36 amazing holiday ideas
Singapore, Istanbul, Dubai, Beirut and more travel inspiration Discuss this article
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We’ve searched the corners of the globe, from Qatar to Paris and back to Beirut, to find you some amazing travel and staycation ideas before we wave goodbye to the summer.
In it for the long haul
This charming British city is full of life in the summer as the notable Edinburgh Fringe Festival (www.edfringe.com) runs from August 2 to 26. This means the streets are milling with musicians, actors and comedians giving you a taste of any one of the hundreds of performances going on in the city’s theatres and venues. It’s also the perfect time to do some hiking, go for a spot of golf or explore the city’s old world charm at landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, which plays host to the impressive Military Tattoo (www.edintattoo.co.uk) from August 2 to 24. This is a must-see show of skills and talents by performers from all over the world against an ancient architectural backdrop.
Qatar Airways flies from Doha to Edinburgh via London Heathrow in just over ten hours from QR6,050 return (www.qatarairways.com).
Where to stay
Mid range: In walking distance of Edinburgh Castle is the aptly named Edinburgh City Hotel. It’s clean, comfy and has all the amenities you need including free Wi-Fi. Double rooms cost from GBP107 (QR594) per night.Edinburgh City Hotel, Lauriston Place, www.edinburghcityhotel.com (+44 13162 27979).
Blow out: The Nira Caledonia is offering a Heli-Golf package for Eid al-Fitr which includes a private helicopter transfer from the 28-room boutique hotel to tee off at two championship golf courses – Kingsbarns Golf Links and Gleneagles. For the three nights, two double rooms and four golfers costs QR9,783 or one double room and two golfers costs QR14,263. Regular rates are QR1,410 per room, per night with breakfast.
Nira Caledonia, Gloucester Place, www.niracaledonia.com (+44 13122 52720).
Who doesn’t love visiting one of the most romantic cities in the world at this time of year? Dip into culture, see high fashion and eat fabulous French food because Paris has the second highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world (after Tokyo). No trip to the French capital is complete without a cruise along the Seine river, a climb up the Eiffel Tower or a look through the Louvre Museum and at the Arc de Triomphe. Also, this month, foreign movie lovers can head to the open-air cinema at Parc de la Villette until August 28, to lounge in chaise longues watching films in the evening for free.
Qatar Airways flies direct to Paris in seven hours from QR5,850 return (www.qatarairways.com).
Where to stay
Mid range: Just a few minutes from the Louvre Museum is the three-star Villathena hotel. It’s a small contemporary boutique property with 43 rooms that are well-equipped and clean. Standard rooms cost from EUR116 (QR547) per night.
Villathena, Rue d’Athenes, www.villathena.com, (+33 1446 30707).
Blow out: Paris’ most famous florist, Baptiste Pitou, decorated the Mandarin Oriental. The result is an oasis of greenery in the city (they even have a hive of 50,000 bees on the roof that produce honey that is served for breakfast to guests). A ‘green’ stay in one of the hotel suites with a terrace this summer ranges from around QR6,165 to QR12,810.
Mandarin Oriental, Rue Saint Honoré, www.mandarinoriental.com/paris (+33 17098 7333).
The Serengeti, Tanzania
This is one of those destinations that everybody has to go to at least once. It’s Tanzania’s most famous and biggest national park, with approximately 15,000 square kilometres of mainly rolling grasslands that is jam-packed with wilderness and fantastic opportunities for safari. Its biggest attraction is the annual wildebeest and zebra migration, when around two million creatures move across the area usually around July to August. Don’t make this one a short trip, as there is so much else to explore and see from half a million zebras to 518 species of birds, 2,500 lions to countless other animals and natural plains.
Qatar Airways flies direct to Nairobi from QR3,180 return in five hours (www.qatarairways.com). Then get an internal flight to Arusha airstrip (just over one hour) and fly on to the hotel’s nearest airstrip from there or drive. Alternatively, KLM (www.klm.com) flies direct to Kilimanjaro Airport (near Arusha) from Amsterdam for EUR1,433 (QR6,800) so you can get one internal flight.
Where to stay
Mid range: The Ikoma Safari Camp is just ten kilometres from the official gate to the Serengeti National Park and costs USD200 (QR728) per person for a double room on a full board basis. It has a restaurant, bar, internet services and offers potential airport transfers from nearby Forty Ikoma or Seronera.
Ikoma Safari Camp, Robanda Village, www.ikomasafaricamp.com (+255 7690 88969).
Blow out: Go glamping at the Serengeti Migration Camp – 20 lavish tents in a colonial setting. A full board meal plan (includes accommodation, all meals and selected drinks) is USD680 (approx. QR2,475) per person, sharing. Or the game package meal plan (includes accommodation, all meals and selected drinks, transfers from Lobo airstrip and daytime game drives) is USD780 (approx. QR2,840) per person, sharing.
Serengeti Migration Camp, National Park, www.elewanacollection.com (+255 27250 0630).
Indonesia is a beautiful archipelago of 17,000 plus islands and this particular city often gets overlooked for the more tropical offerings. However, there is a lot to be said for Jakarta. Firstly, as Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, this is a great country to head to for an Eid break as there will be plenty of festivities all over the city. It’s a huge place – the most populous city in South East Asia – and it’s filled with things for holidaymakers to do from water parks and zoos to religious sites and traditional villages. Check out Jakarta’s most famous National Monument to pose for a picture and then head to Setu Babakan village for a taste of old Indonesian customs.
Qatar Airways flies direct from Doha to Jakarta in eight and a half hours from QR3,630 (www.qatarairways.com).
Where to stay
Budget: From IDR396,000 (QR144) a night at the ibis Arcadia has twins and double rooms with free Wi-Fi and offers access to a golf course.
Ibis Jakarta Arcadia, www.ibis.com (+62 2123 0050).
Eid package: A Ramadan Kareem package is available at Jakarta’s Mandarin Oriental where from August 1 to 18 prices are IDR1,988,000 (QR728) net per room per night.
Mandarin Oriental, www.mandarinoriental.com/jakarta (+62 2993 8888).
This chic and cosmopolitan country is forever evolving into one of the world’s top travel destinations. Fabulous for shopping, dining, natural landscapes, historical sites, world-class events, water sports and much more, Singapore is a great choice for a quick escape from Doha’s slow summer. Head down Orchard Road for some serious spending and try out the Singapore Flyer – the city’s answer to the London Eye. With the whole family, a must-visit is Sentosa Island, just 15 minutes out of the city, for theme parks, butterfly farms and golf courses – to name a few. On August 17 and 18 you’ll also catch the Colour Run – a five kilometre fun run around the island (www.thecolorrun.com.sg).
Qatar Airways flies direct from Doha to Singapore in just under eight hours starting from QR4,510 (www.qatarairways.com).
Where to stay
Budget: If backpacking is more your thing then The Little Red Dot hostel has dorms but is friendly and priced from USD62 (QR226) per night.
The Little Red Dot, Lavendar Street, www.atthelittlereddot.com (+65 6294 7098).
Blow out: There are some great deals at the W Singapore Sentosa Cove to avail. Island Glamour, for SGD408++ (QR1,159) offers a Wonderful Room with signature beverages for two from the WOOBAR, breakfast and 500 Starpoints for SPG members. Or, if you’re staying for two weeks or more, Stay Awhile has more benefits and room prices starting from SGD344++ per night (QR977).
W Singapore Sentosa Cove, Sentosa Island, www.wsingaporesentosacove.com (+65 6808 7288).
Time Out Doha,