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Publisher's Roundup, 2 February

From the Eternal City to India's travellers’ triangle -- our publisher draws on his globetrotting experience to pick his favourite deals from this week’s Top 20®

£139 -- Rome: 3 Nights & Flights from 5 UK Cities
I don’t know quite how you’d describe our subscribers’ phenomenal response to the Rome deal in the Top 20® newsletter this week, but 10,000 Travelzoo users clicked on the 3-night city break within the first ten minutes of our sending it. We think that reaction may be unprecedented, but in a way it’s not surprising: The deal we tracked down jets you to the Italian capital from five British cities and regions for three nights' B&B (although I bet the Italians call it something more romantic than that) in a niftily located 4-star hotel for about as much, our deal hound Raphael Giacardi points out, as you’d pay for a single night in a central London hotel. And then there’s the Eternal City itself. Yes, the chic little bars and sexy, vain Italians are nice, but for me it’s the “eternal” bit that represents Rome’s supreme allure. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, the city’s soaring aqueducts: it’s somehow simultaneously cheering and depressing that these millennia-old architectural and aesthetic marvels have in important ways never been bettered.

£69 -- Coventry Hotel w/Dinner & Fizz, 33% Off
From the sublime to...Coventry. Don’t be fooled: Our deal isn’t the only attractive thing about the British city, even if the hotel involved is virtually paying you to come and stay. For a very fair rate (per person) from the trusted Hilton chain, you get a room for two nights with a 3-course dinner, chocolates, breakfast and what we at Travelzoo habitually call “fizz” included. Then there’s Coventry itself. As well as being a great (cheap) base for exploring Birmingham, Leicester and Stratford-upon-Avon (aka Shakespeare-ville), this ancient Midlands city has an appeal of its own to the more curious traveller. As a taster, the cathedral, which astoundingly survived the Nazis’ carpet-bombing, is among the tallest in Europe, the ultra-cool ska bands bands The Specials and The Selecter came from here, and Coventry was the real location of the classic scene from "The Italian Job" when Mini Coopers careen around the sewers of Turin.

£999 -- India Golden Triangle Tour inc Taj Mahal, Save £700
India: less a country than a universe. Not long after arriving in India, you feel drawn into a profoundly different world: not only a very distinct culture -- in its colours, smells and customs -- from what you may be used to but what often feels like an entirely different time. Frankly, you could spend a lifetime exporing India, but we’ve found a deal that gives you a taste of the place as short and intense as the spiciest Madras curry. Following the famous travellers’ triangle formed by the cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, the tour takes in such unforgettable sights as crazy old Chandni Chowk market in Delhi, the tragic lovers’ monument that is the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Mirror Palace among the other treasures of the Amber Fort near Jaipur. But back to India’s heady strangeness: well, our deal cushions it by putting you up in 4-star hotels throughout. (Don’t tell my hippy friends but I’m afraid the most delicious meal I had in Delhi was not from some steamy Rajasthan shack but a palatial mock-colonial hotel in the capital -- and it still only cost what you’d pay for a take-away curry in Britain.)

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Thursday, 2 February 2012
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Simon Busch