Where to travel in September: 7 holiday ideas from Saudi Arabia
Squeeze the last days out of summer, make for an island paradise, or discover a sleek new city stay…
If you’re hoping to squeeze one more holiday out of your summer, then we’re here to help inspire you. From a quick getaway to the Maldives to make the most of the summer rates, to new hotel openings and fitness retreats to start your health journey right, here are seven travel ideas from the UAE this September.
Why go: Bodrum’s popularity as an alluring summer destination has only grown in recent years, and this gateway to the Turkish Riviera is lined with luxurious hotels, ritzy restaurants and designer beach clubs. But away from the glitzy parts that have become commercialised lies a coastline dotted with hidden islets and golden beaches flanked by the Aegean Sea. So whether you’re looking to embrace the see-and-be-seen side to Bodrum, or you’re looking to relax and switch off from it all, there’s a way to enjoy this scenic spot.
Where to stay: Adding to the impressive array of big name hotel brands looking to wow guests on this stunning stretch of coastline is newly opened Yalıkavak Marina Hotel by Social Living Collection. The debut hotel in Sunset Hospitality’s new Social Living Collection brand, the property is found at the beating heart of Bodrum’s Yalıkavak Marina, and offers guests a private infinity pool, panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, and an array of haute culinary hangouts right on their doorstep, including Bagatelle and Zuma.
Rates start from SAR2,401. yalikavakmarinahotels.com/marina-hotel
How to get there: flynas offers a bi-weekly flight from Riyadh to Bodrum with return fares from SAR1,130.
Why go: Florence is one of those places where there’s no bad time to visit, thanks to its beautiful architecture, rich history and exciting food scene. As Autumn rolls around, the city turns an alluring golden hue, whether you’re touring the vast vineyards or driving through the rolling hills, or embracing the city’s diverse culinary and culture offerings. With autumn also comes the time to discover one of Italy’s finest exports, the truffle.
Where to stay: Hotel Savoy, a Rocco Forte hotel has teamed up with the Truffle Concierge to offer a unique vintage car tour where you can embrace your own slice of La Dolce Vita. Taking guests first to Bagno a Ripoli, with stunning views of the Ponte Vecchio, you’ll then venture into the Tuscan hills to search for truffles. Upon reaching the estate of Giulio, ‘the Truffle Concierge’, guests will embark on an adventure to discover the secrets of truffle hunting, accompanied by his trusty lagotto dogs. The natural treasure of truffles will be collected as participants make their way through the woods with the help of the dogs, all while ensuring that the biodiversity of the local flora is respected to promote the seasonal regeneration of the various species of truffles. The experience with Giulio, the “Truffle Concierge” can be booked upon availability through the Concierge team of the Hotel Savoy in Florence.
Rates start from SAR5,430. roccofortehotels.com
How to get there: Wizz Air flies to Rome, the closest airport with a direct flight from Riyadh, four times per week with return fares from SAR187.
Why go: The “Lion City” is a popular destination for its fusion of east-meets-west, and September is one of the best times to visit. The wet season draws to a close, so there’s little chance of rain, and average temperatures of high-twenties make it the perfect climate for exploring much of the city’s alfresco offering. September also sees a number of festivals and events take place, like Singapore International Festival of Arts, Singapore Food Festival and Lantern Festival. For F1 fans, the glittering Singapore Grand Prix is not to be missed on September 17.
Where to stay: Opening this September COMO Metropolitan Singapore marks the debut home country hotel for COMO Hotels & Resorts. A property of many firsts, this chic city escape at COMO Orchard also houses the group’s fashion brand, Club21, in a multi-label fashion retail space; and a pampering new urban wellness space by COMO Shambhala. The property features 156 elegantly designed rooms, a beautiful rooftop pool, and a collection of high-end restaurants including COMO Cuisine, which hails from COMO Dempsey; and from COTE Singapore from restaurateur Simon Kim of New York’s Michelin Star COTE Korean Steakhouse.
Rates start from SAR1,730. comohotels.com
How to get there: Saudia offers a bi-weekly flight from Jeddah to Singapore with return fares from SAR1,655.
Why go: The May to September season in the Maldives is typically this dreamy island archipelago’s low season, so while you might expect a chance of rain and thunderstorms, it’s also the best time to snag the best rates for a slew of private island resorts that might otherwise be out of budget. Best of all, it’s the perfect place to head for a long weekend getaway, with direct flights from the UAE taking just four hours. Perfect for if you’re dreaming of a drop-and-flop beach break this September.
Where to stay: In a sea of ultra-luxury resorts, deciding where to stay in the Maldives is no easy feat. For the upmost luxury, Cheval Blanc Randheli is an exquisite private island resort that oozes understated opulence. This summer, this ultra-luxury escape invites guests to enjoy a summer escape package for bookings made by September 25 for stays up until September 30. When you stay four nights or more, you’ll get a 10 per send discount on rates, complimentary seaplane transfers for children, children stay and dine for free, and there’s a dinner at White Restaurant and one 30-minute session on the Surf simulator included too.
Rates from SAR8,438. chevalblanc.com
How to get there: flynas offers a thrice weekly flight from Riyadh to Male, Maldives with return fares from SAR1,437.
Why go: Still basking in glorious Mediterranean sunshine but quieter than the peak summer months, September in Ibiza offers a perfect opportunity to enjoy both the hedonistic party side, as well as the more chilled-out natural beauty of the isle. If you’re here to party, bookmark the closing parties of Sin Sundays at O Beach on September 17, the Defected end-of-season party at Eden on September 29, and Ibiza Rocks’ season closing on September 30.
Where to stay: Ennismore are the parent company behind some of the world’s coolest hotel brands, and they’ve just debuted a duo of properties on the White Isle’s west coast, just south of the capital, Santa Eulalia. The Mondrian Ibiza brings the brands signature eclectic style and tailored experiences to a sophisticated property that overlooks the turquoise waters of Cala Llonga. Raw and rustic rooms are modern and minimalistic, and on the dining front, highlights include Cuyo, an ocean-to-table restaurant with bold Mexican flavours. Next door, Hyde Ibiza is a boho beachfront property with a lively pool scene (a beach club at its heart is the place to soak up the sun and vibes in equal measure) complete with a unique wellness offering, a collection of restaurants and a beautiful mountain backdrop.
Rates from SAR1,510 for Mondrian Ibiza and SAR990 for Hyde Ibiza. book.ennismore.com
How to get there: There are no direct flights to Ibiza from Saudi Arabia, but the most cost-effective way to go is from Riyadh to Vienna with Wizz Air Malta, then hop on a connecting flight from Vienna to Ibiza with Ryanair. The total travel time is roughly 16 hours, but return fares start from a wallet-friendly SAR862.
Why go: This tropical island is both easily accessible and affordable, making its crystalline waters, sugary soft beaches and endlessly appealing soul all the more inviting to UAE travellers. It’s a year-round destination, but September is particularly popular as the dry season is in full swing and days consist of cool winds and clear skies. If you’re just looking to relax on the beach, coconut water in one hand and a good book in the other, Zanzibar is an excellent place to head. Or if you’re looking for more high-octane watersports, boat trips or visits to the historical Old Town, you can tick all that off too.
Where to stay: Having opened earlier this summer, LUX* Marijani Zanzibar is the brand’s debut East African property. Unrolling along a private beach that has guests mere steps from the Indian Ocean, the property on the island’s North East coast offers a taste of modern Arabic flavour on the shores of the Indian Ocean. A one-hour drive from the airport, on property 82 rooms and suites offer Arabesque architecture, plus there’s international and locally-influenced dining, a swimming pool and wellness experiences that draw inspiration from the island.
Rates from SAR755. luxresorts.com
How to get there: There are no direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Zanzibar, but flydubai offers return flights between the two destinations with a connection in Dubai from SAR3,130 return.
Why go: September is still classed as Bali’s dry season, and although there’s some humidity, it’s an ideal time to visit to enjoy some of the better rates at the island’s top hotels and villas. This tropical paradise is home to a wealth of wellness experiences, and if you’re looking to smash your fitness goals at a unique retreat, then the seven-day fitness getaway to Jimbaran Bali via We Love Transformational Travel is a great place to start. As the largest and best training facility on the island, boasting a 5,000 square metre indoor and outdoor training area, this experience is designed to deliver results in a sociable environment. Included in the package, there’s an array of group training sessions like crossfit, yoga, boxing and bodyfit, daily excursions to local waterfalls, temples and beaches.
Where to stay: Accommodation is included with the trip, with a variety of villas available to book depending on budget. There’s single and double rooms available in shared villas, or you can book your own private one- or two-bedroom villa.
Rates from SAR3,155. welovetransformationaltravel.com
How to get there: There are no direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Bali, so the quickest way to get there is via Doha with Qatar Airways. Return fares from Riyadh to Denpasar, Bali via Doha start from SAR7,987.
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