Once-in-a-lifetime luxury holidays personally put together by 270 of the world`s top hoteliers are being offered at everyday prices in a two-month web auction to raise money for the International Red Cross.
Visitors to the website of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, slh.com, can find two-six day stays - featuring hedonistic extras like VIP suites, limousine and even helicopter travel, the last word in health and beauty treatments, private sightseeing visits and epicurean junkets prepared by award-winning chefs and master sommeliers - worth an average £3,000 apiece, with starting bids of only a few hundred pounds. The auction, `Bid for the World`, runs until January 9, with the stock changed every two weeks. The holidays, with an average value of £3,000, have been devised by SLH`s 270 hoteliers around the world as a contribution to getting people travelling again after the US atrocities.
Currently available are holidays ranging from two nights at Le Pigonnet, a quintessential Provencal mansion in Aix-en-Provence (worth £700, starting bid £100) and, for wine lovers, three nights at Chateau Grand Barrail in the vineyards near medieval Saint-Emilion (worth £1,230, minimum bid £130) to six nights in the sub-tropical garden paradise of the Oberoi in Mauritius (value £3,200, minimum bid £300) and three nights beside the Indian Ocean at the Banyan Tree in the Maldives (value £1,100, starting bid £120).
Sports aficionados can ski at the Sporthotel Kristiania in Austria`s enchanting Lech am Arlberg, fish for brown trout at New Zealand`s Lake Rotoroa Lodge, play golf from a base at Washington`s famous Bellevue Club and, in Mexico, scuba dive at La Casa Que Canta or sail a yacht at Villa Rolandi Gourmet and Beach Club. Holidays do not include air fares unless stated, and are subject to availability, but do not have to be taken within a specific time. Sample `winning` prices for the first fortnight of the auction (`Bid for the World` is running as a series of two-week auctions.