Jet off and chill out in relaxing surrounds from Spain to Sri Lanka
Whether you’re looking for a city break or beach getaway, here’s the Debonair guide to Eid escapes
As the Eid holidays get closer and the temperature gets higher, Gulf residents are looking to escape the scorching heat to somewhere cooler to unwind, relax and recharge.
So, to help you out, we've put together a list of destinations that are perfect for a getaway — whatever you're looking for. From making family memories to romantic island retreats to a city blowout with the boys.
#1. Coco Bodu Hithi Resort, The Maldives
A swift thirty-minute boat ride across from Male, Bodu Hithi is an island of mesmerising natural beauty. And with the way that Coco Collection has designed and landscaped their five-star resort onto the island, it offers travellers their own exclusive slice of heaven on earth.
In 2004, much of the resort was destroyed by the Tsunami that ravaged areas along the Indian Ocean coastline. The Coco Collection, owned by four Maldivian brothers — each with an equal quarter share in the business — invested in the island resort and reclaimed it from the ruins of the ocean’s wrath.
14 years later, the Coco Bodu Hithi Resort — one of four in the Coco Collection — stands as a symbol of Paradise Regained.The Coco Collection’s landscaping of the resort is staggeringly beautiful and done in a way that blends into the paradisiacal setting rather than sticks out in any ostentatious way.
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Each villa has its own private access to the beach, while each Water Villa, Escape Villa and the ultimate high-end Coco Residencies have private pools that lead straight into the Indian Ocean. The views from each room are like an idyllic desktop screensaver: the sort of thing you only imagine exists until you experience it. The beauty of this place is breathtaking.
Where the villas are built into the island, on pathways that carve through the overarching greenery, the 108 sq. ft. Water Villas and 144 sq. ft. Escape Villas branch off from the mainland and have been built on a jetty that extends to the edge of the island’s house reef. And the 188 sq. ft. Coco Residencies have been gloriously constructed onto a circular jetty of wooden planks to offer sunrise and sunset views, which guests can choose from.
(A word of warning: the jetty walkways to each villa aren’t so narrow that a golf buggy can’t drive along them. But after a few of the island’s signature Barraberu best cocktails, maintaining a straight walking line home can be tricky — no one has fallen into the ocean on the way home. Yet.)
Furthermore, being a product of Mother Nature, the Coco Bodu Hithi resort must look after the environment in which it sits. While it’s undeniably important for hotels and resorts to be sustainably minded today, this Coco resort is in the position where it has to, for the sake of its survival and longevity.
To get around the island, you can walk from pretty much anywhere to anywhere, and the hotel encourages a no-shoes or flip flops approach – such is the easy pace of life on this laid-back island resort. But for the further reaches of the resort — including the gastronomic delights of the Stars Restaurant and the Coco Spa and Residencies — you can hitch a ride on a golf buggy with one of the island’s ever-smiling staff.
The Maldives is known for its profuse and beautiful marine life: Coco’s Bodu Hithi Resort is no exception, but rather proves the rule. Scuba diving and snorkeling are naturally on offer here, and you go out with the on-island marine biologist who will take you through everything from spotting the Olive Ridleys and reef sharks, to protecting the environment and contributing to environmental sustainability during your stay. Wind surfing and other watersports should be high on your list when staying here.
The sand that forms the Maldivian archipelagos is like no sand you’ll see or feel anywhere else. It’s essentially white powder. Interestingly — depending on how you look at this information — the sand’s texture is a result of a unique habit of the abundant Parrotfish that populate this particular part of the Indian Ocean. The Parrotfish eat the algae from the surrounding coral and then excrete it out in a form of white powder. The sea’s current then washes this fine fish poop towards the islands where it gathers and amalgamates to form up to 80 per cent of the island’s mass.
So effectively, you’re laying, walking and rolling around in Parrotfish excrement. Don’t let that put you off, though. It actually acts as a natural exfoliant, and, significantly, it’s odourless. And most importantly it produces that stunning white sand that stands out in such glorious contrast to the crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean: the idyllic image that makes Coco Bodu Hithi a must visit for anyone seeking a relaxing escape.
#2 Udaipur, India: Taj Lake Palace
Marked with nobility and resplendent with a rich history, and jaw-dropping beauty at every turn, the Taj Lake Palace is perfectly positioned to offer travellers an unforgettable respite this Eid break. The location where the Palace is positioned, Lake Pichola is heavenly and the ideal spot if you are looking to relax, unwind and escape the mid-summer heat.
With exquisite architecture, white marble floor, unique ambience and a divine location, this Palace is a luxury lover’s ultimate fantasy. Holidaymakers can also cleanse their mind, body and soul and experience a state of sheer tranquillity and peace through the ancient art of Yoga and meditation that is offered at the palace.
Taj Lake takes luxury to the next level with its out-of-the-world spa experience with the Jiva Spa Boat floating around the lake whilst you indulge in traditional Indian aromatherapy, signature body treatments or a sensuous soak. Additionally, if you have been interested in the concept of astrology, the palace offers an Indian astrology service for anyone looking to know a bit more about their personality based on the planetary positions and time of thier birth.
#3 Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Sri Lanka
Anantara Peace Haven Resort is located on a truly unique location, nestled on a rocky outcrop, along a secluded stretch of the island’s ruggedly beautiful southern coast. This gem has 152 rooms and pool villas that are perfect for families looking to spend some quality time or a couple looking for a romantic getaway this Eid.
Surrounded by a 21-acre coconut plantation, white sandy crescent beach and a crystal clear ocean, the resort is the epitome of authentic luxury and tranquillity. The perfect destination to let your sense of adventure come alive with the island’s plethora of sacred heritage sides, vast national parks of free-roaming wildlife and the colourful traditions of local life.
From traditional boat rides, yoga and meditation, a surf centre to cooking classes, this resort offers the complete package for a perfect getaway. The Anantara Spa is a sanctuary of pure tranquillity and offers ancient Ayurvedic and holistic healing treatments. The resort also offers a variety of dining pleasures in extraordinary settings such as on a cliff edge, right beside the shore, near the poolside or an intimate haven reserved exclusively for you.
Guests who book to stay at the resort from today till June 30 for three nights will only be charged for two. If they stay for seven nights, they will get the added benefit of a complimentary half-board upgrade.
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#4 St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London
One of the London’s most iconic and awe inspiring hotels, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is the ideal Eid holiday destination for anyone looking to be treated like a king. The venue is located in King’s Cross, one of London’s most exciting neighbourhoods with access to top notch bars, restaurants, museums and galleries and has the best weather the UK can muster this time of the year: think cool breezes rustling through your hair in an expansive green park in 25 degree sunshine (pasty Brits beware).
The stunning St. Pancras Hotel itself has 207 guestrooms modern fittings and furnishings and offer contemporary artwork and design, glorious Gothic Revival metalwork, gold leaf ceilings, hand-stencilled wall designs, and the legendary grand staircase offering guests the chance to celebrate the glitz and glamour of the Victorian era.
The luxurious St Pancras Spa is inspired by the Victorian era and is hidden away and provides a quiet escape from the city bustle. The hotel also offers a variety of luxurious dining options from the cathedral-like Booking Office Bar and Restaurant, The Victorian Gothic Gilbert Scott Restaurant, traditional heritage Hansom Lounge and the Urban MI+ME Deli. The Chambers guests residing at the hotel can also indulge in complimentary refreshments, breakfast, evening canapés and a selection of beverages at the Chambers Club.
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#5 Caresse Resort & Spa, Bodrum
Escape the searing summer heat and perch upon rolling hills on a peaceful island this EID break. Caresse Resort & Spa is the ideal short-haul holiday destination for Gulf vacationers. Nestled in the heart of the Turkish Riviera, this fascinating former fishing village truly has something for everyone, from breathtaking natural beauty to thrilling outdoor pursuits.
The resorts secluded location offers the utmost privacy with superlative service and a sublime coastal setting. This destination is perfect for travellers that enjoy the finer things in life, a with a state-of-the-art spa, gourmet restaurant, intimate bar and lavish rooms with a private terrace.
Caresse boasts its own private beach, a majestic infinity pool, a fleet of private yachts, a two-storey, 1,600 sqm spa and two diverse culinary experiences – there is no better place to be. The floor-to-ceiling windows in every room offer a splendid view of the sea and the the the most blissful sleep you have ever had in your life thanks to the pillow menu and the soundproofing.
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