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The Best Cultural Hotspots for 2023

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next big adventure and wondering where on earth to begin, don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you, with a regular series that showcases the most incredible destinations and best cultural hotspots for 2023, from postcard-perfect beaches to magnificent mountains and beyond.

It may have been a while since your last big adventure, but by planning a trip with luxury travel experts Carrier, who curate exceptional experiences in over 70 destinations worldwide, you’ll be in safe hands. Known for their discrete, attentive and bespoke service, Carrier have access to a portfolio of exceptional hotels, plus a desire to take guests beyond their immediate surroundings and help them connect with communities, individuals and each other.

Our fourth and final feature showcases the best cultural hotspots, for travellers who want to immerse themselves in history and heritage. Your journey starts here…

In partnership with Carrier


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Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman

Set 2000 metres above sea-level in the Al Hajar mountain range of Oman, Alila Jabal Akhdar is an architectural masterpiece offering captivating views and sleek design touches. The ancient landscape is the star of the show, and guests can take part in a dazzling range of activities including mountainside yoga, stargazing and archery. For a unique experience, pull on your sturdiest boots and embark on a hike into the valley below where you will discover secrets of the local community, learning first-hand the ways of the mountain and being welcomed into traditional villages as one of their own.

La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, Mallorca

Honey-coloured Deià in the north-west of Mallorca has long attracted artists, musicians and literati, including the poet Robert Graves, who is buried here beneath a cypress-tree in the village churchyard. At hilltop hideaway La Residencia, A Belmond Hotel, as well as spacious rooms with original beamed ceilings, sea-facing tennis courts and a suite designed by Matthew Williamson (who has a house on the island), you’ll find two galleries and one of the largest sculpture gardens in Spain. Guests can even enjoy a painting class under the guidance of the acclaimed British artist-in-residence, Alan Hydes.

Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, Mexico

Perched on a secluded stretch of white sand, away from the big resorts of Playa del Carmen, Etéreo is a newcomer to the scene (it only opened in January), but the hotel has already made a lasting impression. The 75-room property is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, which has outposts in Napa Valley, Costa Rica and Greece, and has been built across a lush mangrove forest that runs straight down onto the beach. There’s a spacious pool area, dotted with hammocks and fire pits, and stylish suites made from materials such as lava stone and tzalam wood, and filled with pieces by local artisans. Don’t miss the incredible spa with a bathhouse designed to feel like a cenote – the natural pools that are found all over the region.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

No trip to Singapore is complete without trying a Singapore Sling at the cocktail’s birthplace, the Raffles Hotel, one of south-east Asia’s most storied hotels. The drink was created sometime before 1915 and the pineapple and cherry garnish remains the same, as does the tradition of throwing your empty peanut husks on the floor of the Long Bar like naughty children. Upstairs, elegantly appointed suites exude old-world opulence and feature tastefully curated antiques and artwork, with Personality Suites named after distinguished guests who have stayed over the years including Noel Cowards, Somerset Maughan and Rudyard Kipling.

The Whitby Hotel, New York

Firmdale Hotels’ second New York property The Whitby sits in the heart of the action, surrounded by the galleries and cultural sights of Upper Midtown. The owner and design director Kit Kemp shows off her fabulously flamboyant style in 86 individually decorated guest rooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and many with private balconies. A spectacular two-bedroom suite occupies the entire top floor and offers both uptown and downtown views from its furnished terrace. Downstairs, there are facilities galore, including a 130-seat cinema, orangery and courtyard, and The Whitby Bar serves the most potent martinis in Manhattan.

The Olivar Suites, Corfu

Housed in a former 18thcentury olive oil mill situated in the picturesque surroundings of Corfu’s southeast coast, the Olivar Suites is a quiet oasis to escape the crowds and experience the warm local hospitality. The hotel boasts 120 suites, all uniquely designed complete with a private pool – the perfect sanctuaries for relaxation, while the old olive press is now the bar area. Complete the holiday by enjoying customised experiences to discover Corfu’s hidden gems and quaint old town with its tiny washing-draped alleyways and bustline tavernas.

Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Santorini

Overlooking the turquoise Aegean Sea surrounding Santorini, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Hotel is perched on the caldera cliff, one of the most striking sites on the island. Inspired by Cycladic architecture and complemented by an earthy colour palette, the luxury hotel houses 41 suites and villas, all enjoying the captivating panoramas of the open horizon. It is the perfect destination for honeymoons and romantic getaways; relax and rejuvenate at the Elios Spa and not one, but two swimming pools. Expect authentic Greek cuisine at Charisma, a high-end culinary experience at Lure by Olivier Campanha, and casual dining at the Captain’s Lounge.

Scenic Eclipse, European Culture & Coastlines

A kaleidoscope of coastlines and cultural treasures are waiting to be revealed on a 12-day voyage from Copenhagen to Lisbon with Scenic Eclipse – the world’s first discovery yacht. As you travel down the Atlantic coast you will pass diverse points of interest including candy striped lighthouses, thatched rooved cottages and towering chalk cliffs. You’ll enjoy six-star luxury on board, plus the chance to explore a host of historical destinations and experiences, including a stroll through the walled city of Saint-Malo in France and lessons in the heritage of Portugal’s best-known exportport – from a traditional vintner.

NIHI Sumba, Indonesia

At NIHI Sumba, a remote 576-acre island escape surrounded by the lush Indonesian jungle, each of the villas comes with a private pool, a butler, and incredible views. The recently opened three-bedroom Mamole Tree House, in the midst of palm and papaya trees, is great for groups, with circular rooms on stilts joined by bamboo bridges. As well as offering luxurious accommodation, the resort’s eco-friendly approach means much of the restaurants’ produce is grown in the organic garden, fed by a clever composting and water-recycling system, and profits go to support local villages and a turtle hatchery.

Journey to the Himalayan Foothills, India

One thing is for sure – a visit to India will leave an indelible mark on your soul. This eight-night itinerary takes you from the clamour and colours of vibrant Delhi to the highest mountain range on the planet, the Himalayas, with highlights that include riding a rickshaw through the winding lanes of the Chandi Chowk and seeing the famous sights of Jama Masjid and Humayun’s tomb. Board the UNESCO World Heritage Kalka-Shimla Toy Train from Kalka to Shimla, before moving on to Chandigarh for a chance to row or sail the famous Sukhna Lake.

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