Category Archives: Travel

Opus and Elixir for the Holidays

opus3CREATING HOLIDAY TRADITIONS WITH OPUS AND ELIXIR
Luxurious, Memorable Meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

This holiday season, treat your loved ones to a new tradition with OPUS Vancouver or Elixir Bistro. Whether you’re dining out, or want the celebration brought to you, OPUS and Elixir will make your gathering chic, decadent and memorable.

At Elixir Bistro, Executive Chef Don Letendre uses his expertise and passion to craft the finest traditional holiday ingredients into luxuriously festive meals. Letendre’s Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus include dishes such as sunchoke and winter mushroom soup with Pierre Robert and goats cheese croquette; roasted free range turkey with Hennessey, red currant and orange stuffing, silky mash and roasted root vegetables; and bittersweet chocolate praline tart with mandarin ice cream. The Christmas Eve and Christmas Day menus are $80 per person and $40 for children 12 and under, plus gratuity and applicable taxes.

When hosting Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts at home, let Chef Letendre and his brigade take care of kitchen duty. Elixir’s to-go menu includes a custom two-day brined deboned turkey breast stuffed with red currant, orange and pork stuffing, served with roasted root vegetables, pommes purée and gravy. The meal is capped off with a decadent pumpkin tart with Chantilly cream and toffee pecans. The Elixir Turkey To-Go Christmas Eve & Day menu is $40.00 per person (plus applicable taxes) and must be ordered by 4:00 pm on Monday, December 21st.

Whether you’re treating clients to a festive lunch or feasting with friends in the evening, Elixir Bistro will make it glam. Lunch and dinner group holiday menus offer five choices of five-course meals, including a vegetarian and buffet menu ($45-$70 per person). Savoury and sweet treats include roasted beet salad with toasted walnuts, arugula and blue cheese; butter roasted sable fish with smoked pommes purée and spiced lentils; lobster thermidor with roasted salsify and potato gnocchi; and eggnog and rum parfait with winter fruit compote and toasted muesli.

Always intent on providing the best service, Elixir Bistro is open during the following hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:
Breakfast 6:30 am – 11:00 am
Brunch 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Dinner 5:00 – 11:00 pm

The ideal locale for holiday gatherings, OPUS and Elixir Bistro offer options to match the mood of any group: the bustling bistro, elegant private rooms, dramatic lounge or second floor board rooms. After the festivities, the first instinct is often to simply sit back and continue to savour the evening. Many guests love to stay overnight in a chic OPUS guestroom and avoid having to go back into the wintery night.

In the mood for a magical holiday event at your location? The team at OPUS and Elixir has become Vancouver’s most sought after event caterers. Tailoring their events to any theme, they’re creative, versatile and service-oriented. Clients including Holt Renfrew, Tiffany & Co., BMW, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors have all asked OPUS Catering to cater their exclusive events. OPUS is pleased to announce that they were awarded the catering contract for the Province of Ontario Pavilion during Vancouver 2010 Winter Games. OPUS Catering will supply themed food, beverage and staff, as the prestigious pavilion plays host to VIP events and nightly concerts.

Elixir Bistro
French Bistro meets affordable Yaletown glamour in Elixir. Recognized as the bronze recipient for casual French cuisine at the coveted Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards; Elixir is also a founding member of the Ocean Wise Program and Green Table Network. Chef Don Letendre specializes in classic French cuisine, crafting innovative dishes from the freshest regional and seasonal ingredients. Choose a room to suit your mood: bustling Bistro, airy Garden Room or plush Velvet Room. Elixir provides warm, attentive service in a vibrant atmosphere popular with style savvy travelers and discerning locals alike. Valet parking is available. www.elixirvancouver.ca

OPUS Hotel Vancouver
Uniquely stylish and always fresh, OPUS Hotel Vancouver redefines the boutique experience, blending contemporary design with warmth and intuitive service. Ninety-six guestrooms feature vibrant colours, spa bathrooms and five lifestyle-inspired décor schemes. Located in fashionable Yaletown, close to Vancouver’s best restaurants, spas and boutiques, the hotel is home to Elixir Bistro and the dramatic OPUS Bar. OPUS was voted one of the world’s top 100 hotels by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. www.opushotel.com

Sail Free and Stay at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort

rockwaterRockwater Secret Cove Resort wants you to escape to the Sunshine Coast for a mid-week, two-night stay – and the ferry ride is free! Between December 1st, 2009 and February 12th, 2010 (excluding Christmas and New Year), Rockwater will reimburse you for the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast when you book a two-night, mid-week stay at the resort.

Rockwater Secret Cove Resort is less than two hours away from Vancouver and makes the perfect getaway location. Choose between Rockwater’s poolside and ocean-view rooms, cabins or the unique Tenthouse Suites. The Tenthouse Suites, tucked among the trees overlooking the Malaspina Strait, have radiant floor heating and propane fireplaces keeping guests cosy and warm. Each suite is equipped with a hydrotherapy tub and a king-size bed – perfect for cuddling with a loved one. And, if you venture to leave your room, Rockwater’s Spa is open year-round and is ready to pamper you with massages, facials, manicures or pedicures.

For adventurous types, the scenic Sunshine Coast has a bounty of activities for winter getaways. Wrap up warm and explore the numerous trails and bays around the property, fish year-round on the coast, mountain bike the varied trails in the ancient rain forest, or dive into the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean. Snow bunnies might head straight to Dakota Ridge Winter Recreation Area for snowshoeing amid pristine scenery.

Short excursions to Chapman Creek Fish Hatchery, Tems Swiya Museum and the Iris Griffith Interpretive Centre are also rewarding, and just a short drive from Rockwater.

So, save the ferry fare, sail up to the Sunshine Coast and stay at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort for a dream getaway this winter.

Room rates for the Tenthouse Suites begin at $219CDN per night including breakfast, while rates in the ocean view rooms start at $135CDN per night including breakfast.?? For more information on Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, please visit the web site at www.rockwatersecretcoveresort.com or call 1-877-296-4593.

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Bellstar awarded management contract for Whistler’s Adara Hotel

adaraBellstar expands resort collection into B.C.’s host Olympic destination

The Owners of Whistler’s Adara Hotel are pleased to announce that they have awarded the hotel management contract to Bellstar Hotels & Resorts. The contemporary, boutique hotel is located in the centre of B.C.’s iconic 4-season mountain resort – Whistler Village. With the addition of The Adara Hotel, Bellstar’s portfolio of boutique and luxury hotels and resorts continues to grow in Western Canada’s key tourism destination s, including the Okanagan Valley, Rocky Mountains and Coastal regions.

“With the Olympics less than 100 days away, British Columbia is poised to be in the international spotlight over the coming months,” said Jon Zwickel, Executive VP of Bellstar. “Adding Adara to our portfolio enables us to promote the hotel to the world before, during and after the celebration.”

“Bellstar is a turn-key solution for hotel owners seeking to add value, strengthen their business and increase incremental profits,” said Zwickel. “The Adara will benefit from our newly adopted mandate to deliver exceptional guest experiences and owner returns.”

“We are thrilled to have Bellstar as managers of our property, says The Adara Hotel Owners’ Committee representative, Dennis Hilton.”Their commitment to placing guests experience first was a key factor in our decision. They have demonstrated expertise in operating small hotels like The Adara and we expect this to be passed on to our guests”.

The Adara Hotel adds a third resort to Bellstar’s growing portfolio of boutique properties in key ski destinations throughout the Province including Pemberton Valley Lodge in Pemberton, BC, and Mountain Spirit Resort & Spa in Kimberley, BC.

The Adara Hotel highlight’s British Columbia’s best contemporary design elements, with a vibrant colour scheme and charismatic décor.  The resort includes 41 fully-outfitted spacious guest rooms in 4 distinctive room configurations, featuring a walk-in rain shower, luxurious beds, floating electric fireplaces and artful design details, all with stunning views of the surrounding Coastal Mountain range. Common amenities include a rooftop outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, inviting fireside lounge, coffee bar and meeting spaces.

Bellstar manages and develops destination resorts and boutique hotels in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and Coastal Regions. The boutique hospitality brand combines award-winning service, employment standards and marketing excellence to deliver exceptional resort experiences for guests and owners alike.

For more information on Whistler’s Adara Hotel visit www.adarahotel.com; for Bellstar, visit www.bellstar.ca.

Harrison Hot Springs Ramps Up For The Holiday

FROM SLOPES TO SPRINGS: HARRISON IS A WINTER WONDERLAND OF ACTIVITY

Harrison is getting set for the season of shepherds and sugarplums, offering visitors to the Fraser Valley resort town local ski slopes, delicious debuts from local farms, and tinsel and trees galore. When it’s time to relax and recoup, Harrison Hot Springs, once revered as a healing place, offers mineral hot springs pools at a maintained 38 degrees C (100 degrees F). Just 90-minutes from Vancouver, if in need of rest and respite this season, a retreat to Harrison is sure to revive the season’s spirits.

Slopes, springs and spahh
Ski by day at nearby Hemlock Mountain — voted up! magazine’s 2009 Best Ski Resort Value winner — for everything from skiing and snowboarding to tubing and snowshoeing. Apres at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa for some serious soaking in the hot spring pools or indulging at the Healing Springs Spa.

Harrison holiday cheer & cheese
On November 28 & 29 Harrison will be buzzing with pre-holiday activities. It’s a great chance to visit the Village, pick up a few gifts and gear up for the holidays. Circle Farm Tour presents a Christmas tour that includes stops at Kilby Historic Site, Limbert Mountain Farm, Harrison River Restaurant and The Farm House Natural Cheeses. Enjoy a live Nativity scene, food, drink, music and entertainment, great gift ideas and free draws for local products. Sample the Farm House’s Christmas cheese debuts: cranberry and roasted hazelnuts and a cranberry goat Caerphilly.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa will host a Photo Arts Expo on November 28 & 29. The show will feature the works of Fraser Valley photographers and the works would make a unique and perfect gift idea.

Also on November 28, the Festival of Lights will kick off in the Village. There’s breakfast with Santa from 9am until noon at Memorial Hall, a Holiday Market, the Lantern float on Harrison Lake, hot chocolate and music. At 6pm, the Mayor will flip the switch to officially light up the town.

Hoppin’ holiday train
The CPR Holiday Train pulls into Agassiz on December 18 to help raise funds and food for the Agassiz Harrison food bank. The decorated train will also feature an entertainment stage where Canadian band, The Odds, will rock out with Wide Mouth Mason’s Shaun Verreault in front of the Agassiz Agricultural Hall.

Festival of trees
While in Harrison, check out the 25 uniquely decorated Christmas trees at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Decorated by local businesses, the trees will be on display from November 25 through December 31.

Rock into the New Year
The party doesn’t stop after the holidays are done. January 23, Harrison will host Barney Bentall, Tom Taylor and Shari Ulrich – three veteran performers who for the first time are teaming up and touring as a BC Supergroup.

For more information and events calendar please visit Tourism Harrison at www.tourismharrison.com.

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Hotel Vancouver Offers a Meeting Package with a Podium Finish

fairmontvanTreat star players to the ultimate gold medal experience with a podium finish! As Canada’s ‘healthiest city’ and the site for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Vancouver is sure to inspire and Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver’s 2010 Gold Medal Meeting Package is designed to do the same.

With the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games just around the corner, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver has put together the ultimate meeting package. Offered now through 2010, “the 2010 Gold Medal Meeting Package is sure to bring out the best,” says Todd Jeannotte, Director of Catering, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. “The Olympic package is motivational, educational and most of all fun.”

The 2010 Gold Medal Meeting Package is customized to each team and includes a list of Olympic themed activities to choose from. Activities include snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain, ice time at GM Place, a motivational speech from an Olympic athlete and team building activities at the Olympic Oval. Plus, the opportunity to travel in style on Vancouver’s new Canada Line. Designed for speed, guests can travel from Vancouver’s YVR airport to Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver in less than 25 minutes!

The culinary team ensures the group will be powered up. Executive Chef Oliver Beckert prepares a hearty and healthy Olympic inspired menu to keep the team energized. For that podium finish, guests can then quench their thirst at YEW Bar with a delicious Olympic themed cocktail.

The meeting package is available now through 2010, Olympic venues are inaccessible from November 2009 through March 2010. To book or find out more information please contact our Sales Team at www.fourseasons.com/vancouver.

As the world’s leading operator of luxury hotels, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts currently manages 84 properties in 35 countries. Open since 1976, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver provides a preferred address for both business and leisure travelers, and the highly personalized, anticipatory service that Four Seasons guests expect and value around the world. Recent awards and honors include Condé Nast Gold List and Food & Wines World’s Best Places to Eat. Information on the company and on Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver can be accessed through the Four Seasons Web site www.fourseasons.com.

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Fairmont Vancouver Airport Keeps Guests Fit for Flight Throughout 2010

Fairmontair.aspxSwim and cycle like Canada’s top athletes with complimentary programs

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is focused on keeping guests fit for flight throughout 2010. Guests of the hotel, recently ranked #2 in Canada by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine, will enjoy complimentary access to its state-of-the-art fitness facilities and bike paths – perfect for a last minute workout before departure.

The recently upgraded Health Club makes it easy for guests to stay in tip-top shape. With a mechanized three-lane lap pool featuring a self-adjusting current, even the most technical swimmers will be challenged.  No time to lap up the luxury overnight? Zone out before you zoom out and relax on the Quiet Zone floor after a quick workout. Guests can check in between 8am and 8pm on the lucky 8th floor where the hotel has created a quiet respite with complimentary eye masks, ear plugs and minimal disruptions from housekeeping.*

If guests would rather take land over sea, complimentary BMW Cruise Bikes will do the trick. A great way for getting around Vancouver during and after the Olympics, the ultra-modern bikes grant adventure seekers the opportunity to explore the myriad biking trails nearby including: Flight Path Park; McDonald Beach Park (Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s own adopted park); and Iona Beach Regional Park.

Starting in April 2010, visit the Richmond Oval to reenact your favourite Canadian moment at the Olympic skating arena turned health and wellness centre. Likened to the Netherlands, Richmond’s flat terrain provides the perfect conditions for a leisurely bike ride.

Both adult and child-size BMW Cruise Bikes are available, along with handy accessories including locks, helmets and backpacks.

For the ultimate healthy breakfast, guests can start their day with a Long Track smoothie from Globe@YVR. An all-natural frozen blended fruit drink, infused with B6, B12, green tea, marionberry and locally sourced organic bee pollen, the booster provides dynamic healing powers for endurance and optimum athletic performance.

* Quiet Zone not available during Games time.

** BMW Cruise Bikes available to Fairmont President’s Club members (free to join)

Escape to Whistler this May Long Weekend – With Adara Hotel

Introducing the Adara “Maycation” Package
Costly summer vacations are so pre-recession. Make a spring escape to Adara this May long weekend and enjoy all the perks of an expensive resort vacation, but for a fraction of the cost.

Your package includes:

– A spacious Superior Room in Whistler’s most stylish and contemporary hotel
– Your choice of either 1 round of golf per person (including cart rental!) or
– An $80 spa credit per person
– Complimentary valet parking, Internet, and local calls
– Late checkout of 12pm

Rates start from just $129* CAD per night, per person!
Dates available: May 15 – 18, 2009

Contact Adara Reservations directly to book this exclusive package
Email: reservations@adarahotel.com
Phone: 1.604.905.4009 or 1.866.502.3272

Seattle – Culinary Tidbits

I first fell for Seattle after watching the movie ‘Singles’ in my University days. I was charmed by the characters, and wanted to know more about the city where grunge and coffee culture ruled.  I’d go down to catch a band or shop, but recently my visits have begun to focus more on the culinary scene that Seattle is now known for.   While entire books have been devoted to the subject, I merely offer up a few suggestions for interested foodies on their next trip down.

To Tour

Pike Place Market is a pleasant stroll from your hotel and is full of everything fresh from fish to flowers.  Don’t miss the show the fish monger puts on, or a chance to enjoy a drink and the view from many of the markets restaurants.  www.pikeplacemarket.org

Chocolate fans can head to the Chocolate Box near Pike Place market for the “Tour de Chocolat”.  Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 8:30 am the 3 hour tour visits local chocolate shops.  $59 gets you a goodie bag to take home and chocolate samples at each stop. www.sschocolatebox.com or www.toursofseattle.com

Gray Line of Seattle culinary tours offers eight culinary tours this summer.  Meet at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and join a chef from a Seattle hotspot.  Head to the market to pick up that day’s fresh ingredients and then back to the chef’s restaurant for a cooking demonstration and tasting. Participating restaurants include Crush, El Gaucho and Sky City at the Space Needle.  Try to catch Chef Jason Wilson of Crush on July 13 and 27, or August 24 and 31.  The tour is lasts four hours for US$100 a person and begin at 1 p.m. To book, call 800-426-7532 or visit www.graylineofseattle.com

Learn all about Washington Wines with a Washington Wine Cruise offered by Holland America and AAA Washington.  Attend seminars, lectures, tastings and dinners with chefs and winemakers from Washington’s best wineries.  Spring 2009 dates will soon be posted at www.hollandamerica.com

To Eat

Brunch – Veil – On Saturdays and Sundays locals head to the Queen Edward Hotel for the city’s best brunch at Veil.  Old favourites and fresh takes on standards. Start with a glass of meadow (champagne with lavender infused honey) and try the Belgian style waffles with banana and nutella, or the duck confit hash.  Those in a lunch mood might want the mini lamb burgers or the mac and cheese. – NOW CLOSED – WATCH FOR UPDATE

Lunch – Salumi – Open Tuesdays from 11-4 pm this is home to the original Mr. Batali (Mario’s father Amandino).  Charcuterie, sandwiches, pastas and soups drawn lines from the minute the place opens. Take home cured meats to enjoy later. www.salumicuredmeats.com

Dinner – Tilth – Chef Maria Hines uses fresh, seasonal and local ingredients to create the divine dishes at newcomer Tilth.  In a quaint and charming house with superb service you’ll enjoy one of the freshest meals in town.  Absolutely delicious.  Menu changes seasonally, but if the tuna with avocado and wasabi mayo is on the menu don’t miss it. http://tilthblog.wordpress.com

Tulio – You’ll find contemporary Italian food at this delightful spot in the Hotel Vintage Park.  The three beet salad, grilled calamari with lavender sausage and the Dungeness crab tortelli are superb.  If Tonia is on hand to serve, make sure she is yours.  www.tulio.com

Drinks – Vessel – Ex-Vancouverite Jamie Boudreau is the genius behind the cocktail menu at this downtown hotspot.  A gorgeous room and small plates round out the experience.  www.vesselseattle.com  UPDATE – Jamie is now at Tini Bigs

Bottleneck – This casual neighbourhood spot is a great place to grab a beer and a panini or a plate of nachos.  Servers are genuine.  Ask for Erin. www.bottlenecklounge.com

Special Events

Taste of Washington – Each year hundreds of wineries and dozens of restaurants get together for this grand tasting.  March 31, April 1 2012. (Spokane June)www.tastewashington.org

Woodinville Wine Country Wine Notes – On July 26 and 27 music, top Woodinville wineries and regional restaurants come together for a 2 day festival of taste. Held in King County at Marymoor Park. www.winenotesconcerts.com


Northern Lands

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