Posts

,

City Guide: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - February 5, 2016: View of Ipanema beach and Morro Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers Mountain) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Your curated guide to the best bites, sleeps and spots, as seen through the season Siren lens. 

Rio de Janeiro is the second-largest city in Brazil with a population of 6.5 million cariocas. It is best known for its world-famous sights such as Christ the Redeemer, Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain; Carnival; football; samba and bossa nova; and beaches, such as Ipanema and Copacabana.

Rio is a year-round destination, but its high season runs from December to March, when the weather is hot and Carnival’s in full swing. Off-season, when prices are lower and the temperatures not so steamy, runs May to October.

Rio Hotel Room

Solid Mid-Range Sleep:  Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel
Photo: @
portobay
Av. Atlântica, 1500 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22021-000, Brazil

This is a great four-star option located in a prime spot on Copacabana beach. Spacious and modern rooms, sweeping beach views from the rooftop pool and bar, a decent breakfast spread, and private beach area make this a good base in Copacabana without breaking the bank.

Old-World Luxury Sleep: The Belmond Copacabana Palace
Av. Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22021-001, Brazil

This property is the crowning jewel of Copacabana beach. This elegant, historical hotel has a stunning facade, posh restaurants, and beautiful courtyard pool. If booking a room is out of reach, the poolside courtyard offers a romantic spot for pre-dinner drinks.

Off The Beaten Path Sleep:  La Suite by Dussol
R. Jackson de Figueiredo, 501 – Joá, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22611-000, Brazil

This high-end design boutique hotel dramatically set cliffside in Joatinga. A good alternative for travellers who want the seaside views without the hustle-and-bustle of busy Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon.

Best Stay: Hotel Fasano Rio
Av. Vieira Souto, 80 – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22420-002, Brazil

The it hotel located on the it beach, Ipanema, this Philippe Starck-designed boutique hotel can be summed up in three words: glamorous, sexy and sleek. The rooftop pool and lounge offers spectacular views of the beach and surrounding mountains; plus, it’s a brilliant spot to people watch. Rooms are ultra-modern, yet warm and comfortable. Tip: opt for a beach-facing room, it’s worth the splurge.

Seafood Dinner Rio Brazil

Photo: @barespiritosanto

The Best Bite & Why:

For traditional home cooking inspired by Amazonian techniques and ingredients, Espirito Santo Restaurante in Santa Teresa is a neighbourhood gem. The Banana Stew—a semi-sweet stew made with bananas cooked in coconut and herbs—and the Chayote in Xinxin—Brazilian squash and mixed vegetables sautéed with a mixture of ginger, peanuts, cashews and herbs—were inspired and delicious.

A must-try snack is the pão de queijo, doughy balls of cheesy heaven. Our favourite were served steaming at the Fogo de Chão churrascaria in BotaFogo.

Book well ahead for Olympe restaurant, the flagship restaurant by carioca chef, Claude Troisgros, in Lagoa. Olympe remains Rio’s top European dining experience with one of the most innovative tasting menus in the city.

Rooftop Patio Rio Brazil

Photo: @fasano

The Best View:

The best city views can be seen from Christ the Redeemer statue—one of the New Seven Wonders of the World—at the peak of Rio’s Corcovado Mountain.

For those who prefer their vistas paired with a caipirinha, the trendy rooftop pool bar at the Hotel Fasano Rio is unmatched. Go for sunset.

Notable Excursions:

More intrepid travellers can arrange a private or small group tour of one of Rio’s favelas, offering a unique perspective on these communities.

For an adrenaline rush, try hand gliding from the top of Pedra Bonita, towering above the Tijuca National Park at 2,283 feet.

City View Rio Brazil

Photo: @gucopa

Best Local Hot Spots & Top Attractions:

Rio Scenarium, located in the Centro neighbourhood, is a fun and non-intimidating samba bar with some of Rio’s best live samba bands.

Not To Be Missed:

Be one with the locals and catch a football match at Maracanã Stadium, one of the world’s largest football stadiums, when one of Rio’s four major teams are playing (Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, and Vasco da Gama). The sheer spectacle of the game and energy of the crowd is amazing.

Have we mentioned the beaches? Ipanema, Copacabana, and Barra da Tijuca, to name just a few, each with their own distinct personality.

Cultural Events:

Regarded as the “Carnival Capital of the World”, Rio’s famed Carnival is considered to be the largest in the world, with two million people per day on the streets. This year Carnival runs from February 5 until February 10, 2016.

Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2016 Summer Paralympics, marking the first time that a South American nation has hosted these events.

,

The top 5 Toronto hotel weekend getaway

Toronto is having a moment right now. Canada’s largest city is thriving in food and drink, arts and culture and has has been rated as one of the top five most liveable cities in the world for the past few years by Forbes. And thanks to its growing international exposure (we love you, Drake!), it’s a must-see destination too. Whether you’re in the city for a weekend or extended stay, we’ve ranked our top 5 Toronto hotel picks.

hazelton-hotel-balcony

The Hazelton Hotel

Where: Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighbourhood (118 Yorkville Avenue).

When: The Hazelton Hotel is always a luxurious stay, but if you’re celebrating something special, make sure to book their “Celebration” package. Your stay includes a spacious guestroom or suite, complete with a welcome gift of champagne, fresh fruit and flowers.

Why: The sceney ONE Restaurant, which is owned and operated by celebrity Chef Mark McEwan, is the perfect locale for a night of people watching. Meanwhile, The Spa at Hazelton is a favourite of locals and celebs alike.

Rooms start at $475/night (approx.USD$370) and more information can be found at thehazeltonhotel.com.

Toronto

The Ivy at Verity

Where: Located in a restored 1850s chocolate factory in the historic Queen Street East district (111D Queen St. East).

When: Enjoy the Ivy’s prime location in the summer, where you can walk to the nearby historic Distillery District and enjoy lunch on a patio.

Why: With only four rooms, The Ivy is more like a homey B&B than a hotel. Breakfast is made in-house and delivered to your room each morning. Other amenities include George Restaurant, Sweetgrass Spa, and a women-only fitness centre and pool. Rooms start at $339/night (approx. USD$263) and more information can be found at theivyatverity.com.

Toronto

Hotel Ocho

Where: Located steps from Chinatown and Kensington Market (195 Spadina Avenue).

When: Pedestrian Sundays in the summer months at Kensington Market are not to be missed. Browse eclectic shops and find one-of-a-kind goods to pack in your suitcase.

Why: Hotel Ocho has twelve rooms that offer great views of downtown Toronto. The trendy restaurant serves lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and drinks. There’s also a spectacular event space, should you feel the need to make a statement. Rooms start at $238/night (approx. USD$185) and more information can be found at hotelocho.com.

Toronto

The Templar Hotel

Where: Toronto’s Entertainment and Fashion District (348 Adelaide St. West).

When: Book a room during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to be close to all the action. Who knows, you might even spot a celebrity.

Why: Dubbed as ‘Toronto’s Secret Hotel’ the Templar is a hidden gem and allows guests to have a zen-like sanctuary in the heart of a big city. Rooms start at $259/night (approx. USD$200) and more information can be found at templarhotel.com.

Toronto

The Drake Hotel

Where: Trendy West Queen West (1150 Queen Street West).

When: Enjoy the Drake during the summer months, as it boasts one of the city’s best rooftop patios, Sky Yard.

Why: The rooms at The Drake are individually decorated with funky, eclectic décor, contemporary art, mid-century inspired furniture and hardwood floors. The hotel also hosts a variety of art, music, and cultural events. Rooms start at $169/night (approx. USD$130) and more information can be found at thedrakehotel.ca.

Toronto

Shangri-La Toronto

Where: In the centre of Toronto’s financial and entertainment district (188 University Avenue).

When: The floor to ceiling windows at this hotel offer stunning views of the CN Tower.

Why: Start your day by heading to the hotel’s Health Club, with a beautiful, contemporary pool and water features. Finish your day off with a drink at Bosk, the hotel’s bar, and restaurant, or sneak over to Momofuku next door. Rooms start at $375/night (approx. USD$290) and more information can be found at shangri-la.com.

,

Our Favourite Road Trips From Toronto

Nothing says summer in the city quite like packing a small bag, jumping in the car and heading somewhere close by.

While we love spending time in Toronto when the sun starts to shine (hello patio season), we can’t help but want to book long weekend excursions with a few of our nearest and dearest.

If you’re anything like us, you already have a good idea of where you’ll be headed. Although, just in case you’ve made your list but forgot to check it twice, we certainly have you covered.

Check out our top road trips to take from Toronto.

Our Favourite Road Trips From Toronto

Photo: @drakedevonshire

Who: The Wino
What: The Drake Devonshire Inn, 24 Wharf St, Wellington
Where: Prince Edward County
When: Prince Edward County is beautiful no matter the season, but our favourite time to spend a few cozy nights is in the summer. Just as the flowers start to bloom, and the grape vines start to grow, so too does our appetite for travel. If you’ve been there, done that, with Niagra-on-the -Lake, spend some quality time in Prince Edward County. Just plan ahead and book a few wine tours before you drive up.
Why: The drive from Toronto without traffic is just under three hours, making this the perfect long weekend getaway.

Our Favourite Road Trips From Toronto

Photo: @lodgeatglendorn

Who: The Outdoorsman
What: The Lodge at Glendorn, 1000 Glendorn Drive
Where: Bradford, Pennsylvania
When: The Lodge at Glendorn is grand any time of the year. Between their winter activities and surreal conditions in the summer, it’s hard to choose a favourite. Although, since we’re in full swing and seriously in the thick of it, we’re currently crushing on this rustic lodge for the sunny season. Book a luxurious cabin for a weekend and indulge in Relais Chateaux meals prepared by their award-winning team led by Executive Chef Joe Schafer. Be sure to try fly fishing, or skeet shooting and tell them Aller sent you.
Why: The drive is both scenic and short, as this American destination is a short four hours away.

Our Favourite Road Trips From Toronto

Photo: @caroline.elie

 

Who: The Luxe Canadiana
What: Ritz-Carlton Montréal, 1228 Sherbrooke St. West
Where: Montréal, Québec
When: Of course Montréal is spectacular when there is snow on the ground, but we absolutely love this vibrant city in the summer. So if you’re looking for a five-star getaway complete with a stunning suite, gourmet food and culture all around, look no further. And if you want to be treated like royalty (everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Winston Churchill had been hosted here), this hotel will be the perfect fit. Be sure to reserve a seat at Maison Boulud for Chef Daniel Boulud’s finest, savour some champagne at their Dom Pérignon Bar and take a dip in their indoor saltwater pool.
Why: There is always something happening in Montréal, so make the trip worthwhile. Osheaga Festival will be held on July 29 – 31, so grab your tickets and get yourself down there. Without traffic, the trip should take you about six hours, so bring a friend and enjoy the open road.

,

Warm & Wonderful Vacations In January

These are our top spots for getting in a January holiday, and doing it right.

Despite having returned from some much needed vacations, many of us are looking to escape the cold and head somewhere sunny. If you’ve been meaning to take that bucket list adventure, now’s your chance to make right with your resolutions.

Not only will your vacation be more affordable in January, but you can navigate your way through markets, galleries and the like without swarms of photo-happy tourists cramming you into every corner.

1/ Anguilla , British West Indies:

If it’s white sand beaches, scenic bays and crystal clear waters you’re after, look no further. Between the laid-back island vibe and picturesque sights at every turn, this is one vacation spot you would feel grateful to spend some time at.

Where to stay: Cé Blue Anguilla offers everything the discerning traveller craves. From luxurious villas complete with personal salt-water pools, to 5-star worthy food and a fitness centre that boasts better equipment than your boutique gym, this experience is truly epic.

2/ Barbados:
This sophisticated travel locale is brimming with culture and creativity at every turn. If you’re looking to indulge in a few of life’s little luxuries, your January holiday has just been sorted. Uncover the history that comes alive once you stroll through the streets, and nestle into a warm beach that offers beautiful views at all hours of the day.

Where to stay: The Crane is an elegant hotel that offers outstanding service, sprawling space and stunning amenities for both adults and children. If you’re looking for romance or family-friendly fun, book a reservation here.

3/ Dominican Republic: Between the hundreds of miles of coastline, to the postcard perfect beaches and warm people, this destination is a favourite for both novice and distinguished travellers. In this geographically diverse country you will find mountain scenery, desert scrublands and outstanding architecture that will sincerely convince you to buy a beach house here and never leave.

Where to stay: When you’re somewhere so beautiful, truly embrace the peaks and points of interest. We recommend finding a private villa and enjoying the sprawling and truly stunning views all-around.

Gansevoort Hotel in Turks & Caicos

4/ Turks & Caicos: While this is a significantly smaller island than most, this gorgeous country packs a punch in terms of experiences. With a population of around 32,000, this tropical paradise will prove to be the perfect place to unplug. Enjoy the stunning white sand beaches, or luxurious resorts that boast some of the best amenities money and a week off work can buy.

Where to stay: If you’re headed to this slice of 5-star heaven, we suggest staying at the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos. This boutique property is a beachfront retreat that boasts some of the best food, views and services on the island.

,

4 Healthy Habits To Swear By On Vacation

While a vacation is a holiday from the hoopla, it should not be regarded as a free pass for your health.

That appetite to frequent the buffet bar, or to sample one too many cocktails needs to be kicked to the curb.

We’ve absolutely been there, and while entirely relatable it’s deplorable for your health. We know you’ve substituted your sandwiches for kale leading up to the trip, so don’t let that hard work go to waste.

You deserve to toss your cares to the wayside, but take a moment to recognize that once you’ve returned to reality the desire to jump on the wellness wagon will feel impossible without that impending motivation. It’s time to take your salad consuming self to your resort with a focused eye on healthy options in all aspects of your life. Avoid falling into the trap of staying up too late and consuming too much.

Cashing in your vacation days to recuperate from your vacation is entirely taboo.

 

1/ Indulge the Right Way: It’s understandable that a gourmet buffet could awaken the inner food lover in all of us, but take the time to make use of the nature around your resort. Whether you’re visiting New York, or you’re headed somewhere entirely new – eat like the locals. Spring for fresh food, indulge in a beautifully prepared meal and let your taste buds enjoy everything that your holiday has to offer.

We love: The Chester NYC – This contemporary American restaurant attached to the Gansevoort Meatpacking District is a quintessential cool meal. If you’re seeking decadence married with a lively ambiance, this restaurant requires your reservation. Sample some of the finest foods New York has to offer with a seasonal menu and handcrafted cocktails.

 

2/ Remember to Breathe: In between your beach trips and excursions, remember to shift the focus back onto your well-being. It’s entirely effortless to get lost in the magic of the moment but take a step back, unwind and truly soak in the sights and sounds.

We love: Sign up for a yoga class on the beach in the Dominican Republic. With endless resorts to choose from, we just know a routine excursion hosted by the hotel is calling your name.

 

3/ Unwind Responsibly: There’s no worse feeling than having a heavy head and a splitting migraine come morning. We understand that the drinks and flowing and the music is near magical, but treat yourself right. Rather than springing for a bottle, try a few curated cocktails that were designed to inspire your palette. These drinks often pair perfectly with food offerings that can tickle your taste buds too.

We love: Indulge in a tall glass of crisp champagne at the Dom Pérignon Bar housed in the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Located in the hotel’s famous Palm Court, this first of its kind in all of Canada boasts custom-designed black decor that evokes all sorts of emotions upon entering. Sip and be served by some of the best that this bar has to offer.

 

4/ Expand your Horizons: A trip would be a waste if you fail to immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course, we’re not suggesting that heli-painting is the way to go, but perhaps exploring the waters and making new companions is crucial. These additions in your life will prove to be a window to many more memories and adventures down the road.
We love: Take a trip with TradeWinds for an experience of a lifetime. Set sail and explore islands and waters that you never thought possible. Watch the sun rise and set as you indulge in beautiful meals with the best-kept company.

,

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

There is nothing better than a stunning sunset splashed across an unfamiliar landscape. So, if you are looking to enjoy a show in the sky, keep these two key ingredients in mind: weather and location (face it, even though we love watching the sun set in the east, its best viewed facing west). Regardless of whether the sky is scarlet or lavender, viewed against city skylines or coastal hues, Siren has been documenting our favourite hideaways to share with you. Don’t wait until the sun goes down to look at the sky, these 10 places will have you sungazing your evenings away.

Red skies by night, sailor’s delight! 

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

One&Only Palmilla

Where: Los Cabos, Mexico

Enjoy a romantic sunset at the newly renovated One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos. The One&Only Lounge features floor-to-ceiling windows, offering guests stunning views of a sunset over the Sea of Cortez.

Tip: Sit by the Lounge’s baby grand piano to really set the mood.

  Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Atlantis, Paradise Island

Where: Paradise Island, Bahamas

Over the past 20 years Atlantis, Paradise Island has seen its share of beautiful sunsets: more than 7,300, to be precise!

Tip: For extra romance, book a stay at The Cove—Atlantis’ adults-only property.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Mullins Beach

Where: West Coast, Barbados

Mullins Beach is the place to enjoy a sunset in Barbados. Home to the first genuine beach bar on Barbados’ west coast, it has kept the breezy atmosphere of the island’s heyday. Listen to authentic Bajan music and enjoy cocktails as the sun goes down—then head back to your luxe villa on the sprawling grounds of Royal Westmoreland.

Tip: Watch closely as the sun touches the horizon, this beach is renowned for visitors catching a glimpse of the elusive green flash.

 Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset  

Exclusive Resorts

Where: Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

With villas perched on the hillside above a secluded beach, Exclusive Resorts’ Real del Mar properties are perfectly located to enjoy a colourful sunset. Choose from their 15 residences that can house up to five guests—perfect for enjoying a sunset on Mexico’s Pacific coast. 

Tip: Paddle board into the sunset with lessons offered at the Real del Mar Beach Club.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC

Where: New York City, United States

Who says you need an ocean for the best sunset? Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC’s rooftop pool does the trick. Enjoy a priceless sunset over the Hudson River while taking a dip in Gansevoort’s signature pool. And, if you forget your swimsuit—don’t worry—Gansevoort’s new bikini concierge service has you covered!

Tip: Traipse on over to the new Whitney Museum, just minutes from the hotel.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Bayfield

Where: Ontario, Canada

Ranked by National Geographic as home to one of the “Top Ten Best Sunsets” in the world, Lake Huron is a place to explore for those chasing the sun. Bayfield, Ontario is home to many boutique accommodations and award-winning dining. Fall under the spell of Bayfield’s small town charm and capture the scarlet skies from the waterfront.

Tip: Take in the sunset while enjoying award-winning dining in Bayfield village.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

TradeWinds

Where: The Caribbean and abroad

While sailing onboard TradeWinds circumnavigation yacht, Wanderlust, guests never have to enjoy the same sunset twice. Sailing the seven seas, Wanderlust is travelling around the world one destination at a time, offering the most remarkable adventures for TradeWinds members and travellers alike.

Tip: Plan your trip on Wanderlust well in advance to make sure you snag a spot onboard a sailing in some of the most idyllic destinations.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Honey Harbour

Where: Georgian Bay, Canada

Another great Ontarian sunset can be found on the shores of Georgian Bay, near Lake Huron. This fiery sunset is a must-see for sunset seekers.

Tip: Pack your bags for a weekend trip as Honey Harbour is barely more than a two-hour drive from Toronto.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Silversea

Where: Worldwide

What better way to enjoy the sunset than on the water? Explore the farthest reaches of Southern Europe and soak up the breathtaking sunsets of the Mediterranean with Silversea. For all the Instagram junkies out there, you’ll be able to instantly share your sunsets thanks to Silversea’s complimentary WiFi aboard all Mediterranean voyages.

Tip: Hike the Dolomites, with Silversea, for photos that will make your heart stop.

Top 10 Places To Enjoy A Sunset

Toronto Islands

Where: Toronto, Canada

In the mood for a staycation? Grab a short 15-minute ferry to the Toronto Islands and escape the hustle and bustle of Canada’s largest city. For those not lucky enough to enjoy the sunset from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, head to Centre Island and watch Toronto’s skyline be lit up with colour.

Tip: Get lost in the newly rebuilt maze on Centre Island!

,

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Staying active while travelling can be a tricky task.

Some hotels have no fitness centres, others have one so high tech they intimidate the average vacationer. So, whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, a gym guru, or someone looking for a mind-body connection—we’ve got the perfect place for you.

From Barbados to New York City, Turks and Caicos to Paris,  herein is Siren Communications‘ guide to stay fit and workout in style while on your holiday.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Enter the Barbados Open Water Festival

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Carlisle Bay, in Barbados, is hosting the Barbados Open Water Festival (again!) from November 4th to November 8th, 2015. It is an open water swimming competition with races from 1.5k to 5k. This vast area is surrounded by crystal clear waters with perfect swimming conditions—and is not just open to competitive swimmers, there are novice swims too. This amazing hotspot is bordered by one mile of pure dusty white sand and abundant marine life. In addition, there will be Stand Up Paddle Races, Kayak Races and optional guided leisure swims for the less active participant. Prizes range from complimentary accommodation at luxury hotels, to fine dining certificates, airline tickets, electronics, tickets to island attractions and tours, along with other prizes. Alex Meyer, the elite world-class open water swimmer with major victories at the 2010 World Championship and the 2015 US Nationals, will attend the 2015 festival. On the festival’s last day, Copa Cabana Beach Bar will host an all-day beach party with a surprise DJ.

Siren’s suggestion: Stay at the nearby Hilton Barbados Resort where you can indulge in all the spectacular amenities and be spoiled by the gorgeous ocean views.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Hike the Dolomites with Silversea

Elite cruise line Silversea’s new Hike the Dolomites land program takes guests adventuring through the rugged Italian mountain range—yes, you heard us correctly. Perfect for novice and skilled hikers looking for a unique experience, the hike is part of a three-night pre- or post-cruise land extension. Hikers can set their own pace and may hike for as long as they want. Participants can spend their evenings relaxing at the Rosapetra Spa Resort, where guests have complimentary access to the resort’s heated swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, and Mediterranean and Turkish baths.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Go windsurfing at Cabarete near Gansevoort Dominican Republic, Playa Imbert

This is the perfect place for anyone who is looking to physically reboot after a harsh winter. Voted as the best spot in the Caribbean for water sports, by Private Fly, Cabarete has ideal wind conditions and reef-protected waters. Winds are the most reliable from May to August and the Cabarete area is located close to the newest member of the Gansevoort family: Gansevoort Dominican Republic, Playa Imbert. Featured activities at the hotel include kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, paddle boarding, and much more. There is also a complimentary fitness center with state-of-the-art machines and transformative classes for meditation and yoga. Thrill seekers can also hike through exotic terrain and visit natural phenomenon, with more than twenty waterfalls within driving distance of the hotel.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Boost your fitness at One&Only Palmilla

Newly renovated Los Cabos hideaway, One&Only Palmilla, has a stunning beachfront setting and mountainous desert terrain perfect for the outdoor enthusiast and adventure seeker. The luxury resort boasts an assortment of activities to boost your fitness—from their beautiful 27-hole golf course to the five flood-lit tennis courts available day and night. Guests can get their feet wet kayaking, snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins or sailing. For extreme sports experiences we suggest trying zip lining, parasailing or ATV riding—all of which are available.

Siren’s suggestion: Travelling with kids and want to keep them busy? Take advantage of the complimentary KidsOnly program, available for children ages four to eleven years old. It’s a full program of entertainment and activities, including yoga classes, beach volleyball, soccer and football, along with more activities and lessons.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Swim laps at the Ritz-Carlton, Montreal

The luxurious, five-star Ritz-Carlton Montreal is the perfect blend of contemporary design and European flair. Guests can easily maintain their shape and continue their fitness routine during their stay as the rooftop saltwater pool makes it easy for a revitalizing swim, while enjoying the stunning views of Montreal’s skyline. The pool is unique as it is heated with reclaimed energy from the hotel’s kitchen, an energy-saving initiative. The fitness centre is decked out with all the top-of-the-line equipment one could ever need (personal trainers are available upon request!). Take a stroll to Rue Saint Denis, or hop on a bike and cruise around the locale, filled with stunning architecture and sophisticated art galleries. For your best workout, head to Mount Royal Park for a jog that is sure to give you a spectacular view of the city—and a killer burn.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Go for a run at Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC and Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC

Find a new running routine and pound the pavement in New York City with Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC and Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC’s “Get Laced” package. Complete with custom running maps, GU energy gels, water bottles and cold-pressed Juice Press juices; this package has everything runners need to go the distance. Guests can relax post-run with their very own recovery kit, including bath salts and a 20 per cent discount at exhale spa to put towards some well-earned pampering. For those go-getters looking for something extra, there are plenty of triathlons happening all summer. Panasonic NYC Triathlon is an annual event where athletes take to the waters of the Hudson River before biking along Manhattan’s West Side highway. Participants finish the race by running through New York’s iconic Central Park.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Take a yoga class at Gansevoort Turks + Caicos

Gansevoort Turks + Caicos’ Exhale Spa offers their multi award-winning proprietary fitness classes on a drop-in basis, so guests can sculpt, lengthen, and transform their body, leaving stronger than when they arrived. Classes include heart-pumping core fusion barre, barre + cardio, sport, yoga, boot camp workouts and more. After working up a sweat in one of their challenging classes, centre your mind by indulging in a revitalizing spa therapy. Treatment options include acupuncture, manicures and pedicures, massages, facials, waxing and other specialty therapies. With the seamless integration of fitness and wellness options, Exhale Spa delivers an experience that will leave you feeling transformed and inspired.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Go on a stroll in Paris, France

Paris offers a variety of activities for travellers who want to keep moving during their holiday. Begin with a scenic stroll through Tuilleries Garden, an attraction that offers the perfect blend of culture and relaxation. Tuilleries Garden separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde and has two ponds with areas that are perfect for a peaceful picnic. Once you’ve fuelled up, head down the Seine River on a picturesque journey. The Seine River flows from Dijon in the Alps through Paris and is one of Europe’s great historic rivers. After a long day of exploring, it’s always nice to retreat back to your own private abode. Exclusive Resorts knows that the best way to explore the romance and glamour of the city is on foot—so a stay at one of their Parisian residences is an absolute must. With properties peppered throughout the city—perfect for the busy traveller—these apartment-style suites and condos make it easy to experience this magical city in style.

Stay Active With These 10 Adventures

Free your mind and body at The Ranch

The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu is the ideal holiday for the active traveller. In its one-week luxury boot camp, guests have the opportunity to gain physical endurance, shed weight and detox in a healthy and sustainable way. Get out of the city and back to nature at this lush resort that combines consistent, rewarding physical activity with relaxation, rest and personal transformation. At the Ranch, a short stay produces long-term benefits. Daily group fitness routines are led by skilled staff members and include activities such as group hiking, ab-workout, weights and yoga. This hard work is balanced with private afternoon massages and daily naps (yes, you heard correctly). Visitors are sure to leave with a lasting sense of wellness, happiness and serenity.

LA

See the sights in Los Angeles, California

Canada’s leading tour operator gives travellers access to thousands of fun activities and excursions while on holiday. Active breaks come in all shapes and sizes with Air Canada Vacations, which offers options for water sports, fitness and wellness enthusiasts alike. Planning on visiting Los Angeles this summer? No trip to LA is complete without a stop at the infamous Hollywood sign. Skip the drive and hike into the Hollywood Hills on a guided morning, afternoon or sunset tour. Marvel at the panoramic views of the city and learn about the sign’s incredible history before heading to your last stop—the iconic Griffith Park Observatory. Track your steps between each sightseeing attraction with the FitBit and Apple Watch so you can clock your walk in all the best urban centres.

RCYC-PanAm2

Don’t want to go far? Visit the Royal Canadian Yacht Club!

Sometimes the perfect holiday can be found sitting on your doorstep. With some of the best staycation options here in Toronto, you don’t have to trek far for that much-needed break. Take advantage of all the extra energy you’ll save from staying local and head over to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club for an afternoon paddle or to watch one of the many sailing competitions taking place at RCYC during Toronto 2015 Pan Am Parapan Am Games. Rent a canoe or kayak and cruise around the waters of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. Afterwards, then treat your tired arms to some relaxation at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto. Extend your staycation in a spacious guest room (or suite!) designed for ultimate comfort and luxury.

,

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

With the first sights of spring finally here, all of us at Siren are dreaming of the days soon to come where we can grab an inflatable tube and float around staring at the beauty of summer. After all, what better way is there to take in a gorgeous view than from the comfort of a pool chair? We’ve rounded up our 12 favourite pools offering plungers the most stunning of views—from private paradises to metropolitan marvels.

Don’t forget to pack some sunscreen!

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

The Crane

Where: St. Philip, Barbados

With five outdoor pools to choose from and private plunge pools available in guest suites, The Crane Resort offers guests a lot of pools with a lot of views. Take a dip in the cliff-side Lagoon Pool, a multi-pool complex of four different pools combined into one—including a wading pool for kids and a waterfall pool. Want something even more spectacular? Visit the iconic Crane Beach Pool, overlooking the best beach in the Caribbean.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC

Where: New York, United States

It’s simple: the higher you are, the better the view. And at Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC, guests can soak in the sight of the Empire State building from 20 storeys above Manhattan, while taking a lap in the mesmerising rooftop pool. Heated, and open year-round for guests to enjoy the breathtaking city views, the pool area boasts a collapsible garage door allowing passage between the interior and exterior. The view is quite exquisite underwater as well! Take a dip and say hello to Gansevoort’s mosaic 1940s pin-up temptress who loves to keep guests company while they swim.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Exclusive Resorts Villa in the Jungle

Where: Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

On the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica, lush jungles and dreamy beaches long to be seen by guests of Exclusive Resorts’ Peninsula Papagayo villa. It would be hard for anyone to say no to a private infinity-edge pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean, spectacular beaches and monkey-filled canopies, hidden in a luxurious cliff-side residence with incredible members-only amenities available. It’s calling for you!

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

One&Only Palmilla

Where: Los Cabos, Mexico

One&Only Palmilla has become legendary among luxury vacationers. A haven of refined tranquility, One&Only Palmilla has built its reputation on offering an experience elevated enough for the celebrities and luxury travellers alike. Revel in the dramatic shoreline—where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez—while enjoying the new features (fresh from the re-open!) and award-winning amenities the resort is offering, including One&Only Palmilla’s multiple infinity-edge pools and the Vista Pool, featuring waterfalls and a swim-up bar.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Gansevoort Dominican Republic, Playa Imbert

Where: Sosua, Dominican Republic

Soak in the views under the DR sun while relaxing at Gansevoort Dominican Republic, Playa Imbert’s three-tiered cascading infinity pools, featuring unobstructed views of Playa Imbert’s crescent-shaped white sand beach. Named one of the best places to travel in 2015 by Travel + Leisure, Gansevoort Playa Imbert has also opened a new adults-only pool for guests to enjoy the beauty of the ocean, undisturbed.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Ritz-Carlton Montreal

Where: Montreal, Canada

The swimming lounge on the rooftop of the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, is the perfect escape for guests. Uniquely heated with reclaimed energy from the hotel’s kitchen, the saltwater pool is not only a relaxing way to spend an evening, but one of the Ritz-Carlton’s energy-saving initiatives as well. Stunning views of the Montreal skyline can be seen from inside or out—from the terrace—and guests can also relax inside the sauna.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Marina Bay Sands

Where: Singapore

Swim on top of the world at Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool, located 57 storeys above the ground. As the world’s highest infinity pool ever made, the pool stretches 150 metres across Sands SkyPark and offers the best, unobstructed views of the Singapore skyline. There’s a reason basically every photo of this pool takes your breath away.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Ohla Hotel

Where: Barcelona, Spain

In the centre of Barcelona, the 74-room, 5-star Ohla Hotel entices guests with a unique glazed swimming pool and the most spectacular view of the entire city. On the top floor of the building, private cabanas and lounge chairs around the pool offer guests the chance to soak in some Spanish sun while enjoying the magic of Barcelona. With a variety of exclusive hotel amenities to be enjoyed, in the cultural mecca that is Barcelona, Ohla makes for the perfect retreat from the bustling tourist areas.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Tierra Patagonia

Where: Torres del Paine, Chile

Immerse yourself in the south of Chile at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa, where culture, history, authentic experiences and relaxation await. The distinct Uma Spa offers steam baths, sauna and a heated indoor pool with expansive views of the breathtaking Lake Sarmiento and the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park. Named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978, Tierra Patagonia lies just on the edge of the Park.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Shoreditch House

Where: London, United Kingdom

The Shoreditch House in London has a rooftop pool that will make you feel like royalty. Surrounded by plants and fully heated, guests are immersed in the sights of London (ahem, the Gherkin and the Shard!) from the 16-metre, blue-tiled pool—open year-round with daybeds, umbrellas and blankets available for guests. Keep calm and swim on!

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

La Purificadora

Where: Puebla, Mexico

Water is essential to life, and Mexico’s La Purificadora knows this well. The hotel, located in the historic centre of Puebla, the fourth-largest city in Mexico, was built out of a late 19th-century factory used to purify water for the production of ice. Today, the terrace and remarkable infinity pool is the perfect place to soak in the view of the Church of San Francisco or the hotel’s surrounding gardens.

12 Hotel Pools With A Serious View

Fasano Rio

Where: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

With unparalleled, panoramic views of Ipanema beach (Rio de Janeiro’s sexiest stretch of sand!), Arporador, the Morro Dois Irmãos and the Corcovado Mountain—the rooftop of the Fasano Rio, part of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel portfolio, is one of our team’s favourites. Take in the sights from the exclusive, heated marble infinity, while enjoying a wide array of fresh-squeezed juices, cocktails and al fresco dining from the rooftop bar.

,

Grape Expectations: 6 Crush-Worthy Hotels

Oh, the bounty of the harvest… The ink-black Sangiovese, regal purple pinot noir and the plump pearl of a chardonnay.

We’re all about the mighty grape this time of year – gathering, stomping and, of course, sipping the fruits of all that labour. Even better if there’s a rolling vineyard view to go with that vintage, like the ones spied from the mod Cottages of Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn (pictured above).

Where to swill right now? We’ve selected some of our best boutique hotels for oenophiles, set on working vineyards or in top-notch wine regions from Sonoma to Tuscany. Cheers, cent’anni, santé… it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Mr and Mrs Smith California Hotel

H2 Hotel: California Wine Country, United States

Green, by nature

Setting the eco-conscious standard in Sonoma, the H2 Hotel has sleek, wood-floored modern rooms in muted earth tones that are fashioned and furnished from sustainable materials. Bath products are locally made and guests are encouraged to refill reusable bottles with still or sparkling water from a bar on each floor. The living roof is rich with succulents and a protected stream runs next-door. The talented chef at the hip restaurant is a veteran of the French Laundry and the bar serves cocktails created from local ingredients. Smith Extra: Two cocktails at Spoonbar.

Wine retreats and villas in Tuscany, Italy

Conti di San Bonifacio Wine Resort: Tuscany, Italy

Restyled rustic farmhouse

Presiding over a swathe of rolling green Tuscan lands, Conti di San Bonifacio hotel is a restored stone villa whose surrounding farm and vineyards provide most of the ingredients for your meals. Taste wine straight from the source and revel in relaxed rooms with designer-pedigreed polish. If you’re feeling especially Italian, hire the whole five-room farmhouse and make like a master vintner. Smith Extra: Two glasses of Conti Di San Bonifacio Estate prosecco and a platter of cold meats.

Wine in Spain, and hotels in spain

Mirabó de Valldemossa: Mallorca, Spain

Sun-kissed 16th-century olive farm

A picturesque 16th-century olive farm on Mallorca, Mirabó de Valldemossa hotel boasts a breathtaking array of views out over the surrounding mountains from its sun-flooded rooms and stone terraces. Apart from the peaceful historic village nearby, you’ll feel like you’ve found your own private wilderness – if, of course, living off the beaten path included nine romantic rooms, a palm-fringed outdoor pool, welcoming service and aromatic gardens. Smith Extra: A bottle of red, white or rosé from the hotel’s vineyard.

Wine hotels in Provence France

Photo: @http://runninginheels.com/

Domaine des Roullets: Vaucluse (Provence), France

Historic homestay

A rustic-chic retreat at the foot of the Luberon Mountains, Domaine les Roullets hotel in Vaucluse is the perfect Provençal pied-a-terre. With Roman roots, mediaeval history and buckets of charm, this special Maison d’hôtes also offers pristine grounds, stylishly subtle decor, armfuls of intriguing art and objets trouvés, plus panoramic views to die for. Smith Extra: A bottle of Domaine les Roullets’ own organic red wine.

Wine hotels and tours in Portugal

Herdade da Malhadinha Nova: Alentejo, Portugal

Wine and wicker

Home to a working winery, serene spa and remarkable restaurant, Herdade da Malhadinha Nova hotel is a sense-stimulating experience in the Portuguese countryside. You can sample local wines, go for a dip in the infinity pool or taste creations from the mind of a stellar chef – all with the golden backdrop of Alentejo. Smith Extra: 10 per cent off in the spa and restaurant, and a jar of home-made jam to take home.

Wine country California

Farmhouse Inn: California Wine Country, United States

Romantic Ranch

Nestled away outside Healdsburg in the winery-packed Russian River Valley, the Farmhouse Inn hotel greets guests with laid-back Sonoma friendliness and natural beauty. Understatedly luxurious rooms are the perfect place for romantics to hide away, but you’d be missing out if you stayed inside, when on-site offerings include a wrap-around porch, pool and spa, fire pit and superb farm-to-table Michelin-starred restaurant. It’s the perfect base for busy days out exploring wine country. Smith Extra: A bottle of Russian River Valley wine on arrival, and a VIP wine-tasting pass for two, redeemable at 15 partner wineries.

,

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Romantic getaways aren’t always that romantic when you’re surrounded by lots of little Smiths. In these couples’ hotels, we guarantee they’ll be no screaming babies or over-energetic toddlers to spoil your style. Whether you’re craving a relaxing rural retreat or balmy beach escape, we’ve scoured the Smith collection to bring you the best boutique boltholes, just for grown-ups.

In these couples’ hotels, we guarantee they’ll be no screaming babies or over-energetic toddlers to spoil your style. Whether you’re craving a relaxing rural retreat or balmy beach escape, we’ve scoured the Smith collection to bring you the best boutique boltholes, just for grown-ups.

Do not disturb.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Photo at top of story also of The Balé

The Balé: Bali, Indonesia

Zen and sensibility

Zen-inspired buildings of light brick and unobtrusive glass soothe the senses at The Balé hotel, a serene Balinese sanctuary that feels more Japanese than Indonesian. With clean-lined, simple interiors, high levels of service and a no-children policy, this is the ultimate resort for luxury-loving lovers looking for a little peace and quiet.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

The Australasian Circa 1858: Fleurieu Peninsula, Australia

Heritage bones, mod-Asian heart

A symphony of light-filled spaces and Asian-inspired decor greets the guest at The Australasian Circa 1858 boutique hotel in the Fleurieu Peninsula, a restored sandstone pub in the seaside town of Goolwa. There are no more beers on tap here though, just five individually styled rooms and a chic restaurant where chef and co-owner Juliet Michell prepares a nightly Asian-inspired menu.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Ponta Dos Ganjos: Santa Catarina, Brazil

Jet-set jungle bungalows

Hiding amongst the tropical thickets and oyster farms of Santa Catarina, Ponta dos Ganchos hotel is a relaxed rainforest retreat of shimmering sunsets and secluded beaches. Should you tire of sipping caipirinhas by the infinity pool or lounging on your private deck, this exclusive paradise has plenty of play left with its games room, cinema, and a restorative spa, too.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Hotel Icon: Hong Kong, China

Home-grown Hong Kong

At Hotel Icon in vibrant Kowloon, you can split your time between admiring the stash of contemporary Chinese art, the food served in the trio of restaurants, and the sweeping views of Victoria Harbour. The hotel is owned by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, used as a research facility and staffed by bright young things: expect a stay that’s edifying and enjoyable in equal measures.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Ksar Char-Bagh: Marrakech, Morocco

Palatial comfort

More guest palace than guesthouse, Ksar Char-Bagh hotel in Marrakech’s post-Palmeraie neighbourhood is an Alhambra-like retreat surrounded by nearly 10 acres of grounds. Far too big on first glance to contain just 13 rooms, this ode to calm Moorish style makes use of a neutral colour palette that is a peaceful contrast to nearby souks. Attention to detail reigns here: engraved silver keys, house-made toiletries and fragrant candles all up a delight for the senses.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Can Simoneta: Mallorca, Spain

21st-century farmhouse

Clinging to a clifftop near Capdepera in Mallorca, the historic Can Simoneta hotel strikes the perfect balance between traditional Mediterranean hospitality and contemporary island getaway. In addition to close proximity to both the island’s beaches and golf courses, this secluded farmhouse offers massages under pine trees and a Jacuzzi overlooking the ocean below.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Sir Albert: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Diamond geezer

The host of Sir Albert hotel in Amsterdam might be fictitious, but you’ll definitely feel his thoughtful presence during your stay at this discreet former diamond factory. His genteel touch is everywhere, from the refined Japanese food in Izakaya to the atmospheric interiors and the impressive selection of books in the study.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Headland House: Cornwall, United Kingdom

Beaches and cream

This homey Headland House B&B hotel sits in the lovely seaside town of St Ives in Cornwall. The spectacular views of Carbis Bay are certainly the draw, but the bright, cosy rooms, the well-tended garden with hammock and home-made cake and sherry make a stay here all the more inviting.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Kurà: Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Minimalist jungle bungalows

High above Uvita, Kurà hotel has bird’s-eye views of the Pacific Ocean and dense tropical jungles. The contemporary open-plan suites feel like they’re tucked into the hillside, and the saltwater infinity pool really does look like it continues forever into the Costa Rican horizon.

10 Romantic Retreats For Adults

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa: California Wine Country, United States

Classic country casual

A charming clapboard home in Napa Valley, set on a picture-perfect plot right on the lush banks of the Napa River, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa hotel is an idyllic base from which to explore the vineyard-ridden Silverado Trail. That said, with its organic spa, giant hydrotherapy tubs and regular visits from local winemakers offering tastes and selling their wares, you might not feel the need to leave the property at all.