Guide to the best end-of-sea­son deals

The Jewish Chronicle - - Travel - by kate collins

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

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