Luxury for less
DREAM TICKETSWe’ve picked out a bunch of luxury breaks and found their less expensive equivalent – so you can save a wedge on your next trip! Mike Peake reports
I t’s good to dream – although that chap Joseph will tell you it’s probably for the best if it doesn’t involve wearing a posh coat and lording it over your brothers. Most of us dream in factor 50 – wallowing somewhere hot, somewhere clean and without a care in the world. But paradise doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little cunning, the five-star vacation is often closer to home, and kinder on the wallet, than you think.
The Golf Suite Seven nights at the Casa Palmero golf resort in Pebble Beach, California, for €5,708 (Courtyard Suite), or… Seven nights at the K CLUB in Dublin, for €4,805 (Liffey Suite).
Two world-class golf resorts, two incredible hotels. But the K Club seems a relative bargain next to its oh-so-far-away neighbour, and is every bit its golfing equal, featuring not one but two championship courses designed by Arnold Palmer. The hotel is an elegantlyrestored country house, set in 200ha of land, with a sprawling spa tucked inside. What’s that you say, how much is 18 holes? Oh, just a few hundred euros or so. TEL: +1 800 654 9300, WWW.PEBBLEBEACH.COM; TEL: +353 (0)16 017 200, WWW.KCLUB.COM
The Luxury Spa Three nights at Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos Islands, for €1,600 (double room), or… Three nights at MANDARIN ORIENTAL, Prague, for €624 (double room).
Sometimes, your “Now That’s What I Call Chillout 47 CD” just won’t cut it, and a day lying in the spare room with a face pack on isn’t much of an improvement. Top-end spa hotels can cost a fortune, but Prague is cheaper than most capital cities, and rooms at the Mandarin Oriental here are generally about 30 per cent less than at its London sister hotel. Plus the spa was recently named best in the Czech Republic. Mind you, that place in the Caribbean does have a beach. TEL: +1649 946 7788, WWW.PARROTCAY.COMO.BZ; TEL: +420 233 088 888., WWW.MANDARINORIENTAL.COM/PRAGUE
The Horseback Adventure Seven nights at the Vista Verde ranch in Colorado, US, for €2,230pp, or… Seven nights’ POLO TRAINING in Klagenfurt, Austria, for €1,160pp.
The 400-year-old Dienstl Estate is home to one of Austria’s top riding centres, where you can learn to do what Prince Charles likes to do (no, not wear tweed and bang on about organic biscuits). Centred around an elegant country house, your polo-based week in horsey paradise also promises afternoon tea on the lawn, which all sounds a bit different to the yee-hawing going on at the splendid – and also upmarket – Vista Verde ranch in the States. TEL: +44 (0)15 0961 8811, WWW.RANCHRIDER.COM; TEL: +43 4284 20443 11, WWW.THERIDINGCOMPANY.COM