x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Travel Deals: new luxury hotels open in London and Sydney

Plus a literary symposium in Taunton; get healthy on a tailor-made holiday; and discover India's Pindar Valley.

Join a small-group walking tour in the Himalayas. Courtesy of Village Ways
Join a small-group walking tour in the Himalayas. Courtesy of Village Ways

New hotels promise luxury and style

It seems there can never be too many hotels offering luxurious facilities, and two more are due to open next month. The ME London (www.melia.com), a five-star hotel housed in the former BBC Radio building in Covent Garden, has 157 rooms and great views across the rooftops of the UK capital from its two-storey penthouse suite designed by Foster + Partners. From September 16, one night in the duplex Suite Me costs £4,110 (Dh23,718) including breakfast and taxes.

On the other side of the world, the trendy QT Sydney is set to open in the central business district, inside the former department store Gowings and the State Theatre, a listed building. From September 17, a double room costs from 420 Australian dollars (Dh1,614) per night, including taxes (www.qtsydney.com.au).


Enjoy tales from the road in Taunton, UK

From November 16 to 18, Martin Randall, the founder of the specialist cultural tours operator Martin Randall Travel, is hosting a symposium of some of the finest travel writers in the English language. The bestselling authors and travellers who will be discussing their experiences will include Benedict Allen, William Dalrymple, Justin Marozzi, John Gimlette, Iain Sinclair and Sara Wheeler, many of whom have contributed to the travel pages of The National. A two-night stay, half-board with some refreshments, at the Castle Hotel, Taunton, including tickets to all speaking events, costs £720 (Dh4,155) per person, based on two people sharing. To book, visit www.martinrandall.com.


Find a healthier you on a tailor-made break

The Healthy Holiday Company is offering a new collection of tailor-made active breaks for those keen to do more than lie on a beach. Try trail running with a world championship triathlete on South Africa's Cape, horse riding tricky terrain in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco or a specialist yoga retreat with Portugal and Greece among the beautiful locations on offer. Explore the coastline of Croatia from a gulet, which sleeps 12 to 14 people, from £23,000 (Dh132,730) per week, all inclusive, including a small crew. Take your scuba diving certificate and explore life under the waves, too. For more information, go to www.thehealthyholidaycompany.co.uk.


In good company in the Himalayan foothills

Continuing the theme of exploration and self-improvement, tour operator Village Ways is offering a new small-group walking break in the remote Indian Pindar Valley. Enjoy the exercise and lovely views, stay in mountain villages, learn how the locals keep bees and sleep under the stars in a tented camp. The 12-night trips depart from Delhi in mid-October and November and resume in mid-March. It costs £788 (Dh4,542) per person, based on two people sharing, and includes most meals, transfers, guides and porterage (www.villageways.com).