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February 2014

It’s not too late to book that last-minute Valentine’s Day trip. If you’ve got the cash, here’s a list of ten of the most romantic hotels I’ve stayed at outside of North America. Bon chance! Le Tahaa Private Island Resort, Tahiti: Possibly the most beautiful place I’ve stayed on the planet, with stunning over-water bungalows and a true South Pacific feel. A great Tahitian dance/fire show, too. See photo above. Park Hyatt, Sydney: Hard to beat the view of the Sydney Opera House from this luxury property. Great food and service in a sleek and sexy hotel. 137 Pillars House, ... continue reading →

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At first I meant it as a bit of a joke. After watching Justine and Chloe (and Maxine) Dufour-Lapointe race in the freestyle skiing event at the Sochi Olympics on Saturday and seeing Justine win gold and Chloe silver, I mentioned on Twitter that the Canadian Tourism Commission should enlist them immediately as ambassadors for travel to Canada. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Lest we think these girls were only noticed north of the border, I can tell you that my Dad lives in California and read about the D-L girls and saw them ... continue reading →

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It’s that time again. The Sochi Olympics have already begun, and the Opening Ceremony is Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern time. This is the first winter Olympics I’ve missed being at since Nagano. I was the Star’s Olympics assignment editor and on-site web person for all the Games from Sydney in 2000 up to Vancouver in 2010. Vancouver was a magical way to finish my Olympics career. I spent pretty much 15 to 16 hours a day at the Main Press Centre, organizing assignments and covering the odd press conference and writing sometimes eight or 10 stories a day for ... continue reading →

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I’ve had the good luck to visit 45 or 46 (I think) of the states in the U.S. I haven’t been to North Dakota or Oklahoma or Kansas or Arkansas, so I can’t say this is complete. And there are a lot of incredible properties I haven’t seen in the states I HAVE been to. But I’ve seen a few pretty cool ones, so here’s a list of some MY favourite spots for romance in the U.S. of A., just in time for Valentine’s Day. Travaasa Hana: One of my favourite hotels in the world (see sunrise photo above), with ... continue reading →

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Mark my words; it’s only a matter of time until we start paying for our first bag on WestJet flights. WestJet yesterday upped prices by two per cent in response to the falling Canadian dollar. Air Canada did the same thing, as apparently did Air Transat. With the loonie down around 90 cents (it was up slightly yesterday), they probably have no choice. Some airlines, including Sunquest and Air Canada Vacations, already brought in special surcharges to make up for the falling dollar. Experts have said these moves have added seven to nine per cent in total costs to many ... continue reading →

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