Top ideas for summer getaways

By Kate Collins, July 25, 2008

If you have no firm plans for the Bank Holiday weekend, you still have time to book for the Red Sea Jazz Festival taking place in Eilat from August 25 to 28. Among the dozens of bands and soloists performing under the desert sky beside the shimmering waters of the gulf of Eilat are Randy Brecker, Bill Evans and Soulbop; the Kurt Elling Trio; Mike Stern featuring Richard Bona, Bob Malach and Lionel Cordew; Terry Lyne Carrington, the John Fedchock NY Sextet; Omar Sosa Afreecanos Band; Edmar Castaneda Trio and the Avishai Cohen Trio (;; 00972 3604 5000)

Specialist singles operator Friendship Travel has launched a winter programme with eight new holidays for single travellers looking for sun or snow. Trips include sightseeing and beach combination in Sri Lanka, which includes five days at the resort of Kalutara (from £1,589 per person including flights, transfers and half-board accommodation). For skiers, hosted weeks in France, Austria and Italy start from £695 per person including flights, accommodation and chalet-style catering (; 0871 200 2035).

Jerusalem’s newest hotel, located in a historic building at the intersection of King David and Mamilla streets, will be Israel’s first under the exclusive Waldorf-Astoria brand (there are just five hotels, including the flagship New York property). A $100-million rebuild and renovation will add five floors, three restaurants, pool, spa and much more, transforming it into potentially the city’s most über-luxurious hotel when it opens in late 2010 (

Poole’s imposing Georgian Mansion House, located in a quiet cobbled mews in the historic Old Town, has undergone a £6-million makeover ready for its re-opening in September as Hotel du Vin Poole. While retaining the Mansion’s classical exterior, sweeping staircase, marble pillars and Regency dining room, its 38 rooms and suites have been lavishly renovated in the trademark style of the award-winning chain. There is also a private roof garden overlooking the sea for alfresco dining. Opening rates, room only, from £99 midweek and £120 weekend for doubles (

Singles specialist Tropical Sky is offering seven nights at Mauritius’s luxurious Trou aux Biches, with no single supplement. Nestled in a sheltered corner on the island’s northern coast, it has two kilometres of white-sand beach. Facilities include water skiing, windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling, tennis courts, gym, yoga and aerobics classes and spa. Seven nights from £1,499 per person, including flights, full-board  accommodation and transfers (; 0870 907 9600).

Hungary’s Tokaj wine region is now home to the country’s first vinotherapy centre. Based at the Andrássy Kúria Wine and Spa Hotel, set in a winery, the VinoSense Spa offers treatments based on the anti-ageing properties of grapes and grape seed. A three-night weekend Vinotherapy package costs from £195 per person (based on two sharing), including accommodation with breakfast and dinner, a treatment, a massage, use of the spa facilities and a wine tasting session (

For the seriously sleep deprived, Grayshott Spa on the Surrey-Hampshire border is running a special programme which incorporates a range of natural therapies, health consultations, a sleep consultation designed by the London Sleep Clinic and a series of massages specifically tailored to improve sleep, including aromatherapy, hydrotherapy marine mineral bath, reflexology and a “Dream Time” relaxation treatment. Four nights cost from £975 per person  cost from £1,480 per person staying in a double Classic Room (01428 602020;

Last updated: 12:30pm, August 5 2008