business model is to maximize style while keeping costs down by minimizing superfluous services and prefabricating the hotel rooms – sort of like how cruise ships are built (ergo, hotel-in-a-box!). What this means is that you can get a hotel room for a very reasonable price, that is always the same, no matter what day of the week or what time of the year.
Knowing all of this, we were still pleasantly surprised that the 153-room hotel is so well-designed. When you enter, you'll first notice the eye-catching video wall. Made up of photos and LCD screens, this ever-changing mural is comprised of photos submitted via Instagram.
In anticipation of the St. Regis Hotel Vancouver’s 100th Anniversary next March 15th, they’re starting the celebrations off early with one hell of a sale. Rooms will go for just $100 per night.
Now, we had to do a double take, because like you, we thought this was a new Starwood brand hotel (we've been through this before, so we had to double check). It's not. But, it's a good rate, all the same, if you're doing the Canadian winter wonderland thing.
There are just 1000 rooms available for this awesome rate and the sale starts TOMORROW for bookings from December through April. That means, don't slouch, we predict these rooms will go fast.
The prepaid vouchers for this offer will be sold through the website on December 1st and can be redeemed for any night up until April 30th, 2013. Simply call or email the hotel to make the reservation. Buy two vouchers for $200 and you’re staying in a St. Regis Suite ( though that particular deal is subject to availability, non-refundable, and not available Dec 31, Jan 30-Feb 9, or Apr 3-5 ).
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If you can resist this pumpkin-pie loaded shake--there's something wrong with you. Period.
Yes, some parts of the country have experienced their first bouts of snowfall, it’s still considered autumn per the calendar, and many hotel restaurant bars have a host of seasonal drinks created just for this time of year.
And damn, with all that's happened in the last few weeks (natural disasters, elections, secrets, lies, and...Donald Trump causing a stir) don’t you feel like--well, you could USE a drink? And a good, creative one at that?
We want to pay homage to the mixologists, or whatever the like to call themselves these days that have put in work to present some serious dranks (yep, we said it right, fact checkers) for the fall season. Thanksgiving is next week (AY!), today starts the unofficial weekend...let's toast it up !
Holsteins Shakes and Buns at the Cosmpolitan Las Vegas: This throwback restaurant gets major props for its Pumpkin Pie Bamboozled Shake, an alcohol-infused treat made with Sapling liquor, pumpkin pie filling, graham crumble, cinnamon syrup and pepita brittle. You can handle the Thanksgiving trip sipping a few of these.
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This guy's playing around with his 'stache. Bet he can raise big bucks for Movember!
Certain cultivators are no doubt celebrating the recent legalization of marijuana out west, but others are cheering a different kind of “grower” this fall. Movember has arrived!.
This is the month of mustache madness, (we've seen it spelled both ways and we're going this version) which means plenty of bad facial hair and lots of frustrated girlfriends all across the country. But it’s all good ladies--support for prostate cancer research.
This year, we've seen a few hotels offering sincere and socially acceptable ways for you to help contribute, so we're detailing them here.
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You know you’re not in Kansas anymore as soon as you walk into the newly-opened Shangri-La Toronto. In fact, it's easy to believe you've entered the East thanks to the hotel's subtle little touches. For instance, when we checked in and handed over our Visa card, it was handed back with both hands and a slight bow of the head -- very customary in Asia. Then there are, of course, the more obvious things: decor, artwork and staff outfits.
We will try our hardest not to get too gushy, but the simple fact is--we loved this hotel, and here are seven reasons (and loads of pictures) explaining why: