Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Netherlands
Tiptoe through tulips, daffodils, orchids, roses, lilies and a bouquet of seven million flowers in full bloom in every colour conceivable when you take a walk in Europe’s Garden – the sprawling Keukenhof in the Netherlands. Blossoming bright and beautiful in the South Holland town of Lisse, these 32 hectares of landscaped flower beds started as the humble 15th-century kitchen gardens of Countess Jacqueline of Hainaut, Keukenhof. However, now it is one of the world’s largest flower gardens.
The annual blooms of Keukenhof and the flower parade (April 24) are sleepy Lisse’s only highlights, apart from the 14th-century Huys Dever castle and the Museum De Zwarte Tulp (black tulip museum). Easily accessible from Amsterdam by a 40- minute drive, Keukenhof is open for eight weeks every year. This year, anthophiles can enjoy the flower fest until May 16. Hosting multiple shows, guided tours and exhibitions, the highlight this year is a breathtaking flower mosaic of 100,000 bulbs depicting Holland’s Golden Age of sea trade. Go on, and discover your inner flower child.
The Fletcher Hotel-Restaurant De Witte Raaf has two-day Keukenhof packages starting from about Dh921. Visit www.keukenhof.nl.
Per Aquum Desert Palm Hotel, Dubai
After toiling all week, spring for a green weekend at the five-star Per Aquum Desert Palm. This 160-acre oasis of idyllic polo fields soothe the eyes as the two-night Signature Escapes offer unwinds worn bodies and minds with country club-style luxury, breakfast, a 60-minute Intuitive Massage for two, room upgrades and sundowners. From Dh1,139. Call 04 323 8888.
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman
Forget France, la vie en rose awaits in Oman where the lush Jabal Akdhar mountain transforms as 7,000 Damask rose shrubs bloom in April-May. Drink in the springtime sights from Alila Jabal Akhdar’s mountain-view suites with the Rose Package. Petal baths, massage with rose oils, guided tour of the rose terraces and daily breakfast and dinner will keep you in the pink of health. Until May 2. From Dh2,290 per room. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel app of the week
Allergy Pollen Count
If you’re allergy-prone, waking up is a tough task in pollen-ridden spring air. After popping antihistamines, this app’s pollen and mould counts and educative videos will help. Free on iOS.
Style on the go
ART ON WHEELIES Carry a piece of New York’s subway murals on your travels with Samsonite’s Keith Haring collection. Featuring the graffiti artist’s signature colourful stick figures, this lightweight suitcase rocks. Dh1,585 for 55cm
DOWN TO THE WIRELESS As you globetrot, enjoy music free of wires and interruptions with Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless stereo headphones. A single charge lasts eight hours and the flexible waterproof design hugs ear contours, protecting it from sweat and rain. Dh228 at E-City
FLYING COLOURS Rinse tired and tinted tresses with Sachajuan’s colour save shampoo. Fortifying hair pigments and algae and marine ingredients make it your portable colourist. Dh115 for 250ml at Basharacare.com