Skip the hotel marketing hype and select one described with a haiku.

One of my favourite hotel booking sites dumps the usual marketing speak favoured by other websites and replaces descriptions instead with simple haikus of each property.

http://www.hotelhaiku.com

 

 

News and notes: European tours, Jewish walking tour, sea turtles in Jamaica and new refugee exhibit

My inbox is filled each week with news and notes from around the travel world. Here are some items that landed recently that I thought would be of interest.

Travellers can score a last-minute deal with Trafalgar

Looking for a last minute getaway? Take advantage of Trafalgar’s special last minute deals to Europe and North America. With many departures available, travellers can book their dream summer vacations now. These offers won’t last long, so you’ll need to book fast to save up to $2,602 on European trips and up to $1,278 on North America guided vacations.

“Our last minute deals to Europe and North America are excellent opportunities for travellers to plan that summer vacation with huge savings,” says Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar Canada. “With departures dates on guided vacations from May to August, there are lots of options for Canadian travellers.”

Tours include Britain and Ireland Panorama, Italian Glory, Best of Hawaii Moderate and Northern California.

To find out more information, contact your local travel agent or visit https://www.trafalgar.com/can/offers/last-minute-deals.


Visit Shakespeare’s world this summer

Canadians looking to visit some of the settings of the Bard’s most famous plays can take advantage of some of these European tours this summer:

  • Fans of Measure for Measure should consider Insight Vacations’ 11-day “Vienna Budapest and Prague” itinerary which visits Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic; from $2,850 with departures throughout spring and summer. For more information, visit insightvacations.com
  • Those who love Romeo & Juliet or the Two Gentlemen of Verona should look at Uniworld’s 10-day “Gems of Northern Italy” itinerary that travels from Milan to Venice aboard a floating palace; from $4,949 with departures throughout summer. For more information, visit uniworld.com
  • Hamlet aficionados need to visit Kronborg Castle located in Helsingør, Denmark. They can do that with Contiki’s 13-day “Scandinavia (end Helsinki)” itinerary visits Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland; from $2,585 with departures in August 2016. For more information, visit contiki.com
  • If Macbeth is your cup of tea, then head to Glamis Castle in Scotland with Trafalgar’s 13-day “Scotland’s Highlands Islands and Cities” itinerary visits the Scottish Highlands including Orkney, Skye and Mull; from $3,906 with departures throughout spring and summer. For more information, visit trafalgar.com
  • To know more about Shakespeare, visit his home country, with a stop in Stratford-upon-Avon, on Insight Vacations’ 5-day “Gems of Britain” itinerary captures the essence of Britain in only a few days; from $1,695 with departures throughout spring and summer. For more information, visit insightvacations.com

Tour Barcelona’s Jewish Quarter with Context Travel

Context Travel, known for its critically acclaimed walking tours in the world’s cultural capitals, is expanding its Barcelona program to include a Jewish history walk in the Gothic Quarter.

Titled “Jewish Barcelona,” the walk looks at uncovering the history of the Jewish community in the cultural capital of Catalonia.

Visitors on the walk will explore the Gothic Quarter, looking at the the former Jewish neighborhood, known as El Call. Strolling the area, they will connect the difficult history of the Sephardic Jews to Barcelona’s present Jewish community, gaining cultural and religious insights.

The 2.5 hour walk is available Tuesdays and Sundays for groups, priced at 85 euros per person, or privately daily, priced at 375 euros for a party of up to 6 travelers. For specific inquiries regarding scheduling, please consult their website at www.contexttravel.com


Jamaica’s Half Moon Resort wants guests to help sea turtles

Half Moon resort in Jamaica is offering guests for its turtle season (August 1 –November 30) an exciting opportunity to tick off their bucket list this summer and learn how they can play their part in sea turtle conservation.

The Sizzling Summer Offer includes: 

  •         7 nights luxury accommodations with up to 7 nights free (a savings of up to 50%!)
  •         Sunset picnic on the beach
  •         Guided night-time turtle walk
  •         Reserve picnic and turtle walk on arrival. (Turtle walk based on turtle nesting & hatching patterns. Turtle sightings not guaranteed).

Book by July 24; stay August 1 – November 30. To book your reservation, contact your travel agent or call 1-876-953-2211, using the promo code TSIZZ. Terms & Conditions apply.


Refugees’ perilous sea voyages featured in new Winnipeg exhibit
 
A new exhibit at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg looks at the perilous voyages across the Mediterranean, attempted last year by over a million migrants and refugees who were fleeing war, persecution and instability.
Their journeys began in countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. One in five was a child. Over 3,600 people lost their lives on these voyages in 2015.
The exhibit, called A Perilous Crossing, is centred on the 2015 story of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders as they carried out search-and-rescue operations aboard ships (including a retrofitted Canadian fishing boat, the Phoenix) to save lives at sea.
This small exhibit includes lifejackets worn by children rescued by Médecins Sans Frontières and Migrant Offshore Aid Station last summer – including an inflatable “toy” vest unsuitable for survival at sea – and a plastic compass that was the only navigation equipment found on an overcrowded inflatable boat with 118 people on board.
  
The exhibit was developed by the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax, in partnership with the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, and with the cooperation of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Newly adapted and re-designed for its showing at the CMHR, it will be on display at the Museum until September 25.

 

Room Blocker lets you book blocks of rooms for a group

If you’re organizing an out-of-town event or travelling with a team or group, then Room Blocker is the website where you can book a block of rooms for everyone. The site works with more than 100,000 hotels so chances are you’ll find one no matter where you are travelling.

https://www.roomblocker.com

 

Travel ideas for Mother’s Day

My PR friends have asked me to share this information with you about Mother’s Day.

Insight Vacations celebrates Mother’s Day with trips for every type of globetrotting Mom

Insight Vacations celebrates Mother’s Day with vacations to Europe and beyond offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences for every mother or special woman.

“Insight Vacations’ unparalleled level of service ensures our Canadian clients are well taken care of so they can enjoy their exciting experiences abroad,” said Cris David, president, Insight Vacations Canada.

“We’ve curated the finest itineraries to showcase the best of each destination, from hidden gems to iconic attractions and our authentic and escorted journeys are the perfect gift for every deserving mother or special woman.”

The ‘fiery’ woman: Spain & Portugal in Style (www.insightvacations.com/ca/spain-and-portugal-in-style-summer-2016)

The fearless explorer: Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights (www.insightvacations.com/ca/tours/scenic-iceland-and-the-northern-lights-winter-2016-2017)

The ‘life-affirmer’:Spirit of the North and South India (www.insightvacations.com/ca/spirit-of-north-and-south-india-summer-2016)

For more information, visit www.insightvacations.com, or contact an Insight Specialist at 1-888-726-6105.

InterContinental Toronto Centre offers its Luxe Life for Mom Package

Just in time for Mother’s Day, the InterContinental Toronto Centre offers a special package designed to pamper your mom. Here are the highlights:

  • A luxurious evening for two in a Feature Room with lake views
  • Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in-room welcome amenity
  • Town car service to and from Holt Renfrew, Bloor Street West
  • Afternoon full tea for two at Holts Café
  • $250 gift certificate at Holts Renfrew
  • Manicure/pedicure or massage for Mom at Spa InterContinental
  • Room service breakfast in bed for two
  • 2:00 p.m. late checkout
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • Complimentary Valet Parking

The InterContinental Toronto Centre Luxe Life for Mom Package starts at $799 per night (a savings of 20 per cent) and is available on May 7, 2016, or purchased as a gift certificate for future use.

Reservations can be made at www.torontocentre.intercontinental.com or direct reservations within Canada and US can be made at 1-800-422-7969 and worldwide reservations at 1-800-327-0200.

WhereFor lets you choose a destination based on your budget.

https://www.wherefor.com/

Need a hotel wake-up call? Let Wake-Up Dialer do it for you.

Review Skeptic analyzes hotel reviews to spot the fake from the real.

Ordinary hotel room not good enough? Suiteness helps you book suites instead.

If you want to only sleep in new or newly-renovated hotels in the U.S., check out NewSleeps.

Unusual and Unique Hotels offers just that.