Panama Hotel Review: Bocas del Toro

Panama Hotel Review: Bocas del Toro

Island Plantation is a hidden gem that sits on the outskirts of the otherwise tourist-saturated island of Bocas del Toro. Island Plantation isn’t just a hotel, but more of a sanctuary where everything is focused on the experience.

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Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites: A Weekend Getaway

Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites

Fall. That time of the year for me, and many others, where summer bliss has faded away, and the winter blues and it’s associated stressors begin to creep in. It’s that time where the weather starts to change before you’re ready, and work inevitably seems to get more stressful. This of course, is a compelling story that screams vacation and the necessity to temporarily escape. The reality is, however, that not everyone can afford to take off for a week before the busy Christmas season, which makes a staycation the perfect solution. For most city dwellers, their first thought would be to venture over to Niagara or somewhere up north to experience the serenity of the countryside. But sometimes, these options can be costly and time consuming to plan.

Enter Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites.

 

Just fifteen kilometres north of the downtown core, the Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites has a large property that takes guests away from all of the chaos, coining itself as an Urban Oasis. Though it’s main specialty was once Conference hosting, it has evolved into so much more than that. I had the pleasure of getting some quality R&R at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel, where I indulged in the many amenities and treats that made me feel like I was truly on vacation, and here’s why:

Location, Location, Location

Not too far from Downtown Toronto
Not too far from Downtown Toronto

The TDV is situated on the outskirts of the city to provide the ultimate resort-like atmosphere with an injection of urban lifestyle to its guests. At a good distance from the hustle and bustle of the city, guests can actually feel like they are escaping, but without the hassle of a long drive to rural areas.

Surrounding the TDV are the Shops at Don Mills – a superior outdoor shopping centre bustling with restaurants, cafes, premium shops, and a movie theatre. If you really want to escape urban life however, fear not – the TDV neighbours the Flemington Park Golf Club and the Charles Sauriol Conservation Area, ideal for the adventurous type who enjoy the outdoors and prefer to do something active.

Pamper Yourself

The Toronto Don Valley Hotel has an indoor and outdoor pool. In the summer, one can lounge by the pool and bask under the sun while sipping cocktails. On the other hand, the stunning indoor pool should not to be missed. A large circular pool, encased in floor to ceiling glass creates the unique and picturesque environment of swimming below the falling leaves or snow-capped trees. Though you won’t need to warm up after taking a dip in the heated indoor pool, it never hurts to soak in the hot tub as well. If this seems a bit too sedentary, and you feel like exerting some energy, try their fully equipped fitness centre.

Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indulge Your Taste Buds

No experience is complete without a delicious meal, and the hotel’s DV Bar I Bistro is certainly prepared to satisfy your palate. I had the pleasure of indulging in a three-course meal starting with Ahi Tuna Tataki salad, followed by the traditional Steak & Frites, and topped off with a delectable chocolate mousse cake to satisfy my overbearing sweet tooth. Couple that with a glass of Pinot Noir, and I was in Heaven.

Sleep like a King

Toronto Don Valley’s newly renovated rooms are something to admire. Not your typical pint-sized room crammed with two double beds, the TDV provides plenty of space to ensure your overnight stay is cozy and luxurious. I was particularly impressed with the modern furniture and interior design. The king-sized bed was like sleeping on a cloud, which made the wall-mounted plasma screen TV even better for viewing. The room was so big that it almost seemed like it had a separate living room space with a lovely upholstered single loveseat, a lamp, and a small table – perfect for a morning read and coffee.

Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites
Photo Courtesy of Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites

 

So, all in all, mission accomplished:

I left the Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites feeling refreshed and revitalized.

 

The cherry on top was that I didn’t have to sit through a long car ride, or wait in pesky airport lines to get home, as I was only a short car ride away. I think I found my new go-to for future weekend getaways or one-night escapes!

 

 

Brazil Hotel Review: Iguacu Falls

Brazil Hotel Review: Iguacu Falls

Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Destination: Iguaçu Falls, Brazil

Hotel Name: Rafain Palace Hotel & Convention Centre

Type: Resort, Family Hotels

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My Luxurious Stay at Phi Phi Hotel

My Luxurious Stay at Phi Phi Hotel

Koh Phi Phi.JPG


I had just arrived on Koh Phi Phi island, and I was exhausted. The very thought of trudging around the island with my oversized backpack in search of a hostel made me grouchy. As I tried to figure out which direction to start walking in, my oversized backpack and I stood in the middle of the walkway inconsiderately forcing the pedestrian traffic to maneuver around me. And then I looked up, and problem solved! I found myself at the foot of the steps of the most glorious accommodation I had seen in months, Phi Phi Hotel.

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Sleeping for $2 in Bangkok

Sleeping for $2 in Bangkok

It was my second time in Bangkok, and I had just arrived at 11pm, totally exhausted after the long haul from Koh Phi Phi Island. Flashing fluorescent city lights were blinding me, and the irritating combination of horns and nightclub base rang in my ear as I sat in the back of a squeaky tuk tuk in New York City style gridlock. I could see Khao San Road in the distance, so I tapped the driver on the shoulder and asked him to let me out, figuring it would be much faster to walk. Fatigue started to set in, and my backpack felt like it had doubled in weight as I searched for a place to stay. I got a sudden whiff of Indian food, so I let my stomach lead the way. About half a block later I ended up in front of the Rainbow Hostel and Guesthouse, which had an Indian restaurant in its lobby. My mouth began to water as I shuffled around some patrons to get to the desk in the back.

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