New year, new travel dreams. We asked our Luxury Gold travel experiences team for their recommendations for luxury hotel stays in 2023. This is what they had to say.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland
This 800-year-old castle sits on a 350-acre estate of landscaped gardens, ancient woodland and an emerald lake. This grand estate is the former home of the Guinness family. It has hosted esteemed guests including The Prince of Wales and President Ronald Reagan. On your tour of Ireland, you’ll feel like royalty yourself, relaxing in the decadent suites boasting antique furniture, fine fabrics and unique features. You’ll dine like royalty in Ashford Castle hotel’s George V Dining Room, built especially for King George V in 1905. And yet, the restored castle maintains a modern feel without losing its historic charm. The exceptional hospitality and vast grounds make Ashford a place that is difficult to leave.
Learn more about the castle, what it’s like at Christmastime and meet the castle’s resident beekeeper.
Lions Sands Tinga Lodge, Kruger National Park, South Africa
If your travels in South Africa take you on a safari, what better bonus than the chance to see the Big 5 from the private plunge pool in your room? Lions Sands Tinga Lodge in South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park sits on the banks of the Sabi River. Surrounded by nature in your treehouse-style room or grand suite with private deck and plunge pool, you’ll experience the height of luxury hotel stays. Watch elephants walk through the distant mist at sunrise as you sip your coffee. When you return from your safari, relax in the hotel’s Africology Spa before dining on South African cuisine on the candle-lit terrace. After the sun has left behind its orange glow, drift to sleep listening to the sounds of wild animals in the evening air.
The Leela Palace, Udaipur, India
We journey to India for decadence in the grand style of a Maharaja’s palace at The Leela Palace. Arriving by boat, you’ll be welcomed with music, a shower of rose petals falling and a refreshing drink. In your lake-facing room, take in the beauty of a bygone era from the regal service to the décor celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan. After a day cruising Lake Pichol or exploring Udaipur’s colorful bazaar, dine overlooking the lake and the Palace’s elegant courtyard.
Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel, Zimbabwe
Should you extend your South Africa travels with a visit to Victoria Falls, the Stanley & Livingstone hotel is the ideal jumping off point for exploration. Tucked within the serenity of Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve, you’re just 15 minutes from the Falls. This hotel truly offers the best of both worlds; from its blend of colonial and contemporary design to the quiet feel of this retreat just minutes from the popular falls.
Te Waonui Forest Retreat, Franz Josef, New Zealand
For another nature-embracing accommodation, head to New Zealand’s Te Waonui Forest Retreat. After exploring the nearby Franz Josef Glacier on a valley walk, return to this quiet haven that brings together a luxury escape with environmental awareness. This 5-star retreat lets you unwind in its luxurious rooms featuring plush bed linens and a private balcony or courtyard.
Visit New Zealand on our 19-, 12- or 8-day tours.
The Langham Sydney, Sydney, Australia
From a natural retreat to a striking urban setting, jet off to Australia for our next top accommodation. Take in Sydney’s history and modern style at this boutique hotel in the heart of The Rocks district. Just outside the Langham, stroll along cobbled streets lined with historic buildings and take in dazzling views of the skyline and iconic Sydney Harbour. Back in your urban oasis’ Observatory Bar, sip on a creative cocktail from the Zodiac Gin Collection – a gin concoction infused with aromatics and garnishes and inspired by your star sign.
The Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
On your tour of South America, lovers of sand and sun should look no further than The Belmond Copacabana Palace on Rio’s iconic Copacabana beach for one of the finest luxury hotel stays. This gorgeous stretch of sand framed by green forested hills invites you to cool off within its waves or with a cool drink in hand. Or, get in on the action by joining one of the many beach parties, somewhat legendary at this hotel that celebrates its 100 anniversary in 2023. Having hosted guests including Bridget Bardot and Stevie Wonder, The Belmond Copacabana Palace is the place to be.
The Peabody Hotel, Memphis, The United States
Take in a different slice of history on your tour of the American South at the “South’s Grand Hotel,” The Peabody Memphis. Known for its charm, elegance and rich history, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Peabody has hosted many esteemed guests since it opened in 1869. The most notable are perhaps its five resident Mallard ducks who march daily through the lobby at 11am and 5pm. Watch this charming parade before heading out to take in the culture and bustling music scene of nearby Beale Street.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada
Enjoy another historic stay in Canada at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Perched at the edge of Upper Old Quebec, this grand estate is in the style of a Renaissance French château. It has even hosted Grace Kelly and Sir Winton Churchill. You’ll feel like royalty yourself as you drink views of the St. Lawrence River and the Old fortified City. Explore the hotel’s paneled lobby of vaulted ceilings, oil portraits, baronial chandeliers and gold statues. It was even recognized as the 2022 Global Hotel of the Year.
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Canada
We head to western Canada for our final of our favorite luxury hotel stays at Canada’s ” Castle in the Rockies.” In Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Fairmont Banff Springs is a landmark and majestic natural setting. After exploring the Rocky Mountains by day, you’ll be treated to a progressive dinner feasting on a variety of courses, each served in different restaurants of this towering hotel.
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