What better way to see Canada than in absolute comfort and luxury? As a destination ripe with natural beauty, awe-inspiring history and bucket list moments, it deserves your undivided attention.
Travel Associates Advisor Magda Kordysz recently returned from the Majesty of the Rockies GoldLeaf journey with Luxury Gold. “It really is a beautiful way to see Canada, complete with lots of luxury touches,” she says. “It’s a well-rounded, iconic trip taking in the best culinary experiences, accommodation, sights and nature – and if you want to be active, you can be as active as you want. And you’re doing it all in luxury,” she adds.
Funnily enough, she booked one of her clients, Anne-Marie Cox, on the exact same trip, and they departed within mere days of each other.
Here, Magda shares her favourite experiences and stops on the land portion of the journey, while Anne-Marie gives us an inside glimpse into the incredible Rocky Mountaineer rail journey section of the tour.
Vancouver: where city meets nature
“Vancouver is so naturally beautiful, yet is still a cosmopolitan city. You’re walking around the city past these beautiful buildings and in the background are stunning, snow-capped mountains. It’s spectacular. Better yet, everything is really close so it’s very easy to get around and explore.
One of my favourite parts was definitely the Granville Markets for all the delicious food, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which offers a taste of excitement and exhilaration while offering naturally stunning panoramas on the city’s doorstep.”
Foodie highlight: “Yew was by far my favourite culinary experience of the whole trip – it’s a famous restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, where we stayed. It was the first dinner of the tour and a really beautiful experience with great wines. The LNFG Laughing Stock wine was just divine.”
Victoria: home to beautiful gardens
“In Victoria, we stayed at an incredibly located hotel overlooking the harbour, the Grand Hotel Pacific. It was beautiful from every angle. It’s also a great place to do a whale watching cruise, as they depart right from that very harbour.
Butchart Gardens was the biggest highlight for me in Victoria. We had a lovely hosted breakfast there and were the first people to arrive, with no other members of the public around. Even the young ones who never would have thought they’d have an interest in gardens absolutely loved it. The varieties and colours of the tulips – it was incredible! Lots of people loved this stop.”
Whistler: a fairytale alpine village
“Whistler is like something out of a fairytale. It’s quite like being in a Swiss village with the gorgeous lodge-style houses, restaurants and shops, surrounded by these glorious snow-capped mountains.
It’s definitely an activity capital – one person went ziplining, one lady went snowmobiling and saw a black bear, and you can do scenic flights over the mountains and lakes. It’s also famous for its golfing and has some wonderful spots to eat too.
Accommodation highlight: “The Four Seasons in Whistler is one of those hotels you just can’t fault. It’s gorgeous – and it truly takes on the surrounds of the place you’re in. It was a beautiful, large luxurious room incorporating that lodge style. We had a fireplace in the room, a balcony overlooking the ski fields, huge bathrooms and beautiful décor. What more could you ask for?”
The coach - comfortable and spacious: “The coach that took us around from A to B was just divine, with that typical Luxury Gold extra legroom. Also the professional tour guides made the drives interesting as well as all the little extras. For instance, we stopped at a waterfall one day and they pulled out a little cheese platter and served us wine en route.”
Rocky Mountaineer: the ride of a lifetime
“The best part about the Rocky Mountaineer rail journey was that we saw beautiful waterfalls that you can’t see from the road and all these lovely sections that are hidden away. We spotted a brown bear right there by the track. The train slowed down so we could take photos – it didn’t even run off. It just stood there looking at us. There were great views all round – thanks to the glass roof.
All in all, it was very comfortable. They look after you so well. Anything you need or want, they’ll get it for you. They’ll give you rugs if it’s too cool, there’s lots of leg room between seats, and there’s a balcony area that you can stand on to get outside for a while. The luggage was already at our hotel room when we arrived. It was so well organised. It really does make travel easy when the service is that exceptional!”
If a luxury Rocky Mountaineer rail journey is on your bucket-list, a Travel Associates adviser can share ideas with you about planning the perfect itinerary around it.