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A tour of Victoria’s wine region with Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s “Grape Escape” package

Sometimes the universe speaks to us in strange ways. It spoke to me via an invitation to experience Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel & Spa and their Grape Escape package which included a tour of the Cowichan Valley wine region. The message was delivered in the form of slow boats through the islands, a welcoming boutique hotel and meandering country roads and local wineries.  The message wasn’t loud, but it was clear: slow down.

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A culinary cut above

The Fraser Valley is well-known as the breadbasket of the province and the Okanagan certainly leads the way in British Columbia’s wine industry.

But Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley is a fabulous place to pick up culinary delicacies–from oceanside oysters to mountain morels–and has a growing number of successful wineries.
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One ‘Grape escape’ on Vancouver Island

Victoria’s Magnolia hotel a starting point for adventures north in Cobble Hill

As far as invites go, it was a good one.

“Not willing to let summer fade away?” the email read. “Are you a wine lover who likes adventure off the beaten track? Then this is your opportunity to create an unforgettable escape.”

They had me at wine.
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Travel Temptations

Marathoner Package

The two night Magnolia Marathoner package (1-877-624-6654, www.magnoliahotel.com,from
$239 per night) is for those attending the 31st Annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on
Oct. 10. It includes overnight accommodation, breakfast, parking, plus spa treatments for one (a
60-minute spa treatment plus either a pedicure or 30 minute massage).
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Valentining In Victoria

Published January 29, 2010 in www.seniorlivingmag.com, by Jane Cassie

Is an Olympic event your ideal Valentine venue – or is it going to interfere with this day of love? If romance, in your perfect world, doesn’t include skating rinks, ski slopes or a swarm of spectators, escape the hectic pace and head over to the Island. Victoria offers many award-winning opportunities. You may not go home with a medal, but you’ll definitely earn a few brownie points. Here are half a dozen ways you can spoil your sweetheart this month and beyond:
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Victoria’s Secret Shopping From the Magnolia Hotel & Spa

“Tis the season to find the perfect gift, something unique for that someone special – and Victoria is where boutique hotel meets boutique shopping. The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria’s four-diamond, European-style luxury boutique hotel, is just steps away from designer stores and trendy boutiques filled with unusual and one-of-a-kind items.
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Free Ferry with ‘Getaway’ to Victoria BC

Discover for yourself why the West Coast is called “Lotusland.” Escape the cold and snow without a passport, and discover Canada’s own emerald isle.

Fall and winter weather in Victoria is warm, and the values are hot! And this fall and winter to help you to getaway to Victoria – an escape from the hurried world, full of glorious waterfront walkways, year-round gardens, superb cuisine, museums and galleries, The Magnolia Hotel & Spa offers free ferry
transportation with their Ferry On Us Package. The four-diamond Magnolia Hotel & Spa provides
affordable luxury in this historic capital city of British Columbia, Canada.
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Bill Lewis is home again

After spending almost 20 years with the Coast Hotels chain, Lewis has been named general manager of the Magnolia Hotel and Spa downtown. Lewis had been at the Coast Harbourside in James Bay for 12 years –working his way from night bellman to director of operations — before managing the Coast Vancouver Airport and two of the company’s properties in Edmonton for the past five years.
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Fireworks and flowers throughout the summer in Victoria, British Columbia…we’re talkintravel.

Fireworks will explode this summer over the famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. Book a room Saturday night from July 4th though September 5th to see pyrotechnics set to music. Butchart Gardens is world famous for spectacular gardens and now extravagant firework displays will light the skies. Watch the colorful fireworks from the lawn, then enjoy a recital from a rare Aeolian Pipe Organ, or stroll through the illuminated flower bed paths to the Waterwheel Square and listen to live acoustic guitar music.
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Taking a breather in Victoria, B.C.

Like a whole-wheat pita stuffed with locally grown veggies, my recent visit to Victoria was packed with activities any wellness-minded traveller would love.

It was Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary that made the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global list of top ten most livable cities, but when it comes to Canadian cities that most cater to the healthy-minded, my vote goes to Victoria.
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