Presidential suite at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
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Seven must-visit luxury hotspots for 2021

Now, more than ever, the simple pleasures of good food, great company and beautiful surroundings seem even more blissful. So, as we look forward to discovering new places once again, here are the destinations you should have on your wish list for 2021

Conservatory lounge at Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

Madrid

If you’re seeking world-class art, celebrated chefs and impressive architecture, then look no further than Madrid. The iconic, newly renovated Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is due to open its prestigious doors once again this spring – and is already taking bookings. Admire the architectural prowess of the restored glass dome as you dine on dishes from award-winning chef Quique Dacosta. Situated in the historic ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, the hotel is in the ideal spot for art lovers. At the nearby Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, you can easily spend an afternoon admiring the surrealist works of René Magritte – some 90 paintings – in the Magritte Machine exhibition, which opens in September. If literature is more your thing, wander along to nearby Retiro Park from 28 May to 13 June for the 80th edition of the Feria del Libro. The book festival, which started in 1933 and was postponed in 2020, features more than 300 booksellers offering everything from new releases to rare finds.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul at sunset

Istanbul

As if one new opening wasn’t enough, 2021 will also see guests welcomed to Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul in Turkey. Located in the exclusive district of Kuruçeşme on the European side of Istanbul, the water’s-edge hotel is close to high-end malls, upmarket cafés and sophisticated restaurants, such as the hilltop Ulus 29, which offers avant-garde cuisine (think Turkish flatbreads, slow-cooked beef cheek, and sea bass paillard) and magnificent views overlooking the bridges of Istanbul. Book ahead and ask for a window seat or opt for the terrace during the summer months. You can’t stay in this East-meets-West city without exploring the harbourside area of Eminönü – admire the glorious monuments detailing its illustrious past, from the Hagia Sophia Museum (pictured above) to the Basilica Cistern.

Oysters on ice with lemon wedges

Boston

Boston has long topped many a must-visit list and it’s easy to see why. With its rich history, famous seafood and quaint coastal charm, this small-but-mighty American city has a lot to offer travellers and 2021 is no different. Saturday 12 June will see the postponed 50th annual Boston Pride parade march though the city’s streets, and visitors can expect a host of events to continue the 400th anniversary celebrations of the landing of the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock and of the very first Thanksgiving. Located in the historic Back Bay district, Mandarin Oriental, Boston is close to many of the city’s top spots and ideal for easy access to all the action; from the high-end boutiques on legendary Newbury Street to the renowned Victorian brownstones of the South End. The hotel’s suites and rooms – as well as the spa – have been recently refurbished. Don’t miss your chance to try some of that famous seafood. Head to the exquisite Select Oyster Bar brought to you by chef Michael Serpa. If you’re in Boston between May and November, stop by Copley Square farmers’ market, near Trinity Church, to try some local produce.

Pool and loungers at The Oberoi Beach Resort, Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt

Sahl Hasheesh

Home to the Great Pyramid of Giza – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – as well as myriad souks, mosques and fortresses, Egypt is a destination that everyone should visit at least once. Mandarin Oriental has joined with Oberoi Hotels to offer the same great benefits at both of the hotel groups’ exclusive resorts around the world. Book a stay at the Oberoi Beach Resort, Sahl Hasheesh, for a luxurious Egyptian retreat and take time to explore the famous dunes and deserts, as well as the thriving coral reefs dotted along the stunning coast. Don’t miss your chance to go scuba diving in the crystal-clear underwater paradise of the Red Sea, which hugs the hotel.

Gold fish dumplings in a dish at Man Wah restaurant

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city of contrasts and coexistence: gleaming skyscrapers sit comfortably against a backdrop of mountain peaks; tiny temples nestle among high-end shops; and eastern identity blends seamlessly with western history. The city offers visitors a chaotic and colourful calendar of celebrations to excite them all year long, from Chinese New Year in February to the Hong Kong Sevens in November. Book your stay at legendary Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and enjoy the newly reopened, Michelin-starred Man Wah – admired as of one of the city and hotel’s most beautiful dining spaces for more than 50 years. You’ll also spot updates to the Club Lounge and Lobby spaces as well as an exciting new restaurant, The Aubrey.

Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

Munich

Ernest Hemingway once said, “I tell you, there’s nothing like Munich” – and he had a point. This southern German city may be famous for its annual beer festival, Oktoberfest (this year in its 214th incarnation) but it has countless other draws. From Bavarian palaces such as Nymphenburg (pictured above) – where you can take a gondola ride on the central canal of the palace park – to exquisite eateries such as Restaurant 181, which offers stunning 360° revolving views of the city. Stop by the Pinakothek der Moderne art museum until 6 June to learn about the role of computers in architecture, from the 1950s to present day, in The Architecture Machine exhibition – the first of its kind in the German-speaking world. Check into the newly revamped Mandarin Oriental, Munich, situated in the Old Town, for a luxurious city retreat – book the two-bedroom tower suite to gaze at the night sky from its glass-domed living room.

Living room in the Presidential Suite at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Tokyo

Japan’s capital city entices millions of travellers every year thanks to its innovation, diverse cuisine and beautiful landscapes. But, if there was ever a time to visit Tokyo – a city where world-famous fish markets meet dazzling neon signs – it’s 2021, when it hosts the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics from 23 July. Book a suite at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo and you’ll be staying sky-high amongst the skyscrapers with views of the city below. With more Michelin stars than any other city in the world, you can’t leave Tokyo without trying some sensational sushi. Dine at Sushi Shin by Miyakawa – the first Tokyo branch of Hokkaido’s three-Michelin-star Sushi Miyakawa – where things are done omakase style, meaning you trust your selection to the expert chefs.

Bartender prepares a drink at MO Bar, Beijing

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