Guide to the best end-of-season deals
Th e a c c l a i me d london-based Jewish pianist Alfred Brendel is taking his final bow at next month’s annual Piano festival in lucerne, and rail specialists eRail are offering accommodation and tickets for the sold-out concerts. The threenight package, from November 2124, includes eurostar from london St Pancras via Paris to lucerne, three nights at the Waldstaetterhof hotel and tickets for three concerts (two by Brendel and one by Jean Yves Thibaudet on November 22), from £855 per person (based on two sharing). alternatively, for those who prefer to make their own flight arrangements, £530 per person buys local rail tickets, hotel and concerts but not flights (www.erail.co.uk; 020 7619 1083).
The luxurious cricklade hotel and country club on the edge of the cotswolds is offering two nights’ accommodation from £120 per person, based on two sharing, any time until december 23. The package includes full breakfast, table d’hote dinner with coffee and petit fours, live entertainment and use of the leisure facilities which includes indoor pool, spa, gym, steam room, tennis court and golf course (01793 750751; www.crickladehotel.co.uk).
With Ba considering charging passengers to carry skis and golf clubs, Gideon Kasfiner’s pioneering First luggage service is offering a possible solution. The door-to-door luggage service takes luggage (including bulky sports equipment) from your home direct to your destination. There is no need to adhere to weight or size restrictions and travellers can avoid the risk of lost luggage, excess baggage charges, queues at check-in — and, of course, shlepping luggage to and from the airport. From £49 in europe (0800 0835503; www.firstluggage.com).
Grayshott, the ultra luxe spa on the Surrey-hampshire border is offering an alluring “bring a friend” deal for its deluxe Spa day until October 31. You and a friend can enjoy some half-price pampering or you could take someone as a birthday or thank-you treat. Both guests have full use of the spa, pool, tennis courts, relaxation room, sauna and steam rooms, exercise classes and three-course buffet lunch, while one guest receives a Grayshott classic massage and aroma face massage. The price is £165 on weekdays and £185 from Friday to Sunday (01428 602020; www.grayshottspa.com).
Tropical villa specialists Karma Resorts, is offering “ family and friends” packages for groups of six or more travelling together to Bali and Thailand. accommodation in elegantly appointed villas with up to four bedrooms, costs from £1,661 per adult and £1,555 per child including flights. Properties have secluded gardens and private pools and until January 2009, packages at Thailand’s Karma Samui and Karma Kandar, include extras, such as private airport transfers; daily breakfast; kids’ club; one night’s baby-sitting; and snorkelling and lunch (www.karmaresorts.com; or bookable through Tropical locations, www.tropical-locations. com; 0845 277 3310).
For those who want a holiday with an even bigger group, villa specialist Belvilla has large properties across europe, including chateaux, manor houses and luxury villas, many sleeping up to 20, some 30. They include le château du creuset, a gorgeous, recently renovated castle in the loire. it has two swimming pools and tennis courts with quad biking, paintballing, walking and mountains biking available nearby. Sleeping up to 14, prices are from £3,252 per week (www.belvilla.co.uk; 020 8099 0751)
holbeck Ghyll country house hotel, overlooking lake Windermere, is the perfect spot for some pre-winter walking in the lake district — anything from a gentle stroll to a day-long hike. and back at the hotel, guests can take afternoon tea in the lounge, ease aching muscles in the Spa and dine in the michelin-starred restaurant. Prices are from £125 per person, per night including dinner and breakfast (www. holbeckghyll.com; 01539 432 375).
For those who prefer to take their exercise on a bike, exodus Travel is offering a range of new cycling holidays for 2009. among a tempting collection of individual trips — there is also a range of exotic escorted trips — is an eight-day “dolomites to Venice” ride from the foothills of these beautiful mountains, across undisturbed countryside and on to Venice for culture and shopping. From £879 per person (based on two sharing) it includes seven nights’ hotel accommodation, breakfast and flights (www.exodus. co.uk; 0845 863 9600).
morocco specialist Best of morocco is offering five nights for the price of four in one of Richard Branson’s new Berber tented suites at Kasbah Tamadot in the atlas mountains, just 50 minutes from marrakech. each airconditioned suite has plunge pool, freestanding tub, dVd and cd players, and mini-bar. cost is from £1,880 per person (based on two sharing) including flights, five nights’ accommodation with breakfast, and transfers. Offer valid until december 14( 08450 264 585; www.realmorocco.com).
The Grand Canal, Venice: visit the city at the end of a northern Italy cycle-ride from the Dolomites
A typical Loire village: rent a villa in the region for 14 guests with Belvilla