Unearthly delights and pleasure palaces await, from Udaipur to Adelaide: travel deals December 23, 2012
Lose yourself in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, go art deco in Kuala Lumpur or sail and rail around Australia's best wine regions in this week's best Australian and international travel deals.
Summer in Adelaide brings the world's best performers to town, with the deeply weird Garden of Unearthly Delights kicking off on Valentine's Day until St Patrick's Day, with Circolombia from (you guessed it) Colombia and the US's own Ruby Wax (gardenofunearthlydelights.com.au). Then WOMADelaide runs from March 8-11, 2013. Stay at the Adelaide Central YHA and save $46 on a three-day festival pass, or save $52 on a four-day pass. Rooms cost from $68 a person (four-bed dorm) or $107 a person, twin share. (08) 8414 3000, yha.com.au.
There's a lot to love about Lonny (that's Launceston, to non-locals), including the Tamar Valley wine route. Hit the historic town midweek and shave your hotel bill by one-third at Peppers Seaport Hotel, pictured above. Stay two nights between Sundays and Thursdays until March 31, 2013, with breakfast thrown in. Usually about $350 a night, it costs from $452 for two nights. 1300 737 444, peppers.com.au.
March means Mardi Gras in Sydney. Save up to $485 a person with Gay Globe's three-day 2013 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras packages. The deal includes three nights at the Cambridge Hotel, grandstand parade-viewing tickets, entry to the official Mardi Gras party and tickets to the recovery party at The Laneway. The packages start on Friday, March 1, 2013, with drag races at Bondi Beach, with handbag hurling and high-heel sand sprints. Saturday features 10 hours of entertainment and 15,000 people partying the night away. Optional add-ons include a tour to the Blue Mountains or all-gay Sydney Harbour Bridge climbs. (02) 8005 1690, gayglobe.com.au.
Stefano's Bakery, Mildura
Would you fly 1000 kilometres for a meal? Yes, if Stefano de Pieri was behind the cookers. Stay two nights in a 4½-star one-bedroom apartment in Mildura and receive a bottle of Stefano's own wine and a gourmet breakfast at Stefano's Cafe Bakery and sit down to an eight-course degustation dinner at Stefano's Restaurant. It's all about Stefano. Happily, you'll also get a late checkout. Book Stefano's Indulgence by March 31, 2013. Usually $850, it costs from $730 for two guests for two nights. 1300 539 559, visitmildura.com.au.
It's hot, it's sultry, and you've left the kids behind: Lizard Island, pictured above, knows that occasionally it's time for just the two of you. The adult-only resort has 24 beaches so odds of privacy are good. Stay five nights and pay for only four, saving $1444 on one of the Great Barrier Reef's northernmost resorts. Includes all meals, most drinks and water activities such as snorkeling. Valid until March 31, 2013. Costs from $5776 for five nights. 1300 863 248, lizardisland.com.au.
If you've come over all James Bond-like thanks to Skyfall, then go back to where it all started, amid the islands of Phang Nga Bay, a filming location for The Man with the Golden Gun. The Koyao Island Resort, reached by speedboat, comprises 23 Thai-style beach-facing villas hidden among the coconut palms. Usually from $740 for five nights in a sea-breeze studio, costs from $530 for two people, for five nights. 1800 667 731, koyao.com.
There's never really an off-season in Bali, but post-Christmas, it all calms down just a little, and so do the rates. Nunia Villas in Seminyak is halving its prices on stays in the resort's one-bedroom villas. Includes a free airport pick-up, Balinese lunch for two and a 30-minute massage on arrival. Book by January 8, 2013, for stays from January 9-June 30, 2013. Usually $330 a night, costs $165 a night. 1300 859 565, cantikbalivillas.com.
The Majestic spa, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur's hotel scene has got a shot in the arm with the opening of the newly restored art deco-style Majestic Hotel KL. Stay three nights at one of its sister beach resorts - Pangkor Laut Resort, Tanjong Jara Resort or Gaya Island Resort - and get a free night at the Majestic. Otherwise, book five beach nights, and get two free nights in KL, saving from $217 a night. The deal runs until November 30, 2013. Tanjong Jara Resort costs from $126 a night, room only. +0011 800 9899 9999, ytlhotels.com.my.
See winter in Rajasthani style at the Taj Lake Palace, pictured, in Udaipur, a pleasure palace on Lake Pichola, built in 1746. The package includes two nights' accommodation, airport transfers, daily yoga and a half-day tour. Book and stay by March 31, 2013, and save 10 per cent off food and drinks. Room-only usually starts at $830 for a double. Costs from $1547 for two people, two nights. (02) 8356 2566, tajhotels.com.
The super-luxurious Golden Eagle is a private train traversing the railroads of Russia and the Central Asian stans and Mongolia before arriving in Beijing. Get up to $800 credit towards your international airfare when you book before January 31, 2013, for travel September 20-October 10, 2013. The 21-day Silk Road journey costs from $US22,395 ($21,190) a person. 1300 851 800,abercrombiekent.com.au.
Shiraz, sparkling, sauvignon blanc — what's your poison? Hit the road through Australia's best wine regions, but in this case, your transport includes five nights on the Dawn Princess, sailing from Melbourne to Sydney via Burnie and Hobart in Tasmania. The 14-night tour also includes two cross-country train journeys on the iconic Indian Pacific from Sydney to Adelaide to visit the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, before returning to Melbourne on the Overland train. The sail-and-rail trip includes three nights in Sydney, heading up to the Hunter Valley. Book by January 2, 2013, for travel April 23, 2013. Costs from $2739 a person, twin share. 1800 044 066, travel-associates.com.au.