Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Savour The Sweet Life

In the midst of adversity, the stiff upper-lipped among us will declare that life goes on. And the occasional, well-deserved splurge is allowed despite the general mood of austerity, I think. After all, if no one spends, the economy would grind to a halt and then we would all really be in a whole lot of trouble. Still, there is spending and there is smart spending even when it comes to self-indulgent pleasures. There are some pretty good deals out there when it comes to travel deluxe. We track them down for you:

Fancy-schmancy resorts SALA Phuket Resort & Spa and SALA Samui are offering ‘3 nights for the price of 2’ packages to celebrate Thailand's traditional New Year 'Songkran Water Festival' and the Easter holidays from 3-19 April. According to Thai tradition, for three days from 13 April, celebrants have loads of fun splashing water on each other to wash away bad luck during Songkran. It is a joyful time and everyone is fair game for a good splashing, including and especially tourists, so bring along your sense of humour and have a towel on hand.

During Songkran, resort guests will be 'armed' with their own water-guns and treated to a host of complimentary extras including return airport transfers, daily breakfast, choice of a half-day island tour or 60-minute massage for couples, and more. Orchid garlands and exotic fruit will be presented on arrival, along with Thai perfumes and powders, which are traditional items for the festive period. Ten per cent discounts are also offered for all spa treatments as well as food and beverages, and guests enjoy late check-out till 4pm.

SALA Phuket Resort & Spa, which made it to Condé Nast Traveler’s “Hot List” 2008 of the world's top new resorts and spas, is offering nightly rates from S$495 for a Deluxe Balcony Room to S$894 for a one-bedroom Pool Villa Suite from 3-15 April. But from 16-19 April – and here’s the sweet part – nightly rates go down to S$270 for the Deluxe Balcony Room and S$540 for the Pool Villa Suite.

SALA Samui, voted among the world's Top 10 most romantic resorts and the most romantic in Thailand, has nightly rates starting at S$370. Pool villas start at S$553 a night, with the luxurious two-bedroom Villa Suite priced at S$1,070 during this promotional period.

For more details, see www.salaresorts.com

Silver Linings and Sweet Deals

Times are bad and travellers need incentives to pack up and go, so even ultra-luxurious cruise liner SilverSea -- the Rolls Royce of cruises -- is offering 50 per cent discounts for many of its voyages this year. On top of this, some of the voyages come with free or reduced air programmes plus onboard spending credit. 

Be completely pampered with round-the-clock butler service, free flow bubbly from the moment you step foot into your suite – not ‘cabin,’ mind you – and all meals included in the price.

Tempting indeed. The only problem is, where to: the Arctic or the Antarctic? Nice, Seychelles or Zanzibar? How’s a footloose, fabulicious lady to choose?

Here’s a sampling of the deals on offer:

• Prince Albert II departs Longyearbyen 24 June on a 10-day expedition cruise (#7916), exploring the Svalbard archipelago before concluding in Tromso. Silver Sailing fares start at US$3,247.

• Silver Wind departs 14 May on a 7-day voyage (#2915) from Barcelona to Nice, with calls in Valencia, Corsica, Livorno and Antibes. Silver Sailing fares start at US$3,197.

• Silver Whisper departs 3 December on a 16-day voyage (#4937) from Singapore to Sydney, with calls in Semarang, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Whitsunday Islands and Brisbane. Silver Sailing fares start at US$6,347.

• Silver Whisper departs 12 September on a 7-day voyage (#4928) from Istanbul to Athens, with calls in Marmaris, Symi, Volos and Nafplion. Silver Sailing fares start at US$3,497, plus free or reduced air available from select cities.

Make your bookings by 30 April 2009.
For more information, see www.silversea.com


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