We’re giving away 3 X 10,000 StatusPlus Points!

Sandman's summer giveaway series

It’s the summer of giveaways with our ‘Sandman Brings You A Dream’ promotion!

Simply book direct and stay with Sandman between May 1 – September 30, 2015 and you will be automatically entered to win amazing prizes, including: a BBQ & patio set, $6,000 in prepaid credit cards, $4,000 in Sandman gift certificates and much more!

For more information, click here.


mobile app, StatusPlus points, contest, giveaway
Our social media platforms will also be giving away prizes all summer: StatusPlus Points, Denny’s Gift Cards, Sandman Gift Cards, and Prepaid Credit Cards!

First summer contest: May 25 – June 5, 2015
We’re giving away 10,000 StatusPlus Points on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram… 30,000 points total which is over 24 free room nights!

Facebook: 10,000 StatusPlus Points
– To enter, upload a photo that represents why you’re excited for summer, Like us, tag Sandman Hotel Group & use #dreamwithSandman.

Twitter: 10,000 StatusPlus Points
– To enter, upload a photo that represents why you’re excited for summer, Follow us, tag @SandmanHotels & use #dreamwithSandman.

Instagram: 10,000 StatusPlus Points
– To enter, upload a photo that represents why you’re excited for summer, Follow us, tag @SandmanHotels & use #dreamwithSandman.

For a full list of our summer social media contests, click here.

Happy World Towel Day!

world towel day

Do you love Douglas Adams books?  Then this is the day for you!

Towel Day encourages all fans to carry around a towel on the momentous date.  But where does the idea stem from?

Well, if you’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ll already know the answer! In Guide to the Galaxy, Adams talks about why a towel is the most important item a space-travelling hitchhiker can have.

Not only is it extremely practical – you can use it to keep warm, to lie on, to sleep on, and to use as a miniraft as you sail down the River Moth!

“More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

world towel day, douglas adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

So what can you do to celebrate the day?  Well, carry your towel! (okay, that was the obvious one).

Sandman Hotel Group subscribe to the three “R’s” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) in all divisions. It starts with our construction sites and their ability to recycle as much material as possible, from one site to another, right through to our restaurants who recycle cooking oils. In our hotels, we ask our guests to participate in helping to reduce excessive laundry requests, and this includes reusing towels.

Approximately 75% of our guests who are asked to participate in our towel-energy savings program do help by using their towels more than once. You can join our fellow guests in this program and help save the environment by reusing your towels during your stay.

With the combined recycling efforts of our laundries, restaurants, and energy committees, we are constantly trying to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Annual reviews of our energy consumption, waste removal/recycling, and in-house initiatives are conducted. New ideas and suggestions are distributed throughout the corporation for the sole purpose of minimizing our impact on both the local and global environment.

Happy Towel Day to all!

Random Animal Myths & Truths

animal groupFrom immortal jellyfish and death-defying tardigrades to proposing penguins and voting bovines, facts about animals are something people love to share. Be it because of our love for animals, our fascination with the unknown, or because we like to seem smart to our friends, people love to talk about what animals can do. Unfortunately, a lot of our favourite facts out there are completely wrong. So we’ve dug up 11 amazing animal truths and 11 of the most popular animal myths.

Truths:

1. Gorillas can catch human colds and other illnesses.

2. The female lion does ninety percent of the hunting.

3. The only dog that doesn’t have a pink tongue is the chow.

4. In Alaska it is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they’re moose hunting.

5. A tarantula spider can survive for more than two years without food.

6. If you lift a kangaroo’s tail off the ground it can’t hop – they use their tails for balance.

7. If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will become pale!

8. The blue whale weighs as much as thirty elephants and is as long as three Greyhound buses.

9. To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaw, push your thumb into its eyeballs-it will let you go instantly.

10. Even a small amount of alcohol placed on a scorpion will make it go crazy and sting itself to death!

11. The flamingo can only eat when its head is upside down.


How many of the above facts did you know?

Now… on to the myths…

Myths:

1. Bee flight is not a scientific anomaly but actually well understood

bumble bee

No laws of physics are broken, no magic is used, and no bee straps a little jetpack to its back. Bee flight is well within the realm of physics, and we fully understand it. They’ve even built little bee robots, that copy how they fly.

2. A goldfish’s memory is longer than three seconds

goldfish1

And we’re not talking about five seconds here. It has been found that goldfish can remember things that happened at least five months ago, if not more. Crazy, huh?

3. Camel’s don’t store water in their humps

camel

Really, this one kinda just makes sense. Considering how rigid a camels hump is — we can sit on them — the water would have to be frozen. Instead the hump is full of fat, storing three weeks worth of energy. It’s more their kidney that helps them conserve water.

4. Houseflies live longer than 24 hours

housefly

This one actually got me for years. I don’t know where or how this story started, but it definitely seems correct…right? Flies actually live nice, long, fulfilling lives, dying at the ripe old age of 13 to 30 days. That is, unless, you include the time they’re a pupa, then they live to be about 35 to 50 days. Talk about geezers.

5. Ostriches don’t stick their heads in the sand

ostrich

They just don’t.

6. Bats aren’t blind

bats

Their eyes, however, are shit when compared to other nocturnal animals, resulting in the need for echolocation. Really though, shouldn’t this have been common sense, I mean how else would they know that it’s night time.

7. Bears don’t actually hibernate

bear_107448296

We’re kind of cheating here a bit. Bears do sleep for long periods of time in the winter, but it’s not actually true hibernation- instead it’s called “winter sleep”. Why don’t they hibernate: science… or the fact that their metabolic rate and body temperature don’t drop to the same degree as real hibernators… so… science!

8. A worm cut in half will not regenerate into two worms

worm

We spent our whole childhoods thinking we were all powerful, doubling the worms in my backyard. Fortunately though, the part with the head — yes, worms have a head — will usually regenerate, as long as the clitellum is cut off with the head. What’s a clitellum? That weird looking thicker portion of a worm- the more you know.

9. You can’t get warts from frogs and toads

frogs

What’s the upside of this? Looking for your prince just become wart risk free!

10. Koala bears aren’t bears

koala bear

They’re marsupials, meaning they have pouches like kangaroos. And frankly, they don’t even look like bears.

11. Wolves don’t howl at the moon

wolves

Wolves howl to communicate with each other, and not at the moon. Don’t feel bad though, this myth has been around for hundreds of years. And before you say, “well what if there are wolves on the moon”, episode 3 of the classic late 90s cartoon, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, already debunked this, so ha.


Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!

Reservations Made Easy With Sandman’s New Mobile App

Sandman Hotel Group is excited about making travel easier with the release of the new Sandman mobile app which will provide the best available rate found anywhere. Guaranteed!

Developed out of a desire to provide guests the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way to book a hotel room, the app allows the user to perform a variety of functions as easy as a few taps of the app. Other features include the ability to synchronize bookings between iPad, mobile devices and desktop as well as access to booking history.

Available for iOS and Android devices, our free app enhances the users’ experience for both reservations and beyond.

iphone-find-hotelUpdates and enhancements:

• The Best Available Rate that you will find anywhere. Guaranteed.
• Automatic enrollment in the StatusPlus™ Rewards Program where you can start collecting and redeeming points for future stays.
• Easy-to-use booking functions with booking confirmations and receipts stored in the app.
• Use group, promo, or corporate codes to access special rates.
• View upcoming reservations.
• Browse hotel photos, maps, and amenities.
• Browse city guides with helpful tips about your destinations

And much, much more!

“As the number of smartphones continues to increase and mobile apps play an ever-growing role in the way people conduct busi­ness, we knew the time was right for us to substantially improve our existing app,” said Salim Kassam, Vice President of Marketing for Sandman Hotel Group. “Today’s guests expect to be able to use their smartphones to do almost everything, and that’s realistic with our new app.”

To download: Visit Apple iTunes App Store or Google Play and search Sandman Hotel Group for free iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

Click here for more information about our NEW mobile app.

20 Things You Didn’t Know about Queen Victoria

Victoria, British Columbia

Canada has been celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday since 1845, but there’s a lot about the woman, to whom we owe the first unofficial long weekend of the summer, that you may not have realized.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

Victoria, born May 24, 1819, was the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1840, and the union produced four sons and five daughters. She died at 81 years old, on January 22, 1901, and was the longest sitting sovereign in history after a reign of 63 years and 216 days.

But while the day bears her name, here are 20 things you never knew about Queen Victoria or her holiday – or have long since forgotten.

1. Victoria Day is a Canadian tradition and doesn’t actually exist in most of England. But it is celebrated in parts of Scotland, especially Edinburgh, where it remains an official holiday.

2. While the holiday moves around a lot now (falling this year on May 19th), the original rules stated it be celebrated annually on May 24th, regardless of what day that was, unless it was a Sunday – and then the observance would be moved to the 25th.

That changed with an amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952, when the government declared Victoria Day would fall on the Monday preceding the 25th of May. It’s been there ever since.

And those of us who appreciate our long weekends are glad they made the change or we’d all be working on Monday – and getting Sunday off.

3. Victoria Day is a legal Canadian stat, which means it’s also observed in Quebec. But the idea of honouring a British monarch doesn’t sit well with many in Le Belle Province, where it’s known it be another name. Up until three years ago, it was called Fête de Dollard after Adam Dollard des Ormeaux a French hero who helped lead a force in what is now Montreal against the Iroquois in 1660.

In 2003, it was renamed National Patriots Day in Quebec, ignoring the Queen reference altogether.

4. When Victoria was just a little girl, she was known by her nickname, Drina.

5. Despite being born in England, Victoria only spoke German up until the age of three.

6. She was the first member of the Royal Family known to suffer from hemophilia, a fact that had many questioning the circumstances of her parentage.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

7. She married Prince Albert in 1840, although they’d known each other since she was 16. And it really was a family affair.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was her first cousin and his father was her mother’s brother!

8. Because she was Queen, she had to propose to Albert, and not vice versa.

9. She took over the throne in 1837, after the death of William IV. She was just 18 years old.

10. Despite the somewhat imposing figure she’s been portrayed as in history, the real Victoria didn’t completely measure up. She stood just 5 feet tall.

11. She was the subject of at least six serious assassination attempts.

In 1840, an 18-year-old named Edward Oxford took two shots at her carriage as she was riding in London. He was accused of high treason but found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Two years later, a man named John Francis fired a gun at her carriage but missed. He was caught, convicted of treason, but avoided the death penalty and was shipped to a penal colony.

Less than two months later, a youngster named John William Bean fired ammo made out of tobacco and paper at the Queen.

And in 1849, it happened again when William Hamilton, who history books describe as an ‘angry Irishman’, fired a pistol at her carriage. He pled guilty and was also exiled to a penal colony.

They say if you stay around in politics long enough, you’re bound to make enemies. Victoria was living proof of that. The Queen was set upon again in 1850, when ex-Army officer Robert Pate hit her with his cane. He pleaded insanity but the courts didn’t buy it, leaving him to the same fate as Hamilton.

Incredibly, in 1882, there was yet another attempt on her life, this time by Roderick Maclean, who also missed her with a bullet from a gun. He was found insane and sent to an asylum for life.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

12. When you see pictures or actresses playing Victoria, she’s almost always wearing black. That’s because when her husband died in December 1861, she went into seclusion and a perpetual state of mourning and never wore any other colour.

It’s long been rumoured she later married her Scottish butler John Brown, but that’s never been proven. She didn’t get back into the public eye until the early 1870′s.

13. She became a grandma at 39 and a great grandmother 20 years later.

14. The mother of nine suffered one of the major drawbacks of such a long life, tragically outliving three of her own children.

15. She was the first Queen of Canada, sitting on the throne when this country was founded in 1867.

16. She liked to drink a concoction called Vin Mariani.

17. It was Victoria who started the tradition of a bride wearing white. Before her wedding, a woman would simply wear her best dress, no matter what colour it was.

18. She was named the 18th greatest Briton in a BBC poll conducted in 2002. Winston Churchill was number one. Victoria was beaten out by, among others, Princess Diana (#3), William Shakespeare (#5), and John Lennon (#8). She was followed on the list by Paul McCartney.

Victoria, British Columbia

19. Victoria, British Columbia is named after her, but so is the capital of Saskatchewan – Regina.

20. She was the only British monarch in modern music history to be honoured by name in the title of a rock and roll song. “Victoria”, by the Kinks, #62 on the Billboard charts in 1970, although the record did understandably better on this side of the border.

Paul McCartney famously wrote his 23-second ditty “Her Majesty” tune for the Beatles’ Abbey Road LP, but it wasn’t put out as a single and it never mentioned the current Queen by name.