Traveling in style
Shoppable hotel rooms, inspiring fashion exhibitions and the chance to dine at the country's top restaurant are just a few of the stylish reasons why Maryam Siddiqi thinks you should get on planning that next getaway
Hotels take flight
The Adelaide Hotel in Toronto (formerly a Trump property) is giving guests a glimpse of the services they can expect when the hotel adopts the St. Regis banner in late 2018 by literally elevating luxury excursions. A Niagara wines day trip has just been launched that includes a private charter from Toronto, a 15-minute flight, and behind-the-scenes access to Peller Estates and Two Sisters Vineyards. Four Seasons, similarly, has partnered with private charter company Net Jets to offer guests exclusive itineraries in Europe, Hawaii, Wyoming and Colorado. The packages include flights on a private jet for up to 14 people, hotel accommodations and the opportunity for slope-side catered lunches in Jackson Hole, for instance, or stargazing on a private catamaran in Lanai, Hawaii.
Art's new homes
The gaze of the art world has turned to Saskatoon (really) with the much-anticipated Remai Modern opening its doors in mid-October. The largest modern art gallery in Canada has, among its almost 8,000-piece collection, the world's largest collection of Picasso linocuts. Field Guide, its inaugural exhibition running until Feb. 25, examines the concept of modern art from cultural, historic and geographic perspectives. And in early 2018, history buffs will be looking to Edmonton and the reveal of the new Royal Alberta Museum, in the city's arts district. The RAM will house the largest collection of fur trade artifacts in western Canada courtesy Hudson's Bay Company.
It doesn't matter how smart your luggage is if you can't get away with a carryon for a long weekend getaway, which is why Victorinox's newest luggage collection, Lexicon, is so appealing. Yes, the minimally adorned break-resistant polycarbonate case comes with a USB port for on-the-move charging capabilities as well as an ID tray that also contains a pen and SIM card replacement tool, but it's what's inside that really counts. The Lexicon has more packing space than any other hard-sided luggage in its class, and coming from the company that makes Swiss Army Knives, it makes use of every groove, corner and fold by providing pockets and storage compartments to keep everything in its place.
Victorinox Lexicon luggage, $610 through www.swissarmy.com/ca.
New Year's in Newfoundland
The hottest neighbourhood in Atlantic Canada might be an old fishing village in St. John's, Quidi Vidi. Thanks to acclaimed restaurant Mallard Cottage, arts incubator Quidi Vidi Village Plantation and brewery Quidi Vidi Brewing Company, the area is drawing a lot of attention from locals and visitors alike. This summer saw the opening of the Inn by Mallard Cottage, an eight-room boutique hotel that boasts a modern spin on traditional Newfoundland design (FYI: most of the decor in each room is shoppable). To ring in its first winter and the arrival of 2018, the hotel has a New Year's Eve package that includes a tasting experience with Prince Edward County star winemarker Norman Hardie who will conduct an intimate tasting at Mallard Cottage. The night will be capped off with fireworks and champagne on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake.
Inn by Mallard Cottage New Year's Eve package, $869 per couple through www.theinnbymallardcottage.ca.
Sun in style
The headlines may make it seem as though the Caribbean is off limits this winter, but many islands were unaffected by hurricanes and are opening new hotels. The colonial centre of Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic's capital, has just seen the opening of Casa Antillana, the new addition to the historic Casas del XVI boutique hotel. Dating back to the 19th century, it's not as old as its sister properties, which were built in the 16th and 17th centuries, but the home still has historical significance as it sits on land that belonged to the Friars of the Order of Santo Domingo. The colourful, tropical decor is an homage to the home's former owners, for whom vibrant accessories and embellished wood furniture was a status symbol. Also on the grounds are a living room, dining room, garden and plunge pool, all served by a private butler.
Room rates start at $399 per night. For more information visit www.casasdelxvi.com.
Passion for fashion
Couture fans have two Canadian destinations to consider this fall and winter, starting with Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum and the opening of its Dior exhibit, which explores Christian Dior's design legacy, with an emphasis on the first 10 years of the House of Dior. Post war, Dior changed women's fashion with his softened lines and moving silhouette. In Vancouver, at the Fairmont Pacific Rim's outdoor Plaza, the Fight for Beauty show features couture from Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Poiret, pieces from the Westbank Fashion Collection. Also in the space are a glass forest from Omer Arbel, Martin Boyce-designed light fixtures and the dramatic Butterfly Fazioli piano. The pop-up gallery exhibit runs until Dec. 17, and the hotel is offering a package that includes breakfast, a copy of the Fight for Beauty book and VIP entrance to the exhibit .
Christian Dior runs from Nov. 25 to March. 18. For more information, visit www.rom.on.ca. Fairmont Pacific Rim Flight for Beauty package, starting at $599 per night. For more information, visit www.fightforbeauty.ca.
Why see the Northern Lights from the ground when you can see them from the air? Air North has teamed up with the Yukon Astronomical Society and the territory's tourism board to launch Aurora 360, a viewing experience aboard a private charter that will take passengers within the Aurora Oval. Only 78 seats are available for the flight, which takes place between Nov. 24 and 26, weather dependent. Festivities begin with a reception in the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre. And on the other side of the world, as part of National Geographic's partnership with G Adventures, a new itinerary into Bali and Java takes travellers into the cultural heart of these regions. Travellers will get an inside look at Javanese batik design and production, as well as the chance to design their own patterns, and an intimate culinary experience with a Balinese chef.
A meal to remember
Twenty seats in 400 square feet manned by four staff members – the intimate nature of Battuto is part of what earned it the title of Canada's best new restaurant in Air Canada's annual competition. The other thing that won over the judges? The food, of course. With an emphasis on handmade Italian dishes filling a menu led by chef Guillaume St-Pierre, this restaurant in Quebec City sources local ingredients from nearby Charlevoix to create indulgences like liver parfait crostinis and gnocchi with organic pork osso buco. Reservations are highly recommended.
For more information, visit www.battuto.ca.
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