A great Ontario getaway, and a smashing cruise offer. Star Travel columnist Kathryn Folliott has a couple of excellent bargains on offer in her latest Fare Deals column.
One great deal she outlines is for significant savings on a cruise with Silversea ; a free suite upgrade and on-board spending credit worth up to $1,000 (U.S.) per suite.
I was lucky enough to have a suite on a Silversea ship last year, cruising the Mediterranean. It was an outstanding experience, with a HUGE suite that gave us everything we needed.
The bedroom was large and comfortable and the bathroom was enormous, with a tub and large, separate shower. The walk-in closet was bigger than some downtown Toronto condos, with storage galore. We also had a nice living area with a sofa and chairs and a table, plus a butler at our disposal and a large deck to watch Europe slide by.
I loved our stops along the way, including Taormina in Sicily (see photo) as well as Sorrento, Venice, Slovenia, Croatia and Malta. The ship was large and comfortable, with sensational food and a nice pool and all the amenities. It was all-inclusive, which meant free drinks in the bar and wine at dinner. They had a great jazz musician and good, Broadway-style shows on board, plus dancing at night and on-board lectures and cooking demonstrations and lots more.
It’s a fantastic cruise line, and one I highly recommend.
ONTARIO BARGAINS, TOO
Fare Deals this week also outlines some great New Year’s deals for Ontario’s Finest Inns and Spas . I’ve stayed at a few of them over the years and they’ve all been excellent properties. The Oban Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake has lovely rooms, and there’s wonderful food in the sunny restaurant at the Riverside Inn in Niagara, too.
You’ll find properties all over southern Ontario, including Prince Edward County, Muskoka and southwestern Ontario. Definitely a break from the ordinary.
FOODIE ALERT – RITZ CARLTON CLEANS UP
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has earned 13 coveted Michelin Stars for 2015, with recognition granted to eight restaurants in six hotels in Asia and Europe.
Ritz-Carlton prides itself on fine cuisine, and you’ll find Michelin starred restaurants from Barcelona to Osaka and Hong Kong.
I had the pleasure of staying at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong last year, snagging an incredible room on the 108 th floor (I think) with remarkable views of Hong Kong Harbour. The restaurants are spectacular, and so is the rooftop bar and the high-in-the-sky swimming pool.
Tin Lung Heen retained its two-star status at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. You’ll find world-class Dim Sum created by Michelin-starred chef Paul Lau Ping Lui. Another Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong restaurant is Tosca, which serves wonderful Italian food and retained a Michelin star under chef Pino Lavarra.
Those are impressive places. But Aqua, located at the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany, retained a whopping three Michelin stars for its “modern European cuisine,” created by chef de cuisine Sven Elverfeld.
I’ve also had excellent meals at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida and here in Toronto at Toca in the Ritz-Carlton downtown.