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Category: North America

Cabo Rebuilds Luxuriously

Flying into Los Cabos International airport, tourists don’t recognize too much damage from Hurricane Odile, which hit Baja California Sur on September 13, 2014. Driving towards the lavish hotels and beautiful resorts towards the Cabo San Lucas Marina, guests will notice how the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, destroyed almost every building in its path with its 125-mile-per-hour winds. An estimated 92% of the population were left without power or water. It was the biggest electrical disaster in the history of Mexico, according to the Mexican Electric Company (CFE). One of the...

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Luxe Layovers: YVR

Luxe Layovers: YVR Remember the days when the thought of an airport layover brought shudders and a sense of dread? Today’s airports are breaking out of that mold — and breaking all the old rules — to offer bespoke services to modern travelers. From luxury lounges, modern spas and art museums, to wine bars, gourmet restaurants and markets filled with fresh produce, airports around the world are revolutionizing the travel experience. Discover a new place each month for your next luxe layover. Vancouver International Airport, Canada: YVR Vancouver International Airport sits on Sea Island, an island on the Fraser River...

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Home Sweet Hip Home in Vancouver’s Yaletown

“We don’t do beige.” It’s a mantra of sorts at Opus Vancouver. What does it mean? You’ll understand as soon as you enter the compact, yet sparkling lobby. It has a glow about it. Color is king here. Hip easily translates to happy. Forget about everything you’ve come to expect from a hotel. It doesn’t take long to get the sense they’re re-inventing the rules of hospitality at this boutique Yaletown hotel. It’s also pretty obvious the folks that work here are having a whole lot of fun in the process. The hotel is designed to feel like home,...

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Heed Yukon’s Call of the Wild — Even in the Dead of Winter!

As a travel writer who specializes in luxury girlfriend getaways based around Michelin meals, five-star resorts, signature spa treatments and other non-essential indulgences, extreme travel might consist of sipping champagne out of a plastic flute, being forced to use powdered cream packets for my coffee or receiving only intermittent Wi-Fi. So I was, to say the least, a bit wary when I received an invitation to join a group of journalists (most of them were from Canada and accustomed to the cold weather) to experience “Winter in The Yukon”, especially The Yukon Quest, aka “the world’s hardest sled-dog race.”...

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Mexico’s Grupo Vidanta, Second Cirque du Soleil Project

Grupo Vidanta is the largest and most luxurious group of resort properties in Mexico, with several locations spread out across the country in prime tourist locations. The story of Grupo Vidanta dates back to 1974, when a team of young entrepreneurs opened a small hotel in Mazatlán called Paraíso Mazatlan, and the dream grew year after year with new resort destinations and hotels. The company celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, and 2015 is shaping up to be another grand year of expansion, especially at the Nuevo Vallarta location. One of the biggest additions to their portfolio of offerings...

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Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Hosts Third Annual Cheese & Wine Festival

The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort will be hosting its third annual Cheese & Wine Festival in Los Cabos, Mexico on March 7th. After the destruction of Hurricane Odile this past September, the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort is celebrating the rebirth of Los Cabos with the return of its third annual charitable Cheese & Wine Festival. On Saturday March 7, 2015 beginning at 6:00 p.m., locals and tourists alike will come together to indulge in wine, bread and cheese from 10 of the industry’s best cheese and wine vendors. “As Los Cabos continues to rebuild from the hurricane, it is important for us to help bring fun, light-hearted experiences back to the community for both locals and visitors to enjoy,” said Renato Mendonca, General Manager of the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar. “With the Sheraton being the only resort in the area with two five star diamond award-winning fine dining restaurants, we pride ourselves in bringing one-of-a-kind culinary experiences to Cabo. And similar to previous events, our Cheese & Wine Festival will benefit a local charity, Sarahuaro AC Foundation, which provides women and children with workshops focused on community action and building self-esteem.” The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar emphasizes creating events in the best interest of the local community all while providing guests with extraordinary culinary experiences. The resort strongly pushes programs that encourage...

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Winter Splendor at Rosewood Inn at the Anasazi

Visiting Santa Fe in winter is an experience everyone should savor at least once. The smell of wood burning fireplaces, and the aroma of delicious cold weather dishes being prepared in Plaza eateries, along with the welcoming warmth of local hotels and shops, is beyond inviting. Delights to be enjoyed in Santa Fe in winter, especially at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, are always at the top of my New Mexico travel list. This impressive property opened on September 23, 1990, with a blessing ceremony by a Pueblos medicine man, a Franciscan priest and local area artists, along...

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Sleeping on Ice in Quebec City

The New Year has arrived and along with it a list of resolutions. It’s brought a serious dose of winter reality to many locales. Living in snow and ice is one thing, but playing in it has a completely different effect on the psyche. Ice and snow have a brighter, almost cheerful side, but when you’re cold, it’s just sometimes hard to see. When used as the building blocks to create an ice hotel, that sparkle is hard to miss. But is that sparkle enough to keep you warm at night? One of a Kind Adventure A night at...

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Mayamazing Times in Yucatan, Mexico

Mexico is known for its surf and sun, but there’s a whole different side of Mexico that very few have experienced. As adventure tourism continues to grow around the globe, perhaps it’s time to discover undiscovered secrets of the Yucatan region. Here are three exclusive day tours that can be done from Mérida that are simply unforgettable. Tour 1 “Santa Rita Caves” – This place is located about 200 km from Mérida and about 100 km from Cancun, near the small village of Chemax. It’s run by a co-op of local Mayan farmers who own the land and provide...

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The Rocky Mountaineer: A Train to the Sublime

Sometimes a train trip is more than transportation from Point A to Point B. My journey from Banff to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer’s westbound route was be a sublime 594-mile traverse – all in daylight – across Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains. Prior to the train adventure, I stayed, as many passengers do, at the baronial Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, known as “The Castle in the Rockies.” The hotel was built in a spectacular Rocky Mountain setting between the spring of 1887 and the spring of 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Over the years, it has been expanded,...

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The Cooking Ladies A Dynamic Duo

Have you ever thought what it would be like to travel the world and see it all from behind the wheel of an RV? It can be done, and done in style. In February 2012, I had the pleasure of being introduced to The Cooking Ladies, Phyllis Hinz and Lamont Mackay, while in Las Vegas, at an International Food, Wine and Travel Writers conference. I was there as a speaker and my presentation was on the subject of independent publishing, and was pleasantly surprised to meet two well-established authors, The Cooking Ladies. They are a dynamic writing and photography...

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Chef Chris Chafe At The Doctor’s House Inn And Spa, Newfoundland

To sample some of Newfoundland’s best food requires a one hour scenic drive  (take note of the “Beware of Moose Crossing” signs) from St. John’s to the luxurious Doctor’s House Inn and Spa, tucked away in idyllic Greens Harbour, pop. 850. Then, tucked further away, most likely in the the kitchen or the greenhouse, you’ll find Chef Chris Chafe, the crown jewel of my bedazzling visit. Between his good looks, charisma, strong work ethic and an abundance of talent, Chafe has certainly been on the fast track. First, he was the youngest executive chef ever hired in St. John’s,...

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