Posts Tagged ‘Pool’


I went on my first all inclusive vacation back in December and had such a great time at El Dorado Maroma that I decided to return in February to Azul FivesBoth are managed by Karisma Hotels and I must admit they do a stellar job at managing these All Inclusive Gourmet vacations.

Here’s what you need to know about Azul Fives!!

480 Rooms

9 Restaurants

5 Pools

6 Bars

1 Spa

But here’s some details….

a) My room was STUNNING and spotless too. I  was in building #18 which just opened in Nov 2015. It was about a 10 minute walk to the beach but was worth the walk. (golf carts were available too). Kudos to the design team!

azul - room

b) The beach had the right sand, the right amount of rocks, and was actually warm! Bonus – you didn’t have to wake up at 7 am to grab a chair.

azul - beach

c) The food: As you know I’m pretty fussy about my food and once again Gourmet and All Inclusive DOES exist. Restaurants that you could select from included: Thai, Sushi, Mediterranean, French, Italian and more. There was even a natural juice bar! Naturally I went to all of them.

azul - beets1

d) The grounds were immaculate and included a grass tennis court, plenty of hammocks, a pool in front of each building, and even monkeys!

azul - building

e) The Service: Everyone was cheerful and polite. Can’t complain.

One important thing to note is the Azul Fives is a family resort with plenty of supervised activities for the kids. Plus they are well equipped with high chairs/booster seats, toys and more!

Actually there is one last thing I learned: At Azul Fives you can actually own a unit. As an owner, you get all the benefits of the hotel. How cool is that?  There’s also time share options too.

Needless to say, my mom and I had a special vacation and can’t say enough about our trip to Azul Fives.

azul - vicky and mom

Bye Bye Karisma Hotels. However I will be back!!


Twitter: @Azul_Fives





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My last blog post was about camping so I thought it would only be appropriate to do a blog post about GLAMPING. Here’s the definition of Glamping according to Wikipedia:

Glamping is a portmanteau of glamour and camping and describes a style of camping with amenitiesand, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with “traditional” camping. Glamping has become particularly popular with 21st century tourists seeking the luxuries of hotel accommodation alongside the escapism and adventure recreation of camping

My glamping experience this year, was at Langdon Hall as it fits my criteria when I want a QUICK escape. To be exact: It’s about an hour away from Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

langdon - hotel

I have been escaping to Langdon Hall for over a decade but only for a day trip (think Spa treatment and then hang out at the pool). But this trip I actually stayed overnight. What a treat!!

This meant I had time to play tennis, (twice!!) and go for a quick ride on a tandem bicycle. #FUN

langdon - activity

We even took advantage of the complimentary Wine Tasting that was taught by one of the sommeliers on staff (there’s actually a few of them at Langdon Hall). It was a fun blind wine tasting and sure enough my fav wine was a 2010 Charles Baker Riesling from Stratus Vineyards in Niagara on the Lake.

langdon - wine

During July and August, Langdon Hall offers a variety of complimentary activities for their guests: wine tastings, garden and history tours, cooking demonstrations and even a vegetable garden tour.

Naturally, we also relaxed by their exquisite pool.

langdon - pool

What strikes me the most about this majestic property is their lush grounds and their spectacular vegetable garden. I couldn’t stop snapping photos of GREEN!!

langdon - green

The highlight of our trip was the chance to eat at Langdon Hall and to chat with Chef Jason Bangerter.  Notable achievements while at Langdon Hall include:

  • Relais & Chateaux, Rising Chef Trophy 2015
  • Five Diamond Restaurant Award by CAA/AAA 2014
  • Gold Medal Plates, Toronto 2014 – Received the Bronze Medal, fundraising chefs competition for Canadian Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
  • The Good Food Innovation Awards – Received Gold by Food Day Canada for the demonstration of an innovative Canadian menu.
  • Relais & Chateaux, Gourmet Fest at Carmel by the Sea – selected as the only Canadian Chef to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration.

Sadly, we weren’t that hungry and only ordered two items from their dinner menu.

-East Coast oysters with rhubarb and green apricot mignonette, garden hot sauce.

langdon - oysters2

-Potted chicken liver pate with elderberry and thyme jelly, spring vegetables and sourdough crisps.

langdon - liver

I can’t wait to return and order more dishes from this talented Chef.

langdon - chef

I also can’t wait to sleep on their beds again. I actually had to look to see what I was sleeping on and discovered it’s a feather bed. I also found out when I was leaving that you can buy it online.  I think I will be treating myself to an early birthday gift (err..about 8 months early. LOL)

Of course, the service we received EVERYWHERE was spectacular. Everyone we encountered had a smile on their face ..the bellman, the pool staff, our waitress at the bar, the front desk staff and cleaning staff too. It was truly a pleasure to stay at this Relais & Chateaux, designated hotel. Just so you know – there’s only two properties in Canada with this designation.

Other exciting news about this property is their expansion, which include a new spa and more event space. It’s scheduled to open in the Fall and I have no doubt that it’s going to be magnificent. Can’t wait to check it out. (note to self: put this in my calendar…NOW)

langdon - constructionFor more information:

Langdon Hall, 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON
Telephone: 519-740-2100

Twitter: @Langdon_Hall

Instagram: @LangdonHall


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Thought I might share a few things to do on Canada Day.

1) Get up at 9am and take advantage of this $49 deal that’s been offered by HotelTonight!

HotelTonight logo_whiteHere’s more info:  To show their love for Canada, HotelTonight, (a last minute hotel booking app) has announced a special Canada Day promotion for Toronto, Ottaw, and Vancouver. For only $49 – on JULY 1st ONLY.

Participating hotels:

Toronto: Thompson Hotel, Gladstone Hotel, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Pantages Hotel.

Montreal: Hotel Chez Swann, Hotel St-Paul, St. Martin Hotel Particulier.

Ottawa: the Lord Elgin Hotel, among others.

Vancouver:  Hotel Le Soleil, Granville Island Hotel, Moda Hotel.

There are some more details you should know!!

  • Rooms are limited to first come, first served and the $49 rate is only applicable for a July 1 stay. 
  • $49 deals will go live at 9 a.m. local time in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. 
  • Look for deals in each destination marked “CANADA DAY.”
  • HotelTonight will have great deals all day, but the $49 rooms and limited. If you see one you like, GRAB IT!

2) Go Strawberry Picking….This is one of my favorite activities and the perfect activity for Canada Day.  My go-to- farm is Whittamores. (8100 Steeles Ave E, Markham). Here’s what I have learned over the years: wear sunscreen, hat, bring water, FLAT containers, and wear black clothes!


3) Visit an outdoor hotel pool – this is such a treat! I recently spent the day at the Sheraton Toronto Outdoor Pool (123 Queen St. W) and when I say “spent the day” …I mean it. I was there from 11 am to 8 pm.  Please note there is a fantastic fitness centre so you can bring your gym cloths and squeeze in a workout in between suntanning!


4) Visit one of the many conservation areas we are lucky to live near…Mountsberg, Crawford Lake, Kelso. My fav this time of year is Kelso because of the beach.


5) Just chill and relax! Nothing wrong with that, right?

Happy Canada Day!


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It’s almost the end of  summer. (sniff) But I’m trying to make the best of it. Here’s 7 ways I’m enjoying the last days of this amazing season.

1. I’m wearing these super comfy Crocs as much as possible. I simply can’t believe how comfortable these shoes are. No Joke.

summer - crocs

2. I’m trying to get as much Vitamin D as possible. This means, that on a gorgeous sunny day, I went to the Sheraton to hang out at their outdoor pool. BLISS.

Summer - sheraton

3. I’m enjoying summer treats, such as No Sugar Raspberry Froyo from Yogurty’s. This has been the PERFECT treat for my carb free diet!! I’m really hoping to see more no sugar flavours in the near future!

summer - yogurtys2

4. I’m wearing my summer clothes as much as possible. However stay tuned for a blog post about how excited I am to wear my Fall Clothes!!

summer - clothes

5. I’m using my David’s Tea Travel Cup- as much as possible.  I purchased this cup for $9.99 at the beginning of the summer and the promotion lasts till till Sept 2nd.  This was THE MOST BRILLIANT promotion and I really hope they repeat it next year. (David – are you listening? I hope so).

summer - davids

6. I’m watching the US Open Tennis and trying hard not consume too many of these amazing MAPLE BACON kettle chips from Neal Brothers. I’m having a tough time. They are positively addictive.

neal brothers - maple bacon 7. Im blowing bubbles. That’s right. Im a 48 year old woman but often think I’m a 10 year old kid.

summer - bubbles

How are you enjoying the last days of summer? As much as I’m going to miss summer – I’m super pumped to wear my fall clothes. Stay tuned for a blog post called: “I Will Miss You Summer. But I Can’t Wait to Wear These Fall Clothes”.

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Hot? Want to know how to “cool down”? Then head to the Sheraton Centre. For $30 you can access the pool and the fitness centre!!

Here’s what my day looked like on Monday:

10:00 a.m to noon: I worked on my laptop in one of these comfortable chairs in the lobby.  (see photo) Not a bad setting to work eh? Sure beats my local Starbucks!! The Sheraton Centre loves building a”community” feeling and encourages their guests to play chess, sit at a community table, or enjoy the LINK work stations.

Got A Lot Of Work Done Here!!

12:30 to 1:00 p.m I was getting hungry and went to check out the recently opened BnB restaurant that is located in the lobby as well. It’s really new…ie a month old. Seeing as I’m on a diet I couldn’t enjoy the burgers and the fries that they are known for. (sniff). However I was pretty satisfied with my Wedge Salad. I’m a blue cheese addict and can’t seem to get enough of this salad.

Carb Free Friendly

I also enjoyed some deep fried pickles that had the perfect combo of batter and the perfect pickles. Shame I couldn’t have a beer with it. But this diet is really working for me, so I can’t complain.

I Love Deep Fried Pickles. Period.

1:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m I sat at the pool with my Kobo. I was in heaven. Talk about feeling like I left the city but I didn’t!! Here I was right downtown on the 3rd level of the Sheraton Centre surrounded by beautiful landscaping and staring at a gorgeous outdoor pool.



Eventually (notice how I said “eventually”) I got off my lounge chair to check out the Sheraton Centres’ recently renovated fitness centre. Seeing as I’m “momwhoruns” , I thought it was only appropriate that I put on my running shoes and go for a quick run. OK..very quick. I was super impressed with the size of this new Fitness’s massive. I counted 8 stairmasters and 8 treadmills! Plus room for weights, stretching etc.  This is not the tiny little (sad) looking fitness centre that one usually sees in a hotel.

momwhoruns is running!! Well kind ofu.

7:30 p.m Bye Bye Sheraton…it was exactly what I needed to escape from the heat and I will be back. Promise.

Please note that the Sheraton Centre is offering amazing activities for kids on the weekends. Please click here for more information.

Sheraton Centre Toronto,  123 Queen Street West, 416 361 1000


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