Eid Al Fitr is on the horizon and if you haven’t booked a getaway yet, it’s time to turn your thoughts to some last-minute holiday planning. And organising your trip so late on doesn’t mean you will have to settle for a run-of-the-mill stay that won’t capture the imagination. Whether you want to explore the mangroves around a remote Thai island or go snap happy in Belgium, here are nine Eid holiday ideas worth considering.
Georgian delights in Tbilisi
Travel to the Caucasus city of Tbilisi to sample an evolving nightlife, dining and arts scene. Dubai’s Tajawal Travel has put together three packages for anyone looking to discover Georgia’s blossoming capital this Eid. Budget-conscious travellers can choose the bronze option, which includes three nights at the Gallery Palace, next to the National Botanical Garden of Tbilisi. For fans of luxury, the gold package includes check-in in at the stunning Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi, which is within walking distance of Liberty Square.
Packages start at Dh3,853 per person, including flights, daily breakfast, a private day tour of Tbilisi and airport transfers. Book online at www.tajawal.com
Indulge your inner self in India
If you have a few extra days to add to your Eid holiday, consider investing in your well-being with a wellness escape at Atmantan in Pune, Western India. This resort is a sprawling blend of modernity and spirituality, and serves up a host of remedies and treatments, including Ayurveda, massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, chakra work and balneotherapy, with the site nestled amid 42 acres of lush green valleys and the waters of Mulshi Lake. This Eid, when you book a stay of at least 10 nights, the resort will cover the cost of your three-hour flight from the UAE.
A 10-night stay with flights costs Dh15,428, including taxes and meals. Book online at www.atmantan.com
Join royal celebrations in London
With Eid taking place in June this year, a visit to London makes perfect sense. Britain’s capital will be in full pre-summer mode, buoyed by the excitement surrounding the recent birth of royal baby, Archie. Indulge in regal celebrations on June 8 when Queen Elizabeth II marks her official birthday with the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony. Watch 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and the massed bands of the Household Division on parade. You can also keep the royal theme going at the Corinthia Hotel London’s Royal Penthouse. It’s the largest two-bedroom luxury hotel residence in the city and overlooks the Thames, with views of the heart of the city and the heritage sights of Westminster. If that’s not quite within your budget, there are several other stunning penthouses to pick from at the hotel, as well as some beautiful suites. All rooms will be filled with celebratory Eid dates and fruit baskets.
Junior suites start at Dh5,617 a night, penthouse suites at Dh32,763, and a night in the Royal Penthouse will cost guests Dh102,970 per night. Book online at www.corinthia.com
Go snap happy in Belgium
Capture every detail of your holiday with a stay at Hotel Amigo in Brussels. Set among the Belgian capital’s cobbled streets, the historic hotel fuses modern design with traditional touches – and this contrast will be clear in your holiday snaps. Guests each get their own retro Polaroid camera at check-in. Start your stay by spending time with the hotel concierge and creating your perfect day-trip itinerary. Make use of a hotel guide or head out on your own, armed with your customised itinerary, to explore Ghent, Antwerp or Bruges, and capture every moment with your camera. Before you head home, the hotel will gather your pictures into a souvenir photo album.
Rates from Dh2,349 per night for two people and include breakfast, concierge day trip recommendations, a Polaroid camera and personalised photo album. To book, email email@example.com
Explore easy-going Tunis
The capital of North Africa’s smallest country has a laid-back vibe and rich history. With a flight time of about seven hours from the UAE, Tunis is brimming with Maghreb culture, relics and historic souks. Check in to The Residence Tunis for an escape that is designed to leave you feeling fully restored. Stay for four days and you’ll enjoy a body scrub and bathing session, an ESPA marine body wrap, two massages, an oil body treatment and a life coaching session, all tailored to your personal wellness needs. You’ll also be treated to airport transfers, an upgrade to a sea-view room and complimentary day trips to Sidi Bou Said town and Carthage, to the north-east of Tunis.
Rates start at Dh3,655 per couple and bookings must be made before May 31. Book online at www.cenizaro.com
Discover a pristine island in Thailand
Escape the crowds and head for Koh Kood, one of Thailand’s least populated islands. Check into a private villa at Soneva Kiri resort and get ready to take in the area’s natural beauty. From discovering the island’s landscape to exploring the resort’s coral reef, there is something for everyone here. Your evenings can either be spent stargazing, or the whole family can settle down at Cinema Paradiso, an outdoor theatre built near a lagoon and surrounded by lush green jungle. A complimentary Discover Koh Kood experience is available for guests this Eid. You can also put on your walking shoes and trek to the fishing village of Ao Salad, where the beautiful mangrove forest and Klong Chao waterfall await.
Book your stay between June 1 and July 21 and you’ll get one night for free when you book for four nights, or two nights free when you book for seven nights. Each guest will also get one complimentary Koh Kood Discovery experience. Rates start at $655 (Dh2,405), excluding taxes and transfers, with a minimum four-night stay. Book online at www.soneva.com
Explore history in Azerbaijan
Residents of the UAE can fly to Baku in less than three hours and it is a unique spot for an Eid escape. Check in at the Four Seasons Hotel Baku along the waterfront and you’ll only be a few steps from the medieval walls of the Inner City, known as Icheri Sheher. Wander the narrow roads to discover the Unesco World Heritage Sites, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower. You can also sail alongside Baku Boulevard or discover more than 6,000 rock engravings in Gobustan. Guests who book three nights at the Four Seasons will get an extra night for free.
Eid rates start at Dh734 per night and suites start at Dh1,175. Book online at www.fourseasons.com/baku
Attend a private concert in the Maldives
Fancy something completely different? Escape to Velaa Private Island in the Maldives on June 6 to see Lebanese singer and TV personality Diana Haddad perform an intimate concert. As well as a complimentary one-way seaplane transfer to Noonu Atoll, the most northern point in the archipelago, all Eid guests who book at least four nights in the island’s private residences will get half-board hosting at Athiri, the resort’s all-day dining restaurant. The hotel also offers the chance for guests to go turtle-spotting, as well as play golf.
Rates start at Dh6,667 per night. Book online at www.velaaprivateisland.com
Eid in the Irish capital
What could be better than spending your break in Dublin? The National Leprechaun Museum will fascinate children of all ages, as will a day in Phoenix Park. In the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, enjoy traditional music sessions and unique eateries, or head to Grafton Street for some serious retail therapy. The Suite Retreat package at the InterContinental Dublin offers shoppers a private appointment at Brown Thomas, Ireland’s most distinguished department store. You’ll also get a full Irish breakfast, health club access, late check out and €100 (Dh410) to spend at the hotel’s restaurants.
Suites cost from Dh1,720. Book online at www.intercontinentaldublin.ie
This article was first published on May 5, 2019