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WINTER 2017/18 | YOUR GUIDE TO PREMIUM PRODUCT

experiences AUTHENTIC

WITH STYLE

EXPERIENCES • ACTIVITIES • ITINERARIES • HOTELS & RESORTS • WATER • RAIL COVER_LUXURY_v3.indd 1

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2 • introduction

Contents

4 6 7 8 10

Experiences with syle: Selling luxury Six of the best: Epic activities

Discerning itineraries: Trips with bragging rights

luxury Think Canada, think

Comfort stops: Lodges & upscale hotels

The authentic touch: Pick of the bunch: Canadian Signature Experiences

11

Water ways: Cruises, lakes, rivers and coastlines

12

On track to luxury: First-class rail adventures

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introduction • 3

T

he word 'luxury' conjures up different things for different people. For some it’s a five-star hotel with high-thread-count bed linen, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a Spa, a Relais & Chateau restaurant and a personal butler or concierge service. Yet for others it’s a private transfer and top-class amenities set in a unique lodge with limited guests and exclusive access to the country's wildlife. Whether your clients want to live it up slope-side on a luxury ski package, returning each evening to that pool, spa and private chefs; view bears in the wild with just a handful of other guests; cruise the Arctic or the Pacific coastlines in a small ship or let a luxury train take the strain as they marvel at the majestic peaks and rivers of the Rockies, Canada

offers your clients a wealth of luxury options that come in many different guises. Planning a luxury holiday is something of a luxury for travel agents too. Use your clients' holiday spend wisely and not only will the commission benefits be healthy but your suitably wowed client will soon be back for more. Tour operators are skilled in tailor-making personalised packages to best suit each individual’s needs and ideas of luxury, so approach them for quotes with confidence and prepare to sell Canada in all its top-end style. They can also help you keep the holiday schedule filled with free time, because for many in today’s hectic world, time to feel unhurried is the biggest luxury of all. This Luxury Canada section is packed with topof-the-range products, experiences and packages that show you just how upmarket a Canadian trip can be. So get inspired to sell Canada with style! •

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4 • SELLING LUXURY

style EXPERIENCES WITH

Discerning travellers have high expectations. They know what they like and expect spot-on service standards, great food and drink, unique experiences and that certain ‘wow’ factor. Canada can deliver on all counts, says Ju.lie Baxter

T

ravellers in search of a little luxury have money to spend and they want to use it on quality accommodation and activities that connect smoothly together. They want authentic experiences that re�lect the places they are visiting and are eager for expert agent advice on how to tap into the best local experiences once they are on the ground in Canada. Canada can deliver on all fronts. Its unique mix of sophisticated cosmopolitan cities and rugged, wild or remote landscapes is something of a luxury in itself. Where else in the world can your clients dine in a Relais & Chateaux restaurant with a city skyline view for lunch and watch bears pulling fish from the river in the afternoon? Or wrap up in furs

for an exhilarating sleigh ride through snow-covered forests in the morning and sip speciality wines in an historic cellar in the afternoon?

SET THE SCENE

Start by ticking all the right boxes in terms of the backdrop. Is your client craving the dramatic scenery of the iconic Rockies or impressive Niagara Falls or are they seeking the wilderness terrains of the Arctic north and the chance to spot the Northern Lights? Do they want the evocative romance of windswept lighthouses and maritime history laid out across Atlantic Canada? Or is their personal definition of luxury better found in the wild and empty frontiers or aboriginal lands that are ripe for exploration? So wise up to what they want from Canada and tailor your itinerary suggestion to suit – whether that is the open prairies and remote island retreats or city chic and downtown designer shopping.

PLAN THE EXPERIENCES

Once you have a feel for their expectations, rev up

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SELLING LUXURY • 5

their enthusiasm with experiences that will put them at the heart of their chosen landscape, combined with some local colour and contrasts to keep the surprises coming. Focus on combining ‘wow factor' experiences like wildlife watching, flight-seeing and heli-tours and get them exploring, be it glaciers and ice-canyons or fjords and riverbanks. Add in snow mobiling or a dogsleigh ride, horseback insights into Western culture or intimate indigenous interactions for that adventure/ style combination. In short, make their holiday budget work to create memories to cherish.

CREATURE COMFORTS

Luxury travellers are game for an adventure and eager to experience something different, so find them opportunities to interact with locals and enjoy the luxuries that the well-to-do of Canada value too. Think micro-breweries and wine-tastings, artisan bakeries and top downtown delis; think lunch with a view and dinner with a back story.

COMBINE WILD ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES WITH CREATURE COMFORTS THAT WILL CREATE MEMORIES YOUR CLIENTS CAN CHERISH

LUXURY SELLING TIPS

Call a specialist operator – They are masters at tailor-made Canadian luxury

Focus on service – Canadians are superfriendly and service levels are exceptional

   

Help them get under the skin of the destination and match quirky and characterful experiences with accommodation to match their comfort zone, restaurants with top-class cuisine, designer shops or artisan craftsmen, and opportunities for downtime in a Spa. Locate them somewhere super convenient or far, far from the madding crowd and, where appropriate, give them a professional personal guide to help them take in the very best of Canada.

RIGHT FROM THE START

Luxury can begin on the flight out. Consider a premium cabin seat on the all-new 787 Dreamliners now operated by British Airways and Air Canada, which claim to be a 'game-changer' on the route. The airlines' Business cabins are winning plaudits for their space, comfort and 'light', with passengers enjoying delicately crafted menus and sommelierselected Canadian wines that introduce them to authentic local flavours right from the start. Once there, helicopters can buzz them into remote hideaways; luxurious trains will take them across vast areas and stylish cruises will get them to glistening lakes and rivers, secluded harbours or right among the icebergs. •

Use brand power – Look out for luxury brands like Fairmont and Ritz Carlton

Get on track – Rocky Mountaineer and Via Rail both have top-end cabin options

Add authentic style – Check out quirky lodges designed with oodles of character

Wild wows – Wildlife viewing in one-off locations pack a huge 'wow factor' punch

Over deliver – Canada exceeds most expectations, particularly its culinary scene

Easy access: Canada is close. Clients can be whale watching in seven or eight hours

Fly high: Competition between carriers ensures good deals in premium cabins

Iconic power: Big draws include the Rockies, Niagara Falls and Aurora Borealis

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6 • experience it...

action epic

Canada offers top-class luxury experiences year round. Mix and match these and add something special to a tour and Canada will delight the most discerning of upscale clients HELI-SKIING

FLOAT PLANE FLIGHT

Heli-skiing trips drop powder hounds hungry for unique wintersports experiences into some of the most remote mountain areas of British Columbia and Alberta. Specialist guides show them epic and exhilarating slopes forn a day to remember. wiegele.com; bellacoolaheliskiing.com

POLAR BEAR SAFARIS Churchill Wild brings travellers face-to-face with bears and beluga whales on tours that combine wildlife with world-class cuisine and fly-in eco-lodges. Running July-November, the wildly exclusive locations guarantee bear encounters. churchillwild.com

STORM WATCHING Few things feel as luxurious as a cosy hotel in a storm. Relais & Chateaux makes an asset of the spectacular weather at Wickannininsh Inn (November to February) with packages that include oil skin hats and stormthemed story books. There's a pampering Spa and top-class restaurant too. wickinn.com

Float plane trips combine fabulous views with the amazing experience of bouncing over the waves during a take-off and landing on water. Among the most scenically stunning are those out of Vancouver. harbourair.com

Right royal choices Follow in the footsteps of the Royals - and one or two other celebs too - with a stay at Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Recently emerged from a five-year multi-million dollar refurb with new signature rooms, spa and pool, this was Prince Harry's choice when he visited Canada with girlfriend Meghan Markles for the Invictus Games. fairmont.com

GLAMPING

Combine comfy camping with lush landscapes. Ridgeback Lodge in New Brunswick has log cabins and glamping dream domes set amidst the natural beauty of the Kingston Peninsula while WildExodus has a glamping retreat in the northern Ontario wilderness. ridgebacklodge.com; borealforest.travel •

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ITINERARIES • 7

match MIX AND

Discerning travellers expect unbeatable service standards, great food and drink and unique experiences with brag�ing rights. Here Julie Baxter picks some itineraries which do just that says CRUISE AND RAIL DUET Pile up the iconic attractions by combining a cruise with rail. Your clients can check out the Western culture of Calgary, Alberta, before soaking up the scenery of the mountains aboard the Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops, then connecting to and relaxing in Vancouver before boarding a cruise for wildlife, glaciers and more. Canadian Affair does it in 16 nights, from £2,789pp.

TOWN AND COUNTRY

Combine cosmopolitan Toronto and must-see Niagara with Ontario's stunning rural interior. The lakes of Muskoka, the magnificence of Killarney Provincial Park and the First Nation culture of Manitoulin Island await. Audley Travel has 14-days self-drive from £2215pp. audleytravel.com

canadianaffair.com

FRENCH CONNECTIONS In Québec pair vibrant Montréal with a rural route following the Saint Lawrence River to charming old Québec City. Beyond is picturesque Charlevoix, whalewatching, townships and wineries. Western & Oriental has 10 days from £1,785pp. westernoriental.com

CITY & SONORA PERFECT PARTNERS

Combine three nights at the five-star Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver with two nights at the five-star Sonora Resort. Guests can link their accommodation in style by taking a helicopter or floatplane transfer from Vancouver. Gourmet meals, outdoor heated pools, hot tubs, steam rooms and a movie theatre can be combined with access to the well-stocked rainbow fly-fishing pond, with all equipment provided. The wellness centre has three mineral pools. Priced from £3,269pp with Gold Medal in May or June 2018.

BOOK LUXURY TRAVELLERS KEEN TO SEE THE NIAGARA FALLS INTO NEARBY NIAGARA ON THE LAKE. HERE UNIQUE PROPERTIES BRIM WITH CHARACTER, CLASS AND CHARM

ARCTIC ADVENTURES

Small group adventures to the Arctic are full of kudos. Combine Yellowknife with Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge for dog sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. From £9,995pp for 12 nights with A&K. abercrombiekent.co.uk

goldmedal.co.uk

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8 • HOTELS

stops COMFORT

Service standards in top-end Canadian hotels and lodges are simply world class. Book them with confidence for a warm welcome and stays full of authentic local touches

Seaside splendour...

F

or more than a century, the properties that comprise the Fairmont Hotels portfolio have been at the heart of Canada’s tourism development, first springing up as grand railway hotels (Canadian Pacific) built for the earliest of Grand Tour tourists, with iconic style in dramatic locations.

Algonquin Resort St. Andrews is a lovingly-restored seaside hotel in New Brunswick that seamlessly blends old and new styles

ALL ABOUT THE STORY UK

Where they led, others followed, with the likes of Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, Four Seasons, Intercontinental and Marriott now all represented and each with their own distinct luxury offerings. Beyond these, boutique inns and quirky independent properties with stand-out locations or designer good looks can be added to the mix; and as the well-heeled become more intrepid, luxury lodges in the remotest of breathtaking settings are stealing the show Splendid too. Here are just some to get isolation... you started. Architecturally unique Fogo Island Inn grabs the attention with floor-toceiling windows onto the world’s wildest ocean views in N&L

ST. ANDREWS

BRANDED LUXURY

LIVE IT... They've seen it on the TV now let them experience it. The BBC filmed part of Secrets of the Living Planet around Great Bear Lodge in British Columbia, famed for its bears, otters and other wildlife

FOGO ISLAND

The Fairmont name remains synonymous with luxury, with the Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise renowned as Canada's ‘castles in the Rockies', and others like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in old Québec and Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa established as historic landmarks. These properties have interesting tales to tell, with heritage and celebrity guest lists now combined with dedicated Gold Floors offering exclusive facilities, staff and lounges, and a private check-in, honour bar and complimentary cocktails among the extras. Ritz Carlton offers 'urban sanctuaries' in Toronto and Montréal, with signature dining, exclusive Spa treatments and top-end restaurants; while ShangriLa properties in Toronto and Vancouver include specialty suites and deluxe rooms with floor-toceiling windows and oversized beds. Personalised privileges are offered through its Horizon Club. Club InterContinental offers ‘ambassadors’ providing concierge services, culinary experiences and personalised attention to detail in Montréal and Toronto; and Four Seasons in Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler feature spas and ‘signature sleep’ experiences as well as the option of Four Seasons' private jet itineraries.

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HOTELS • 9

LODGES

PAIR IT... ROSEWOOD HOTEL GEORGIA

PERSONAL STYLE

Beyond the global brands, independent properties with style of their own include the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver, which combines the grandeur of its 1920s heritage with contemporary design. The Broadview Hotel in Toronto is an historic 125-year-old heritage building restored into a 58-room boutique hotel with a rooftop terrace. The Sydney Inn in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has been crafted from a former 1857 Notre Dame Convent, with many original details blended with the most modern of facilities. For foodies, manor house properties like the Rossmount Inn in New Brunswick combine featherbed comforts and a top gourmet experience. . Hotel Arts in Calgary has a quirky style and features many unique art works.

Guests at the boutique Podollan Inn, Grande Prairie, Alberta, combine great wines and artisan food tastings with views of the sockeye salmon migration run (between September and October) on the Adams River. There's winery tours, tasting local cheeses and artisan meats and a three-course dinner at Table 24 with a wine pairing.

Check out the likes of Magni7icent, a collaboration of seven luxury wilderness lodges which work together to promote unique accommodation and experiences for the discerning. The properties include Nimmo Bay and Siwash Lake Wilderness Resorts, Churchill Wild's eco lodge, Tweedsmuir Park Lodge and Pacific Yellowfin cruises (a floating lodge). Their focus is on luxury in amazing locations that give access to never-to-forget experiences like black and polar bear watching and heli-skiing and river fishing. At wildlife-rich Haida Gwaii Lodge in 'Canada’s Galapagos’, an archipelago off British Columbia, visitors can share the Haida culture, history and traditions; while in the Yukon the newly re-opened Southern Lakes Resort features cosy log cabins in a spectacular location on Tagish Lake. For Arctic adventure inside the Arctic Circle, Arctic Watch Lodge offers safaris to the north pole and unrivalled access to beluga whales and polar bears.

SIWASH LAKE WILDERNESS RESORT

NEW TO THE MIX

Boutique style... Experience the spirit of the HuronWendake people at boutique-style Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations, Québec. hotelpremieresnations.ca HURON WENDAKE STYLE

The new Vancouver entertainment area, Parq, includes an Autograph Collection boutique-style property called the Douglas. With design-style inspired by the local area it offers 188 rooms full of character and designer touches. The Bisha Hotel in Toronto is a highly anticipated luxury boutique hotel which will offer 96 rooms complete with 10 luxury suites and one two-storey Exclusive Suite. Located in Toronto’s entertainment district, it will have a rooftop restaurant with patio and pool, and sweeping views of Lake Ontario, the CN Tower and city skyline. The new Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Calgary is located in the city’s trendy new East Village, from where guests can take the RiverWalk pathway to discover St. Patrick’s Island Park. Guest rooms are contemporary in style with floorto-ceiling windows offering fantastic views over the Rocky Mountains. •

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10 • CANADIAN SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

touch AN AUTHENTIC

RENAUD PHILIPPE

For the best of quality times in Canada check out the Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE), which offer authentic, cra�ted and unique experiences that represent the diversity of the country

CHILL OUT IN STYLE

Enjoy a cocktail at minus five degrees at the Hôtel de Glace, just outside Québec City. Beautiful ice-carved rooms with vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and fur throws make this a quirky must-visit each winter. hoteldeglace-canada.com

A WHALE OF A TIME

SOAK UP SOME OF THE NATURAL HOT STUFF

Natural spring-fed hot spring pools in the Canadian Rockies offer an awesome dip with a view. In Banff visitors can soothe their ski-or hiking-tired muscles while looking out over snow-capped mountains, an experience magnified when the snowflakes start to fall. hotsprings.ca

Did you know?

There are over 200 designated CSEs identified as uniquely authentic Canadian experiences

Pacific Yellowfin offers luxury bespoke wildlife journeys into Canada's Pacific Northwest on an historic luxury yacht-cum-floating lodge which takes passengers to see the whales of British Columbia.

WINTER WOW BY HELICOPTER

A helicopter from Toronto whisks passengers into the wild for a day with huskies, who learn to work with the dogs, explore rugged trails and glimpse wildlife before a campfire-cooked lunch. winterdance.com

pacificyellowfin.com

ALL ABOARD FOR FINE FOOD FEASTING

Catch your own meaty lobster lunch off the coast of Prince Edward Island, a dream destination for seafood lovers. Top Notch Lobster Tours share all the tricks of the fisherman's trade and then drop anchor for a fresh crustacean feast. markscharters.com

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IT NOW• 11 SELL ITSELL NOW

water LIFE ON THE

Lakes, rivers and dramatic rug�ed coastlines make Canada an obvious destination for those who like to get out on the water – and doing so in style ensures some memorable experiences, says Julie Baxter SILVERSEA

Silversea’s small luxury ships are designed to be a private sanctuary at sea, with itineraries which take in small, secluded harbours and the most remote regions. Onboard style is geared towards lavish amenities and top-end dining for luxury lovers. Itineraries include expeditions in the Canadian Arctic, off Newfoundland and from Canada to the U.S. silversea.com

SEABOURN

Seabourn offers luxury cruising along the broad St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord. Focused on the ‘elegant, yet casual, sumptuous, yet understated’, its intimate ships visit the Breton-style village of Gaspé and allow time to see the UNESCO-ranked Dufferin Terrace and Château Frontenac. seabourn.com

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS

One Ocean Expeditions positions itself as the world's best polar marine cruise experience and seeks out marine wildlife and stunning landscapes in the company of expert guides. It has cruises to the Arctic and Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and sailings which call in at Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. oneoceanexpeditions.com

BLUEWATER ADVENTURES

Pioneers in ecotourism, Bluewater Adventures has 70 expedition yachts cruising British Columbia and southeast Alaska to discover ancient First Nations villages, primeval forests, and coastal wildlife. They offer first class eco-tourism experiences in unique and remote destinations. bluewateradventures.ca

MAPLE LEAF ADVENTURES

The Maple Leaf schooner is a boutique expedition ship which can host eight guests. A classic, 92-foot sailing ship, it is comfortable yet rugged and able to get to the wildest locations. The crew includes a naturalist, expedition guides, mariners and a personal chef. Destinations include Haida Gwaii, known as the Canadian Galapagos; Great Bear Rainforest and the Broughton Archipelago, home to orca whales.

mapleleafadventures.com

OCEAN QUEST

If your client’s idea of luxury is an up-close encounter with whales and icebergs, Ocean Quest offers Zodiac excursions along the rugged coast of Newfoundland. Whales are the highlight during July but taking a drink with ice from an iceberg or kayaking the sea caves of Bell Island are just as awe-inspiring. oceanquestadventures.com •

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12 • TRAINS

on track COMFORTS

Canada is vast and covers a lot of diverse landscapes. For those looking to get a sense of its sheer scale and unrivalled beauty, sug�est a classic train trip

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER

VIA RAIL

A rail journey puts Canada's size in perspective and brings its pioneer stories and national character vividly to life. A constantly changing landscape rolls by as passengers sit back in comfort, worrying only if their camera is charged and what they will choose from the menu at dinner.

with new culinary walking tours in Vancouver and Calgary and six-course, wine-paired menus on offer. The 10-day GoldLeaf deal starts at £3,796pp. rockymountaineer.com

VIA RAIL

Via Rail’s Canadian – which journeys from Toronto to Vancouver, stopping in Winnipeg and Edmonton – has The Rocky Mountaineer is iconic added luxury options and topand offers four luxury routes class dining in recent years. Its which combine days on the Rail adventures Prestige Sleeper Cabins train in GoldLeaf carriages Great Rail Journeys offers a Canada’s Wildlife and include double beds rather with overnights at luxury Wilderness tour which includes time on the Skeena than bunks, and an allhotels and excursions like train to Prince Rupert; on The Canadian to Jasper, and inclusive bar service, prestige heli-tours, glacier walks or following the Jasper-Prince Rupert wilderness train concierge and premium whale-watching opportunities. route. Stops include Maligne Lake and Canyon, Vancouver and viewing black bears in carriages have been added. VIA The only all-daylight journey Tofino. Priced from £3,895pp Rail also operates a Prairies and through the Rockies, all-dome greatrail.com Northern Manitoba route, a Ontario carriages ensure views from every and Québec link and the Ocean for angle, and the gourmet dining highlights Montréal to Halifax. local ingredients such as Chilliwack corn, To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, VIA Rail Pacific salmon and prime Alberta beef. has partnered with Fairmont to launch rail and stay A custom-designed bi-level carriage offers packages including The Great Canadian Railway panoramic views on a second level, thanks to a Adventure, a 20-day coast to coast tour from glass-top dome roof. There is an outdoor viewing Vancouver to Québec combining top-end iconic area with an open-air vestibule. New for 2018 is the hotels and price $C11,988. viarail.ca • First Passage to the West Culinary Exploration tour

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER

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Luxury Canada 2017  

Experiences • Activities • Itineraries • Hotels & Resorts • Water • Rail