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Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY CYNTHIA DAVID

Head­ing into 2019, Best Western Ho­tels & Re­sorts is get­ting a makeover to meet the needs of to­day’s trav­eller. Best Western ho­tels of­fer a smart, so­phis­ti­cated design and more multi-pur­pose spa­ces with in­te­grated tech­nol­ogy. The new and im­proved Best Western Plus of­fers af­ford­able el­e­gance, with stylish pub­lic ar­eas and cosy guest rooms for com­fort and re­lax­ation. Best Western Pre­mier ho­tels, mean­while, ex­ude lux­ury in an el­e­gant at­mos­phere with up­scale ameni­ties, up­graded beds and linens and spa-like bath­rooms in each spa­cious guest room. The com­pany com­prises 13 brands with more than 4,200 prop­er­ties around the world. Best­west­ern.com

Make the most of Mex­ico’s resort play­ground with the new GO Can­cun Card, an all-in-one ticket to 23 at­trac­tions, tours and ac­tiv­i­ties in and around Can­cun for visitors to the Yu­catan Penin­sula. Buy a ticket for two, three, four, five or seven days and save up to 45 per cent on stan­dard ad­mis­sion and tour prices. Highlights in­clude water sports, surf lessons, para­sail­ing, dol­phin en­coun­ters, din­ner cruises and cul­tural ex­cur­sions. Passes for three or more days also in­clude free ad­mis­sion to one of five ad­di­tional pre­mium at­trac­tions. Longer-term visitors can pur­chase the new Can­cun Ex­plorer Pass and en­joy a spe­cific num­ber of at­trac­tions over 30 days. go­can­cun­card.com; can­cun­ex­plor­erpass.com

Unique fam­ily ad­ven­tures await you in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia. Take a back­stage look at the work­ings at the Long Beach Air­port. View more than 11,000 an­i­mals in more than 50 ex­hibits at the Aquar­ium of the Pa­cific. Spend a night on board the lux­u­ri­ous ocean liner, Queen Mary. Ex­plore an open-air mu­seum, fea­tur­ing works of art on the sides of build­ings at the an­nual POW! WOW! LONG BEACH event. En­joy a night­time “glow ride” on lu­mi­nous water bi­cy­cles through Alami­tos Bay. Head to fam­ily-friendly Long Beach with the kids or to Rosie’s Dog Beach with Fido. Visit­long­beach.com/neigh­bor­hoods/east-wa­ter­front/

From June 9 to 20, 2019, sail around Ire­land aboard the 198-pas­sen­ger ship, Ocean En­deav­our. Visit the Rock of Cashel, Belfast and all the is­land’s outer edges with the re­turn of Ad­ven­ture Canada’s Ire­land Cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion. Along the way, ex­pe­ri­ence the coun­try’s friendly folk, rolling coun­try­side, charm­ing vil­lages and rugged seascapes. Highlights in­clude Skel­lig Islands (fea­tured in The Last Jedi), the Din­gle Penin­sula, the Ring of Kerry and the dra­matic Cliffs of Mo­her as well as cas­tles, cathe­drals, na­tional parks, Ir­ish cities and pubs. An­other high­light will be a visit to remote Tory Is­land, in­hab­ited by a Gaelic com­mu­nity of fewer than 200 peo­ple with their very own king. ad­ven­ture­canada.com

Af­ter un­der­go­ing heavy dam­age in 2017 dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Maria, Puerto Rico’s Meliá Coco Beach is set to re­open De­cem­ber 15. Lo­cated within a gated com­mu­nity and sur­rounded by reef-pro­tected beaches and El Yunque Na­tional For­est, the resort’s multi-mil­lion-dol­lar ren­o­va­tion will re­sult in up­graded ameni­ties, an in­fu­sion of lo­cal cul­ture and Meliá-branded ser­vices such as pre­mium con­cept THE LEVEL. The ho­tel is 20 min­utes from the air­port and of­fers 480 ju­nior suites and six ocean­front vil­las. Each room is housed in a two-storey bun­ga­low with pic­turesque views of the ocean and lush gar­dens through­out the prop­erty. Guests also re­ceive dis­counts at two 18-hole cham­pi­onship cour­ses. melia.com

Buy a New York Pass or New York City Ex­plorer Pass to save big on 26 added at­trac­tions, tours and ex­pe­ri­ences in the Big Ap­ple. The one- to 10-day New York Pass, with free guide­book, now in­cludes the Ground Zero Mu­seum Work­shop, a Cat­a­combs by Can­dle­light tour at St. Pa­trick’s Old Cathe­dral and a pedal boat ride around Gover­nor’s Is­land. Save more than US$200 when you visit three at­trac­tions a day and get fast-track en­try at some pop­u­lar sites. If you have more time, the New York City Ex­plorer Pass saves you up to 50 per cent on three, four, five, seven or 11 at­trac­tions over 30 days. New events in­clude Spir­its on Foot, a beer, spir­its and wine bar walk­ing tour, and an In­side Broad­way walk­ing tour. newyork­pass.com; newyorkc­i­ty­ex­plor­erpass.com

Hong Kong’s new 26-kilo­me­tre high-speed rail link from Kowloon Sta­tion to Mainland China al­lows in­ter­na­tional visitors to travel quickly and con­ve­niently be­tween Hong Kong and 44 mainland China des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing nine neigh­bour­ing cities in Guang­dong prov­ince, with­out chang­ing trains. With fre­quent di­rect trains link­ing Hong Kong to Shen­zhen and Guangzhou in as lit­tle as 48 min­utes, trav­el­ling within the Greater Bay Area will be faster and more ef­fi­cient than ever. The new link also makes Hong Kong an ideal start­ing point for jour­neys through China. hktb.com; ex­press­raillink.hk/ en/ home

To ease the stress of fam­ily travel, Bri­tish Air­ways has es­tab­lished a per­ma­nent fam­ily check-in zone and se­cu­rity lane at its hub in Ter­mi­nal 5 at Heathrow Air­port. Par­ents trav­el­ling with chil­dren un­der two years of age can re­serve seats for the whole group at the time of book­ing and check a col­lapsi­ble pushchair and a car seat for free. The car­rier also guar­an­tees that chil­dren un­der 12 will al­ways be seated with an adult from their group. Kids re­ceive Skyfly­ers ac­tiv­ity packs on long-haul flights and there’s a ded­i­cated Skyfly­ers Kids’ Zone on the in-flight en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem. And in-flight, kids eat be­fore adults. britishair­ways.com/ en-gb /in­for­ma­tion /fam­ily-travel

Con­tiki has un­veiled the epic ad­ven­ture of 2019 for 18 to 35-year-olds—visit all seven “new” Won­ders of the World in 82 days. This round-the-world ad­ven­ture be­gins March 24 at Delhi’s Taj Ma­hal and ends June 13 at Rome’s Colos­seum. The young ex­plor­ers will also visit the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mex­ico, Machu Pic­chu in Peru, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Pe­tra in Jor­dan. And there’s much more, from a panda sanc­tu­ary in Chengdu, China, to a canopy hike through the Ama­zon jun­gle, a tango les­son in Buenos Aires, 4x4ing across Wadi Rum in Jor­dan and a boat trip to Italy’s is­land of Capri. The price in­cludes 92 meals. con­tiki.com/ca/en/ac­tiv­ity/7-won­ders

Eurostar, the high-speed rail ser­vice link­ing the U.K. to mainland Europe, cel­e­brates the sea­son with a new cock­tail bar and drinks menu in Lon­don’s Pan­cras sta­tion. Then it’s off to the ski slopes in the French Alps. As of De­cem­ber 21, spe­cial trains will travel overnight Fri­day and by day Satur­day to Bourg-saint-mau­rice. Re­turn to Lon­don the fol­low­ing Satur­day in the morn­ing or evening. There’s no charge for a pair of skis or snow­board (in a case) plus two pieces of bag­gage. Pass­ports are checked be­fore you leave Lon­don, and buses de­part from Bourg to well-known re­sorts, in­clud­ing Val Thorens and Val d’isère. Eurostar also in­tro­duced a new route from Lon­don to Am­s­ter­dam and Rot­ter­dam. eurostar.com

LONG BEACH CON­VEN­TION & VISITORS BUREAU

COUR­TESY BEST WESTERN

COUR­TESY LEISURE PASS GROUP

COUR­TESY AD­VEN­TURE CANADA

COUR­TESY HKTB

COUR­TESY MELIA HO­TELS IN­TER­NA­TIONAL

COUR­TESY BRI­TISH AIR­WAYS

BRETT BEYER

COUR­TESY CON­TIKI

COUR­TESY EUROSTAR

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