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Monday, December 25, 2023

My 10 greatest journey experiences of 2023

Monday newsletters all the time characteristic high 10 journey lists to encourage.

Immediately: My 10 greatest journey experiences of 2023

First, I need to want all of you a Merry Christmas and Comfortable Holidays with a great deal of pleasure and festive cheer.

Because the 12 months 2023 is coming to an finish, it’s 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 may go down in historical past as being marked by two massive wars that preserve sending shock waves around the world: the continued battle in Ukraine because it fights off a Russian invasion, and the assault and subsequent battle 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 world wide, such because the earthquake in Turkey and Syria that killed greater than 50,000 in February the devastating fires in Hawai this summer season. One would virtually overlook that good issues occurred as effectively in 2023, comparable to speedy advances in Synthetic Intelligence, main most cancers remedy breakthroughs, and renewable power exploding world wide.

Since this can be a non-political weblog that tries to provide you some enlightening journey inspiration, I need to deal with 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 unbelievable journey highlights of 2023. Early 2024, I’ll share what to anticipate from me within the subsequent 12 months.

There may be extra data (with journey studies & YouTube movies) beneath the slideshow. You’ll be able to share your personal ideas on 2023 or your personal 2023 journey highlights within the feedback part beneath.

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Throughout a number of weekends in 2023, I traveled to a few of Europe’s most enjoyable and delightful capital cities. My journeys – a mix of sightseeing and attempting out some new inns – took me to Paris, Berlin and Vienna, amongst others. In Berlin, I stayed on the legendary Lodge 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, town’s first luxurious boutique lodge neighboring the world-famous Berlin Zoo. In Vienna, I stayed on the brand-new Rosewood Vienna, a wonderful 5 star star lodge 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 Lodge, the place I used to be upgraded to the Suite Lalique by Patrick Hellmann, one of the crucial unique lodge suites within the French capital.

You’ll be able to learn my journey studies right here:


Whereas British Airways’ Enterprise Class raised the bar worldwide twenty years in the past with the introduction of the primary totally lie-flat seat and an progressive “Ying/Yang” seat plan, the provider’s Enterprise Class product and mediocre service have been rapidly outclassed by a few of its opponents. Nonetheless, 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 affords direct-aisle entry, a collection door for larger privateness, luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 18.5-inch leisure screens, and 40 % extra space for storing per seat. After my three journeys onboard the provider’s A350 in 2021 and 2022 have been cancelled resulting from pandemic, I used to be lastly in a position to 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 outstanding and aggressive Enterprise Class onerous product, and the smooth product was good as effectively with nice facilities.


“This cape is probably 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 world is dwelling to 1 the planet’s most lovely cities, Cape City (Kaapstad in Afrikaans and Ikapa in Xhosa). Often called the Mom Metropolis as a result of it was the primary metropolis to emerge in South Africa, town owes its multicultural character 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, lovely mountains, world-famous vineyards, and dozens of classy bars and eating places to select from, it’s onerous to think about a extra image excellent metropolis vacation spot. Cape City was the purpose of departure for my 2023 expedition to Antarctica (extra on that beneath), and through my travels, I stayed a two inns: One&Solely Cape City (a resort inside the metropolis) and The Silo Lodge (a boutique property housed in a former grain elevator).

You’ll be able to learn my Cape City journey studies right here:


Identified for its plethora of archeological websites, whitewashed villages, fabulous seashores, mouth-watering delicacies and welcoming ambiance, 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 Lodge), get together island Mykonos (the place I stayed for a second time at Cavo Tagoo Mykonos) and the luxurious Ionian island of Zakynthos, which is dwelling to Shipwreck Seaside, one of many world’s most lovely 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 Lodge & Resort. However the absolute spotlight of my journey to Greece & Cyprus was my keep on the phenomenal 4 Seasons Lodge Astir Palace on the Athens Riviera, which is a vacation spot in itself, providing an unbelievable array of  eating places, bars, swimming pools, and seashores.

You’ll be able to learn my Greece & Cyprus journey studies right here:


Positioned to the east of Madagascar, the idyllic island of Mauritius with its secluded seashores and azure waters affords 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 right this moment resulting from its various panorama and pure magnificence throughout each land and sea. Mauritius additionally boasts among the most luxurious and well-known seashore resorts on the 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 Seaside Resort Mauritius and Shangri-La Le Touessrok.

You’ll be able to learn my Mauritius journey studies right here:


Positioned between Europe and Africa and filled with gorgeous structure and spectacular nature, Sicily – the most important island of Italy and of my favourite locations inside Europe – has a allure that’s all its personal. Most vacationers come right here to flee to a luxurious seashore resort overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea. However you may also head inland to discover UNESCO landmarks and idyllic villages with magnificent views throughout mountains and brooding volcanoes, then savor recent Sicilian delicacies and unwind at your unique island escape. Late summer season 2023, I went again to Sicily and I stayed for the primary time on the magnificent San Domenico Palace, a 4 Seasons Lodge. The enduring lodge enjoys an idyllic location within the hilltop city of Taormina on the jap shores of Sicily, and includes an historical Dominican convent from the 14th century, in addition to a Grand Lodge Wing that was added in 1896. The 111 visitor rooms and suites characteristic authentic structure and trendy furnishings. Amenities embrace an onsite spa, an out of doors infinity pool, magnificent Italian gardens, and a number of other bars & eating places, together with the Michelin star restaurant Principe Cerami. The fabulous lodge was used because the setting for season two of the hit HBO present The White Lotus.


Final summer season, 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 format, that includes cool devices comparable to 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 fastidiously chosen wine and Champagne checklist, and a wide array of in-flight leisure made for a wonderful flight expertise, which is difficult 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 normally discover in First Class cabins. IMHO, these are at the moment the world’s greatest Enterprise Class seats they usually appear to signify some type of a “Enterprise Class Plus” product.

You’ll be able to learn my Air France journey studies right here:


Glamorous overwater resorts, pristine white-sand seashores, and a spectacular underwater world make the Maldives one in every of my favourite vacation locations on the 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 ideas 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 lovely lagoons, blessed with crystal clear waters and guarded by reef buildings. Each resort within the Maldives is constructed by itself non-public, picture-perfect palm island, with all the world’s most unique lodge manufacturers competing with one another to supply their company 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’ll be able to learn my Maldives journey studies right here:


Late summer season 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 Prepare on The Bridge Lodge. Dwelling to the Large 5 animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), Kruger affords a wildlife expertise that ranks with the very best in Africa. Subsequent, I moved to Sabi Sand, a non-public sport reserve positioned subsequent to Kruger. There are not any proscribing fences between Sabi Sand and Kruger, enabling animals to roam freely in an unlimited 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 through the sport drives in Sabi Sand allowed for a number of spectacular close-up animal sightings (I even printed a separate video concerning 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’ll be able to learn my journey studies right here:


Antarctica had all the time been very excessive on my bucket checklist. Presently, the traditional method 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 number of years, there’s one other method 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 the planet that takes company 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. Your 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’ll be able to learn my Antarctica journey studies right here:

*** Observe me on InstagramYouTube, X or Fb for a each day second of journey inspiration ***


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