Hyatt Regency Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
There is a rugged beauty to the once-Soviet Central Asian ‘stans’ that is epitomised in the landlocked nation of Kyrgyzstan. The name stumbles clumsily off the tongue just like your breath will at the craggy beauty of this Switzerland of Central Asia – so called for the towering ice-capped Tian Shan mountain range occupying 80 per cent of the area and increasing its profile as a skiing and mountaineering destination.
Hemmed by Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and China there is no sea here, but Lake Issyk-Kul, the world’s second-largest Alpine lake and a popular layover of the Silk Route, makes up for it.
The Kyrgyz culture and people have an inimitable nomadic flavour, raw magnetism, endless hospitality and adventurousness, seen in the national penchant for horse riding and the sport of Ulak (a type of polo). Experience it all from the city comforts of the capital Bishkek. The five-star Hyatt Regency has plush mountain-view rooms and organises day tours of the city with stops at Ala-Too square, Osh Bazaar, State Historical Museum and more, besides horseback-riding experiences and treks to Tien Shan. Keep an eye out for farmers and shepherds living in yurts (latticed bamboo tents) when you leave Bishkek. If the wild landscape inspires you to walk on the wild side try beshbarmak, a traditional dish made of horsemeat.
Rooms from Dh826. Call 00996 312 66 12 34 or visit www.bishkek.regency.hyatt.com/en.
Fairmont, The Palm Dubai
August is far from fair-weathered but Fairmont’s Summer Family Offer will put a spring in your step. Stay, shop and sleep for a steal on the playground of the rich and famous – The Palm Jumeirah – starting at Dh590 per room per night. Get 10 per cent off room rates, delicious breakfast buffet on waking up, a complimentary lunch or dinner for two at Flow Kitchen restaurant, transport to shopping malls and access for kids to the Fairmont Falcons Kids’ Club. Until August 31. Call 04 311 5566 or email ThePalm.Reservations@fairmont.com.
Hotel Palace Berlin, Germany
After the Berlin wall came down in 1989 this German capital – modern European history’s epicentre post Second World War – has been fortified with diverse cultures, ideas and people; you’ll notice that when visiting Checkpoint Charlie, central district of Mitte’s Berlin Opera, boulevard Karl Marx-Allee and the Museum Island. Or grab a wurst and hop aboard ferries cruising waterways. Discover Berlin’s diversities longer for cheap with Hotel Palace’s Smart Berlin Deal. Stay for seven days and pay for five plus enjoy 10 per cent discounts at McArthur Glen and Galeries Lafayette at nearby Kurfürstendamm, the shopping avenue. Rooms from Dh530. Call 0049 30 2502-0 or email email@example.com.
Race classic cars in Switzerland
The hills will come alive with the revs of classic sports cars during the Arosa Classic Car hill climb (September 1-4), when the Swiss alpine resort’s meadows will be dotted with automobiles such as the Mercedes 300SL. The Tschuggen Grand Hotel’s three nights half-board package lets petrolheads be more than mere spectators and put metal to the pedal of a Volkswagen race taxi with a professional race pilot. Inclusive of partial body massage, Tschuggen railway Express access and Arosa All-Day card. Deluxe rooms from Dh2,913. Call 0041 81 378 99 99 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel book of the week
TASCHEN 100 Getaways
You might have 99 travel problems but where to stay won’t be one of them with this list’s 100 best international hotels. From luxurious French châteaus to Vietnamese guesthouses, Norwegian hipster hotels and cosy B&B’s, this guide covers every occasion, taste and budget. Dh450, Cities Boutique.
Style on the go
SILENCE IS SILVER Disconnect from airport announcements, in-cabin drone of engines and chatty fellow commuters with Bose’s lightweight QC35 headphones’ noise-cancellation function. The EQ-enabled microphones inside and outside the earcups, sense, measure and block superfluous sounds so the noise that remains is music to your ears, even if it’s just silence. Dh1,499
CAMO COOL Carpisa’s Lerici trolley wheels away the style prize for its on-trend camouflage pattern. The suitcase’s built-in straps secure clothes and multiple compartments and zipper pockets store your essentials. Dh399, Carpisa stores
SLIPPER THROUGH These marshmallow-soft foam and rubber-soled Mini flip-flops support through sandy beach strolls and hour-long mall trawls. The open V-straps allow feet to breathe, but it’s the storage bag we love, kicking dirt out away from our luggage. Dh134, AGMC stores