Experiences: Go Somewhere Special

This week, I’m focusing on Experiences.
I was invited to attend the product launch of Sunquest’s Experiences at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Here’s my interview/ facebook “live” post with Erminia Nigro of Travel Brands.

Sunquest’s tag line for their new Experiences product is “Go Somewhere Special, Do Something Memorable.”  

And that’s pretty cool.
As Sunquest notes in their new brochure, “Our ‘sun’ packages are simply wonderful, and we appreciate how many vacationers love them; however, we also know that many travellers yearn to try something a little different, but don’t always have the confidence to arrange or seek out these voyages. That’s why we’ve developed our new line of Experiences by Sunquest. We want to offer our travellers another option, another type of vacation package, something they’ve never done before but have always wanted to. Our team has gone beyond the classic beach resorts to put together 8 collections of remarkable hotels and cruises in destinations not normally associated with Sunquest. While these offerings may seem like typical packages, these one-of-a-kind getaways are anything but ordinary, and are unlike anything we’ve ever done before.
Here are their 8 categories or collections.
1. Something Different

When the mainstream won’t do, and you’re looking for something a little more unique, you’ll find it here. These hotels are distinctive and interesting. Each wanting you to love your accommodation experience, but also dive into their famed destinations and explore, learn, love, and repeat.
One spot I love in this set is Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia.
Other spots are Boucan by hotel Chocolat in Saint Lucia , Port Ferdinand luxury in Barbados, Turquoize Experience at Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Xinalani Retreat Mexico, Art Hotel in Colombia, Parador de Malaga Golf in Spain, and The Old Course Hotel in UK.
2. Back to Nature 
Break free from your everyday stresses and routine, and surround yourself with the beauty that is nature. The hotels, lodges, and resorts featured in this collection are tucked into settings that are unrivaled in both their uniqueness and beauty. Each one is a master of its location, allowing you the vacationer to become fully engrossed in its stunning location.
One spot I love is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. 
Other spots are Long Bay each in BVI, The Palm Island in St. Vincent, The Explorean Cozumel, Majahuitas in Mexico, The Fairmonts Banff Springs/ Chateau Lake Louise/ Chateau Whistler, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Parador de Cangas de Onis in Spain.
3. Historic
Sending our imaginations swirling with thoughts, and historic dreams of ancient lives, historic hotels are exciting, thought provoking, and romantic at times. They vary in shape and size, and are most often housed in captivating buildings such as palaces and castles. They’re truly inspired, and provide some of the most unmatched experiences available. 
A spot I love if Half Moon Jamaica. Here’s a video from my stay there in June, and a tour of a villa.
Other spots include Colony Club in Barbados, Graycliff in Bahamas, SOnesta Kura in Curacao, Fairmonts Chateau Frontenac/ Montebello in Quebec, The Lodge at Torrey Pines in California, The Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider in Oahu, Hotel Quadrifolio/ Casa San Agustin/ Sofitel Legend Santa Clara in Colombia
, The Savoy/ Ritz London/ royal Horseguards in UK, Hoel Regina/ Le Meurice/ Four Seasons George V in France, St Regis Grand/ Hotel Bernini Palace/ Helvetia and Bristol in Italy, the Paradors de Leon/ Santiago de Compostela/ Santo Domingo de Calzada/ Jaen/ Tortosa/ Hondarrbia in Spain, Casa Fuster and Ritz Madrid in Spain, and Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.
I have stayed at many of these hotels, but the Sofitel Santa Clara stands out. Here’s a video of my visit to Colombia and blog about the Santa Clara. https://lushlife.ca/2015/02/sofitel-legend-santa-clara-cartagena/
4. Luxury
Beacons of opulence and elegance, luxury hotels and resorts stand out amongst the competition. They are sprawling palaces or intimate boutiques; you’ll find them beachfront, city-centre, and tucked into private islands. No matter which destination you choose, when you select a luxury hotel you’ll be ensured service that goes beyond the expected, to be extraordinary.

One spot I love is Jamaica Inn. I stayed there in June, and had lunch with sales manager Nicole Henry when she visited Ottawa last week. If you’d like to stay in the White Suite (made famous by Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe), or stay in an exception one or two-bedroom cottage, or another suite, let me know.
Other spots include Round Hill in Jamaica, Abaco Club at Winding Bay and the Cove in Bahamas, Paradis Beach Nevis, Spice Island in Grenada, Capella Marigot Bay in St Lucia, The Crane/ Saint Peter’s/ The House in Barbados, Blue Waters in Antigua, The Palms T&C, Boase in Curacao, Zoetry Paraiso in Mexico with La Casa Que Canta and Capella Ixtapa, Fairmont Scottsdale, For Seasons Bogota and Casa Medina in Colombia, Claridges in UK, Prince de Galles in France, Hotel Principe in Italy, and El Palace and Villa Magna in Spain.
5.Incredible Rooms
Fairmont Mayakoba
Fairmont Mayakoba
Seeking a truly inspired space for your next getaway? Search no further. In this collection we’ve selected the most magnificent hideaways. There are rooms floating over the water, and ones with pools ‘in the sky’; we have romantic in-Suite whirlpools, private gardens, and houses on top-rated beaches. These are places of undeniable opulence and beauty, places that are beyond compare.
A spot I love is the Fairmont Mayakoba. Here’s a video of my visit this October.
Other spots include Sandals Regency & Grande St Lucian in St Lucia, La Source in Grenada and Grande Antigua , Beaches T&C, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Dreams Puero Aventuras in Mexico along with Secrets Silversands and Akumal. Other spots include Beloved and Finest Playa Mujeres. The Hard Rocks in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Vallarta, Punta Cana. The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, Disney’s Polynesian, and the Iberostars Grand Hoels Paraiso/ Rose Hall, and Bavaro.
6. Amazing Views
Dramatic peaks soaring over pristine beaches; ancient-tiled rooftops framed by stunning monumets; these are teh vistas that stay with us; the ones we search out when selecting a hotel or resort. Each of these properties has been selected for their unrivaled panoramas over their gorgeous settings. No two are alike, you’ll find historic gems, modern luxury, and laid-back elegance. he only thing these hotels have in common: their views are unmatched.
A spot that I love and have stayed is the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort in Kauai.Other spots include the Cliff in Jamaica, Jade Mountain in St Lucia, Hermitage Bay in Antigua, Coral Sands in Bahamas, Palazzo Manfedi/ Grand Hotel Plaza/ Hotel Danieli/ and Gritti Palace in Italy, Parador de Toledo and Arcos de la Frontera in Spain.
7. Amazing Islands
The combination of silky-smooth beaches, vibrant jewel-toned ocean waves, and stately palms swaying tin the breeze is simply divine, no matter where you land. While yes, every floating paradise is heavenly, we have found a few places scattered throughout the Caribbean that are delightfully sumptuous in their idyllic settings.
The spots chosen are all in Bahamas in the Exuma Islands. They are Hilton Bimini, Abaco Beach, Grand Isle, nd Valentine’s Resort.
Not all cruises are created equal, there are some that stand out from their sea-faring competition with unique ports of call, or enviable onboard amenities. The cruises within this brochure go above and beyond, crafting vacations that will leave you counting the days til your next sailing adventure.
The lines included are Carnival Cruise’s Vista, Celebrity’s Galapagos, Holland America’s Billboard Music, NCL’s The Haven, and Fanthom Impact along with Vantage Deluxe World Travel.
Sunquest’s Experiences offers a way to look at something besides the all-inclusive holidays that wrap hotel with air and transfers. I remember meeting a luxury hotelier at International Luxury Travel Mart in Mexico last year, and he bemoaned the fact that few Canadians knew they existed – mostly because they were outside the range of the typical all-inclusive holiday range that Air Canada Vacations and Westjet offered (in the $50-100/night all-inclusive hotel range). He felt (and i agreed) that his hotel offered superlative experiences, yet few Canadians knew it existed. As a Virtuoso travel advisor, of course, I offer his hotel and many others to my Canadians clients – but – with the Canadian dollar state of affairs, it sometimes falls off the radar pretty quickly. What’s neat about the Sunquest product is that is is in Canadian dollars – so, now we can book luxury hotels in Canadian dollars, and you’ll know upfront what your costs are. Most hotels offer meal plan add ons too. (Although if it’s a Virtuoso hotel, I would always check for clients the best way to book things to ensure best amenities and/or price point.)
Let me know if you’d like to explore more!
Best regards,