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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Tablet Hotels: The Tablet Ten - The Ultimate 'Best of' Hotel Lists

Opus Hotel

Tablet Hotels has launched Tablet 10 - its lists of top ten hotels in a variety of categories. The lists are dynamic and are based on Tablet Hotels' user rankings.

Here are the rankings for Canadian hotels:

#9 Best Beach Hotel: Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, BC (Also #10 Best Unusual Hotel.)

#7 Best High-Design Hotel: Hotel Le Germain, Toronto, ON

#10 Best Seduction Hotel: Opus Hotel, Vancouver, BC

#2 Best Service: Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver, BC (Cantraveller prefers the Fairmont Waterfront.)

#4 Best of North America: Hotel Gault, Montreal, QC

Thanks, yet again, to Gridskipper.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

In Flight Blog | Eyes Turned Skyward

Check out In Flight, a new air travel blog with tips and news.

Your Vancouver Foodie-for-Hire and Other Vancouver: Misc Stories | Gridskipper

Gridskipper has found my dream job. (See: Edible Vancouver.) The idea of being paid to suggest restaurants and provide food related tours makes me wet. Someone hire me to do this in Toronto or Montreal.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Via Rail again

It's a long weekend, and one of the busiest of the year for Via Rail.
So, how do they manage? In Toronto and Montreal the first class desks are staffed by one person instead of two. They are also running fewer trains this weekend then usual. As a result, of course, the trains are packed. Via in their wisdom, however has made no provision for this - on at least one train today, economy class ran out of most food in less than an hour, and long before many people had been served. Keep up the good work.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Montreal Hotel Scene: For The Web Reader || HotelChatter

HotelChatter has put together a list of their favorite Montreal Hotels. We certainly think they got it right. Our favorite, the Hotel St. Paul, made the list at number three. Their restaurant, Cube provided one of the best meals I've ever experienced.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Made in Montreal and Other Montreal: Shopping Stories | Gridskipper#made-in-montreal-036644

Thanks once again to Gridskipper for letting us know about MadeinMTL - a very cool online guide to Canada's coolest city. Even if you know Montreal intimately, this guide's make your own itinerary tool is a lot of fun.

Now the search is on for equally cool sites for other Canadian cities. Suggestions anyone?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's Day Venues

General Info Gridskipper

Gridskipper is asking one and all (Well "young, hopelessly straight American males" anyway) to share their preferred St. Patrick's Day swill joint. CanTraveller (meeting these criteria) has a couple of Canadian choices, chosen for their Irish Authenticity.

So take off early in Montreal at:

The Old Dublin Pub
1219A University
Montreal, QC H3B 3A7

Or in Toronto:
The Galway Arms
838 The Queensway (East of Islington)

Looking elsewhere? Check out the Irish Pub Guide.

Have your own favorite? Let us know at:

Monday, March 14, 2005

Via Rail Exploits JetsGo Demise

CNW Telbec

Jumping on the bandwagon, Via Rail is taking advantage of JetsGo's demise to advertise their new, improved, higher fares. Taking a page from Air Canada and other carriers, they have increased the number of fare types, while increasing fares across the board. Although still the best way to travel in the Quebec - Windsor corridor, Via continues to make every effort to disuade us from using their service. There's something paricularly galling about a company that trumpets it's price increases as if they are new advances in customer convenience.

The Globe and Mail: Air Canada, WestJet get 'good news' from demise

The Globe and Mail: Air Canada, WestJet get 'good news' from demise

Beside the obvious concern over increased fares, the demise of JetsGo leaves CanTraveller wondering how Air Canada will manage to further reduce customer service. Until now, every major event in the Canadian Airline industry has seen Air Canada punish it's customers by making their travel experience a little bit worse. Shortly after the Canadian Airlines merger, CanTraveller had occasion to talk to a former Canadian VP who had recently moved over to Air Canada. "Some of the new airline's policies seem to be nothing more than punitive measures against their customers," we commented. "That's the way it seems to us, too," she confided. Aparently there's a term for new Air Canada policies that appear to have no logical basis: RWI: "Rober Wants It". Dare we ask what new RWI's this next step in industry consolidation will bring?

Via Rail Billing

CanTraveller noticed, recently that we had been over-billed by Via Rail for travel by one of our contractors. The ticket was purchased on a company credit card and we were overbilled by almost $100 dollars. When contacted, Via Rail immediately recognized their mistake and admitted that they had, indeed over-charged. However, without the ticket stub they were unwilling to process a credit. Our contractor had not retained the stub.

"You mean you can see that we were over-charged for the ticket, but you still cannot process a credit for us?" We asked. "That's not our policy." was the repeated reply.

While still awaiting resolution of this issue with customer service, CanTraveller received a call from Via Rail. It seems that on a recent purchase, we were UNDER-charged by $125. "We need your authorization to process the additional charge to your credit card," we were informed.

"I'm sorry," we replied. "That's not our policy." The poor agent at Via who called us didn't know what to say. After a couple of futile attempts to reason with us, all of which illicited the same response, they gave up.

Frequent Via travellers take heart: in the end, their billing errors should even out.