Latest Airbnb booking data has revealed growing interest in lesser-known destinations and eco-conscious cities across the globe, as travellers look for new, local and authentic travel experiences beyond big cities. In Thailand, emerging destinations across the country are increasingly appealing to both domestic and international travellers. Case-in-point is Buriram in Thailand’s Northeast saw 383% growth in bookings* year-over-year, propelling it into third place on Airbnb’s top 20 global destinations to visit next year. Here are the Top 20 trending destinations for 2020: 1. Milwaukee, WI, US The host of next year’s Democratic National Convention, Milwaukee makes it to the top of our trending list. This historic gem on the shores of Lake Michigan often slips under the radar but has a terrific bar and restaurant scene and fascinating cultural attractions that include a Calatrava-designed art museum. And with over 105 miles of scenic bike lanes, it’s easy to see why Milwaukee is experiencing an upsurge in interest among guests on Airbnb. 2. Bilbao, Spain Bilbao’s transformation from rust belt city to flourishing culture hub is truly remarkable. The city’s Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao on the map when it opened back in 1997. Since then the Basque city has been on an ever upward ascent, winning the European City of the Year in 2018. Visitors to the area are rewarded with a lively dining scene, breathtaking architecture and an unforgettable cityscape. Next year, Bilbao will also become a top destination for sports fans: it’s one of the host cities of Europe’s most beloved soccer competition. 3. Buriram, Thailand The rural province of Buriram is home to some of Thailand’s most treasured Khmer relics. Its best known monument is the incredible Phanom Rung complex which is comparable in grandeur to its much more famous Cambodian neighbor, Angkor Wat. In addition to ancient ruins, the province has also become a sporting hotspot: 2018 saw the inaugural MotoGP motor racing event at the Chang International Circuit which also plays host to the Buriram Marathon each year. MotoGP is scheduled to return in March next year. 4. Sunbury, Victoria, Australia A short drive northwest of Melbourne, the suburb of Sunbury is a popular spot with savvy locals thanks to its wildlife, wineries and Victorian-era architecture. Its biggest claim to fame is as the birthplace of cricket’s most sought-after trophy — The Ashes. In 2020, Sunbury looks to attract cricket fans from near and far as Melbourne will be hosting the ICC T20 World Cup. 5. Romania Romania, with its pristine hills and ancient rural villages, is the perfect destination for anyone looking for something off-the-beaten-track. The country has some of the best preserved virgin forests in Europe and, according to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, ranks 15th globally when it comes to ecosystem vitality. 6. Xi'an, China Often cited as one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, Xi'an is best known as the home of the terracotta warriors — a vast collection of prehistoric clay soldiers discovered by local farmers in 1974. Today, the capital of China’s western Shaanxi province is a major culinary melting pot while
Highclere Castle - the home of Downton Abbey - is now available for a once-in-a-lifetime stay available only on Airbnb. For one night only, Highclere Castle will open its doors to two guests, giving super fans an opportunity to immerse themselves in the iconic location of Downton Abbey, and learn what life might have been like for the Crawleys. Guests will be treated like royalty during their stay, with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon inviting their guests to join them for an exclusive evening of cocktails in the Saloon followed by a traditional dinner in the State Dining Room, being waited on by Highclere Castle's own butler. After dinner, coffee will be served in the Library before the guests retire to one of the principal bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom and views over 1,000 acres of rolling parkland. Before departing the next day, guests will enjoy a delicious breakfast prior to a private tour of Highclere Castle's extensive grounds. The Castle itself covers 100,000 square feet and has a total of 300 rooms. Throughout the property, the rooms are opulently decorated and furnished, with each detail providing a unique insight into Highclere Castle's history. Fans will get the opportunity to explore iconic rooms, such as the Drawing Room, or relax in one of the Gallery bedrooms, following in the footsteps of kings and queens. In celebration of the motion picture event Downton Abbey, booking for the listing will open on October 1, 2019 at 12PM BST. Lady Carnarvon, Host on Airbnb comments: "It's an absolute privilege and pleasure to call Highclere Castle my home and I am delighted to be able to share it on Airbnb for a truly unique stay. Highclere Castle has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679 and has an incredibly rich history. I am passionate about the stories and heritage of Highclere Castle, and I am looking forward to welcoming our future guests." Hadi Moussa, General Manager for Northern Europe Airbnb comments: "We are thrilled to be able to offer fans the ultimate Downton Abbey experience through this once-in-a-lifetime-stay at Highclere Castle. At Airbnb we are passionate about offering unique and unforgettable travel experiences to our community, and we are certain that guests will have a magical experience while staying on the iconic location of Downton Abbey." Booking details: To view Highclere Castle - home of Downton Abbey - on Airbnb, visit airbnb.com/downtonabbey Highclere Castle is only available for a one-night stay for up to two guests on November 26, 2019 costing £150 inclusive. Reservation opportunities will go live on October 1, 2019 at 12PM BST. To celebrate this special offering, Airbnb will be making a donation to The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Le Bristol Paris, pearl of Oetker Collection, invites all bon vivants to discover superb wines presented by their passionate wine masters, over a four-course dinner from Eric Frechon’s Michelin starred kitchens. The 2019 series of Wine Mondays begins on October 7th. France has long been known as the country of good taste, fine fare and gastronomy. At the heart of this prestigious heritage, there is the noble grape which transforms into a treasure of infinite colours and flavours. At Le Bristol Paris, there are no less than twelve sommeliers each equally determined to seek out the finest wines for the pleasure of the Palace guests. Twelve Wine Masters Under the guidance of Bernard Neveu, Sommelier Director, twelve sommeliers assiduously explore great vintages and seek out the finest newcomers. This elite team of sommeliers discover new wines that will eventually become part of the French gastronomic experience, earning the privilege to be paired with the Michelin starred cuisine of this Parisian Palace. They are masters in creating sublime food and wine pairings, committed connoisseurs, they elevate the profession to an art. A century and half of oenology Le Bristol’s cellars are a hallowed place where some of the rarest wines age with around 100,000 bottles, 60,000 are literally beneath the Palace. There are some legendary vintages such as a Riversaltes 1875, or a Petrus 1961, both on Epicure’s wine list, an historic tome with 2,500 references, cataloguing a century and a half of oenology. “One of the greatest in the world” proclaims the American magazine Wine Spectator, who gave Epicure’s list their highest accolade, the Wine Spectator Grand Award, for the 4th year in a row. The treasure hunt At Le Bristol Paris wine and the wine makers are held in utmost reverence, and Wine Mondays are dedicated to them. These shared evenings of discovery begin months earlier when you find Bernard Neveu and his team striding along the most beautiful domains across the countryside, from the Côte d’Or to Bordeaux, Alsace’s plains to the Loire valley’s hillsides, seeking the most precious bottles. Their treasure hunt culminates at brasserie de luxe 114 Faubourg where they share their greatest finds and best encounters in their Wine Mondays. Wines are paired with a four course dinner created for the evening by three Michelin starred Chef Eric Frechon. Wine Mondays At these evenings the sommeliers reveal remarkable wines, private domains and passionate wine-growers but above all, give meaning to the word pleasure. The evening takes place in the stylish floral surrounds of 114 Faubourg, over a four-course gastronomic dinner. Price €140 per guest. Continuing the degustation, the wine which is given pride of place will be included in the 114 Faubourg wine list for the upcoming month. Price: €140 per guest Programme 2019-2020 7th October 2019 Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret / Bourgogne Côte de Nuits Family-owned since 1620 in the heart of the prestigious village of Vosne Romanée, the Mongeard-Mugneret estate has some 30 hectares of vineyards divided into 35 appellations, including the magnificent grands crus such as Echezeaux, Grands-Echezeaux, Clos de Vougeot and Richebourg. Wines offer the velvety texture and delicacy typical of great Burgundy wines,
Eating is a significant part of any travel experience, and whether it’s enjoying a lamb and pear tajine in Morocco, some spicy jerk chicken in Jamaica or a selection of tapas in Spain, there’s nothing better than savouring a dish in its country of origin, plus it’s a great way to meet the locals. MOROCCAN It is said that in order for a nation to develop a great cuisine, it must have four prerequisites. A rich land from which to draw upon an abundant range of ingredients, a variety of foreign cultural influences, a great civilisation and lastly, a refined palace with royal kitchens to inspire the nation’s cooks. Morocco has it all, and is home to some of the most delicious food imaginable. From robust roasts to rich aromatic stews, spiced or sweetened salads to savoury pastries, fragrant mounds of couscous to bastilla, an exquisite blend of shredded pigeon, a spiced onion sauce with saffron and herbs encased in a flaky, filo-like pastry topped with cinnamon and sugar – an intricate dish that epitomises everything that is grand and extravagant in Moroccan cooking. One of the most interesting ways to absorb the delights of Moroccan cuisine is to wander through the souks (markets) of the towns and cities, sampling the food on offer. It’s early morning in old Fés and sunlight streams in slanted rays through the woven bamboo shades covering the narrow alleyways, catching the steam rising from the many cookers. Close to the city gate of Bab Bou Jaloud, one stallholder is busy cooking and serving a typical Moroccan breakfast, miklee – flaky pancakes with butter and honey. In a nearby fruit and vegetable souk, produce of every kind lines the street – juicy oranges from the sun-drenched groves of Agadir, vine-ripened tomatoes, plump mounds of grapes and preserved fruits and nuts. Entire shops are jam-packed with olives of all types; others display hanging baskets bulging with fresh mint, used to make mint tea that is traditionally served before and after a meal. At a spice souk, bright red paprika, rich yellow turmeric, dusty sticks of cinnamon, seeds of cumin, aniseed and caraway are heaped in tubs waiting to be measured into twisted envelopes of paper. These are some of the spices that form the soul of Moroccan cooking, transforming simple dishes to exotic heights. One of Morocco’s most famous dishes is the tajine or tagine. The name refers to the conical-lidded pot in which it is prepared, as well as the intricately spiced stew of meat and vegetables, sometimes with dried fruits and nuts, cooked very slowly over a charcoal fire. Typical tajine combinations include: lamb with pears and chicken with green olives and preserved lemons – simple yet delicious dishes that are often accompanied by thick wedges of crusty Moroccan flat bread, perfect for soaking up the sauce. JAMAICAN From fiery seasoned meat and inventive seafood dishes to oak-aged rums and hearty stouts, Jamaican cuisine is an eclectic mix of African, European and Indian influences – and is surprisingly healthy and varied. Although many
In early Spring 2019, Paris was so grey and sullen, while my eyes were red from lack of sleep. Though the sun hid behind the sea of clouds, the air was otherwise filled with passion and bright rays of enthusiasm. I hopped on the train to Voltaire station, walking for 10 minutes and stepping into the unique exhibition where the Starry Night couldn’t get any brighter and everything was larger than life. They said that having a day in Paris is never enough for art enthusiasts; you wish you could multiply your time into participating in all of the events over the city. But my job isn’t designed to let me stay long. Perhaps a day should be more than enough to visit the Van Gogh exhibition, I briefly told one of my coworkers about my layover plan in the city of love. But which one? he asked, initiating the discussion over each other’s plan. Vincent van Gogh wasn’t recognised in his lifetime but his reputation has grown steadily since then. Even though various venues in Paris own the rights to show his works in both original and adaptive, nothing can compare to the latest digital media exhibition at Atelier des Lumières. The gallery’s first success from last year’s immersive multimedia exhibition of Gustav Klimt drew the global attention. 2019 is Van Gogh’s turn, I added. We came to the conclusion that leisure is still hard to categorise and I said good day. When the conversation ended on a classy note, something foreshadows the kind of day it would be. Van Gogh Starry Night (La nuit étoilée) is the multi-sensory digital media exhibition that turns the whole space into Vincent van Gogh wonderland. Over 2,000 of his paintings are projected onto the foundry’s monumental walls, allowing visitors to immerse themselves into the famous paintings including the Sunflower (1887), the Cafe Terrace at Night (1888) and the Bedroom in Arles (1888). The creators, Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto, and Massimiliano Siccardi tell us the intense story of Van Gogh’s life through his paintings, accented with the music collaboration of Luca Longobardi. The storyline traces Van Gogh’s life, divided into different stages such as his stays in Paris, Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Auvers-sur-Oise (his final resting place). The mesmerising display of moving images, light and sound plunges you into the world that the masterpieces of Vincent van Gogh are alive and touchable. The cry for understanding in his darkness is reflected through the variety of contemporary music. I couldn’t help but feeling that I was actually in the cinema, accompanied with the matched soundtrack. So beautiful, it hurts, I thought as the brushstrokes on the golden hue of the field in The Wheatfield with Crows (1890) were repeatedly and sharply painted all over the hall, emphasising his dark premonition in the last moments of his life. Once each image faded away, every piece of me silently moaned, craving for more and excited to see what would appear next onto the foundry’s walls. The exhibition consists of three different
Be prepared ! From June 30th to September 22nd 2019, Disneyland Paris invite you with The Lion King and The Jungle Festival to be thrilled by the rhythms of the African Savannah and the Indian Jungle. The story of The Lion King will be brought to life in Disneyland Paris, as famous songs spanning generations will be revisited to tell the legend of Simba, Nala, Rafiki, Mufasa, Scar, Timon and Pumbaa. The immersive experience doesn’t stop there… Disneyland Paris is preparing more surprises to bring you back to the heart of these Disney classics. Timon and Pumbaa will be waiting for you at Adventureland to teach you their philosophy by dancing to Timon’s “Mata Dance”. Singers, dancers, acrobats and drummers will give a new life to the Pride Lands with choreography and original costumes designed by Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris will celebrate The Jungle Book in the heart of Disneyland Park. Imagine a trip through the Indian jungle filled with colors and discoveries. The “Jungle Book Jive” show will proceed from every side of the Park. You will also be able to set off to discover the “Djembe Joy” village where you will live a new immersive and interactive experience dedicated to these two great Disney classics. The Lion King and Jungle Festival will welcome you at Disneyland Paris from June 30th to September 22nd, 2019.
Dazzlingly dreamy, Switzerland is where marvellous urban lives and breathtaking nature trails come together in the middle of the snow-clad Alps. Apart from the visual beauty, there is so much we can learn about, and learn from, Switzerland. What makes Switzerland stand out? Of course, there are other countries with eye-pleasing landscapes, stunning buildings, or tasty cuisines, but Switzerland is unrivalled for many reasons. Not only a light-hearted vacation I enjoyed in Switzerland, but the lifestyles and the mentality were what I was compelled by as well. Being the only confederation on this planet, the unique political system makes Switzerland completely one-of-a-kind. Being neutral throughout the years, the country is barely damaged by wars, so historical buildings get through centuries, and the urban development runs its course, unscathed. Valuing equality and consensus, it could be said that Switzerland is a successfully egalitarian society. And, abounding more. In less than a week travelling from French-speaking part to the German-speaking metropolis of Switzerland, I have seen a lot in between the days. LAUSANNE The present-day Lausanne has a long history of human settlement, which can be dated back to 6000 BC. When the Canton of Vaud was established as part of the Swiss Confederation, Lausanne was designated as the cantonal capital. Thanks to the antiquity and unceasing innovation, Lausanne comprises iconic Gothic constructions from the medieval days, as well as leading-edge buildings. LAUSANNE AND THE THAI ROYAL FAMILY Lausanne plays a good part in the lives of the Royal Family of Thailand. Back in 1933, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej started living in an apartment on Avenue Auguste-Tissot 16 in Lausanne when he was in an early age, with his mother HRH Princess Srinagarindra, his sister HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana, and his brother HRH King Ananda Mahidol. The late King in his younger years attended École Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Gymnase Classique Cantonal de Lausanne, and the University of Lausanne, before permanently returning to his homeland in 1951. During his Lausanne days, he had grown fond of photography and jazz music. Full of memories, the late King gave the Thai Pavilion, located nearby the Olympic Museum, to the city of Lausanne, marking the 60th anniversary of his accession to the throne, and honouring diplomatic relations between the two nations. LAKE GENEVA: THE CITY'S CROWN JEWEL Moving on from the city centre to Ouchy, a mesmeric port, which sits on the bank of wondrous Lake Geneva (also known as Lac Léman), is another magnetism of Lausanne. Lake Geneva is apparently so romantic that its azureness instills countless artists, and attracts world-famous people to visit the city habitually. Beau-Rivage Palace, a prestigious historic hotel, has been doubtlessly favourited by famous people and discerning travellers from worldwide. It’s an unparalleled privilege to be able to adore the flawlessness of the Alps right from the bed. Additionally, it is located just within the walking distance from the Ouchy and the Olympic Museum. Being able to delve into significant spots on foot, and with in-house scrumptious foods, it is crystal clear why this is the best place to stay in
This Summer, travel in style to the luxurious destination of your dream and experience luxury at its finest at one of these hotels. Here are our top 5 unforgettable holiday destinations for those who know about and enjoy the finer things in life. Perfecting the Art of Summer Combining understated luxury with traditional local architecture and contemporary elegance, the Myconian Collection's portfolio of hotels offer unparalleled accommodation and amenities. Start your mornings with private yoga and Pilates sessions on the lush green grass of your private garden. Enjoy exclusive aerial views of Mykonos and the Cyclades Archipelago with a helicopter charter directly from the resort’s helipad. A fleet of limousines and Range Rovers (and the resort’s chauffeurs) will see to it that you travel comfortably around the island while private yacht cruises mean you can enjoy the pristine turquoise waters of Mykonos’ remote coves and other top destinations on nearby islands, including Santorini and Paros. More information, click. Reimagine your Summer in Jerusalem Jerusalem is a capital forever being rebuilt, reimagined. For those lucky enough to live here, this means that one of the oldest cities in the world is also one of the youngest. The luxurious rooms and suites at the Mamilla Hotel capture this dialogue of time and texture. Walk in and encounter a vibrant mix of sensuous contrasts. Every detail is designed and carefully selected by renowned interior architect Pierro Lissoni. Luxury touches abound, from the imported Frette linens to pure Bvlgari amenities. More information, click. Discover the Black Forest Centrally located in the renowned German spa town of Baden-Baden, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa is an urban oasis set in a private park facing the famous Lichtentaler Allee. Discover the beautiful Black Forest countryside with a drive out in one of the hotel’s three classic cars – a Porsche 928, a VW Samba bus named “Oskar”, or VW Beetle Convertible called “Herbie”. Set off with a picnic from Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, stop wherever takes your fancy and enjoy a hamper of salmon sandwiches, chocolate cake, champagne and other delicacies, freshly prepared for you by the hotel’s chefs. More information, click. Family Fun In Dubai Stay with your family in Dubai and enjoy complimentary tickets to entertainment attractions. A family escape to remember. Armani Dubai Hotel curates personalised, luxurious experiences for you and your family. Create unforgettable memories with your family and choose from an exciting array of nearby must-see attractions. Stay 2 nights and enjoy benefits such as Daily buffet breakfast, and tickets to Reel Cinema or Dubai Ice Rink per person per stay. More information, click. Go from Forest to Fairway Spend two nights at Treetops Lodge plus two nights at Kinloch Club and enjoy an additional fifth night complimentary at the lodge of your choice. Explore the wilderness of Treetops Estate or enjoy a round of world-class golf overlooking Lake Taupo and combine two iconic lodge experiences. Escape to a secluded forest getaway, wander native trails through pristine forest, and forge enduring connections with the people and the land. Follow that with a day on the greens challenging yourself on their championship
Books can take you to new and exciting places—completely new worlds, even. This World Book Day (23 April 2019), let Lifestyle+Travel and Agoda take you on a literary journey like no other. On your next holiday, trace the roots of some of your favorite authors by stopping by their hometowns—some of which have inspired their most seminal works. Here are some must-visit spots for book-lovers roaming around Asia… Kobe, Japan Literary Hero: Haruki Murakami Notable works: “Kafka on the Shore” and “1Q84” available from Shinchosha Must-see attractions: Ikuta Shrine, Arima Onsen, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Murakami grew up in Kobe, where a few of his stories, such as his debut novel “Hear the Wind Sing”, are set. Murakami’s works have surrealist elements, often with melancholic themes which in some ways, is reflective of the quiet beauty to be found in the many serene shrines and breathtaking nature scenery in the small seaside city. Internalize the relaxing minimalist side of Kobe when you stay at Arimakoyado Hataya Ryokan. Camarines Norte, Philippines Literary Hero: Ricky Lee Notable works: “Para kay B” available from Philippine Writers' Studio Foundation Must-see attractions: Calaguas Islands, Apuao Grande Island, Bagasbas Beach More than his novel “Para kay B,” Ricky Lee’s body of work encompasses screenwriting and playwriting. He has worked with revered Filipino directors like Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal and has even published a screenplay manual called “Trip to Quiapo” which has since been a staple resource for communication colleges in the Philippines. Visit Lee’s hometown of Camarines Norte in the central Bicol region of the Philippines and enjoy its beautiful beaches like those on Apuao Grande Island and the Calaguas group of islands. Keep comfy by making One Platinum Hotel your home base while in the area. If you’re in the Americas, head to… New York, USA Literary Hero: Jenny Han Notable works: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” available from Simon & Schuster Must-see attractions: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Broadway Though Han originally came from Virginia, her time in New York shaped her career as a young adult fiction writer. Book the cozy Jun New York Midtown III apartment, and feel right at home when you take a break from all of that sight-seeing. Aracataca, Colombia Literary Hero: Gabriel García Márquez Notable works: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” available from HarperCollins, “Love in the Time of Cholera” available from Penguin Classics Must-see attractions: Casa Museo, Casa del Telegrafista The municipality of Aracataca is built along the river of the same name and boasts Nobel Prize winner for literature Gabriel García Márquez as one of its sons. The village of Macondo in García Márquez's celebrated novel, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is fashioned after Aracataca. Take a day trip out to explore García Márquez's reconstructed childhood home-turned-museum and the Casa del Telegrafista, then settle down at the charming Agoda Home in Parque Los Novios in the nearby city of Santa Marta, where you can also visit Colombia’s famous Tayrona National Natural Park. If you’re venturing to Europe, then consider visiting… Edinburgh, Scotland Literary Hero: J.K. Rowling Notable works: The “Harry Potter” series available from Bloomsbury Must-see attractions: Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Dynamic Earth, Underground Edinburgh, The Scotch Whisky Experience Potterheads, unite! While Rowling was born in Yates, England, it was during her time in Edinburgh that she