From riding in the moutains of Romania to a luxury getaway at the Sukothai Bangkok, 2011 brings a host of tempting offers.
Where to ring in the New Year
Go horseriding during a week-long holiday in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania. Equus Silvania, a German-Romanian tour company, specialises in riding trips that combine local lifestyle and cuisine with comfortable country-style accommodation. You'll stay at a guesthouse and horseriding facility in the village of Sinca Noua in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, about three hours from Bucharest. The village is surrounded by picturesque countryside and glorious riding trails into the mountains beyond. The trip consists of five days' riding (two days with an overnight stay in the mountains) through forests and pastures, a day exploring the villages of central Transylvania, and an evening of brown bear spotting.
Departures are available all year round. Winter snow riding trips are available in January and February. Trips cost from £700 (Dh4,000) per person, excluding flights. For more information, visit www.equus-silvania.com or call 00 40 268 228 60, or book through www.responsibletravel.com.
Explore the wilderness of Namibia on a 12-day trip organised by Bales Worldwide. The journey starts with an expedition to the red clay dunes of Sossusvlei, and includes: visits to Sesriem Canyon and Swakopmund; a cruise in Walvis Bay, rich in marine life; a trip to Damaraland to a Himba village; two days at a safari camp exploring the salt pans and water holes of Etosha National Park, and a night at the luxurious Kempinski Mokuti Lodge, located just outside the park. The price includes the services of an experienced local English-speaking guide, transfers on arrival and departure, all transportation during the tour, game drives and park entrance fees, accommodation and meals. The trip costs from £2,935 (Dh16,760) per person, land only. Visit www.balesworldwide.com for more details.
Book a minimum of three consecutive nights at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives and enjoy full-board accommodation that includes daily afternoon tea and some complimentary water sports (pedal boats, canoes and windsurfers). Set among the islands of South Ari Atoll, the resort is just 25 minutes by air from Malé and is within easy reach of the top dive spots. Prices start at US$3,429 (Dh12,600) for a full-board three-night stay in a beachfront suite, including taxes. The suite accommodates up to three adults, or two adults and two children. For an extra $89 (Dh327) per adult, per day, guests receive a daily 60-minute treatment at Spa Cenvaree. The offer is valid for stays from January 1. For more information, visit www.centarahotelsresorts.com.
Ring in Chinese New Year, which falls on February 3, at the Sukhothai Bangkok. Its celebration package costs from 9,416 Thai baht (Dh1,146) for a superior room per night, or 11,700 baht (Dh1,424) per night in an executive deluxe room. Prices include taxes, breakfast and internet access. Guests booking a minimum of two consecutive nights in a superior room are welcome to enjoy afternoon tea (weekdays from 2pm to 6pm) or one-time entrance to the chocolate buffet (weekends from 2pm to 5.30pm) for two. Those booking two nights in an executive deluxe room also earn a Thai set dinner for two at Celadon restaurant, set in the middle of a striking lotus pond. Sukothai's Chinese New Year package is available from January 28 to February 8. Visit www.sukhothai.com or call 00 66 2344 8888 for more information.