DURING WINTER, OTTAWA’S many trees are bare. The frozen Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only designated UNESCO World Heritage site, becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway, a serpentine, five-mile-long ice skating rink. Thick layers of snow, like icing on a wedding cake, cover the hills near Canada’s stately Parliament buildings.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
AS I FLOATED just above the water in a three-person sea canoe, I found myself grinning with every ripple and splash from the Andaman Sea. All around us rose clusters of towering karst islands lined with soft, sandy beaches and stacked high in dense jungle terrain. Each island was surrounded by a gently swelling sea of sapphire water that would act as the passageway for my excursion on John Gray’s Sea Canoe guided tour through Thailand’s most famous islands.