If you're keen for a wintery holiday, there are bargains to be had, writes Belinda Jackson.
NEW YORK CITY
In post-Christmas Manhattan, crowds drop off, hotel prices come down, sales take off and ice skates come into their own. It's Restaurant Week, too, in January/February, during which key fine-dining places offer fixed-price menus.
The 414 Hotel in midtown Manhattan has a "stay four nights, pay for three" deal in its queen-size rooms, from January 5 to February 28. The 414 is a small hotel comprising two townhouses with a courtyard in between. West 46th Street (46th and Ninth Avenue), from $194 a night.
The Condor Hotel is in a commercial-residential Jewish neighbourhood of Brooklyn where Hasidic tradition meets hipster gentrification. The subway is about a three-block walk from the hotel, as are a string of restaurants on Myrtle Avenue. The hotel has a seven-night offer in January and February with savings of up to 20 per cent. A twin room, with kitchenette and balcony, costs from $US167.82 ($201) a night, including taxes, dropping to $US131 ($157) a night, including taxes, for the bulk of the seven-night stay. The hotel has a lounge and garden and the room rate includes breakfast. 56 Franklin Avenue.
Cathay Pacific has early-bird flights to Europe via Hong Kong for those who can delay their Christmas gift to themselves until April 2013. Economy-class return flights cost from $1999 if booked by December 31 for travel between February 1 and March 31 or between May 1 and June 30. Destinations include London, Rome, Milan, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow and Amsterdam.
Paris apartments to rent can be well-placed gems. Stays in January mean savings, too. For example, an apartment in the 17th arrondissement about 15 minutes' walk from the Arc de Triomphe is a green oasis in the centre of the city. Originally built as a nuns' cloister, the apartment can accommodate three people and has a kitchen. Stay in January for €140 ($217) a night, twin share.
Austria is ski central. An eight-day Ski Only package in Tyrol's SkiWelt region costs from $799 a person, quad share. Includes coach pick-up from the airport or train station, breakfast daily.
Turkey encompasses cosmopolitan Istanbul, ancient Ephesus, Troy and mournful Gallipoli. A 10-day tour visits the sites. Save $180 on bookings until January 15, 2013, for travel from January 1 to March 13, 2013 and November 1 to December 23, 2013. From $1019 a person.
High in the wine region of Valle de Guadalupe, 20 eco-cabins meld into the environment to create Endemico, a Design Hotel in Mexico's Baja California. Remote, yes, but also just 90 minutes from San Diego by air. Get 20 per cent off the best available rate on two-night stays, or stay three nights, pay for two, until March 17, 2013. Costs from $US280 ($336) for two nights; from $US350 ($419) for three nights.
Now's a great time to visit - without the crowds or the heat. Tempo Holidays has a two-for-the-price-of-one package on its 11-day Wonders of Egypt tour, which visits Cairo and Alexandria, El Alamein's World War II battlefields and includes a four-night cruise on the Nile. Book by December 31, travel until September 30, 2013. Costs from $3962 for two people.
Marrakesh is the jewel of Morocco. It's winter here, so rug up and admire the snowy peaks behind the city. Save 30 per cent on three-night stays at Angsana Riads Collection Morocco until February 18, 2013 (excludes stays between December 23 and January 6).
- Sydney Morning Herald