Tag: Canadian

‘the modernist’ boutique hotel opens inside the former canadian embassy in athens

following the success of its first property in downtown thessaloniki (see previous coverage here), ‘the modernist’ opens a second boutique hotel, this time in athens. settled into the former canadian embassy in kolonaki, a high-end neighborhood in the historical heart of the greek capital, the hotel welcomes guests in a relaxed, elegant environment that seamlessly combines art deco elements, mid-century detailing and danish design. the brainchild of entrepreneur kostis karatzas, ‘the modernist athens’ has been developed with the same emphasis on local creativity as its counterpart in thessaloniki, introducing travellers to the city’s artistic community through highly-curated experiences.


‘the modernist is about contemporary hospitality that inspires curiosity and authentic experiences,’ says kostis karatzas about the project. ‘ethics and aesthetics course through everything we do, as an invisible thread that connects us with the world. following the opening of our first property in thessaloniki two years ago, athens was a natural next step for us. and this is only the beginning for our brand.’'the modernist' boutique hotel opens inside the former canadian embassy in athensall images by ioanna roufopoulou



‘the modernist’ athens sits on the southern slopes of lycabettus hill, a mere couple of miles from the acropolis, surrounded by world-class galleries and museums, great shopping streets and a vibrant nighttime atmosphere. occupying the former canadian embassy building, the hotel features a blend of the minimalism of post-war 1950s architecture, and the nowness of sleek yet subtle contemporary spaces. its design, developed by collaborating architects FORMrelated, is characterized by sharp contrasts in color and shape, an elegant material palette, custom lighting and made-to-measure furniture.exterior view of 'the modernist' boutique hotel in athens



upon entering the hotel, guests are met with an eclectic mix of hues and materials, including marble, plaster, bronze, and black glass, which define the lobby. on the ground floor, the breakfast buffet doubles as an all-day cafe bar, where plywood and marble blend together to create a warm atmosphere. the hotel’s common areas are complete with the rooftop garden, which also serves as an open cinema with breathtaking views of the acropolis. ‘the modernist’ also offers itself as an events epicentre, hosting workshops and talks by guest artists on its ground floor.'the modernist' boutique hotel opens inside the former canadian embassy in athens



the 38 rooms of the hotel spread across six floors, with four options – S,M,L,XL – that make it easy for guests to pick the one that best fits their individual needs. with the exception of a series of signature pieces in the lobby, selected from a mix of local and international interior design brands, the furniture, lighting and uniforms of ‘the modernist’ are custom-made. inside the guest rooms, oak wood floors, leather headboards and midcentury-inspired furnishings are combined with embossed veneer panels and bronze details. similar to its sister property in thessaloniki, ‘the modernist’ athens features contributions by local creatives, from ceramics and the artwork on walls to tailor-made music playlists, and even a vinyl collection that’s in the works.'the modernist' boutique hotel opens inside the former canadian embassy in athens



‘we see the modernist athens becoming a compelling value proposition not just in living but in the experience industry as well,’ say FORMrelated founders konstantinos theodoridis and eleni papaevangelou about the hotel’s

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Canadian Officials Concerned with Raptors’ Cross-Border Travel Amid Pandemic | Bleacher Report

Toronto Raptors' Marc Gasol, right, celebrates a basket against the Brooklyn Nets with Fred VanVleet, left, and Kyle Lowry during Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief of public health, said Friday the Toronto Raptors have presented a good plan to host games at Scotiabank Arena during the 2020-21 NBA season amid the COVID-19 pandemic but that cross-border travel between Canada and the United States “continues to be an issue,” per the Canadian Press.

Njoo also noted that following protocols that were in place during the league’s 2019-20 season finish at Walt Disney World would be “tough on everyone involved” since teams won’t be in isolation. The bubble was a resounding success, with zero positive COVID-19 cases emerging.

The Canada-United States border is closed to non-essential travel, and those who do cross the border are subject to a 14-day quarantine, per the Canadian Press.

If the Raptors cannot play their home games in Toronto, the Tampa, Florida, area will be their most likely backup option, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet.

Per Grange, the Raptors would need clearance from three levels of government to play in Toronto, which is the team’s clear preference.

If we can get it done in Toronto, we’d do it tomorrow,” a team executive told Grange.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario and the United States are on the rise. Per CBC, Ontario recorded a daily record of 1,575 new cases Thursday. According to the COVID Tracking Project, the United States had 150,526 cases Thursday, a daily record for the country.

A 72-game NBA season is scheduled to begin Dec. 22.

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‘Canadian wanderlust’ still strong amid COVID-19 concerns, Expedia report finds

Travel has been one of the hardest hit industries by the global COVID-19 pandemic but the new 2021 Travel Trends Report from Expedia shows that “Canadian wanderlust” is still strong.

In previous years, top trending destinations for travel by Canadians included a variety of international locations but in 2020, the destinations with the most interest were domestic locations, primarily Jasper, Alta., Gaspesie-Iles de la Madeleines, Que., Banff, Alta., Tofino-Ucluelet, B.C., and Okanagan Valley, B.C.

Of the top 20 most-search destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel, over half are islands in the southern hemisphere or other warm weather escapes that attract “sun and beach seekers.”

The top searched international destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel are:

• Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum (#1)

• Puerto Vallarta (#2)

• Orlando (#3)

• Cancun (#4)

• Oahu (#5)

• Maui (#7)

• Punta Cana (#8)

• Maldives (#9)

• French Polynesia (#11)

• Bali (#13)

• Barbados (#15)

• Turks and Caicos (#16)

• St. Lucia (#17)

Nearby getaways are expected to remain popular into next year as Canadians continue to manage the COVID-19 situation, with travel interest from “slope and coast” explorers or people looking for some warmer temperatures close to home.

The top searched domestic destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel are:

  • Banff, Alta. (#6)

  • Okanagan Valley, B.C. (#10)

  • Whistler, B.C. (#12)

  • Mont Tremblant, Que. (#14)

  • Victoria, B.C. (#18)

  • Collingwood, Ont. (#19)

  • Tofino-Ucluelet, B.C. (#20)

Canadian travellers want flexibility, enhanced safety protocols and alternative accommodations

For Canadians booking travel plans for 2021, the Expedia report highlights some clear priorities in the post-COVID-19 world.

First and foremost, flexibility in booking is “required” for travellers, with Canadians booking refundable rates 10 per cent more often in 2020 compared to last year. Additionally, Expedia.ca lodging data shows average daily rates for refundable bookings were about 15 per cent cheaper in this year, compared to 2019.

Health and safety enhancement are a concern going into 2021, as should be expected with increasing COVID-19 cases in much of the world. Expedia found that since May, almost 300,000 properties added health and cleanliness information on Expedia.ca, including enhanced cleaning measures, contactless check-in and social distancing.

Concerns about safety is impacting trip planning as well, including accommodations. Alternative properties for travel lodging have been increasingly popular, specifically private vacation homes, cottages, glamping experiences, treehouses and house boats.

Canadians are also looking at shorter booking windows for travel plans. In 2019, the average Canadian traveller booked flights about 34 days in advance of their departure, but that window shortened to 22 days. Expedia indicates this is a trend with accommodations as well. Last minute bookings during the summer were on the rise with around half of Canadian travellers booking trips up to seven days out.

Bali, Indonesia (Expedia)
Bali, Indonesia (Expedia)

How to save money on travel bookings for 2021

The federal government is still recommending that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel but the introduction of the government-supported Alberta pilot program to test a reduction in the 14-day

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