In the present day: My 10 finest journey experiences of 2023
First, I need to want all of you a Merry Christmas and Pleased Holidays with a great deal of pleasure and festive cheer.
Because the 12 months 2023 is coming to an finish, it’s a great time to mirror on the headlines and tales that formed the previous 12 months. Sadly, 2023 is a 12 months that many throughout the globe will need to put far behind them. It’s a 12 months that can go down in historical past as being marked by two massive wars that preserve sending shock waves around the world: the continuing battle in Ukraine because it fights off a Russian invasion, and the assault and subsequent warfare in Israel and the Gaza Strip (the mindless violence in each conflicts leaves me with out phrases). Nature additionally confirmed itself from its most merciless facet, with dozens of disasters occurring all over the world, such because the earthquake in Turkey and Syria that killed greater than 50,000 in February the devastating fires in Hawai this summer time. One would nearly neglect that good issues occurred as effectively in 2023, reminiscent of fast advances in Synthetic Intelligence, main most cancers remedy breakthroughs, and renewable vitality exploding all over the world.
Since this can be a non-political weblog that tries to offer you some enlightening journey inspiration, I need to give attention to hope, positivity, and my private journey tales, providing an escapism for the avalanche of dangerous information that usually dominates the world media. Listed here are my ten unimaginable journey highlights of 2023. Early 2024, I’ll share what to anticipate from me within the subsequent 12 months.
There may be extra info (with journey experiences & YouTube movies) under the slideshow. You may share your personal ideas on 2023 or your personal 2023 journey highlights within the feedback part under.
10. CITY-TRIPPING IN EUROPE
Throughout a number of weekends in 2023, I traveled to a few of Europe’s most fun and delightful capital cities. My journeys – a mixture of sightseeing and attempting out some new resorts – took me to Paris, Berlin and Vienna, amongst others. In Berlin, I stayed on the legendary Resort Adlon Kempinski Berlin, a historic property proper subsequent to the Brandenburg Gate (the place I additionally had dinner on the two-Michelin-starred Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer Restaurant), and SO/Berlin Das Stue, the town’s first luxurious boutique resort neighboring the world-famous Berlin Zoo. In Vienna, I stayed on the brand-new Rosewood Vienna, a superb 5 star star resort housed in a historic 18th century former financial institution constructing on Petersplatz in Vienna’s Outdated City. The spotlight of my metropolis journeys inside Europe was my weekend getaway in Paris on the Prince de Galle, a Luxurious Assortment Resort, the place I used to be upgraded to the Suite Lalique by Patrick Hellmann, some of the unique resort suites within the French capital.
You may learn my journey experiences right here:
9. TRYING OUT BRITISH AIRWAYS’ NEW BUSINESS CLASS SUITE
Whereas British Airways’ Enterprise Class raised the bar worldwide 20 years in the past with the introduction of the primary absolutely lie-flat seat and an revolutionary “Ying/Yang” seat plan, the provider’s Enterprise Class product and mediocre service have been rapidly outclassed by a few of its opponents. Nevertheless, over the previous years, British Airways launched a brand new Enterprise Class idea – referred to as Membership Suite – onboard its Airbus A350, Boeing 787-10 and a few refurbished Boeing 777 plane. The brand new product presents direct-aisle entry, a collection door for higher privateness, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18.5-inch leisure screens, and 40 % extra cupboard space per seat. After my three journeys onboard the provider’s A350 in 2021 and 2022 have been cancelled because of pandemic, I used to be lastly capable of check out British Airways’ suite product early 2023 on a Boeing 777-300ER Enterprise Class flight from London to the Maldives. All in all, the Membership Suite felt like a an excellent and aggressive Enterprise Class laborious product, and the tender product was good as effectively with nice facilities.
8. RETURNING TO MY FAVORITE CITY IN THE WORLD, CAPE TOWN
“This cape is essentially the most stately factor we noticed in the entire circumference of the earth”, wrote Sir Francis Drake in 1580 when he found the Cape Peninsula. Virtually 500 years later, the realm is house to at least one the planet’s most stunning cities, Cape City (Kaapstad in Afrikaans and Ikapa in Xhosa). Generally known as the Mom Metropolis as a result of it was the primary metropolis to emerge in South Africa, the town owes its multicultural persona to a various vary of individuals and occasions, from the indigenous Khoi and San peoples to native African tribes, from the European explorers to slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mozambique, and from apartheid to democratic freedoms. Blessed with fabulous seashores, stunning mountains, world-famous vineyards, and dozens of classy bars and eating places to select from, it’s laborious to think about a extra image good metropolis vacation spot. Cape City was the purpose of departure for my 2023 expedition to Antarctica (extra on that under), and through my travels, I stayed a two resorts: One&Solely Cape City (a resort throughout the metropolis) and The Silo Resort (a boutique property housed in a former grain elevator).
You may learn my Cape City journey experiences right here:
7. ISLAND HOPPING IN GREECE & CYPRUS
Identified for its plethora of archeological websites, whitewashed villages, fabulous seashores, mouth-watering delicacies and welcoming environment, it’s no marvel that Greece – the birthplace of democracy – ranks among the many world’s premier-league journey locations. The sun-kissed Mediterranean nation is made up of a mountainous mainland and 6,000 idyllic islands and islets dotting the blue Aegean and Ionian Seas – although solely 227 of them are inhabited. In 2023, I visited Greece’s three most well-known island: the spectacular volcanic island of Santorini (the place I stayed on the new Nobu Resort), celebration island Mykonos (the place I stayed for a second time at Cavo Tagoo Mykonos) and the plush Ionian island of Zakynthos, which is house to Shipwreck Seashore, one of many world’s most stunning seashores (the place I stayed at Lesante Blu and Lesante Cape). I additionally hopped over to Greece’s neighboring island Cyprus for a vacation on the brand-new, ultra-luxe Cape St Georges Resort & Resort. However the absolute spotlight of my journey to Greece & Cyprus was my keep on the phenomenal 4 Seasons Resort Astir Palace on the Athens Riviera, which is a vacation spot in itself, providing an unimaginable array of eating places, bars, swimming pools, and seashores.
You may learn my Greece & Cyprus journey experiences right here:
6. HOLIDAYING IN MAURITIUS
Positioned to the east of Madagascar, the idyllic island of Mauritius with its secluded seashores and azure waters presents a singular expertise of European, African and Asian cultures. It is likely one of the high 4 island locations for a tropical vacation within the heat Indian Ocean (the opposite three being the Maldives, Zanzibar and the Seychelles). The island is legendary for its lush greenery, wealthy wildlife, heat hospitality, and turquoise lagoons, which caught the eye of many early guests, together with Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway and Mark Twain. Simply as was the case for a lot of of those guests, the island continues to captivate vacationers in the present day because of its numerous panorama and pure magnificence throughout each land and sea. Mauritius additionally boasts among the most luxurious and well-known seashore resorts on this planet, and I stayed at 4 of them throughout my journey to the island early 2023: One&Solely Le Saint Géran (my favourite property in Mauritius), 4 Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, The Oberoi Seashore Resort Mauritius and Shangri-La Le Touessrok.
You may learn my Mauritius journey experiences right here:
5. ENJOYING LA DOLCE VITA IN SICILY
Positioned between Europe and Africa and filled with beautiful structure and spectacular nature, Sicily – the biggest island of Italy and of my favourite locations inside Europe – has a attraction that’s all its personal. Most vacationers come right here to flee to a luxurious seashore resort overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea. However you can too head inland to discover UNESCO landmarks and idyllic villages with magnificent views throughout mountains and brooding volcanoes, then savor contemporary Sicilian delicacies and unwind at your unique island escape. Late summer time 2023, I went again to Sicily and I stayed for the primary time on the magnificent San Domenico Palace, a 4 Seasons Resort. The enduring resort enjoys an idyllic location within the hilltop city of Taormina on the jap shores of Sicily, and contains an historical Dominican convent from the 14th century, in addition to a Grand Resort Wing that was added in 1896. The 111 visitor rooms and suites characteristic unique structure and classy furnishings. Amenities embrace an onsite spa, an outside infinity pool, magnificent Italian gardens, and several other bars & eating places, together with the Michelin star restaurant Principe Cerami. The fabulous resort was used because the setting for season two of the hit HBO present The White Lotus.
4. FLYING IN THE WORLD’S BEST BUSINESS CLASS SEAT (AIR FRANCE)
Final summer time, I flew Enterprise Class with Air France from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport to O.R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER which was geared up with Air France’s latest Enterprise Class product: reverse herringbone suites in a 1-2-1 structure, that includes cool devices reminiscent of sliding doorways, wi-fi charging, and bluetooth audio. The extremely non-public Enterprise Class seat, attentive service, gourmand delicacies designed by Michelin starred cooks, a rigorously chosen wine and Champagne checklist, and a big selection of in-flight leisure made for a wonderful flight expertise, which is tough to beat and which confirms Air France’s place as Europe’s most glamorous airline. On the return tip, I used to be seated in one of many bulkhead suites within the entrance of each Enterprise Class cabins. These seats provide an unlimited quantity of additional area, which equals that and even tops the area you often discover in First Class cabins. IMHO, these are at present the world’s finest Enterprise Class seats and so they appear to symbolize some kind of a “Enterprise Class Plus” product.
You may learn my Air France journey experiences right here:
3. RELAXING IN THE MALDIVES
Glamorous overwater resorts, pristine white-sand seashores, and a spectacular underwater world make the Maldives considered one of my favourite vacation locations on this planet (and I strive to return every year). The archipelago – positioned within the Indian Ocean southwest of India – consists of 1192 coral islands and sandbanks (200 inhabited islands, plus 100 islands with vacationer resorts), that are the seen suggestions of an oceanic volcanic mountain vary whose periphery at some factors plunge to depths of over 3 km (10,000 ft). The tiny islands are encircled by magnificent seashores and extremely stunning lagoons, blessed with crystal clear waters and guarded by reef constructions. Each resort within the Maldives is constructed by itself non-public, picture-perfect palm island, with the entire world’s most unique resort manufacturers competing with one another to supply their visitors unprecedented ranges of mind-blowing luxurious. Throughout my 2023 journey journey, I didn’t keep at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, my favourite resorts within the Maldives (I’m going again although in 2024, together with the brand new Soneva Secret), however I attempted out some new brand-new, ultra-luxe resorts: Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, Joali Being and InterContinental Maamunagau Maldives.
You may learn my Maldives journey experiences right here:
2. GOING ON A SAFARI & BEACH HOLIDAY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Late summer time 2023, I loved an outstanding safari & seashore vacation in South Africa and Mozambique. My vacation took off on the world-renowned and state-owned Kruger Nationwide Park, the place I staid at Kruger Shalati, The Practice on The Bridge Resort. Dwelling to the Massive 5 animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), Kruger presents a wildlife expertise that ranks with the most effective in Africa. Subsequent, I moved to Sabi Sand, a personal recreation reserve positioned subsequent to Kruger. There are not any proscribing fences between Sabi Sand and Kruger, enabling animals to roam freely in an enormous conservation space. In Sabi Sand, I stayed at two of Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges: &Past Tengile River Lodge and Lion Sands Ivory Lodge. Delicate off-roading practices throughout the recreation drives in Sabi Sand allowed for a number of spectacular close-up animal sightings (I even revealed a separate video in regards to the safari drives). After my safari journey, I hopped on a aircraft and flew to Mozambique for a superb vacation at one of many world’s most unique seashore resorts: ultra-luxe Kisawa Sanctauary.
You may learn my journey experiences right here:
1. EXPLORING ANTARCTICA
Antarctica had all the time been very excessive on my bucket checklist. At the moment, the traditional solution to go to the continent is by cruise ship departing from Ushuaia in Argentina, a journey which may take 2 to 4 days (relying on the ocean situations) and which is restricted to the shoreline of the Antarctic Peninsula. However since a couple of years, there’s one other solution to journey to Antarctica and that’s by aircraft from Cape City, South Africa with White Desert Antarctica, which is what I did early 2023. Based in 2005 by record-breaking polar explorers, White Desert Antarctica is the one firm on this planet that takes visitors in addition to scientists by non-public jet from Cape City into the inside of the Nice White Continent. White Desert Antarctica additionally operates the one three luxurious eco-camps on the continent – Echo (the place I stayed throughout my journey), Whichaway and Wolf’s Fang. The complete Antarctica expertise was mind-blowing and surreal, from touchdown with an enormous jet on the blue ice runway and staying in Echo’s futuristic pods to visiting the close by Emperor Penguin colony and touring to the South Pole.
You may learn my Antarctica journey experiences right here: