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Travel

Five great Easter escapes

Forget searching for eggs – we’ve hunted down a basketful of the best seasonal getaways from Dubai

Not all of the region is starting to turn things up to Gas Mark 10,000 – in Tunisia, it’s a balmy 25°C about now

The actual spring break may have come and gone already, but there’s no reason not to treat yourself to your own break this spring with an Easter holiday. Here is a quintet of the finest luxury options, all within short-stay striking distance of the Middle East.

Bodrum, Turkey

The Aegean city is Turkey’s premier luxury destination – a world away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, it attracts the tastefully moneyed from inside and outside the country.

It also wields some serious historical clout, as the original site of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World – its stones are now part of the Bodrum’s medieval fortress.

Recommended hotel: Caresse Resort & Spa

Nestled in a private cove just outside the city, this Luxury Collection hotel allows you to live the jetsetting lifestyle away from prying eyes.

Views across the Aegean Riviera are the common thread holding together the hotels’ visual highlights, from the 1,600-square-metre spa to The Glass Lounge’s inviting terrace, all sleek couches and moonlit suaveness.

caresse.com

Not all of the region is starting to turn things up to Gas Mark 10,000 – in Tunisia, it’s a balmy 25°C about now

The Caresse Resort & Spa in Bodrum. Courtesy Caresse

Maldives

From a good percentage of the world, the Maldives’ locations mean it remains the kind of destination reserved for honeymoons and once-in-a-lifetime trips, but from the Middle East, you can be in Malé before lunchtime.

While beautiful beaches lapped by azure waters are the regular drill on the atolls, that doesn’t mean there isn’t the scope for a good deal of adventure.

Recommended hotel: Taj Coral Reef

You won’t need to be a linguistics expert to deduce that divers are going to find fabulous fun off the shores of this Taj Resort, most notably by exploring a 30-year-old shipwreck thronged by thousands of multi-coloured fish.

That isn’t the farthest down you can venture here, either: take a ride on the world’s largest deep-diving passenger submarine, which descends 100 feet into the ocean.

tajhotels.com

The Taj Coral Reef in the Maldives. Courtesy Taj Hotels

Mauritius

Open up your favourite maps app and Mauritius looks half the world away, but it’s actually a thoroughly short-break-friendly six-and-a-half hours from the UAE.

Its location in the Southern Hemisphere means that summer is melting away to its temperate conclusion on the idyllic island nation this month.

Recommended hotel: LUX* Bella Mare

With interiors by sometime Dragons’ Den investor Kelly Hoppen and food from celebrity Indian chef Vineet Bhatia, the Bella Mare has a sprinkling of stardust to go with its tropical setting on the east coast of Mauritius.

It also lays claim to the island’s largest swimming pool and a Balearic vibe once the sun sets, which sounds like the perfect mix of pampering and partying to make a memorable long weekend.

luxresorts.com

Bella Mare in Mauritius. Shutterstock

Tunis, Tunisia

For those of us in the Gulf, mid-April is when we begin to remember that we live in an arid landscape of punishing, oven-like heat.

Thankfully, not all of the region is starting to turn things up to Gas Mark 10,000 – in Tunisia, it’s a balmy 25°C about now.

Recommended hotel: The Residence Tunis

The choice is yours on the Mediterranean’s shores: stay within the confines of The Residence, which features an 18-hole golf course and a spa inspired by ancient Roman thermal baths, or explore treasure troves of culture nearby.

The latter option includes from the ruins of Carthage and Tunis’s Unesco-approved medina to the colourful, quaint village of Sidi Bou Said.

cenizaro.com

The ruins of Carthage in Tunisia. Courtesy Cenizaro Hotels & Resorts

Rwanda

This revitalised East African destination might not be the first to spring to mind when considering high-end Easter getaways.

But with direct flights from Dubai, you’re only half a dozen hours away from wilds of the nation that was part of the backdrop to the iconic Gorillas in the Mist.

Recommended hotel: The One&Only Nyungwe House

On the edge in the Rwandan jungle, within a working tea plantation, this One&Only Resort is an intimate contrast to many of the brand’s glittering, expansive properties worldwide.

There are a mere 23 guest rooms and suites, food is on a farm-to-table basis and you can partake in the ancient African art of spear throwing – just aim away from the 13 species of primates found in the area, if you’d be so kind.

oneandonlyresorts.com

The One&Only Nyungwe House in Rwanda. Courtesy One&Only Resorts

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