21 holiday ideas for foodies, families, adventure enthusiasts, wellness seekers and more

Summer tips for every type of traveller

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Whether you want to go swimming with manta rays or driving around the British countryside in a supercar, and whether you are looking for a stress-free family holiday or a relaxing short break, here are 21 experiences and adventures for you to consider this summer.

For adventurers

Guests can swim with manta rays at The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort. Photo: Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort

Located in Baa Atoll, the first Unesco Biosphere Reserve in the world, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort offers the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with manta rays. Guests can snorkel with these gentle giants within the protected Hanifaru Bay, which is located 18 kilometres from the resort.

The Maldives is home to the largest population of studied manta rays, with more than 4,900 individuals identified, including endangered oceanic manta rays. This year’s manta season is due to continue until early November, with more than 100 of the marine animals expected to gather in the bay during peak season.

Mayfair’s Hotel Cafe Royal has launched a supercar package for the summer season. Until the end of September, guests booking into the hotel’s signature suites will be able to explore London and its surrounding English countryside in their own luxury supercar, which will be provided for the duration of their stay. Guests can choose from a range of models, including the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder, the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Porsche 911 Carrera, Aston Martin DB11 and Bentley GT.

If you’re looking to channel your inner child, Hotel Brooklyn in Leicester in the UK, which opens on Monday, has you covered. Priding itself on its sense of whimsy, the new property will offer in-room pillow fight packages, where guests can play to their hearts’ content, without having to clean up afterwards.

Complemented by light-hearted instructions for beginners, including “choose your weapon wisely”, and “we recommend picking a firm, full and plump pillow in order to get the full striking effect”, the experience is guaranteed to serve up plenty of feathery fun.

For foodies

Aman Venice is bringing its Cook the Lagoon dining concept aboard the historic sailing boat, 'Edipo Re'. Photo: Aman Venice

This summer, Aman Venice is taking its Cook the Lagoon dining concept to the water. Guests will float along Laguna di Venezia aboard the historic sailing boat, Edipo Re, sampling food influenced by Aman’s properties around the world.

Chef Matteo Panfilio will be on hand to prepare a selection of cicchetti (Venetian tapas) and four courses for up to eight guests, using seasonal produce sourced from the market that morning. Building on the longstanding Venetian tradition of cooking with spices and seasonings from the Far East, dishes will connect diners to far-flung corners of the globe.

The new Xenodocheio Milos offers an authentic culinary experience in the heart of Athens. This is the first luxury boutique hotel by the world-famous Greek restaurant Estiatorio Milos, which has a presence in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, London and Montreal.

Headed by founder and head chef Costas Spiliadis, who is armed with a stellar gastronomic legacy, the hotel’s food offering centres on Mediterranean dishes featuring the highest quality ingredients. “Nature’s ingredients are so beautiful that any attempt to tamper with them is philosophically and pragmatically wrong,” is Spiliadis’s philosophy.

Cyprus’s culinary offering will be boosted this summer with the opening of an LPM restaurant in Limassol’s newly revamped Parklane Resort & Spa. Building on its presence in London, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Miami and Riyadh, LPM's newest outpost will serve its signature French-Mediterranean cuisine within a minimalist interior dining space and lounge-style space by the beach.

Villa stays for families

Villa Buona is located near the Italian town of Spello in Umbria. Photo: Oliver’s Travel

Located near the Italian town of Spello in Umbria, Villa Buona uses green energy and is part of the Sustainable Villa Collection by Oliver’s Travels. Sleeping up to six people in three bedrooms, the property offers a true taste of rural Italy, with a lawned garden that extends into rolling countryside. The sprawling hills and stunning sunsets are best enjoyed while lounging by the villas’s private pool.

Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano in Egypt has added a collection of 22 beach villas to its inventory ahead of the summer season. Offering a choice of one, two or three bedrooms, each villa has a private pool, private garden and sun terraces. The sea-facing properties are separated from the rest of the hotel by a subterranean passageway, creating a further sense of privacy.

Set on Haremtan Cove on Turkey’s Aegean Sea, Mett Hotel & Beach Resort Bodrum has opened its doors for a second season. New this year is the luxurious two-bedroom Villa Poseidon, which is set over 340 square metres and can accommodate five guests. Amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, Turkish hammam and two fireplaces.

For hiking enthusiasts

Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa in Stratford upon Avon has introduced hiking routes to help guests enjoy the countryside surrounding the hotel. Photo: Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa

Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK has introduced a series of hiking routes to allow guests to enjoy the countryside surrounding this quintessentially British manor hotel. From a brisk walk along the banks of the River Avon to Stratford Greenway, to a leisurely amble up the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, there are routes for all abilities.

Guests wanting to explore local history can walk part of The Monarch’s Way, a 990-kilometre journey that approximates the escape route taken by King Charles II in 1651 after being defeated in the Battle of Worcester. The Bell and two Churches is a 5.1km loop trail, while the Upper Quinton Circular Walk is a 19.5km trail that takes in a mix of terrain, winding through farmland, villages and pockets of woodland.

Elivi Skiathos has reopened for the summer, offering tailor-made activities and adventures for those wanting to explore the Greek island. Located in the north-west Aegean Sea, in the Sporades archipelago, Skiathos is known for its unspoilt beaches and amazing natural landscapes. Elivi offers the opportunity to discover these by bike, on horseback or on foot. Guests can choose from a range of walking trails, and add activities such as guided introductions to the area’s medicinal herbs.

Hilton Lake Como offers walking trips for the whole family. A selection of pram and dog-friendly walks include the 20-minute Passeggiata Lino Gelpi into town, while those looking for a longer stroll can opt for the 10km Lake Como Greenway. This pedestrian-friendly path goes through ancient villages such as Colonno, Sala Comacina, Ossuccio, Lenno, Mezzegra, Tremezzo and Griante, with plenty of opportunities to take in stunning villas, gardens, Romanesque and Baroque churches and Lake Como’s stunning scenery.

For wellness seekers

Eastern healing disciplines blend with Western modern science at the new RAKxa Fully Integrative Wellness & Medical Retreat. Photo: RAKxa

As part of its new Wellness Collection, Oliver’s Travels is offering a selection of private European villas, British boltholes and relaxing rentals with a wellness slant. Included in the portfolio is Palazzo Novara, a 17th century mansion in Lake Orta, Italy, that features an indoor spa, indoor pool, waterfall chromotherapy facilities and a Turkish bath leading directly out on to a peaceful courtyard and columned garden.

Soneva Soul is the new wellness brand from pioneering resort operator Soneva. Currently available at the new Soneva Soul Island Spa at Soneva Jani in the Maldives, as well as Soneva Fushi in the Maldives’s Baa Atoll and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, the concept encompasses resort spas; movement, sleep, yoga and meditation programmes; wellness and lifestyle products; a global network of acclaimed wellness specialists; and innovative, regenerative medical services.

Eastern healing disciplines blend with Western modern science at the new RAKxa Fully Integrative Wellness & Medical Retreat, which is tucked away on Bang Krachao, a protected jungle-clad island on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. The resort offers personalised one to 14-day programmes, ranging from Gut Health and Immunity Booster to Long Covid, Weight Management, Facial Solution and De-Stress. Guests also benefit from a high-tech medical gym, hydrothermal spa facilities, anti-inflammatory food philosophy, cleansing tea lounge and workshops.

For conservationists

Wilderness Safaris has launched a new itinerary dedicated to lion conservation. Photo: Wilderness Safaris

Wilderness Safaris has teamed up with Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organisation, to create a trip to Zambia that’s dedicated to lion conservation. The seven-day, purpose-driven safari will be hosted by Kim Young-Overton, a recognised specialist in ecosystem management, and will explore the Busanga Plains of Zambia’s Kafue National Park from September 26 to October 2.

Antarctica travel specialist White Desert has launched a new luxury camp, Echo, offering accommodation in six heated “sky pods” in November. Echo, which can accommodate upto 12 guests, can be dismantled without a trace, leaving minimal impact on the environment. Guests will have access to a host of activities, including fat biking, skiing, ski-dooing and 4x4 Arctic Truck driving, as well as expertly guided hiking, ice-climbing and mountaineering.

A visit to Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia takes you to the borders of the country’s largest national park, in the heart of the Gobi desert. You can take part in hiking, archery or horse riding, which is still the primary mode of transportation for many nomadic families in the area — knowing that the hotel supports numerous scientific expeditions in the region, partners with the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project on initiatives that also help protect the endangered snow leopard, and is also involved in the conservation of golden eagles.

For a short break

The Chedi Muscat, Oman, has launched a three-day wellness package. Photo: GHM Hotels

The Chedi Muscat, Oman, has launched a three-day wellness package that includes accommodation in either a deluxe room or a Chedi Club suite, two detoxifying body polish sessions, two Tibetan Ku Nye massage treatments and two private consultation sessions with the hotel’s certified trainer and health club manager for either yoga or kinesis. Valid for a minimum stay of three consecutive nights, the package can be availed until December 23.

Located 45 minutes from Muscat, Barcelo Mussanah Resort is inviting guests to enjoy Oman’s whale shark season with a special deal. From Friday until September 30, visitors will get a complimentary upgrade to a superior seaview suite when booking at the property, with rates starting at $80. The resort has partnered with Sea Oman to organise private day-trips to the Unesco-protected Al Dimaniyat Islands, where, along with beautiful coral reefs, turtles and colourful fish, whale sharks can often be spotted at this time of year.

Immerse yourself in Salalah’s monsoon season, or khareef, with Alila Hinu Bay’s book one stay two offer. Guests can avail of a complimentary one-night stay for every night booked throughout the summer. Desert springs, waterfalls and blankets of green flora emerge offer a respite from the summer heat across the ret of the region, while the hotel is also near to a number of historical sites, including the port of Khor Rori, a key point on the age-old Frankincense route.

Scroll through the gallery below to see six other must-try adventures in Oman.

Updated: July 06, 2022, 8:41 AM