One for the ladies
Upmarket Phuket resort Paresa (below right) is running a new 'Be a Princess @ Paresa' package, designed for parties of four females in search of a weekend of spa pampering, retail therapy and other feminine indulgences. The two-night deal kicks off with a posh stretch-limo pickup from the airport for the 30-minute drive to the resort and includes a pair of two-bedroom suites with daily gourmet breakfast, a full day's use of a chauffeur-driven Toyota SUV for shopping and exploring the island, a private pool barbecue party with champagne and personal butler on hand, and lingering four-hour spa treatments for all. The package price, which does not include flights, is 133,420 baht (HK$33,500) and will be available until the end of October. The spa treatments are scheduled for the afternoon of the last day, so try to book return flights with evening departures. For further details and reservations, visit www.paresaresorts.com and click the Exclusive Packages link.
Walk this way
Wales will be celebrating a rather special event next weekend when it becomes the first country in the world to be officially contained on its seaward sides by an uninterrupted coastal pathway. Some 1,400 kilometres of coastline, some of it the most spectacular in Britain, will provide walkers with the opportunity to walk from Wales' northern border with England all the way down to Chepstow, on the River Severn. Walking tour specialist HF Holidays is selling a seven-night guided tour and a six-night independent walk along the Pembrokeshire section of the trail (far right) for GBP695 (HK$8,700) and GBP469 per person, respectively, including full-board accommodation, luggage vehicles and hotel-to-coast transfers. See www.hfholidays.co.uk for more details. More independent-minded travellers can begin the National Coastal Path at its starting point near Chester, which is less than an hour's drive from Manchester's international airport.
Philippine Airlines launched a service between Hong Kong and Boracay a couple of days ago, which means no more tiresome Manila stopovers for travellers visiting the island. Although advertised as Boracay, the destination is actually Kalibo International Airport, a 90-minute drive and a 15-minute boat ride away from the island. Hong Kong travel agents are already selling Boracay packages with the new flights, and Farrington American Express Travel has one with various types of accommodation for three nights at Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa (www.shangri-la.com) from HK$8,750 (dropping to HK$7,250 from mid-June). A cheaper option from the same agent is three nights at either the Boracay Regency Beach Resort (www.boracayregency.com) or Fridays Boracay (www.fridaysboracay.com) from HK$3,450 and HK$5,750, respectively. The packages include round-trip road and sea transfers from the airport. For more information, go to www.amextravel.com.hk/package and choose Philippines from the dropdown menu.
The Mandarin Oriental, Munich has launched a package this month that offers guests a chance to visit the striking 19th-century Neuschwanstein Castle, in southwest Bavaria (www.neuschwanstein.de). Supposedly the inspiration for Disney's trademark Sleeping Beauty Castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein - as it is better known in Germany - is about an hour's drive from the hotel. The package includes a limousine ride to and from the castle with an on-site guided tour, and two nights' hotel accommodation at the Mandarin Oriental with daily breakfast for Euro863 (HK$8,800) per person with double occupancy. It will be available until the end of this year. For reservations, visit the hotel website at www.mandarinoriental.com/munich. Lufthansa flies a daily overnight service to Munich from Hong Kong.
Deal of the week
Cathay Pacific Holidays' Dubai Seasonal Package starts from HK$5,900 for three nights at the Centro Barsha Rotana Dubai (www.rotana.com/centrohotels), which is a reasonably comfortable hotel with a fairly good location. If you want to stay at one of the emirate's better properties, then consider the Ritz-Carlton (www.ritz-carlton.com) for HK$9,120 or the Banyan Tree Al Wadi (www.banyantree.com) for HK$9,695. Top of the list, at least in terms of price, is the Burj Al Arab (top; www.burjalarab.com), where a three-night stay will set you back a hefty HK$27,180. All these prices - available for travel until the end of October - are per person, twin share, and include economy-class flights, breakfast and travel insurance. Business-class packages are also available for these last three hotels for about an extra HK$11,000 each. For more information and reservations, visit www.cxholidays.com.