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A quick glance at Qatar Airways’ current “Bigger World Promotion” will tell you two things: the folks at Qatar are really excited to join up with Oneworld Alliance (which will place them alongside British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Royal Jordanian, in addition to offering shared mileage among all the member airlines); second, the flight deals being offered right now aren’t just East Coast-focused – they’ve got love for Texas and the midwest, too. Fares like Chicago to Addis Adaba for just $934, or Houston to Hanoi for $1,002, certainly grab our attention. And in addition to the rates themselves, we’re also liking the focus on non-coastal cities – a trend we picked up on earlier this year.
In addition to these far-flung fares, we’re loving some other routes that are currently on sale, and not just from the right and left coast. For example, we priced some choice fares to the Middle East (Qatar Airways, after all, has its main hub in Doha), and here’s what we found:
We’ve talked about designer hotels before (see our Top 10 List and Armani Hotel Milan blog post, for example), but the trend for fashion-branded hotels is really taking off, and the new year brings a notable upcoming opening in London from well-known fashion house Bulgari, and several hotels from Versace and Missoni are in the works.
Bulgari London is set to open in the spring of this year, making it the fourth Bulgari hotel, with the first three in Milan, Bali, and Tokyo. According to the vision of Bulgari hotels, “each property shall be located in the most prime luxury neighbourhood [sic] in the city,” and the London property is no exception – it’s located on Knightsbridge in the heart of the city. And of course, the hotel is nothing if not luxurious, with custom-built details, luxurious and rare materials, and Italian cuisine. www.bulgarihotels.com
News of the just-opened spa at The Chedi Muscat tempts me to spend a winter’s week spa-ing amidst sea and sand in Oman, a 105,000-square-mile country located on the Arabian Peninsula. Oman may be known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, markets, museums, and wadis (dry riverbeds), as well as a 1,000-mile long coastline and dramatic desert dunes that lead to rugged mountains. But this seasoned spa-goer predicts that this newly built facility establishes Oman’s credentials as a spa destination.
More than one million people – about one third of the population – live in Muscat, the capital city, where the English language is second to Arabic. About 20 minutes from the city’s historic heart, The Chedi Muscat sits on a 21-acre private beach-front estate facing the Gulf of Oman and backed by the Hajar Mountains. The 158-room resort provides sumptuous, contemporary accommodations in two story villas, six restaurants, floodlit tennis courts, and three pools including the stunning 300-foot-plus, palm-lined Long Pool. Its dazzling Arabian Nights design features stark white buildings punctuated by columns, pointed arches and vaulted ceilings with minaret-style chandeliers.
Italian-based cruise line MSC Cruises has announced new 7-night sailings to exotic ports of the Arabian Sea this winter sailing season. Set sail aboard the MSC Lirica to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, as well as to Oman. What’s more, the company is offering guests who book their berths before July 31 a whopping 50 percent off rates for one guest per stateroom on these newly debuted itineraries. Rates for the full-paying passenger begin at $649, bringing the reduced rate for the second passenger to as low as $324.50 (before taxes and fees). That works out to as little as $46/night for the discounted fare. What’s more, kids 17 and under sail for just $99 apiece. Weekly departures are available from October 30 through March 4. www.msccruisesusa.com
See our Dubai Travel Guide and our Abu Dhabi Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, than use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on cruises and more.
Life really is all about making an entrance. Be it a board meeting or a backyard BBQ, one should always enter with style. Same goes with your vacation destination.
The people at the Six Sense Hideaway at Zighy Bay in Oman could not agree more. Part of the eco-conscious Six Senses Hideaway family, Zighy Bay resort has a couple of ways to get you to the front desk. Guests have a choice of arrival experiences after picking you up at the airport, which include a scenic fifteen-minute speed boat trip or a drive down from the top of the hill overlooking the bay. But, for the ultimate in dramatic entrances, and an extra charge, guests can strap themselves to a professional paraglider and gracefully sail down to the resorts front steps.
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