My 10 trips in 2023 that I am most excited about
Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire [...] The post My 10 trips in 2023 that I am most excited about appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.
Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today: My 2023 trips that I am most excited about
I wish you all a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous 2023! In these challenging and divisive times, we all could benefit by reminding ourselves of the powerful words of Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” At the end of the past year, I reflected on my most memorable travel experiences of 2022. But now that 2023 is finally here, it’s time to look forward and share with you 10 great trips that I am planning for the coming year and that I am looking forward to share with you in my Wednesday blog posts (which always feature a flight trip reports or luxury hotel reviews) and on my YouTube channel.
If you have some tips and suggestions for my upcoming trips, please share them in the comments section below!Click to view slideshow.
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10. SPENDING A WEEKEND AT BERLIN’S ICONIC HOTEL ADLON
In spring 2023, I’ll travel to the city of Berlin in Germany to attend a concert of one of my favorite singers, Damien Rice. For the occasion, I’ll stay at the legendary Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin. The original Hotel Adlon was one of the most famous hotels in Europe. It opened in 1907 and was largely destroyed in 1945 in the closing days of World War II, though a small wing continued operating until 1984. The current hotel, which opened in 1997, is a new building with a design inspired by the original. Located directly at the Brandenburg Gate, the property is managed by Kempisnki and has remained Germany’s top address after its reopening. The luxury hotel has 307 rooms and 78 suites and offers its guests two restaurants: the gourmet restaurant Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer, which has been awarded two Michelin stars, and the restaurant Quarré with national and international classics. (I’ll try out both restaurants during my trip).
9. FLYING UNITED AIRLINES’ POLARIS BUSINESS CLASS (FINALLY)
United Airlines used to be my carrier of choice for transatlantic flights, although I shifted to Delta since the introduction of Delta’s awesome Delta One suite (which I reviewed here). I’ve flown a dozen of times on United’s Boeing 777s and Dreamliners, but so far, I never got a chance to try out the carrier’s new Polaris Business Class seats. I was supposed to fly to New York on a United Boeing 787-10 featuring the new Polaris seats in 2020, 2021 and 2022 , but unfortunately, all three trips were cancelled because of COVID19. I now have a trip planned to San Francisco onboard United Airlines’ flagship B777-300ER, featuring the ‘new’ Polaris product. Named after the North Star, Polaris is promoted as a “reimagined, sleep-enhancing, departure-to-landing experience.” Each suite-like pod features a do-not-disturb sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a HD entertainment screen, direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and electronic privacy dividers.
8. STAYING AT DUBAI’S WORLD-FAMOUS BURJ AL ARAB HOTEL
My 2023 travel plans will bring me to the Dubai, where I’ll spend a couple of nights in one of the world’s most famous and iconic hotels, the self-acclaimed 7 star Burj Al Arab, flagship hotel of the Jumeirah Hotel Group. Although I am not sure whether a stay here is worth the money, I’ve always been intrigued by the hotel’s reputation and its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, which represents a glittering architectural marvel in the middle of the Arabian Gulf and a symbol of modern Dubai. According to the hotel’s website, the Burj Al Arab features “oversized suite-only accommodations where you can glide between the suite’s two floors along a marble staircase and soothe your soul in a spa-like bathroom with Jacuzzi, mosaic floor, and full-size Hermes products.” A few years ago, the hotel also unveiled a new manmade outdoor deck area – the so-called North Deck – which comprises two pools, a restaurant and a bar. I cannot wait to document my stay here and review the property for you.
7. TRYING OUT BRITISH AIRWAYS’ NEW BUSINESS CLASS SUITE
While British Airways’ Business Class raised the bar worldwide two decades ago with the introduction of the first fully lie-flat seat and an innovative “Ying/Yang” seat plan, the carrier’s Business Class product and mediocre service were quickly outclassed by some of its competitors. However, British Airways has dramatically enhanced its onboard experience over the past years, with improved catering (from DO&CO), excellent bedding, and stylish amenity kits, which rivals the best in the skies. In 2019, the airline also introduced a new suite concept onboard its A350 planes and some refurbished B777 aircraft, with direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18.5-inch entertainment screens, and 40 % more storage space per seat. I finally hope to fly onboard British Airways’ suite product in 2023 (as my 2021 and 2022 trips onboard the carrier’s A350 to and from the Maldives were cancelled due to pandemic).
6. AMAN JOURNEY IN THE CARIBBEAN & NEW YORK
It is no secret that I am a devoted ‘Amanjunkie’ (in addition to being a Soneva addict). Aman is known as the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, operating 34 uberluxurious resorts and hotels in 21 destinations. For 2023, I am planning a trip that will combine two Aman resorts. First, I’ll stay at Amanera, the brand’s outpost in the Dominican Republic. Representing the first fully-integrated Aman Golf Course, the resort is located alongside Playa Grande and features 25 free-standing Casitas, all coming with ocean views from an expansive terrace, as well as a private garden and biodiverse roof that seamlessly blends with its surroundings. From the Dominican Republic, I’ll fly to New York city, where I’ll stay at Aman New York, which opened its door last year inside the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue building, overlooking Central Park. With 83 suites and 22 residences, the Aman group has finally brough the peace promised by Aman’s Sanskrit-derived name to the heart of Manhattan.
5. RETURN TRIP TO MY FAVORITE CITY IN THE WORLD, CAPE TOWN
“This cape is the most stately thing we saw in the whole circumference of the earth”, wrote Sir Francis Drake in 1580 when he discovered the Cape Peninsula. Almost 500 years later, the area – with its spectacular coastal and mountainous scenery – is home to one the planet’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town (Kaapstad in Afrikaans and Ikapa in Xhosa). Known as the Mother City because it was the first to emerge in South Africa, the city owes its multicultural personality to a diverse range of people and events, from the indigenous Khoi and San peoples to local African tribes, from the European explorers to slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mozambique, and from apartheid to democratic freedoms. Blessed with fabulous beaches, beautiful mountains, world-famous vineyards, and tons of trendy bars and fine dining restaurants to choose from, it is hard to imagine a more picture perfect city destination (and frankly, you won’t find a better one). The city is also home to several luxury hotels, and during my trip I’ll stay at a few of them: One&Only Cape Town, The Silo Hotel, and Mount Nelson, a Belmond Hotel.
4. RELAXING IN MAURITIUS
Located to the east of Madagascar, the idyllic island of Mauritius with its unspoilt beaches and azure waters offers a unique experience of European, African and Asian cultures. It is one of the top four island destinations for a tropical holiday in the warm Indian Ocean (the other three being the Maldives, Zanzibar and the Seychelles). The island is famous for its lush greenery, rich wildlife, warm hospitality, and turquoise lagoons, which caught the attention of many early visitors, including Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain. Just as was the case for many of these visitors, the island continues to captivate travelers today due to its diverse landscape and natural beauty across both land and sea. Mauritius also boasts some of the most luxurious and famous resorts in the world, and during my trip, I’ll stay at four of them: One&Only Le Saint Géran, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius and Shangri-La Le Touessrok.
3. A ROAD TRIP IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
Next Autumn, I am going on a road trip in the American Southwest (Arizona, Utah and Nevada). The aim is to visit some of the major National Parks in the Colorado Plateau, such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. En route, I’ll stay at several luxury hotels, including two very exciting properties. The first one is Ambiente, a Landscape Hotel, a new property uniquely designed to blend in with the mystical red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Ambiente is comprised of 40 cubed-shaped guest Atriums that are elevated above the ground by steel piers and constructed using floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass and matte-charcoal and rusted metal (the photos look stunning). The second property I’ll stay at is Amangiri, the iconic Aman resort tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the stunningly beautiful resort blends into its dramatic surrounds where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a raw landscape of immense power. Amangiri also features a high-end ‘glamping’ site – called Camp Sarika – which is linked to the main resort.
2. ENJOYING ISLAND LIFE IN THE MALDIVES
Glamorous overwater resorts, pristine white-sand beaches, and a spectacular underwater world make the Maldives one of my favorite holiday destinations in the world. The archipelago – positioned in the Indian Ocean southwest of India – consists of 1192 coral islands and sandbanks (200 inhabited islands, plus 100 islands with tourist resorts), which are the visible tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edge at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km (10,000 ft). The tiny islands are encircled by magnificent beaches and incredibly beautiful lagoons, blessed with crystal clear waters and protected by reef structures. Every resort in the Maldives is built on its own private, picture-perfect palm island, with all of the world’s most exclusive hotel brandscompeting with each other to offer their guests unprecedented levels of mind-blowing luxury. During my 2023 trip, I will (for once) not stay at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, my favorite resorts in the Maldives (I am going back though in 2024), but I’ll try out some new brand-new resorts: Patina Maldives, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, InterContinental Maamunagau Maldives and Joali Being.
1. EXPLORING ANTARCTICA
-Antarctica has always been very high on my bucket list. Currently, the classic way to visit the continent is by cruise ship departing from Ushuaia in Argentina, a journey which can take 2 to 4 days (depending on the sea conditions) and which is limited to the shoreline of the Antarctic Peninsula. But since a few years, there’s another way to travel to Antarctica and that is by plane from Cape Town, South Africa with White Desert Antarctica (which is what I’ll be doing). Founded in 2005 by record-breaking polar explorers, White Desert Antarctica is the only company in the world that takes guests by private jet from Cape Town into the interior of the Great White Continent. White Desert Antarctica also operates the only three luxury eco-camps on the continent (Echo, Whichaway and Wolf’s Fang), offering environmentally-conscious experiences that include visiting the emperor penguins, the Geographic South Pole, mountain climbing, yoga and exploring ice tunnels. With only 12 guests on each departure, the tailored experience is described as “to be as relaxed or as adrenaline-fuelled as you wish.”
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The post My 10 trips in 2023 that I am most excited about appeared first on the Luxury Travel Expert.