7 Sexy Places for a Spring Fling

Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff, Johannesburg

Yes, we said sexy. We’re not talking red light district, over the top boudoir drama or a bathtub in the middle of the room, here. But come to think of it, non of those aren’t really bad ideas either! We’ve picked the sexiest places and the hotel hotspots that get the inspirational juices flowing and instil a sense of wanderlust in us.

And why not? According to last-minute mobile booking platform HotelTonight.com’s global survey “exploring how a night spent at a hotel affects lovemaking in countries around the world,” Canadians like to heat things up between the sheets when booking a night out.

53.5 per cent feel more sexually adventurous in a hotel room and 49 per cent believe they make love more frequently between hotel bed sheets.

And, when ranked with other countries in the survey, overall, we posted very similar numbers with our Brit counterparts: “When staying in a hotel, Brits do it on average 2.6 times more than at home, a close comparison to Canadians who make love 2.3 times more.So what are you waiting for? www.hoteltonight.com

Scroll through for our list of hotspots for urbanites, playgrounds for outdoorsy adventurers, and even one special place for the long-haul layover, or as we see it, for those ships that pass in the night. Now that’s what we call sexy.


3 city hotspots for urbanites


  1. Kyoto, Japan

Why: For the sheer beauty of this city.

Where: Check in to the Hyatt Regency Kyoto. First, take a stroll through the hotel’s gardens, for an awe-inspiring display of Sakura (cherry blossoms). All pink and frothy and infusing the air with their scent, these trees add an ethereal, otherworldly escape feeling to the hotel, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Second, make sure to meet the general manager, Ken Yokoyama. In a word, he’s amazing; the consummate host. He’s passionate about everything from Kyoto to cuisine to the gin served in the Touzan Bar, below, the speakeasy located on the lower floors in the basement of the hotel. Moody lighting and a discrete staff set the tone for a little romantic nightcap – or two.


“Ichigo ichie, or one chance in a lifetime. This ordinary phrase embodies extraordinary moments: work, conversations, encounters with people – all of these are different every day, moments that will never happen again and will never come back,” says Yokoyama. “Time flows equally for everyone. Thus, we promise to converse and communicate with guests in the moment and with passion.” We like Ken’s passion. It inspires a passion in us. kyoto.regency.hyatt.com; www.ilovejapan.ca


  1. Johannesburg, South Africa

Why: Because this city is on the rise – and it’s great value for your Canadian buck

Where: Check in to the Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff, one, for the view. Did you know that Johannesburg is also the largest man-made urban forest in Africa? Look closely – while enjoying your breakfast on the terrace at the hotel’s contemporary restaurant View, of course – and you may see elephants in the tree-lined distance. That’s the Johannesburg Zoo! We didn’t realize just how green this city is, but take a look at the photo above, and that’s just a small part of it. When The Four Seasons opened its outpost in Joburg last year, we knew that this city was definitely on the up, and it took a Canadian brand to be the trend-starter, naturally.

The spa here is a beauty, with treatments that infuse South African tradition and product ingredients with classic techniques and spa-style, full-on relaxation mode. There are two pools, one outdoor by the terrace; the other, a lap pool just inside the spa’s doors. And, a two-hour signature experience will run you about $135 Canadian. At a Four Seasons Spa. Just say ahhhh.


And the food, well, here’s the place you’ll get your Michelin Stars on! Chef Dirk Gieselmann is the former executive chef of the Michelin-starred French restaurant L’Auberge de l’ill. Here, at View, Chef Gieselmann takes the best of his French training and tosses in a South African twist. Ingredients are geared to the season, and local is not just a catchword here, it’s a motto. Oh, and did we mention he managed to curb our carb aversion? Yes, carrots and pasta in one sitting. Guilt-free fresh eating? Talk about a turn on… www.fourseasons.com/johannesburg/


  1. London, England (Warning: Splurge Alert!)

Why: Why not? With four direct flights a day to Heathrow from Toronto on Air Canada, along with non-stop service from seven other cities in Canada and an additional non-stop flight on Air Canada Rouge to London Gatwick from Toronto available for booking now and beginning flights July 2, it’s never been easier to get there. www.aircanada.com

Where: Check in to the Langham London. This is one of those historic hotels that just keep getting better with age. In fact, for its 150th birthday, the property underwent a strategic facelift recently and, man, does this grand dame have good bones. So good, that age is just a number here.


Start with cocktails at Artesian, the award-winning bar at the hotel. Named best bar in the world in 2015 by The World’s Best Bars Academy (www.worlds50bestbars.com) and its 412 worldwide bar experts, and The World’s Best Bar by Drinks International Magazine four years running, it’s a bit of a heady place, in that you never know how your cocktail is going to show up. In the thorax of a giant metallic insect? Glowing like a ghost inside a wooden box? Or how about a cross between an elephant and an Imperial Walker from The Empire Strikes Back – made from Lego, mind you. Freaky, but still cool, the menu is divided into three parts, and the above presentation ideas come from the Surrealism section. Experimental, yes.


And who doesn’t like to experiment? The rest of the stay – albeit in a newly manicured room with springy beds, marble baths and all silver and gold tones with touches of pale blue and green hues – may seem tame in comparison. But we do like to start on top. And, like we said, why not? www.langhamhotels.com


3 playgrounds for outdoorsy adventurers


  1. County Mayo, Ireland

Why: History, castles, falcons, green forests, loughs (that’s lakes to you and me)

Where: Check in to Ashford Castle, the 13th century marvel that still stands after all these years on the banks of Lough Corrib. Once the home of nobility as well as the Guinness clan – yes, the Guinness beer clan – this hotel was lovingly restored recently by the Red Carnation hotel group. The group, whose roster includes the award-winning Hotel 41 and the Milestone, both in London, as well as Cape Town’s 12 Apostles and The Chesterfield in Palm Beach, Fla., has hotelier chic and hospitality flowing through its veins. It’s a family run operation and the respect to history, legacy and detail is fully apparent in the reverent renovation of Ashford.


Beyond the simple romance of holing up in a real-life castle for the weekend, it’s a haven for those loving hiking, horseback rides and hawks. Well, more like falcons, but when you see those talons on the fine, feathered friends at the falconry school, you may just want to take flight. Fly to the Hamman-inspired spa, take refuge in one of the many public spaces where tea or a dram of Irish whisky and scones can be sipped and savoured, or satiate your appetite with dinner, well, fit for a king of the castle.

And, if you’re thinking of an all-out luxury guided tour that includes this part of Ireland, take a look at Insight Vacations‘ offerings, exclusive through-the-eyes-of-a-local experiences, and one of the only tour companies that features a two-night stay at Ashford on its Irish itineraries. And, speaking of award-winning, did we mention the luxury travel advisors at Virtuoso voted Ashford Castle the best hotel in the world in 2015. www.ashfordcastle.com; www.insightvacations.com/ca


  1. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Why: Because everyone needs their day – or week – in the sun, even if you are suddenly solo; for a divorcée getaway, May 4 to May 8!

Where: Check into Casa Velas, in Jalisco on Mexico’s Pacific Riviera. Singletons and couples have long been given the opportunity to meet and greet or reconnect when it comes to destinations and hotels. Second honeymoons, matchmaking sessions, the list goes on. But, what if you’re divorced? Sure, that may count you as single, but maybe your needs might be just a little more nuanced?

Enter Casa Velas’ Divorcee Getaway. The Mexican property, on the Pacific Coast, is also a bit unique as it’s a boutique all-inclusive hotel among the gargantuan resorts of Puerta Vallarta we’re more familiar with. The getaway, which takes place this month (May 4 to 8) is hosted by relationship expert and author Natalie Moore, and over 5 days, workshops, socials, mini makeovers – and even a wedding ring burial are on the agenda.

Oh, and did we mention the Tequila pairing party? Olé, to an idea whose time has come. For more information please call 1-877-418- 3011 or visit http://divorceeweekend.velasresorts.com/ 


  1. Ubud, Bali

Why: Because sometimes getting away really means getting away.

Where: Check in to Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton reserve. Sure, Bali is not exactly a secret, but it is sexy. And Ubud, which is away from the beaches and the bars and the not-so-sexy partiers (you get the drift), is an inland utopia of wildlife-rich jungles, the raftable Ayung river and a retreat where you can disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature, or yourself.

Just off the main road in Ubud, you’ll find this sanctuary, a paradise sprawled along the river and built around lush tropical forest life. Spacious villas have private infinity pools, as well as living spaces separate from the main bedroom for added privacy – and a place for the kids or grandkids to hang out and sleep. But as sprawling as it seems, it is home to only 35 suites and 25 private villas. There are more staff members than you can count, ready at your service, yet discretion and wonderful manners keep it on the down-low.

This brand new property – it opened its doors in the early autumn of 2015 – from Ritz-Carlton is as lush and luxurious as it is remote and peaceful. And, speaking of peace, the Mandapa Spa is situated along the river; treatments can and should be taken with nothing but its babbling ebb and flow for a soundtrack. Bliss. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Mandapa/Default.htm


…and one for those ships that pass in the night


Hong Kong

Why: As the main hub of Asia, with daily flights from Canada via both Air Canada and Cathay Pacific, the long-haul layover, or even a weekend between flights, makes sense and eases jet lag.

Where: Check in to the Regal Airport Hotel. Yes, we said airport. If you’ve got an overnighter, you don’t need to go into the city to get a taste of Hong Kong cuisine and hospitality. This outpost of the Regal hotel group has an award-winning record as long as an airport runway, with global flyers like Skytrax, magazines like Business Traveller UK and high-end aficionados such as World Luxury Hotel Awards have all crowned the Regal as the best of the best in Asia and in the world for more than 5 years running.

Of course, you can go into the city, as the Airport Express train, which takes about a half hour, is conveniently located just outside the hotel doors – as is Hong Kong airport a two minute walk. Hong Kong Disneyland is also a short drive away – but we say sleep in, and play as a hotel resident. Book a executive club floor room, where you can watch planes take off and land from your window, and take advantage of the executive lounge for breakfast and afternoon cocktails; go for an easy-walking distance stroll and do some shopping at the SkyPlaza, take a swim in either of the Regal’s indoor or outdoor pools, have a massage or a steam at the spa and then stay in for dinner.

You can dine at one of the six restaurants and bars on local Cantonese dishes, take a taste trip to Shanghai, go to Japan at the in-house izakaya, go American steak house or try a sip–or a bottle – of the house wine. The Regal Margaux, a medium-bodied wine bottled by Château Les Barraillots for the hotel group. You’ll be so relaxed and rested for your onward journey, you may not want to check out.