Spas, bars and Latin odysseys

By Kate Collins, July 17, 2008

El Al, the national carrier of Israel, has been rated one of the top five long-haul airlines operating from the UK in a consumer survey published in Which? More than 200,000 Readers of the magazine responded to a postal survey, placing El Al ahead of any UK carrier. Criteria included quality of cabin staff, cleanliness and value for money.

The Dan Accadia, Herzliya, has completed major renovations, including new, stay-cool surface around its pool, new decking and bar area. The hotel has also created 12 glamorous new guestrooms with deck with private Jacuzzi. For guest staying in summer, the hotel has also introduced al fresco dinners on alternate Wednesdays (the next is July 23), in the hotel gardens (; 00972 3 520 2552).

Spiro Ark is running a 15-day tour of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil covering the Jewish contribution to the political, economic and cultural life of the region and meeting members of the community as well as general touring. From November 26 to December 12, it costs £2,420 per person (based on two sharing), with flights, transfers, full board accommodation and entrance fees (; 020 7723 9991).

The Sheraton Heathrow Hotel is encouraging “green” guests by rewarding drivers of hybrid cars with cheap airport parking. Prices start from £59 per room per night including up to 15 days free car parking (0208 759 2424 or visit

And if flying is just too exhausting, recharge with a spa package at the gorgeous Hotel du Vin in Birmingham. The package costs £290 per night for two, and includes accommodation with breakfast and dinner and two treatments. Available until August 31 (0845 365 4438

Art History Abroad, which runs gap-year schemes featuring language tuition, history, sculpture, architecture and painting is booking for late summer and autumn and for 2009. Six-week courses from £6,200 (01284774772;

If you prefer a brief cultural break in Italy, Kirker Holidays has a seven-night, three-centre trip based at the D’Inghilterra, Rome; Grand Continental, Siena and Helvetia e Bristol, Florence, with sightseeing and gastronomy. From £1,953 per person based on two sharing, it includes flights, breakfast, rail or private car transfers (020 7593 2288;

Paris’s swishy Hotel La Tremoille is recalling its jazz heyday, when it was the hangout for Duke Ellington et al with a special package for the city’s Jazz Festival. At 990€ (£789) for two, it includes a night’s accommodation in a suite, breakfast, a jazz cocktail, a jazz CD and a picnic rug and a bottle of wine for your lakeside picnic in the Parc Floral, where concerts take place on Saturday and Sunday nights until July 31 (;

Last updated: 2:40pm, September 10 2008