Grab a weekend in Vienna in this week's travel deals
Within the UAE
A brunch and stay at The Fairmont Enjoy Spectrum on One’s popular Friday brunch, then amble up to your room to rest. With this deal you’ll get brunch for two adults, a one-night stay in the hotel, valid on the same day as your brunch (check in at 3pm and check out at noon), complimentary access to the health club and swimming pools, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a daily newspaper. Sounds right up our alley. Dhs1,290 for two people with non-alcoholic brunch; Dhs1,490 with hops and vines brunch; Dhs1,890 with bubbly brunch. Quote ‘Room and brunch offer’ when booking. Valid until December 31 2011. The Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 311 8316).
A romantic weekend at The Pullman Couples can head to this classy, design-led spot at Mall of the Emirates in Barsha for a two-night stay, where they’ll get a signature massage for two, a welcome bottle of bubbly and late check-out. You should leave liking each other more than when you walked in. Dhs1,999 per couple. Until December 31. www.pullmanhotels.com (04 377 2000).
Dive packages in Fujairah The Nour Arjaan by Rotana has just launched a new dive and stay package – get a night’s stay, breakfast, late check-out at 6pm and a dive (for both qualified and new divers) at the five-star IDC Padi centre, Divers Down. Dhs550 per person. Ongoing. Nour Arjan by Rotana, Fujairah (09 202 5507).
Big discounts at the Burj Al Arab To celebrate the UAE’s 40th birthday on December 2, the Burj Al Arab is offering a 40 per cent discount for UAE nationals and residents only on their best available room rate (which starts from Dhs4,190). The offer is valid for 40 days between November 10 and December 20. It’s sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (we’ve heard the service is impeccable). Rooms from Dhs4,190 a night, after discount. Valid until December 20. firstname.lastname@example.org (04 301 7400).
Ladies’ desert retreat at Bab Al Shams Join ladies-only travel company The World At Her Feet for a three-day break at the Bab Al Shams resort in November. It will include a welcome drink, daily buffet breakfast and lunch, one dinner at Masala, one dinner at Al Hadheerah with a show, one spa treatment and one archery lesson. Dhs2,500 on a twin-sharing basis. Trip runs November 17-19. Bab al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, near Endurance Village, www.meydanhotels.com/babalshams (04 381 3231).
Spa and stay at the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi The winter spa getaway package at this newly renamed trackside hotel includes 50 minutes of treatment time in the ESPA, use of the facilities, a one-night stay in the high-design hotel and breakfast. Dhs1,450 for two people. Valid until December 30. Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/abudhabi (02 656 000).
Try the new Mafraq Hotel in Abu Dhabi This four-star independently-owned hotel has just opened 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi’s city centre, near Shahama. With 250 suites, a tranquil garden and pool and affordable rates, it’s a good option for any Abu Dhabi stopovers. Rooms from Dhs500. Ongoing. Mafraq Hotel, Shahama, near Abu Dhabi, www.mafraq-hotel.com (02 659 6666). Visit Abu Dhabi’s new Rocco Forte Hotel This classy hotel chain is known for impeccable interiors and regal aspirations. The Abu Dhabi property – which opened on November 7 – has a 2,000 sq m spa with indoor swimming pools, a hammam, a gym, 15 treatment rooms and a yoga/Pilates studio, alongside high-end restaurant options (including a Martin Brudnizki-designed Italian restaurant, Oro). Special introductory rate from Dhs1,200 per room per night. Valid until December 31. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Abu Dhabi, www.roccofortehotelabudhabi.com (02 617 0000).
A canal-side retreat in Amsterdam Stay four nights for the price of three in the canal-side Sofitel Amsterdam The Grand in The Netherlands. Nestled between two quiet canals in the heart of the city, the hotel has retained its 15th-century architectural heritage but still boasts five-star facilities. Built around a 17th-century 100km canal ring, the capital of the Netherlands is often referred to as ‘The Venice of the North’, and is a wonderful city to visit thanks to its bicycle-friendly streets, trendy bars and beautiful tulips, with plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. From Dhs8,213, including transfers, accommodation and return flights from Dubai with Emirates. Valid until December 27. www.emiratesholidays.com (800 5252).
Spa and diving packages in the Maldives Baros Maldives, an intimate boutique resort that’s a 20-minute boat ride from Malé Airport, is offering luxury packages for both spa and sea lovers. The diving package involves a 90-minute to two-hour course for two on the basics of scuba diving, during which you’ll enjoy your first dive experience at the Baros Reef. The spa package allows two guests to try a signature body scrub. The packages include transfers and breakfast (with a minimum stay of four nights). From Dhs2,100 per night. Valid until December 15. www.baros.com (+960 664 2672).
Viennese escape Travel to the city where the spirit of the Austrian Empire is still alive. Vienna is great for art fans who want to see the works of pioneering Viennese greats Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Stay for four nights in one of Sharaf’s partner hotels – the package includes a city tour and a trip to the Schonbrunn Palace. Flights aren’t included, but you can fly direct on Austrian Air from Dhs2,260 return (www.austrian.com). Dhs1,050 per person based on two sharing. Valid until December 31. www.sharaftravel.com (04 397 6161).
Best time of year to go to…
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA Gather around with 15,000 people to watch Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s rodent, predict the weather. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; if not, there will be an early spring. The city comes alive with events such as ‘breakfast with Phil’. Groundhog Day Festival, February 2, www.groundhog.org.
Viareggio, Tuscany, Italy The four Sundays before Lent see this town come alive with parades, fireworks, marching bands, papier-mâéche figures and general revelry. Viareggio Carnival, February 19-March 12, www.vacanzeinversilia.com/eng/carnevale.