Love is in the air And it smells romantic!

love_124610029 quote

Valentine’s Day = Love & Romance.

Every February, across the world, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones all in the name of romance.

The rose, which is undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world, speaks of love and has been the choice of lovers in every century. If you rearrange the letters of the word rose you get Eros, the god of Love.

Cupid was one of the gods of mythology. In Latin, the word Cupid means “desire”. Cupid is typically represented as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile. He possessed a bow with a quiver of arrows by which he transfixed the hearts of youths and maidens. Cherubs are descendants of Cupid. They are depicted as lovable little winged creatures without arrows and quivers. Cherubs were typically not mischievous like Cupid.

Dinner and a movie are nice, but why not step it up? February 14th is the perfect excuse to go all out for a loved one and do something you normally wouldn’t do.

love_114016054Sparkling, wine, chocolates, breakfast in bed… No matter where you are in Canada, Sandman has the perfect, romantic packages to spoil your loved one.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary Airport has an ideal romantic weekend getaway for you and your significant other. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations
  • $30 gift card to Moxie’s Grill & Bar
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Late (2 pm) check-out

Celebrate love at Sandman Hotel Langley this Valentine’s Day with the ideal romantic getaway. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in an Executive Queen Suite
  • A dozen roses
  • $10 gift voucher to Denny’s per night
  • A bottle of sparkling wine

Sandman Signature Langley Hotel would like to make this Valentine’s Day your best one yet. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in the Executive Jacuzzi Suite
  • Sparkling wine
  • A dozen flowers
  • Chocolates

Every day is Valentine’s Day at Sandman Hotel Penticton. With beautiful surroundings and an array of activities, we know you will create unforgettable, romantic memories. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Chocolate covered strawberries

Book Sandman Signature Prince George Hotel‘s Romance Package and let us take care of the details. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in the Honeymoon or Executive Jacuzzi Suite
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • A dozen roses
  • A box of chocolates

Everyone deserves a special Valentine’s Day which is why Sandman Hotel Saskatoon is offering two amazing packages, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Package 1

  • A box of chocolates
  • $50 gift card to Shark Club Bar & Grill
  • Complimentary upgrade to the next best room type

Package 2

  • $40 Denny’s gift card
  • Kids amenities (chocolates, chips, and candy)
  • Complimentary upgrade to the next best room type

Sandman Signature Toronto Airport Hotel would like to present you with the ideal romantic getaway for you and your significant other. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in one of our romantic Signature Suites
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Breakfast in bed

Enjoy a night of decadence in a Penthouse Suite at Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport Hotel & Resort. Each Romance Package includes:

  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • $20 gift certificate to Chop Steakhouse & Bar


Sandman Hotels ‘Sweep’ Housekeeping Awards in Alberta

2014 Housekeeping AwardThere’s a lot to be said about cleanliness in the hotel industry. It can make or break a guest’s stay and is a basic foundation for creating a relaxing and welcoming accommodation environment. At Sandman, we make sure all of our hotels adhere to only the highest standards when it comes to housekeeping practices.

Sandman Hotel Red Deer

That’s why we’re proud to congratulate Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South and Sandman Hotel Red Deer for receiving the prestigious ‘Housekeeping Award’ issued by the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

A member-driven organization that represents more than 850 hotels and motels across Alberta, the AHLA is among the foremost authorities in the tourism and hospitality industry.

FB - Corporate Suite

Sandman Hotel Suites Calgary South Corporate King Suite

Both hotels are beyond thrilled to receive the awards which, as the official award states, are given to ‘…a select group of properties that participate in the Approved Accommodation Program and have achieved excellence in cleanliness, comfort, and maintenance. It is a reflection of your staff and your property’s commitment to providing visitors with clean and comfortable accommodation.’

Now that’s pretty spotless news.

Romance. Love. Passion. Valentine’s Day is Back!

love_92877334“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~Judy Garland

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~Charles M. Schulz

“There’s a long life ahead of you and it’s going to be beautiful, as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.” ~Yoko Ono

“I love romance. I’m a sucker for it. I love it so much. It’s pathetic.” ~Drew Barrymore

“I like perfume and flowers.” ~Donatella Versace

february 14_93828682Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and whether you’re looking to spend quality time with your loved one, romance them, or both, Sandman Hotel Group has you covered. Give the perfect gift of a Sandman stay this February 14th.

A few of our hotels in British Columbia have embraced romance and assembled a variety of packages to suit every couple’s needs.

Sandman Suites Vancouver – Davie Street

Grab your loved one and spend Valentine’s in one of the amazing suites overlooking Vancouver.

Choose from one of two packages and create a night (or nights) to remember.

The Experience Package includes: a night’s accommodation in a one-bedroom suite, sparkling wine on ice in your room upon arrival, chocolate covered strawberries, rose petals scattered on your bed, breakfast for two at Moxie’s, and free parking.

The Valentine’s Indulgence Package includes: a night’s accommodation in a one-bedroom Jacuzzi suite on the penthouse floor, sparkling wine on ice in your room upon arrival, chocolate covered strawberries, an edible bouquet in a keepsake container, LUSH bath bomb and bubble bar, floating candles in your Jacuzzi tub, breakfast for two at Moxie’s, and free parking.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna

Treat your sweetheart to a Valentine’s weekend to remember. Indulge your passionate side with a night of decadence, sparkling wine and roses upon arrival, $100 Chop Steakhouse & Bar, and memories to last a lifetime.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Squamish

love_129289046Every day is Valentine’s Day in Squamish . With beautiful surroundings and an array of activities, all you have to do is add elegance and indulgence to your getaway. Spend a beautiful night in the mountains with a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolates, a rose on arrival, complimentary early check-in of 1pm and late check-out of 1pm, and complimentary upgrade to the next best room upon check-in (based on availability).

But BC is not the only province that knows how to spoil a loved one. Numerous Sandmans in Alberta have created beautiful packages sure to please your significant other.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary West

The perfect getaway gift for you and your sweetheart awaits you. We’ll make sure you experience pure romance from start to finish! Treat your significant other to a romantic night away from home with our complete Romance Package, including a bottle of sparkling wine, a box of chocolates, and 2 – $10 Denny’s gift cards.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South

Treat your sweetheart to a romantic Valentine’s weekend away from home with our complete Valentine’s Packages. Simply book before February 7, 2014 and choose between our 3 offers:

chocolate_strawberry_93030673Package A: 1 Night Stay

  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine
  • chocolate covered strawberries
  • 1 $30 gift card to Denny’s

Package B: 2 Night Stay

  • Everything from Package A AND
  • 1 $75 gift card to Chinook Mall
  • 1 $30 gift card to Moxie’s Grill & Bar

Package C: 3 Night Stay

  • Everything from Package A & B AND
  • 25% off your 3rd night
  • 1 $30 gift card to Denny’s

No matter where you are or what you’re looking for, Sandman has the perfect amount of romance for you.

Rose Petals of Love

New Year’s Resolutions – Did You Make Them Realistic?

Travel Quote

Gulliver traveled. Look where it got him: lashed to the land by little people. Columbus, big traveler, right? Underestimated the circumference of the Earth and died thinking he’d found India. Sure, you can come up with justifications for never leaving the splendid safety of your office chair. Truth is, travel makes us better in many ways: better employees, better family members, and better friends.

Every year, the month of January makes us say things like: Out with the old; in with the new. It may be cliché, but every year, we say it. That may be because there’s something about the beginning of a new year that automatically sparks a desire to make a change or start something fresh. But instead of making a new year’s resolution that is unattainable, why not find something you will be able to achieve and enjoy at the same time.

iphone 5 cameraHow about learning how to actually use your camera? (Remember that there is a camera on your phone, so this applies to all smart phone users as well.) Our resident social media guru put together these five simple tips to help kick start your camera knowledge.

Number 1: Get to know your camera/phone functions. You don’t want to be fumbling with controls and missing moments.

Number 2: Turn your flash off for nightscapes. Flash can only travel a few feet, so there is no way it’s going to help you with that Vegas-by-night shot. Find a stable place to sit the camera, like a portable tripod or even a curbside newspaper box.

Number 3: Use flash in the sun. Try turning on the flash when you’re taking portraits of each other in harsh sunlight. It sounds odd, but flash will actually fill in the heavy shadows caused by the sun, giving you more even light and color.

Number 4: The landscape mode on your camera is designed to give you sharp pictures from a distance, along with rich blue skies and lush earth tones. Flip to this mode when you need it, and let the camera do all the work.

Number 5: Don’t always rely on zoom lenses to get you close to the action. Walk right up to your subject, interact with them, and get details that fly-by tourists would miss in their haste.

photo collageNow that you know how to use your camera, let’s put your new knowledge to use. And there’s no better way to test your camera skills than to go on a trip. Think about the amazing adventures, delicious food, and the beautiful photos you will take. Exciting!

There’s only one thing left to do. Plan the trip.

Why? Because the pleasure of pre-trip anticipation is invigorating. It’s why puppies are more joyful than dogs.

Pros to planning now: A vacation begins the second you start to plan it. Travelers’ moods improve as soon as the planning begins, even before the actual vacation starts.

Cons: Running out of toner the second you try to print your boarding pass. Trying to remember where you put the digital luggage scale. Rushing out to buy batteries for that digital luggage scale.

Canadian TravelSo where will your new adventure take you? If you’re looking to travel within Canada, your choices are endless.

Canada’s cities are energetic, multi-cultural, and most importantly, distinctive.  You don’t drive from one to the other expecting the same.  Vancouver and Victoria’s lifestyles are always relaxed, and while it may be wet, it doesn’t stop people from enjoying the natural surroundings of each city.  Booming Calgary and Edmonton reap the benefits of our natural resources.  Regina and Saskatoon proudly bring vibrancy to the prairies.  Winnipeg is a definite cultural centre at the heart of the country. Toronto and Ottawa are the corridors of business and politics.  Montreal enjoys a reputation as the coolest city in the country, if not the continent, while the streets of old Quebec City feel like they’ve teleported from Europe.  The history is everywhere in Halifax and Charlottetown, and the charm thick in Fredericton. In Newfoundland, St John’s witnesses the first sunrise of the continent, and its brightly painted houses as animated as its people.  Let’s not forget Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit, our vibrant outposts of the Great White North.

Whatever your new year’s resolution might be, whether it be travelling or learning how to use your camera, Sandman looks forward to spending time with you in 2014!

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

rodeo cowboy silhouetteThe Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Western Culture and Heritage. Fried Food. One of these things is not like the other. Or is it?

Now that the water has been drained, the City of Calgary, The Calgary Stampede, and multitudes of volunteers are working effortlessly to ensure Stampede Park is ready for the 2013 Calgary Stampede. Although some of the events held at the Saddledome have been cancelled, officials have expressed the importance of the rodeo and the party going ahead. The new slogan ”Hell of High Water” describes the determination and desire to bring the community together for a positive event after weeks of mayhem. And what brings people together more than food?

If you’ve ever been to the Stampede midway, you understand that food is almost as important as the rodeo, Nashville North, and all the rides combined. And we’re not talking about the loved standards of corn dogs and mini donuts. We’re not even talking about the epitome of the Stampede: pulled pork on a bun. We’re talking about the evolution of Stampede midway food. Something no one can deny.

A few years ago, new additions included a doughnut burger with cheese, mac & cheese pizza, and pulled pork parfait with a side of deep-fried pickles. Last year, the bacon and maple syrup funnel cake and deep fried cheese were introduced. But this is 2013. So can you guess what the midway will be introducing this year? Bet you can’t.

Warning: excess consumption of the following foods may result in cravings and the need to go back for more.

*Photos and food descriptions courtesy of the Calgary Stampede.

Taking Deep Fried to a Whole New Level. Of Awesome.

Double Bacon Corndog

Double Bacon Corndog

Double Bacon Corndog
A hot dog is wrapped in bacon, deep fried, dipped in real bacon bit infused batter, deep fried again, and served with maple syrup and more bacon bits.

Deep Fried Pickled Beans
Continuing the pickle craze, green beans are pickled, battered, and deep fried.

Deep Fried Butter
The old adage that calories don’t count during Stampede is put to the test with this treat. Cubes of butter are wrapped tightly in homemade pie crust before being deep fried to perfection.

Banana Bacon Ear

Banana Bacon Ear

Banana Bacon Ear
Elephant ear dough is wrapped around bacon and bananas, deep fried, and served on a stick.

Sweet Corn Corndog
Fresh sweet corn is husked, cut off the cob and added to traditional corndog batter to create a fresh twist on an old favourite.

Deep Fried Avocado

Deep Fried Avocado

Deep Fried Avocado
Pieces of avocado are coated in light tempura batter and deep fried.

Deep Fried Philly Cheesesteak Rollup
The traditional Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, which gets rolled up and deep fried.

Deep Fried Bubble Gum
Despite the name, Deep Fried Bubble Gum is not of the bubble blowing variety. Puffy marshmallows are infused with bubble gum flavouring, dipped in a pink pastry batter, and deep fried. The result is an unexpected gooey delight!

Deep Fried Doritos

Deep Fried Doritos

Deep Fried Doritos
A deep fried snack made of Doritos, beer, and bacon. Could it get any better? Doritos are dipped in a beer batter, sprinkled with bacon bits, and deep fried.

Philly Cheesesteak
Thinly sliced pieces of steak, sautéed onions, and melted cheese are all served on a hoagie roll for this Philadelphia favourite.

Eggroll on a Stick

Eggroll on a Stick

Eggroll on a Stick
A Chinese favourite gets the Stampede treatment when we take a classic eggroll and serve it on a stick.

Pickle Shooters
Think you have the stomach for it? Shots of pure pickle juice are available for those daring enough to try.

Chip Dog

Chip Dog

Chip Dog
Not your typical meat and potatoes. Take your hotdog on a stick and then surround it by spiral cut chips.

Double smoked bacon wrapped cheese perogie skewer
Pan fried perogies wrapped with double smoked bacon, skewered, and served with a dollop of sour cream and chives.


Godzilla Mac and Cheese

Godzilla Mac and Cheese
Classic gourmet Mac and Cheese with a Japanese flair. ‘Reel Mac and Cheese’ is topped with Nori (roasted seaweed), teriyaki sauce, and a squiggle of Japanese mayo. Arigoto.

Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita Pibil
Slow cooked pork served in tortillas with adobe salsa, lime, red onions, and habaneros (for the REAL Cowboy).

Idaho Taco
A jumbo Idaho potato is baked, opened, and then loaded to the brim with your favourite taco toppings.

Shrimp Chips

Shrimp Chips

Shrimp Chips
A mixture of shrimp and tapioca flour is rolled out, sliced, dried, and then deep fried. A staple Asian snack!

Idaho Nachos
Idaho’s version of nachos starts with waffle cut fries that are then topped with all the fix’ins.

Flautas de Pollo

Flautas de Pollo

Flautas de Pollo
Rolled Chicken Tacos deep friend and served with sour cream. Lettuce and salsa on top.

Naaco TNT
A sweet, salty, spicy, fresh, and crunchy puffed rice based salad from India. It is made by mixing a variety of vegetables, sauces/chutneys, spice powders, fresh herbs, lime, and puffed rice together and serving it in a waffle cone.

Not your average sweet treats!

Chocolate Dipped Jalapeno

Chocolate Dipped Jalapeno

Chocolate Dipped Jalapeno
Just as it sounds. A jalapeno is dipped into chocolate to make for a sweet and spicy treat.

Chocolate Covered Bacon
Combining two of our favourite food groups. Bacon is dipped in chocolate and served on a stick.

Frozen Yogurt
This self-serve frozen treat comes with toppings galore. You are the boss of your yogurt destiny!

Deep Fried Pie

Deep Fried Pie

Deep Fried Pie
Homemade pie crust is filled with your choice of pie filling before it is wrapped, deep fried, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Soft service ice cream is available to top it all off.

Chocolate Cinnamon Bear Fudge
Cinnamon Bears are added to this crowd pleasing fudge to blend sweet and spicy.

Chocolate Bacon Fudge
Bite into this decadent chocolate fudge, and you will discover bacon bits that have been added to the mixture. Sweet and salty!

B52 Fudge

B52 Fudge

B52 Fudge
Fudge with a buzz! Baileys fudge is topped with Grand Marnier fudge and then topped off with Kahlua fudge.

Dessert Fries
Home cut French fries are coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a side of special frosting dipping sauce.

Chocolate Bacon Apple
No midway is complete without a chocolate coated apple, and the Stampede is no exception. Roll that apple in bacon bits, and you are on a new playing field.

Western Cake Pops
Finally cake on a stick. Gooey chocolate cake shaped as cowboy boots and hats then dipped in milk chocolate. Giddy up!