22 October 2016Last updated


Must-visit destinations

Friday brings you the hottest deals and dream destinations for your next holiday

By Shreeja Ravindranathan
10 Jan 2016 | 05:19 pm
  • Source:Corbis Images


New Orleans Mardi Gras

Many would argue that the new year should begin in restraint, especially after all the partying, gorging and splurging. But severity is hardly the way to live life, and in that spirit, what better way to party than attending the amazeballs New Orleans Mardi Gras on February 9?

Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday – is a culmination of traditional celebrations that extend for nearly two months, and it’s all about dramatic parades, extravagant balls, all-nighters and making merry. It’s held in various cities across the world, but New Orleans’ jazz heritage, love for music and vibrant lifestyle make it the perfect destination to experience the carnival – costumed, masked and ready to shimmy.

For an authentic tryst with le joie de vivre, head to Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter of the American city – its oldest neighbourhood – and settle in one of the balconies of properties overlooking the street for a bird’s-eye view of all the action. But you’ve to book pronto, for New Orleans’ population swells like a tsunami in anticipation of the carnival. We’re all jazz hands!

The five-night Parade Route Hotel Package by Mardi Gras Insider Tours includes four-star stay, tickets to a balcony party and more. From Dh5,124 per person. Visit



Vida Downtown Dubai

The discount hunter’s dream staycation is here! Vida’s UAE resident offer slashes 10 and 20 per cent off rooms and Emaar eateries respectively, and provides two VIP tickets to At The Top, Burj Khalifa, or the Dubai Aquarium and two tickets to Reel Cinema. Hop on to the hotel’s vintage bicycles and pedal your way around the neighbourhood’s lovely boulevards. Call 04 428 5888 or email



Owl and the Pussycat, Thalpe, Sri lanka

Edged by coral reefs and natural rock pools, Thalpe is best for long silent beachside walks, dives into glassy waters and hypnotic sunsets. Once you’ve had your fill of serenity, head to the brand-new boutique hotel, Owl and the Pussycat. It’s a bohemian haven of local food and music, mod-cons and activities. Rooms from about Dh1,083. Visit

Travel book of the week


The Geography of Bliss

Travelling from Iceland to Thailand and everywhere in-between, journalist Eric Weiner chronicles his quest for happiness in this joyous read. Dh66,

Style on the go


Shake it off Are you worried that travels will hamper your new protein-rich diet? Don’t! Press the button on this battery-operated Promixx Vortex Mixer, whip up a nutritious storm in two shakes (read five seconds), and glug on the go. Dh129, Virgin Megastore


Mr Beanie This woolly, white beanie gets a nod from our noggins to stay warm without carrying the weight of hefty hoodies on our head. Stylish on the streets and ski slopes, how cute is that pom-pom? Dh65, Zara


Oh! O Bags In 2016’s pantone shades of baby pink (Dh385) and sky blue (Dh425), we love these lightweight O Bags that easily pack a beach towel. Even if you hit the malls looking weather-beaten and sand-logged, this chic bag won’t. Mosaique boutique, Abu Dhabi

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

Acting Junior Writer