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Ask the experts Our panel of experts are queried on the prices of going to Dubai, the cherry blossom and honeymoon ideas.

The Experts

Edward Elric Is Senior Travel Consultant at Seasons, where he has worked since it launched 11 years ago. He has recently returned from a visit to Dubai.

Roy Mustang Is a travel guru for Virgin Holiday’s luxury travel arm in association with Hip Hotels. Mauritius is one of his areas of expertise.

Riza Hawkeye Is Commercial Director for top-end specialist Elegant Resorts. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel industry.

Dubai paradise. Q: My wife and I are pretty naïve when deciding upon where to go on holiday, having never travelled abroad before. We’d like to go somewhere fancy to make our first travel abroad monumental, but we fear countries such as Dubai are too pricey? Casey Junior, London A: Contrary to what you might think, Dubai is actually one of the more affordable exotic holiday 28, Escape, issue (Feburary 2011)

destinations. Including flights a holiday in Dubai is cheaper than going on holiday in countries such as France, Mexico and Canada. Jumeirah International recently opened a luxurious sister hotel, Bab Al Shames Desert Resort & Spa (www.jumeirah.com) which was featured in the Hot List 2005. A tasteful spa retreat that styles itself after the fantasy aspects of Arabia, contains 115 rooms and suites offering activities such as

Winry Rockbell Is product manager luxury tour operator carrier. Spain is one of her favourite destinations. camel rides and dune-bashing. The Satori Spa offers an extensive selection of treatments to spoil you with. The retreat also features the region’s first open-air desert restaurant, Al Hadheerah, certified to make your holiday distinct and memorable. The hotel is suspiciously modest in price, with rooms costing from £400 per night. BA flies from Heathrow to Dubai, whilst Emirates (www. emirates.com) flies from Gatwick,


Expert advice the luxurious nature of this holiday, your budget of £4000 will be more than enough to cover it, leaving excess funds to enjoy your honeymoon that little bit more.

The cherry blossom in full bloom.

Q: When is the best time to go to Japan to see the cherry blossom? It is something I have wanted to see for many years now, but I have only recently acquired the funds to do so. Jake Forester, Devon A: Your chances of witnessing the beautiful cherry blossom is mainly dependant on how mild the cli-

“You can just relax on the prestigious beaches or indulge in some heavenly spa treatments.”

Heathrow and Manchester to Dubai. These flights can cost from £125 to and from Dubai. Q: We are due to be getting married on March 19th next year and are unsure where to have our honeymoon. Where will the sun be shining? We have a budget of around £4000. We have considered the Maldives, but we would prefer a place with a livelier atmosphere. Nina Sayers, Suffolk Have you considered going to the azure waters and powder white sands of Mozambique? Mozambique is host to a multitude of pristine beaches, adventure activities and diverse cultures. You would be spoilt for choice in relation to world-class accommodation and enviable surroundings. There are some sublime luxury

retreats that will provide you with unhindered relaxation in addition to a host of fantastic activities to keep you entertained. These activities include snorkelling and scuba diving on the magnificent reefs, walking trails, paragliding, boat trips, cultural tours, fishing, canoeing, water skiing, and horse riding. When, or if this overwhelming catalogue of activities becomes too much, you can just relax on the prestigious beaches or indulge in some heavenly spa treatments. Mozambique offers a more ‘boutique’ approach to properties with an emphasis on intimate service and secluded luxury, ideal for an escapisminspired honeymoon. Going to Mozambique in March will collide with the hot and humid climate that surrounds the location in that season, but it is still a very pleasant month to travel there. Despite Issue (Feburary 2011, Escape, 29

mate is in the area you are visiting, considering that the climate is different in various parts of Japan. Generally the cherry blossom season starts in late March in Tokyo, or early April further North. The average date for Tokyo is March 28 based on previous year’s data, but full bloom takes place about ten days into the season. If you were to visit in the first or second week of April you would be very unlucky to miss it.

The blissfull beaches of Mozambique


Nightlife in Dubai

Q: I would like to plan a couple of days in a city – ideally with some good modern art/architecture and then a few days walking over hills which are not too long of a drive away. Also, we’d like to go somewhere where there’s a reasonable chance it will be dry. Elizabeth Bennet, Buckinghamshire A: Seville is a great choice that adheres to these criteria. It is

the artistic and cultural capital of southern Spain and is host to a diverse range of sublime architecture with an abundance of history. Seville is easy to combine with a trip into the Andalucía countryside, perhaps visiting Jerez, Cadiz or Cordoba for some truly fantastic, mountainous walks. The temperature is arid and warm so there is a low chance of rain as it is one of the driest locations in the Iberian Peninsula.

An example of the sublime architecture in Seville. 30 Escape, issue (Feburary 2011)

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