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Mar 2012: Travel to Toronto

 

If you’re looking for a special romantic getaway with your spouse and you want it to be something a little different, why not head across the border? Not that border—I’m talking about heading north to Toronto!

I know what you’re thinking: why in the world would I want to head north? In the winter, no less. Well, for starters, with high temperatures in the thirties and lows in the teens, think of all the cuddling you can do curled up next to a smoldering fire! Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

If you agree, the next part is simple. All you’ll need to do is hop on one of the numerous carriers that leave Houston Intercontinental every day—it’s a quick three-hour flight with round-trip tickets starting at $637. Once you’re there, the prices for accommodations are more than reasonable, especially given the luxuries available at many locations. Here are a few of the places that I recommend:

Hotels

The Toronto Ritz Carlton is located in the buzzing financial and performing arts district, just a short car ride away from the airport. Once there, you will come to understand what true pampering feels like. The staff is incredibly attentive, the views are gorgeous, and everything I tried in their restaurant was delicious! If you are so inclined, you could easily stay within the confines of the hotel and have a wonderful experience. Between the serene spa, the gym, and the restaurants, you’ll have all the conveniences you need right at your fingertips. Let’s not forget the shopping, either—for your convenience, a boutique experience is available within the cozy confines of your room via the extensive Ritz catalog.

Great Air+ Hotel + Car package offers at $1085 per person ($804 savings)

Le Meridien King Edward is located in the business district and has been serving visitors to the city for over 100 years. It is a beautiful hotel with 298 lovely rooms, but that’s not my favorite part—the hotel is also the scene of a great love story! Back in the 1960s, Richard Burton proposed (for the 1st time) to Elizabeth Taylor in the ballroom while they were staying there. However, the city wouldn’t recognize their Mexican divorces, so they had to travel to Montreal to perform the ceremony. If you would like to stay in the same suite that Taylor and Burton stayed in, just ask!

Great Air+ Hotel + Car package offers at $808 per person ($544 savings)

The Fairmont Royal York opened in 1929 and is a breathtaking display of Old World opulence. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll have easy access to entertainment, shopping, and great restaurants. It also has a lot of history, but its charm and beautiful architecture are what make this hotel one of my favorites.

Great Air+ Hotel + Car package offers at $790 per person ($461 savings)

If you are looking for a new, hip place to stay, the Thompson is the place for you. Located in the eclectic and artistic King’s District (Toronto’s version of Montrose), this hotel boasts one of the hottest (and most exclusive) bars in town. Available only to the hotel’s guests, the Thompson’s rooftop bar has one of the best nighttime views in the city. With comfy couches and lots of indoor and outdoor seating, you will feel instantly “cooler” as soon as you hit the door. Scarpetta’s restaurant in the lobby is definitely worth a try, as well—the food we enjoyed there was absolutely to die for.

Rooms start at $232 a night for a standard King’s room, with romance packages available

Tour the City

Treat yourself to a private tour of the city. With its rich history and exquisite architecture, it’s worth it to take a tour from a local’s perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed our walking tour with Bruce Bell. We spent a few hours walking all over the city and learning about all it has to offer. I would suggest taking the tour early in your stay to take advantage of all of the wonders you’ll discover while walking around.

Not to be missed: St. Lawrence Market’s “World Famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich” from the Carousel Bakery and Bloor-Yorkville Shopping—just like the Galleria, only better!

Wine Country

If you’re a wine lover, then you may think Ontario’s wine country is nothing less than a slice of heaven on earth. Just 90 minutes outside Toronto by car, you can discover over 30 wineries at Niagara-by-the-Lake. You may recognize many of the vineyards’ names; odds are, there will be a number that are new to you as well, which means you might just discover a brand-new favorite. Plan on making your trip to wine country last a day or two, if you can manage it. The shops are quaint, the wine is delicious, and there’s also that little waterfall to take in! Niagara Falls and the Horseshoe Falls are truly a sight to behold, and make a perfect photo-op for happy couples.

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