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[NEWS/ALERTS] Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Canada are proving that certain benefits come with age
Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Canada are proving that certain benefits come with age! Participating hotels and resorts across Canada are offering a special Birth Year promotion that lets you pay the rate that corresponds with the year you were born during your stay.
Guests who book the Birth Year offer pay full rate for the first night of their stay and then on the second and third night rates equal to the year they were born. For example, guests born in 1948 will pay $48 for the second and third night of their stay at participating hotels.
This offer is valid on a minimum two night stay with a maximum of three nights (length of stay varies by participating hotel). The rates for the second and third night will be confirmed at check-in and verified upon presentation of valid ID to confirm your birth year. This offer is available at more than 55 hotels across Canada for stays booked and consumed before December 31, 2013.
[News/Alerts] RTO4 Partners with Stratford Festival on a regional call centre to support the New Online Booking Service for tourism
All the best tourism attractions and accommodations of Huron, Perth, Wellington and Waterloo Region are now only a computer click or a phone call away via a one-stop-shopping and reservation portal — from world-class theatre, accommodations, heritage tours and fine dining, to spectacular hiking and relaxing escapes on some of Ontario’s best beaches.
The comprehensive new online booking system and call centre will link tourism properties and products from across Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington, providing visitors numerous benefits, including a single point of access to the over 300 regional hotels, Inns, B&B’s, campgrounds and attractions as well as wealth of pre-arranged stay-and-play packages custom-tailored to specific interests.
“More and more of our visitors are turning to the web to make their travel plans,” explained Stratford Festival Director of Marketing and Audience Development Lisa Middleton. “By providing an online snapshot of everything the region About the Stratford Shakespearean Festival:
The Stratford Festival, in picturesque Stratford, Ontario, Canada, is North America’s leading classical theatre, drawing half a million visitors a year. It presents a seven-month season of a dozen plays in four venues, along with a Forum of events to enrich the play-going experience. With the works of Shakespeare at its core, the Festival features classics, contemporary dramas, musical theatre and new plays. It presented its first season in 1953, using an innovative thrust stage that revolutionized Shakespearean performance in our time and inspired the design of several other major venues worldwide.
On Saturday, November 3, 2012, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) unveils BIG, the newest installation in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume on Level 4 in the Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. A stunning display, BIG is exclusively drawn from the ROM’s collection of nearly 50,000 textiles and costumes. Showcasing 40 artifacts from around the world, this unique exhibition includes objects assuming their BIG status in a myriad of ways. With some objects publicly displayed for the first time, the installation offers a fresh,
new way of exploring the ROM’s renowned collections.
BIG continues until Fall 2013.
“This installation highlights objects that, in one way or another, are BIG,” states Dr. Alexandra Palmer, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Curator in the ROM’s World Cultures department. She continues, “BIG is not just about size. Even the smallest textile can have BIG personal, social, and cultural value that shifts according to context. BIG brilliantly looks at the meaning of textiles and fashions from around the globe and across time. We look forward to illustrating for our visitors that less can most definitely be more.”
Over stunning St. Lawrence River Valley atop Québec’s Le Massif Mountain. Its here you get the highest accumulation annually of powdered snow making this area a magnet for those “in-the- know” finest skiing. Cirque-du-Soleil founder, Daniel Gauthier, has pumped his own millions into creating a four season destination. Come ride their unique train along the coast from Quebec City, through the coastline grandeur of ‘tres charmant’ Charlevoix’s quaint rolling hills. Stroll through the amazing art community of Baie-Saint-Paul, and look forward to a great sleep at their new resort, Hotel La Ferme. The original cuisine at Les Labours will have you booking an extra night, as the local artisan farmers provide a delicious supply of fresh fare. This is one of North America’s hidden secrets.
In the city where it all began, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts now comes full circle with the opening of its new flagship in Toronto, Canada…
“This is a proud moment for everyone at Four Seasons – at the new Hotel, at our corporate offices, and certainly at all our locations around the world,” says Katie Taylor, president and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The future is here now, in this new flagship, and in the thousands of employees around the world committed to raising the bar for luxury hospitality.”
The new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto rises above its prime Yorkville Avenue address at the corner of Bay Street. Sweeping into the drive (heated for Canadian winters, of course) past Claude Cormier’s visionary roseless rose garden, guests circle the grand fountain designed exclusively for this space. Alighting on a 12-colour mosaic with a floral overlay from the etched glass canopy above, the urban “carpet” is the creation of Cormier and Hotel interior designer Yabu Pushelberg, inspired by the Persian rugs popular in the Victorian era as a nod to Yorkville’s more traditional architecture.
by John and Sandra Nowlan
Toronto chef and Food Network star Mark McEwan uses a lot of Prince Edward Island ingredients in his restaurants. He often flies to Charlottetown and says the pastoral landscape is just like a fine painting. “I have a love affair with PEI”, he told us. “It’s perfect for a chef because the province is dedicated to agriculture, surrounded by ocean and has a unique microclimate. You have some fantastic chefs here and a culture that supports them”
Those attributes have combined to make Canada’s smallest province a significant player on the North America culinary scene. A tourist season that used to finish at the end of August now stretches well past late summer with the month-long Fall Flavours Festival involving communities across the Island as well as the International Shellfish Festival that has been attracting sold-out crowds and world-class chefs for 17 years.
Michael Smith, Canada’s best known celebrity chef and host of several shows on the Food Network, has lived and worked on Prince Edward Island for last 20 years. He and Chef McEwen were the hosts of the 2012 Shellfish Festival and prepared the opening dinner for 500 guests in a huge tent at the new Charlottetown Event Grounds.
After sampling fresh oysters from a dozen Island suppliers spread around the perimeter of the tent (each region has its own distinctive salinity and taste) guests were treated to Chef Smith and Chef McEwan at their creative best. For the first course, Michael Smith prepared Sweet Potato Mussel Chowder with smoked salmon, chive essence and a sculpted potato anchor while Mark McEwen brought out a unique butter braised lobster poutine with crisp frites and classic béarnaise sauce. With students of the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, they created the main course, tender Island beef striploin medallions with a lobster tail and local vegetables. It was fantastic!
Over the next few days, guests at the festival (75% were from out-of-province) enjoyed cooking demonstrations (“Anybody can cook mussels,” Chef Smith claimed), an oyster shucking contest and the PEI Seafood Chowder Championship (with lots of samples, of course).
The Fall Flavours event, which overlapped the Shellfish Festival, attracted even more top culinary talent including celebrity chefs Susur Lee, Anna Olsen and Corbin Tomaszeski. They hosted events like Beef n’ Blues in Summerside, a Lobster Party on the Beach and Chef on Board (Chef Tomaszeski prepared a gourmet feast on one of the Northumberland Strait ferries). We chose “Dining on the River Clyde,” a leisurly six-course meal at the Olde Glasgow Mill restaurant in New Glasgow, PEI, overlooking pastoral farmland and the tranquil river where eagles, heron and other birds soared and entertained at dusk. The highlights were probably the roasted butternut squash and pear soup with a poached prawn and the oyster trio, prepared three ways, each with a distinctive and delicious savoury topping.
With events like Fall Flavours and a culture of fine cuisine throughout the year, it’s little wonder that talented chefs are coming to PEI and staying throughout the year. Chef Michael Smith said that producing good food is woven into Island culture. “It’s a tight knit community,” he said. “All of us who live here are close to the land. Everyone knows somebody who prepares food. That makes this province very special.”
Chef Mark McEwan says the Island is very special for visitors like him as well. “When I come to PEI, I feel like I’m going back a little bit in time.
It’s a great place to come to relax and help lower your blood pressure. It’s a remarkable province.”
John and Sandra Nowlan are travel and food writers based in Halifax
by Barbara Kingstone
From the front of The Hazelton Hotel in Toronto’s Yorkville area, it’s small wonder that guests can be a bit confused which door leads to the hotel. Firstly, there’s the door to the costly condos on the 4th and 5th floor, then to the exclusive retail store and then for one of the city’s most popular restaurants, called One. Finally,in the lobby there’s a small greeting staff, waiting and ready to assist.
Once inside the lobby, it quickly becomes clear that Yabu Pushelberg, one of the most sought after interior designers world -wide, who just happen to be Torontonians, have set up a singularly stunning, subtle venue. And also added is a secret scent that is so encompassing, one can’t help being aware of the freshness of the delicate presence of lavender and jasmine in the air. After all, there is only one first impression and it may as well be the best there is to offer if you want to be considered in the highest rung of global luxury ‘digs’.
Here bronze colour velour (don’t shrug. This fabric is luscious) and seating groupings are separated from each other in quiet sections of this airy but not large area. Small gold-leaf coffee tables separate the chairs with dark grey velour. It may sound staid but to break up the traditional, there are unique designer tan leather chairs, silver mesh window coverings that take on the impression of chain mail, huge and important bronze sculptures which have a major presence. It’s in the style of a1940s Hollywood Gentlemen’s club, with a touch of black and a lot of class.
And the important art work, I soon discover, continues throughout the hotel and the rooms.
Off the lobby there is a dimly lit niche for the reception area.
One doesn’t expect Madonna and Elton John to have to register here but those lesser known, or regular clients, don’t have to be concerned about who sees them in this pricey hotel.
And yes, the celebs love The Hazelton so there’s no mistaking that this 62 room, 15 suite boutique hotel is up there on the list of where to stay in this booming city where the world’s second most important film festival- TIFF- takes place annually and yes, the stars do come and rooms are reserved months ahead of time.
The palette of ecru, cream and grey are shot throughout the entire premises. And what great suites, enough to take photos and want some of the aspects and ideas duplicated in own their home.
It was during the Toronto International Film Festival that I met with the General Manager David Mounteer and his assistance Katerina . Most rooms were occupied and Madonna and her very large entourage were about descend. But that said, I was taken to a few of the suites to see a few layouts. Stunning, large, and but with the modernistic, lucite/stainless steel edge that many of the new hotels have. It’s a softer rendition and the flow of each room, each different, all have similar textures walls, counters and floors
The larger suites like #220, have a dressing area that leads to the bedroom and the bathroom. Here the doors, looking like part of the wood paneled walls when pulled closed for privacy. The sinks and counter space is separated by the bathroom’s entrance. No cost was spared with the Galaxy marble counters, a top- end espresso machine, the finest linens, European imported modern faucets in all the bathroom, frosted glass areas where needed.
Also, important in this lively part of the city, most rooms have balconies that overlook the fashion or the residential streets.
But perhaps the most innovative is that each floor has a business centre where in this smallish area, there’s a, computer, a printer, fax, copy machine..no charge.
And there are various categories from Superior rooms which are their standard ones, but are larger than most that exist in other hotels. Deluxe, Luxury, Junior suites, an Executive suite, and The Hazelton, The Avenue, The Bellair, all one of a kind. The last three suites are named after bordering or nearby streets. Rates are expectedly high. starting in the $500 range up to a few thousand dollars a night.
What is the big surprise for this small stately building is that there is a spa. Four treatment rooms using the Swiss made creams and lotions, Valmont, have top estheticians. While waiting for my facial, in a small, candle lit niche, I was served herbal tea. Katherine only available during the TIFF week, was so very knowledgeable and also mentioned throughout the1 1/2 hour facial, which product she was about to apply and why. It’s complimentary to the VIPs at this time. I did come away looking a glossier with my now baby soft skin.
The floor below has a salt water filled lap pool. Although narrow, it’s long enough for a good swimming work-out and the gym, again not huge, is filled with the best equipment to be had.
As a New Yorker told me in the black-etched, mirrored elevators. “It may be my first time here and in Canada, but it certainly it won’t be my last. It’s a great city and the hotel is one of the most stunning, well serviced I’ve ever stayed at,” he said, his cap just perfectly placed as though a stylist may have given him some hints. And this recommendation from a jaded movie mogul, here to see the film offerings and from a man who has probably stayed at the best around the world. Toronto’s The Hazelton Hotel, is now fair competition for the world’s top rated boutique Hotels.
[News/Alerts] Luxurious Hazelton Hotel’s ONE Restaurant included in the first annual ’101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World’ list
Toronto’s luxurious Hazelton Hotel is pleased to announce that ONE Restaurant, by Mark McEwan, has been included in The Daily Meal’s first annual ‘101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World’ List.
The Daily Meal is one of the top food and drink resources available online. The List, released late last month, can be viewed here. ONE Restaurant is one of only four Canadian establishments to make the prestigious List and the only one found in Toronto.
ONE Restaurant, by famed Canadian Chef Mark McEwan, is a top dining destination in Toronto. Located in the Hazelton Hotel, in the exclusive Yorkville area, the restaurant draws diners from around the world.
The List includes restaurants from six continents, 40 countries and over 80 cities. The well-traveled editors of The Daily Meal, who have dined in top restaurants around the world, compiled the List. The Michelin Guide and other trusted sources were also consulted.
[News/Alerts] Art Gallery of Ontario Brings Evan Penny’s Hyper-Realistic Sculptures Home in Evan Penny: Re Figured
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) welcomes internationally renowned Toronto-based sculptor Evan Penny home with a large solo exhibition opening Sept. 20, 2012. Evan Penny: Re Figured will feature over 25 of Penny’s larger-than-life sculptures, each painstakingly crafted from layers of pigmented silicone, human hair, fabric and resin. Blending abstraction and figuration, Penny’s hyper-realistic sculptures straddle the line between object and image, presenting the human form both as it is and as it can be when imagined through the distorting lens of photography and digital media.
Filling the fourth floor of the AGO’s Vivian and David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, Evan Penny: Re Figured shows the artist’s evolution over the past decade, highlighting in equal measure his technical skill and fresh thinking. Accessible, often familiar and sometime vaguely monstrous, his works engage audiences, young and old alike, on various levels.
With more than 28 festivals this summer, Calgary will be in constant motion. Visitors can immerse themselves in cultural explorations or soak up the sun while catching some of the biggest musical acts to visit Western Canada. Calgary attracts talent from around the world to diverse top rated festivals:
· Sled Island (June 19 -26 ) is the second largest indie music festival in Canada and this year will feature headliner Feist and hundreds of other artists over dozens of stages across the city
· Calgary Folk Festival (July 26-29), recently rated one of the Top 7 music festival in North America by UP! Magazine, will bring Chris Isaac and Randy Newman to Prince’s Island Park
· GlobalFest (August 23-27) will light up the sky for its 10th anniversary, starting with the 2012 People’s Choice fireworks presentation all the way from the Philippines
· Shakespeare in the Park (July-August) has partnered with Theatre Calgary and will celebrate its 25th season with nightly performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Prince’s Island Park.