Where to travel in October: 6 holiday ideas from the UAE
As we say goodbye to summer and welcome autumn, take off for destinations near and far…
Dreaming of an October getaway? While the typical European hotspots may have said goodbye, it’s the turn of a string of alluring fall destinations to shine. From a local wellness retreat to Indian Ocean escapes and haute city breaks here are six travel ideas from the UAE this October.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Why go: With the return of the cool UAE weather, comes the return of weekends nestled amongst the desert dunes. If you like your desert adventures with a side of luxury and wellness, then book yourself onto the first Samadhi wellness weekend retreat, taking place from October 27 to 29 at the palatial desert destination, Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara. Led by seasoned wellness experts, the retreat is designed as a three-day, two-night getaway to relax and unwind. Expect an an array of yoga classes, sound baths, cacao ceremony, and all meals included, priced at Dhs8,900 for single occupancy or Dhs6,300 per person based on double occupancy, including accommodation.
Where to stay: The retreat experience will also include luxurious accommodation at the Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara Resort with deluxe rooms overlooking the desert horizon and green oasis where you can immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty.
How to get there: Roughly a three-hour drive from Dubai and a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi, head 154km up the E65 to reach the resort gates.
Why go: Formula One fans will know that the summer races are now behind us, and only a string of thrilling events remain before the end of the 2023 Grand Prix season. Next up is the electrifying 2023 Qatar Formula 1 Grand Prix, which ignites the famed 5.38-kilometer Lusail International Circuit from 6 to 8 October. Around the race, a string of unforgettable events and concerts take place, which this year includes Egyptian star Amr Diab, Swedish DJ Alesso, and American pop sensation Bruno Mars.
Where to stay: A new ultra-luxury address that offers anything but the ordinary, Raffles Doha is a dazzling base for the F1 weekend. Go all-our with a memorable weekend in the Crescent Signature Suite, with mesmerising skyline views, an expansive terrace, and a thoughtful hospitality offering that includes an in-suite breakfast and 90-minute spa treatment – plus premium race tickets included. But it won’t just be the drivers getting in on the racing action, the Grand Prix package also includes a Raffles Bentley chauffeur, and a heart-stirring test drive of the McLaren GT. Even if you’re not checking in for the suite life, F1-themed events will take place at ALBA By Enrico Crippa and L’Artisan’s Signature Brunch.
Room rates from Dhs6,355. raffles.com/doha
How to get there: Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia and flydubai all offer regular flights from Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Doha. Return fares start from Dhs1,825 with flydubai.
Why go: Long summer days might draw the crowds to the British capital through June to September, while the Christmas months of November and December are always pretty packed as revellers soak up the festive atmosphere. But sandwiched between the two, October in London can be pretty special too, with the weather still nice enough for sight seeing, and the city’s array of parks and greenery tinged with that crisp autumnal glow. For foodies, London Restaurant Festival runs city-wide through the whole of October, while the end of the month plays host to a superb array of spooky-season events.
Where to stay: A duo of high-profile hotel openings are reason enough to add London to your must-visit list this month. First up, The Peninsula London, located in the heart of Belgravia is a lesson in the finest British craftsmanship. Located just steps from icons like Buckingham Palace, Knightsbridge and Hyde Park, the hotel features sumptous suites decorated with original artworks, six stylish restaurants and bars, and a fleet of cars that includes Rolls-Royce Phantom IIs, hybrid Bentley Bentaygas, and a 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom Sedanca de Ville. Then there’s the long-awaited Raffles London at The OWO, now open inside the grand, Grade II* listed former Old War Office on Whitehall. Laced with more than 100 years of history, the storied address has undergone a complete transformation, opening to the public for the first time as a decadent emporium of gourmet dining and elegant stays. A handpicked curation of collaborations includes a destination spa in partnership with Guerlain and a trio of signature restaurants from one of the world’s finest culinary masters, chef Mauro Colagreco.
The Peninsula London, room rates from Dhs6,295. peninsula.com
Raffles London at The OWO, room rates from Dhs7,302. raffles.com/london
How to get there: Both Emirates and Etihad offer direct daily flights to London, with the cheapest return fares from Dhs3,015 with Emirates.
Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Why go: The summer season in Mauritius begins in October, and while each corner of the island has its appeal, the east coast is particularly alluring for those looking for natural beauty, sugary soft beaches and charming local attractions, like local markets in the picturesque villages. Add climbing the distinctive peak of Mount Lion, kayaking down the Grande Rivière Sud Est and soaking up the history in Vieux Grand Port to your east coast bucket list.
Where to stay: On the untamed east coast of the island, beloved LUX* Belle Mare reopens for guests from October 1. This popular resort is nestled in lush tropical gardens and has undergone a year-long renovation to re-emerge as a luxurious seaside retreat that takes design inspiration from its tropical, beachy surroundings. Unrolling along one of the best beaches on the island, there’s a laidback-luxe feel to the 174 suites and 12 villas, as well as the collective of culinary offerings that includes a beach club, signature restaurant Amari by celebrity chef Vinnet Bhatia and Chinese restaurant, Duck Laundry.
Room rates from Dhs1,518. luxresorts.com
How to get there: Emirates offers a daily flight from Dubai to Mauritius from Dhs4,285 return.
Why go: From October 1, Etihad will launch a new autumn flight route to the Danish capital of Copenhagen, four times per week. This shoulder season is the ideal time to see Copenhagen, and while temperatures begin to cool and there may be a chance of rain, the weather is still perfect for discovering the city’s many hidden gems in all their autumnal glory. Tthe capital of Denmark and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scandinavia thanks to its colourful canals, café culture and attractions including Tivoli Gardens, the oldest amusement park in the world.
Where to stay: A standout address in the eco, culinary, and style stakes, book a stay at Coco, a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of the city, and be rewarded with relaxing vibes, bright and playful interiors, and an awesome wine bar.
Room rates from Dhs716. coco-hotel.com
How to get there: Etihad offers four weekly flights from Abu Dhabi to Copenhagen from October 1. Return fares start from Dhs3,625.
Why go: Ambient weather for exploring, plenty of outdoor activities and so much culture and heritage that you’ll wish you stayed longer – October is a wonderful month to visit Rajasthan. This colourful Indian state is packed with things to do – from ticking off the pink palaces in the capital of Jaipur, to the famous lakes of Udaipur. You shouldn’t miss ticking off the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur or the cultural camel festival in Pushkar, either.
Where to stay: Base yourself at one of the pink city’s most luxurious hotels with a stay at The Leela Palace Jaipur. A collision of culture, wellness and adventure backdropped by the majestic Aravalli ranges, the hotel is encased in eight acres of landscaped garden. Design details include Shekhawati paintings, inlaid mirrors and traditional thikri craft to ensure the history and heritage of this storied location ooze from every corner, while off-property a collection of key heritage sites are all within easy reach from the hotel’s prime location. Book and stay by October 31 and when you stay three-nights, you’ll only pay for two, with breakfast included.
Room rates from Dhs1,283. theleela.com
How to get there: Air Arabia flies direct from Sharjah to Jaipur, with the three hour flight priced from Dhs966 return.
Images: Supplied and Unsplash