Planning the perfect Girls Getaway

It’s been literally forever since you’ve caught up with your besties over Mai Tais or manicures, hasn’t it? Well, now’s the time to start planning your reunion tour! Whether your girl group is into chilling, shopping, adventuring, eating, drinking, or a little bit of everything – let this list of luxurious locales inspire your next long weekend away with the ladies. 

 

PALM SPRINGS  

Pools and palm trees, what more does a girl need? Palm Springs is an oasis of quirk, kitsch, and cool in the California desert. Take a self-guided tour of some of PS’s most photogenic and colourful front doors. Sip on a famous date milkshake from the State Fare Bar + Kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. And don’t forget to pack a fun floaty for that perfect pool pic. 

Photo by Visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

PORTO 

Calling all food and wine lovers! Perched  on the Douro River, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city and the world’s most famous  producer of Port wine. Become a connoisseur with endless options for Port tastings and tours. Explore the labyrinthine cobbled streets of the Ribeira District, revel in the vibrant nightlife, and eat to your heart’s content with local dishes like Bacalhau, cod prepared every which way; Francesinha, a baked sandwich; and Queijo da Serra da Estrela, a regional cheese. 

DUBLIN 

Of course, when visiting the Irish capital you have to hit the highlights like Temple Bar, Trinity College, and the Guinness Storehouse. But Dublin has a glamorous side too! Stroll Henry Street with its chic boutiques, shops, and Arnotts department store. Spend the day luxuriating at The Shelbourne Hotel’s spa before meeting for a lavish afternoon tea at The Merrion, or climb aboard the Vintage Tea Tour for a sweet ride that combines a guided tour of the city with high tea. At night, you can’t miss the live music and pub culture that Dublin is known for – Sláinte!

Story by Ashley Rochefort

Which Bahamian Villa is right for you?

Canadian cottagers know that summer is for relaxing and reconnecting with friends and family in the forested countryside. But as temperatures drop, why not trade Canada’s snowy pines for the azure water and white sands of The Bahamas? To keep the cottage vibes alive well into the winter, we offer our picks for the properties that blend familiar cottage comfort with the warm splendour of the Caribbean. 

Located just off a massive barrier reef, KAMALAME CAY is a charming collective of cottages, bungalows, and beachside villas scattered across 97 acres of private island paradise. With proximity to jungle gardens, world-class beaches, and the resort’s own premier amenities, each of Kamalame Cay’s 20 properties offers a slice of Bahamian bliss infused with Caribbean flair and complete with modern amenities.

Villa at Kamalame Cay

A stunning collection of luxury villas just minutes from downtown Nassau, the prestigious PALM CAY community boasts golf, spas, and its very own marina on 69 acres of immaculate tropical sprawl. Palm Cay Rentals has properties for families of all sizes, from cozy one- bedroom waterfront apartments to magnificently appointed four- bedroom colonial villas. 

Palm Cay

The island of Eleuthera is known for its sandbars, marvelous pink sand beaches,and quaint colonial architecture. Nothing showcases the soul of Eleuthera quite like the GOVERNOR’S HARBOUR COLLECTION, an assortment of lavish homes, apartments, and cottages nestled  between the beach and town.

The grounds. Photo by Governor's Harbour Collection

THE BEST OF “Bubble Travel “

QUESTION:

What’s better than spending time with your family-and-friend bubble in Muskoka?

ANSWER:

Taking the Holiday of a lifetime with your bubble to that bucket-list destination you have always dreamed about!

The term “bubble travel,” referring to travellers who want the safety and security of travelling within their own trusted circle of family and friends, may have emerged from pandemic life, but Goway Travel, one of North America’s most experienced travel companies, has been specializing in private guided journeys, personalized vacations, and tailor-made tours to exotic destinations for more than 50 years.  

“My best ever vacations have been with our family and close friends,” says Bruce Hodge, founder and president of Goway Travel. “When our children were teenagers, we did a private-guided, personalized safari with friends – just us, our two families – in Botswana. It was magical. Then there was the private villa in Tuscany, the jungles of Ecuador combined with a Galapagos cruise, and a river cruise in Myanmar where we were swarmed by locusts one evening. Just a few of the wonderful places and interesting experiences we have been fortunate to share with family and friends.” 

After more than a year of lockdown and with an end to travel restrictions in sight, isn’t it time to start planning your ultimate pandemic payback trip? Well, when you’re ready to travel again, Goway is ready to help. Contact your favourite travel professional or a Destination Specialist at Goway (1-800-387-8850 or info@goway.com) and be sure to mention “Muskoka challenge.” 

GET INSPIRED

Looking for a little inspiration? Visit goway.com for a list of all the world-wide destinations Goway offers. In the meantime, here are a few of our top travel ideas to whet your appetite for travel: 

DESTINATIONS TO BRAG ABOUT

Like Easter Island, Chile; Papua New Guinea; Arnhemland, Australia; Komodo Island, Indonesia; and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda.

ULTIMATE ISLANDS ESCAPES

To Tahiti, the Maldives, Bali, or the Greek islands.

BOUTIQUE & PRIVATE CRUISING

In the Fiji islands, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, or the Galapagos Islands.

PRIVATE LUXURY SAFARIS

In east and southern Africa, in Australia’s Outback, or across India.

DIFFERENT RIVER CRUISES

On the Amazon, Mekong, and River Nile by Dahabiya.

LUXURY & UNIQUE TRAIN JOURNEYS

On the Venice Simplon Orient Express, Eastern & Oriental Express, Tsar’s Gold Trans Siberia, Pride of Africa, and the Indian Pacific.

MEET BRUCE!

Bruce, a young research economist from Australia, became a tour guide in Europe, where he met his future wife, Claire, from South Africa – soon after (1970), they immigrated to Canada and started Goway Travel. One of their ultimate highlight trips was personally escorting a 30-day luxury Cape-to-Cairo journey in 2016. The Hodge family owns a cottage on Lake Rosseau.

Summer Sippers

Splash a little Chablis in your glass and take a sip. Suddenly you’re in France. Same holds true for Champagne, Rioja, Barbaresco, and all the rest—wines that take you to these fabulous places. Pair the wine with food from the same region and things get really trippy. Enjoy a little European escape with these six smart summer sippers and suggested nibblies.

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PROVENCE ROSÉ AND TAPENADE

Score: 90 | $19.15

For a taste of the South of France, enjoy the 2020 Carte Noire Rosé from Provence, France (Vintages Essential 319384). This pale coral blend of Grenache and Cinsault swirls with delicate  flavours ofripe red fruit laced lightly with  wet stones, dried herbs, and green olive.

Pair it with tapenade — an olive and anchovy spread seasoned with capers, garlic, and lemon — spread on small pieces of toasted bread, and bring the Côte d’Azur to you. 

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CHABLIS AND OYSTERS

Score: 91 | $32.80

Staying in France, head north to Burgundy for the 2019 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Drouhin-Vaudon (LCBO 284026). In Chablis, the grapevines grow in soil rich in Kimmeridgean clay, which produces a stony, slightly saline-style Chardonnay, shimmering with crisp acidity. And this bottle is a prime example. Each sip is silky, seamless, and scented with seashells.

Pair this beautiful Chablis with oysters, lobster, or any fish dish at all. The match is pure perfection.  

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CHAMPAGNE AND SMOKED SALMON

Score: 92 | $57.50

For a brilliant bubbly, pour the NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne from France (LCBO 537605). Each glass shines straw-coloured with golden inflections, while tiny bubbles bead to the surface. The attack engages instantly with the fragrance and flavours of buttery brioche, baked apple, and a touch of almond. Elegant, quenching, and dry.

Serve this Champagne with smoked salmon on toast points for a little je ne sais quoi in the afternoon. Or add a salad and suddenly you’ve got lunch. 

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BARBARESCO AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO

Score: 90 | $29.95

Head to Piedmont in northern Italy with the 2017 Castello di Neive Barbaresco DOCG (Vintages Essential 160143). This pale expression of the Nebbiolo grape fans out with gorgeous, elegant complexity. It’s whispered with violet and earth, cherries and chocolate, and blackberries and olive, forming a sheer, allusive tapestry of flavour that is fabulously food friendly.

Pour this Italian classic with a bowl of mushroom risotto or kick it up a notch with shaved truffles, truffled cheese, or even a drizzle of good-quality truffle oil on top.

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RIOJA RESERVA AND MANCHEGO

Score: 93 | $27.45

Skip over to Spain with a glass of the gorgeous 2015 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva (LCBO 32656). From the muted aromas of vanilla and cherry-cola to the generous sweep of smooth flavour, this wine offers immediate pleasure. It is a cashmere crush of black cherry, burnt sugar, and cola nut—but dry—before tapering to a long finish of rubbed oregano.

For a touch of Spanish charm, serve this Rioja Reserva with some slivers of Manchego cheese. Crackers optional.

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AMONTILLADO WITH MARCONA ALMONDS

Score: 93 | $17.95

Or take a trip to southern Spain with a sip of Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado (Vintages Essential 375097). This fortified wine made in the sherry style, and is bone dry, amber toned, and complex. Expect aromas of roasted nut, caramel, coffee, and orange that echo on the palate.

Serve this Amontillado well-chilled with a handful of salted Marcona almonds from Spain.  Magic.

So, stock your wine rack, pantry, and fridge with these European wines and foods and get ready to experience some exciting getaways from the comfort of your deck or dock.