Where to travel in April

Looking for destination inspiration for April? Here’s where to head for a cultural city trip, or a relaxing beach break, from Boston to Tokyo

Exterior of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

See Monet’s masterpieces in Boston

A 20-minute stroll from Mandarin Oriental, Boston the Museum of Fine Arts is marking its 150th anniversary – and staging a trio of must-see exhibitions. First, there’s Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression, spanning dappled water lilies, striking portraits and shimmering studies of Venice. Afterwards, fast-forward to the 20th century with two more standout shows; one showcasing Lucian Freud’s self-portraits, the other exploring Basquiat’s links to hip-hop. Eager for more? Polymath artist Sterling Ruby’s popping up at the ICA, while Harvard Art Museums is hosting its biggest-ever exhibition; more than 120 pieces of exquisite, Edo-era art.

Canopied tables at BBQ Al Qasr at Emirates Palace

Experience an Abu Dhabi icon

For the ultimate escapism, check into Emirates Palace, now managed by Mandarin Oriental. Set at the western end of the Corniche, it couldn’t be more luxurious, with crystal chandeliers and gleaming gold-leaf ceilings. Butler service comes as standard in the suites, while rooms are beautifully appointed, with opulent marble bathrooms and private balconies. In the daytime, cool off in its palm-fringed pools. Come the evening, dine by the private beach at the lantern-lit BBQ Al Qasr. Beyond the hotel, the Abu Dhabi Festival is in full swing come April, spanning ballet, jazz and more, while dhow-boat tours through the Mangrove National Park show a different side of the city.

Manteca Cacio e Pepe dish

Sample London’s food scene

This year’s already seen a wave of notable new openings in London – and a triumphant return for Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Gymkhana. Reopened after a fire last summer, it’s back to its opulent best. Settle into a banquette with a peppery house martini and feast on the signature wild venison biryani. Elsewhere, the city’s still obsessed with hand-rolled pasta. Try new arrival Manteca’s buttery, brown crab-laced cacio e pepe, or join the virtual queue for a table at Padella Shoreditch, famed for its pappardelle with slow-braised beef shin ragù. After lunch, drop by the London Coffee Festival (2-5 April) at the Truman Brewery, with its caffeine-geek programme of workshops, expert talks and tastings.

Sakura Mochi

See a rainbow at Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art

Don’t miss the city’s blockbuster exhibition for spring: a solo show from art-world star Olafur Eliasson. Sometimes the River is the Bridge takes in some extraordinary pieces, from a new, site-specific installation to his early work, Beauty, which conjures up rainbows from thin air. Of course, April’s also sakura (cherry blossom) season – the most romantic time to explore Tokyo. A ten-minute drive from Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, head to Chidorigafuchi, where a froth of blossoms is reflected in the Imperial Palace’s moat. Meanwhile, in the city’s bakeries, look out for sakura mochi – rice sweets filled with red-bean paste, wrapped in a cherry-tree leaf.

Hammam room at the spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum

Escape the crowds in Bodrum

To see the Bodrum peninsula at its most serene, this is the month to book a stay. Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is a suitably tranquil spot, set on a wooded hillside overlooking the Aegean. Its rooms and suites are dotted amid the olive groves, while outdoor pools lead down to a private, white-sand beach. It’s the ideal time of year for hiking though the pines, or along wildflower-tangled coastal trails, while the concierge can recommend cycling tours and Jeep safaris. Afterwards, retreat to the hotel’s spa, with its handsome marble hammam, sea-view cabanas and epic list of massages and treatments.

Seven of the best brunches around the world

Seven of the best brunches around the world

Make the most of your weekend with these special brunch offerings from around the globe, from French toast in Boston to bottomless Cava in Barcelona