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Deal of the Week: Luxurious Canadian Getaways (6/7/2002)

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Diana: You're listening to The Savvy Traveler. I'm Diana Nyad. It's time to check in with our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, for his Deal of the Week. Rudy, has it been as hot in your hometown of Washington, DC, this week as it has been in Los Angeles?

Rudy: Even hotter. We hit the mid-90s, and we have that added blessing called humidity.

Diana: Ooo, humidity…lucky you -- but we have better smog.

Rudy: Yeah, we've always been jealous of your smog here in steamy DC. In any case, all this heat has made me think of Canada.

Diana: Ahh, Canada! I can almost feel those cool Canadian breezes from here.

Rudy: Actually, that's probably bus exhaust you feel, Diana. Anyway, you know we talk from time to time about how far the U.S. dollar stretches north of the border. Today, I want to talk about some luxurious getaways available through a hotel association called Relais & Chateaux. The name isn't as well known in the U.S., as it is in Europe, but there are some gorgeous places that have joined the association, both here and in Canada. Seven Canadian properties are mounting a summer sale with savings ranging from 10 to 35 percent. Plus, there are some enticing extras, like free spa treatments.

Diana: You have my full attention.

Rudy: The specials run through mid-September and must be purchased directly from each inn or lodge. Let me give you some examples. In Cambridge, Ontario, an 1898 country home is now a resort called Langdon Hall. It's just an hour north of Buffalo, or a 3-hour drive from Detroit. A couple can check in for 2 nights, mid-week, and receive a $140 spa credit, which brings the price down to $390 for a room and two full breakfasts. Oh, and you can brush up on your croquet game as well.

Diana: My croquet has gotten a little rusty. Where else can we go?

Rudy: I've visited the charming Post Hotel in the Canadian Rockies, near Banff. It's an Alpine chalet with indoor pool, and fabulous hiking and fishing nearby. About $1,300 gets you 3 nights, 3 breakfasts, 2 one-hour massages, a three-course dinner, and a bottle of champagne when you check in.

Diana: Now that's the definition of romance.

Rudy: And there are five other Relais & Chateaux properties in Canada offering savings this summer, too, including the dramatically situated Wickannish Inn on Vancouver Island. If you want to sample the English manor life, there's Hastings House on Salt Spring Islands in British Columbia.

Diana: Is there Chateaux de Smog? All that gentile Canadian living might make me a little homesick.

Rudy: I'm afraid not.

Diana: Great. Thanks, Rudy. Talk to you next week.

Savvy Resources:

Relais & Chateaux members in Canada offering summer specials and packages through September 15, 2002:

Kingsbrae Arms, St. Andrews, New Brunswick:
Just across the border from Maine, this hotel on 27 acres of gardens offers couples a 4-night/5-day "Romance and the Sea" package, starting at U.S.$1,530 per couple. Included: Whale watching, 4 gourmet dinners, full breakfast daily, a bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne, and a bouquet of roses on arrival. Sightings of whales, otters, puffins, seals and eagles form a custom skiff or vintage sailing vessel are "guaranteed."
Reservations and details: 877-529-1897 toll free or http://www.kingsbrae.com
Savings: About 12 percent over regular prices.

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario:
An hour's drive from Buffalo, or 3 hours from Detroit, this 1898 country home is now a 53-room resort set on 200 acres of lawns, gardens and woodlands designed by Frederic Olmsted of Central Park fame. Tennis, a pool, croquet and biking are among the recreational options. The inn offers a "Great Spa Escape" package that includes accommodations for two, full "country" breakfast, and a U.S.$140 spa credit.
Prices are lowest mid-week: U.S.$530 per couple; weekends start at U.S.$655 per couple.
Reservations and details: 800-268-1898 or http://www.langdonhall.ca
Savings: About 10 percent over regular prices.

The Post Hotel in Banff National Park, British Columbia:
This 97-room Alpine chalet resort has an "Explore the Rockies in Luxury" package. It's a 3-night/4-day package for two, including a room (with an upgrade to a suite, if available), 3 breakfasts for two, a three-course dinner for two, two one-hour massages, and a champagne welcome. Additionally, guests may choose a full day of guided fishing and hiking beneath glacier-capped peaks and dramatic waterfalls. Gratuities are included in the package price of U.S.$1,330.
Reservations and details: 800-661-1586 or http://www.posthotel.com
Savings: 10 percent to 35 percent, depending on days booked.

Little Beaver Creek Ranch, Glimpse Lake, Quilchena, BC:
An hour's drive north of the U.S. border, this 8-suite ranch promises horseback riding, gourmet cuisine and stunning scenery. A 2-night/3-day package, called "Home on the Range," includes 2 hours of horseback riding, including lunch, log cabin accommodations with stone fireplace, Jacuzzi and steam shower.
Price: U.S.$1,250 per couple.
Reservations and details: 250-371-7664 or http://www.glimpselake.com
Savings: 12 percent compared to regular rates

The Wickannish Inn, Vancouver Island, British Columbia:
There's no real savings on this 2-night/3-day "West Coast Romance" package because it's prime time on Vancouver Island in the summer. It's priced at U.S.$670, depending on dates and room selected. The package includes breakfast, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate-dipped fruit, and all taxes.
Reservations and details: 800-33-4604 or http://www.wickinn.com
Savings: Negligible

The Aerie Resort, Vancouver Island, British Columbia:
Cooking classes, farm and vineyard tours, and a host of outdoor activities are offered for guests who visit this 29-room, Mediterranean-style resort with outdoor hot tub, indoor pool, and vista views from atop its mountain perch. The "Fly Like an Eagle" package includes helijet transport to the resort, from either Seattle or the city of Vancouver, 2-nights/3-days in a suite, daily breakfast, and a five-course dinner for two. Plus, you may have your choice of car rental or limo service, plus fresh flowers and chocolate truffles upon arrival.
Price: U.S.$1,065.
Reservations and details: 800-518-1933 or http://www.aerie.bc.ca
Savings: About 10 percent

Hastings House, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia:
This 18-room, 11th century manor house has a 2-night/3-day "Spa Rejuvenation" package, including a suite with fireplace and water view, fresh flowers and a bottle of wine, a full body wrap and steam shower, a facial, manicure, a "gentleman's relaxation massage" and steam shower, a five-course dinner, full breakfast, plus a "wake-up hamper" of coffee and muffins daily, afternoon tea daily, and a gourmet picnic for two.
Price: U.S.$1,998.
Reservations and details: 800-661-9255 or http://www.hastingshouse.com
Savings: 15 percent


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