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The World’s Most Festive Cities to Spend Christmas

EARTH, Inspiration, SHOP, Travel

Christmas is a magical time of year. Cities across the world celebrate in their own way. But no matter how Christmas is celebrated, you’re sure to find fairylights and a festive spirit wherever you go. Whether you’re a fan of the traditional snowy Christmas or prefer to relax in the sun, it’s impossible no to get caught up in the fun. Enjoy Christmas markets, open-air ice skating, and a glass of Glühwein or two in the most festive cities in the world.

Discover our top festive cities to spend Christmas below.

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

…And loving it in The Ryokan Collection’s Sowaka

EARTH, Inspiration, STAY

Growing up in the seventies for me meant switching on the TV after homework was finished to see Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, pull up in his red Karmann Ghia. That was during the week. On Saturday nights, I’d swap the Chief for M and be thrilled at the escapades of Roger Moore or Sean Connery. Thus, I’m rather partial to the trappings of the spy – the representation of one at least not the drab life of an ASIO employee. So, when I arrived at a tiny entrance in Gion, with a split green cloth fluttering in the breeze I felt a shiver of anticipation about what might actually lurk behind this understated façade.

The Ryokan Collection’s Sowaka

Luxury Guide: London, UK

CITY, Lifestyle, Vegan

London is one of the world’s most visited cities. History, culture, art… London has it all. From luxury hotel stays, vegan dining, and VIP experiences, we’ve explored London’s most luxurious offerings and created a list of our favourites. Discover London in style below.

Indulge Your Senses at Sette London

CITY, Inspiration, SHOP

Two of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities come together with the opening of a new restaurant – Sette – at the Bulgari Hotel in London. Bringing authentic Italian food from New York City’s Scarpetta restaurant family, Sette offers an exceptional dinning and social experience. Given its location within the ultra-luxe Buglari Hotel, my expectations of the restaurant are set high. And thankfully, Sette did not disappoint.

Living it Luxe at The Lanesborough London

Inspiration, Lifestyle, STAY

One very confused Uber driver later, I arrive at the Lanesborough Hotel London. With a sigh of relief, I walk toward the entrance clutching my scarf tightly around my neck. The doorman sees me coming. And opens the door for me with a smile. There’s a fire burning just inside. I linger for a moment, letting the heat warm me.

I’d walked passed The Lanesborough when I lived in London in my early 20’s but until now, I’d never been inside. From my position next to the fire, I cast my eyes around the lobby. Regal. It’s truly the only word to describe this hotel. I feel as though I’ve stepped through time. I half expect to see characters from a Jane Austen Novel and historical figures of the Regency period to walk around the corner. Realising I’ve lingered by the fire long enough, I approach the check-in desk.

Glitz and Glam at The Ritz London

Inspiration, Lifestyle, STAY

As I walk up the steps of Green Park Station, the iconic The Ritz London hotel comes into view. There are few hotels in the world that have the capability of stopping you in your tracks. The Ritz London is one. People walk around me quickly, some even huff as they go past the woman who has decided that stopping in the middle of a busy London street is a good idea. I arch my head, looking up toward the pavilion roof and the large green copper lions that adorn it.

Finally, my feet start working. I walk between the archways and the exterior of the Ritz Club and Bar, before turning the corner to the hotel entrance. In a momentary lapse of complete cliché, I start humming ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. The doorman smiles warmly at me as I step through the revolving doors, forgetting the song and the world outside The Ritz London.

The Hoshinoya Kyoto brings the Edo period of nobility alive in exquisite luxury

Adventure, CITY, STAY

“Domo arigato,” I say to the taxi driver who smiles, bows twice and says “Hai. Hai.” I wheel my bag along a pathway by the Ooi river just over the Togetsukyo bridge heaving with crowds of tourists who clot in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. Some are in rent-a-kimino taking selfies, others are in school uniform giggling and smiling and then there’s the occasional western tourist biting into a Miffy shaped donut.

This side of the bridge is much quieter. My quest is to find the private boat ramp for the Hoshinoya Kyoto. I see the sign just ahead written in English and Japanese and stop and breathe a sigh of relief. ‘No. No. This way,’ says a Japanese man with a camera hung around his neck gesturing downstream. I smile. Perhaps I should have donned a pair of Blahniks and a flowy Camilla for this journey. “You have to be a very special Japanese person to stay at the Hoshinoya,” my taxi driver confided before he dropped me off.

Image courtesy of Hoshinoya Kyoto

Top Five Luxury Cycling Holidays

Adventure, Lifestyle, TravelManagers

On a cycling holiday you’re immersed in the landscape. Life doesn’t whiz by as you watch from the coach, car or train window: you become part of the landscape through which you are passing. Conversations with locals happen. Amazing photos happen because you can stop when and where you want. No deadlines, except getting to your bed for the night. Opting for the luxury version of a cycling holiday means you fully supported every kilometre of the journey, so all you have to do is ride, enjoy those leisurely breakfasts, long lunches and delicious dinners along the way, knowing that your luggage will be transported to your next destination daily.  You can choose from guided or self-guided options, and your trusty mount will be a well-maintained bike (or e-bike), with back up support if you get a flat tyre or the weather turns bad.

TravelManagers’ Helen Rolton shares some of her favourite luxury cycling holidays, which are designed to make your time on two wheels as enjoyable as possible.

Image courtesy of Wheelie Fantastic

Flower baths and Balinese bells in a ‘glamboo’ retreat

EARTH, Inspiration, Lifestyle, STAY

On the banks of the Ayung river, bounded on one side by an ancient nutmeg forest and on the other by the village of Mambal, lies Fivelements Retreat Bali, a luxurious eco-sanctuary that puts the glam into bamboo. This is the perfect place to get healthy and go back to nature in comfort and style. 

Sakti Dining Room at Fivelements Healing Center. The soaring roofline, sculpted from bamboo and thatch, resembles a banana leaf, symbol of nourishment.
Image courtesy of Djuna Ivereigh, Fivelements
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