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Luxury on a budget

May 15, 2009 11:57 IST

Luxury on a budget

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With the global financial crisis encouraging hoteliers around the world to substantially reduce their room rates to attract guests, there has rarely been a better time for Indian travellers to indulge in five-star luxury hotels on their travels. With great deals to be had at the premium end of the hotel market around the world, Hotels.com has selected five top destinations -- Bali, Las Vegas, Prague, London and Hong Kong.

Johan Svanstrom, managing director Asia Pacific of Hotels.com, says, "The high end of the hotel market has traditionally been available only to a select few, but now many more travellers can treat themselves to a bit of luxury and experience a champagne lifestyle without breaking the bank."

"If travellers are prepared to be flexible with their travel destination and travel dates, they can find great deals to indulge in a stay in a luxury hotel on a modest budget," he said.

Many hoteliers are now also including added bonuses such as complimentary airport transfers, free car parking, as well as food and drink vouchers or spa treatments for staying customers. "When you add up the cost of the extras that are sometimes included, the price is now comparable to, or even providing better value than, hotels at the lower end," Svanstrom said.

As a result of the global economic downturn, air tickets as well as lavish dining and entertainment experiences in many cities around the world have also become more affordable to travellers.

Here are five top international destinations offering luxury accommodation on a budget:

Destination Bali
A favoured destination for many travellers looking to splash out on all the trimmings, this destination has plenty to offer for those seeking an extravagant getaway. Bali has plenty of luxury accommodation as well as idyllic day spas, bargain luxury brand shopping and delicious food in upmarket restaurants.

The Laguna Resort & Spa - Nusa Dua
Located in the sunniest part of Bali, nestled in the majestic Nusa Dua peninsula on Bali's most beautiful beach, the resort is a secluded paradise offering white sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters in the "Jewel of the East". Prices start at Rs 8,090* per room per night.

The InterContinental
The exclusive InterContinental Bali Resort is located in Jimbaran Bay, adjacent to 500 meters of white-sand beach and is set on acres of tropical landscaping. Prices start from as low as Rs 6,525* per room per night.

* All prices quoted are correct as of April 22, 2009. Published offers are subject to availability and may be discontinued without further notice. Prices listed include all fees and taxes, but may fluctuate due to changes in taxes, fees and currency.


Image: The Laguna Resort & Spa - Nusa Dua
Photographs: Courtesy Hotels.com
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Destination Las Vegas

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It's easy to feel like a high-roller in Las Vegas, where these days it won't cost the earth to splash out on a chauffeur-driven limousine or a personal shopping guide -- so you really can live like a rock star without having to break the bank. Whether you choose to stay in the penthouse, sip fabulous cocktails made by internationally renowned flare artists, see a world-class show or tie the knot, everything is possible now in Vegas!

Trump Hotel Las Vegas
Overlooking the famous Las Vegas 'Strip', and owned by legendary business tycoon Donald Trump, this five-star hotel features a signature 24-carat, gold-tinted glass facade. Prices start from Rs 4,500* per room per night including US$50 spa credit.

Bellagio
Showcasing approximately 1,000 fountains dancing to opera and classical music at the entrance, the ultra-luxury Tuscan- style Bellagio is located in the heart of Vegas. Prices start from Rs 7,030* per room per night.


Image: Bellagio, Las Vegas
Photographs: Courtesy Hotels.com
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Destination Prague

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This laid-back European city oozes luxury, from the grandeur of the gothic architecture right through to the glitzy designer shopping. Cultural treasures of art, opera, theatre and ballet are at your doorstep to enjoy. Many of the city's five-star hotels in the Old Town or along the river, with views of the Charles Bridge and medieval Prague Castle, are available for under Rs 7,500* per night.

MaMaison Riverside Prague
The MaMaison Riverside Prague is in the centre of Prague on the west bank of the River Vltava and housed in an Art Nouveau property.
Prices start from Rs 6,070* per room per night.

Marriott Prague
Centrally located at the gate of Old Town Square on the East side of the Vlatava River, this hotel has Prague's largest spa. Prices start at Rs 7,180* per room per night.


Image: Marriott Prague
Photographs: Courtesy Hotels.com
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Destination London

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With the global economic downturn really biting in the UK, and discounting in the luxury retail and hospitality sectors rife, London is the ideal destination if you want to experience 'high culture' in luxury and at prices never seen before in what is normally a rather expensive destination.

Travellers seeking a glamorous London experience are spoilt for choice, whether it's taking in a star-studded stage production at a West End theatre, shopping in well-heeled Knightsbridge, taking in a concert of one of London's five symphony orchestras, or relaxing in a chic Soho wine bar. Extravagance is literally at every turn in London -- now enjoy it for less!

Andaz Liverpool Street a Hyatt Hotel
Built in 1884, this hotel was redesigned for the millennium. The hotel's health club has a fitness room with personal trainers and yoga instruction available.
Prices start at Rs 8,495* per room per night.

Plaza on the River, London
On the south bank of the River Thames, the Plaza on the River offers stunning views of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye. Prices start at
Rs 7,485* per room per night.


Image: Andaz Liverpool Street a Hyatt Hotel
Photographs: Courtesy Hotels.com
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Destination Hong Kong

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Renowned for its dramatic skyline and beautiful harbour setting, Hong Kong is not only a leading financial capital but also one of Asia's most luxurious cultural hubs. This cosmopolitan centre, where East meets West, is renowned for its shopping. All designers of note have a presence in Hong Kong, where labels can often be found at a much more affordable price than in Europe or North America. The fusion of East and West also characterises Hong Kong's cuisine, where opulent restaurants offer a variety of international foods.

Langham Place Hotel Mongkok, Hong Kong
This hotel provides luxurious European-style ambience with views of Victoria Harbor and within walking distance of the ferry. Prices start from Rs 7,335* per room per night.

InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
Located on the Victoria Harbour, the hotel is just 500 meters from the Hong Kong Museum of Art and is well suited to business and leisure travellers alike. Prices start from Rs 7,130* per room per night.


Image: InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
Photographs: Courtesy Hotels.com
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