The global travel experiences I loved in 2017 that you should not miss.
These are my top 7 travel experiences of 2017:
Classic Five Star Luxury (with kids): The Peninsula, Hong Kong.
A weekend at the Peninsula Hong Kong, the Peninsula’s flagship property is pure five-star hotel heaven. This is as luxurious as it gets but still feels warm, family-friendly and welcoming.
I went with my 10-year-old twins which was so much fun and they were spoilt from beginning to end, with towering chocolate rabbits for Easter, mocktails at the bar and a tour of the world-famous chocolate room which was absolutely amazing. You can read more here.
Where you can truly pretend you are Napoleon: Hôtel La Réserve Paris:
It was my first time in Paris during Paris Fashion Week and my first time staying a Hôtel La Réserve, and what a combination. The hotel is an intimate yet grand as they come, and was Pierre Cardin’s former home. The fashionable energy from those hedonistic days is something you feel when you walk through the towering red doors of this glorious gold-gilded oasis.
Despite the history and the traditional French feel, the rooms, the staff and even the menus are as modern and opulent as you can get. My stay in September was one of my best experiences in the world.
An English country estate to fall in love with (whilst on horseback): Coworth Park, London:
This piece of English Paradise is as quintessentially British as you can get, and oh, how I love England. The fields quite literally look like green velvet, and when staying, I did feel like the queen. The staff bent over backwards, our room was a former stable elegantly done up to feel as cosy and warm it was spacious.
I took my daughter, Stella, which was a brilliant decision as we both love horse riding and the outdoors, beautiful clean food and unwinding by the fire. It’s not often a country stay ticks every box, but Coworth Park absolutely did. A must-do for a 3 day (at least) break from the pace of London.
A sumptuous hotel to indulge in everything Cannes is: Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez.
Staying at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez with my children at the height of the French summer was a sensational experience. We stayed in late June, just before the height of the European summer in July, in a newly refurbished ocean view room, and all fell in love with everything, including the room, the view, the pool as well as the beach club bar.
A very long and lazy lunch at the 2-Michelin star restaurant Le Palme D’Or, sitting on the balcony together was the stuff dreams are made of.
It really was an extraordinary experience to see two 9-year-olds figure out Cannes, it’s history, the luxury and the whole scene, and my son was in awe at the bevy of high end European cars parked at the hotel’s doorstep each morning. Another spot we just did not want to leave.
Read more here. :
A place in the world to find true peace and enlightenment, in the lap of luxury; The Singular Patagonia
Earlier this year I spent one of the best weeks of my life at The Singular Hotel, Patagonia. Located quite literally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by some of Chile’s most spectacular natural vistas, the hotel is stately, spacious and unexpectedly chic New York warehouse in style.
You hear of animals going somewhere to die, well for me, this would be my choice, as it is so serene, spiritual and breathtakingly beautiful. The rooms are more like suites or ship cabins furnished with South America’s finest pieces.
The structure of the hotel itself an architectural feat that has to be seen to be believed, with every luxury imaginable from an indoor/outdoor pool to saunas overlooking the ocean and an evening restaurant that is as global in every way as it is relaxing. I will go return here every chance I get. Read more.
The hotel you won’t want to leave as it’s so fabulous; The Ritz-Carlton Osaka:
Japan is such an extraordinary place to travel to, and going for the first time this year was an eye-opener. The Dalai Lama says every year we must go somewhere we have never been, and Japan reminded me of how important that adage really is.
Staying at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka in August was an absolute treat as it has just been fully renovated and has one of the most opulent private clubs at the top with full floor to ceiling 360-degree views of Osaka. With food delivered all day long it was the ultimate place to both start and finish every day.
The restaurants are out of this world, from a world-class Japanese to flawless French. The British themed bar is as good as anything you will find in London. Even the hotel shop is world class. It is filled with Japanese trinkets very hard to resist.
Click here to read more.
The exclusive bucket-list trip you will want to take a second time; Seeing Machu Picchu in Belmond style.
For many, a trip to Machu Picchu is on their bucket list, and now I know why, but doing it in style with the Belmond group was the ultimate life stopping adventure.
Their hotels, the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas and the Belmond Monasterio in Cusco are absolutely incredible, and take five star hotels to new levels. They are very spiritual, calming and elegant. The Belmond Hiram Bingham train takes the experience to another level. The journey is an experience I will remember for life, as the train has an open air carriage, live band on board, beautiful tables where a long lunch is served and staff who love the journey of working there as much as the passengers.
The biggest surprise was the people I met on this trip, many of whom were on a very personal journey to find the meaning of life, reflect on their divorce, their sexuality, celebrate a wedding anniversary and all manner of things. It was like an episode of “The Breakfast Club” in the best way possible. Read more here.