The madness of the Marrakesh medina, the gumboot rhythms of a top London show and the salty shores of France’s second city -- our publisher draws on his globetrotting experience to pick his favourite deals from this week’s Top 20 £299 -- All-Inc 5-Star Week in Marrakesh, 50% Off
I don’t know about you but here in London it’s so grey and wet I’m worried we’ll soon be processing oxygen through our gills. A frightening prospect, but we propose a cure -- a week-long trip to Marrakesh. Not only is the medieval Moroccan city about twice as warm as the UK at this time of year, but you could also easily spend twice as much cash in Britain as you would at the receiving end of our thrifty deal. Part of the appeal of Marrakesh is the sheer, strange-smelling, crowded craziness of the souks (markets) in the ancient, maze-like medina. You could probably find more things to buy here than in legendarily all-catering Harrods -- but it can also soon feel overwhelming. That’s why a retreat to a 5-star, swimming-pool-packed resort on the outskirts of the city, like the one in our deal, makes a Marrakesh visit all the more desirable. Oh, and this package also has all-inclusive meals, but don’t let that stop you stepping out and sampling a delicious traditional chicken tagine or some of the modern, French-influenced cuisine that has reached world-class standard in Marrakesh.£19 & up -- 'Chandelier-Shaking' African Dance Show, 50% Off
I hope we didn’t confuse too many people with our description of the South African dance extravaganza “UMOJA” as “chandelier-shaking” in our Top 20 email. That was in fact a phrase from a Metro
review of the West End musical whose exuberant rhythms and odd but brilliant gumboot dance routines have lured 4m punters to performances worldwide so far. But £19 a ticket? That’s more than you pay for the cinema, isn’t it? Well, if you consider what goes into a musical -- the costs of hiring all those singers and dancers, plus the pricey folk who direct and produce them, then building the sets and hauling the whole shebang around the globe -- then it’s a wonder they don’t just raise a city-wide tax to put the thing on. Instead, we’ve tracked down best tickets in the house for a measly £19. Shake your chandeliers at that, Travelzoo people.£79 -- 4-Star Hotel in Marseille, Save £188
Marseille, “city of sailors and whores”, as one guidebook memorably put it. Neither is the subject of our deal, however -- although you might catch sight of a sailor or two from the sea-view room of the 4-star hotel we’ve found in the city that has slashed its rates to a virtually youth-hostel low of £79. That’s a staggering £188 less than you’d normally pay for the same room. Allons-y
, in other words -- if you’ve never been to the Mediterranean city, the second largest in France, you’ll find it a salty, refreshing change from Paris, for example. Substitute the effete artist types of the capital and their couture-draped companions for blokes built like brick pissoirs and the no-nonsense dark-eyed southern belles on their arms, and you’ll have some idea of the heady Marseille experience.