Cities to visit in 2017 and top hotels

By Nadia Sheng,

From Nordic design capitals to cities that are textbook definitions of exotic… If these 10 cities aren’t already on your list of places to visit in 2017, grab a pen!

Kathmandu

Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Image of facade of Hyatt Regency Kathmandu at dusk

From your first step off the plane to your arrival at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, the vivid colours, smells, and sounds of the once fabled city will enthrall you like never before. The traditional Nepalese designs that deck out your modern hotel room and the view of the majestic surrounds, comprising mountains and stupas, will continue you down your sensory adventure.

Image of sitting area of suite at Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Speaking of fables…how prevalent is Wi-Fi? While at the 5 star guests will enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Talking about being well connected, the hotel is in the city’s most prime location – within walking distance to the holy Boudhanath Stupa.

Phnom Penh

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Image of lounge chair in room at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

What images come to mind when you think of Phnom Penh? The saffron robed monks, river canoes bobbing along the Mekong, or the glimmering spires a top Khmer-style pagodas? Once you’ve stayed at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra it’ll be the first visual representation you’ll conjure as, with its warm colonial-style aesthetic, peaceful riverside location, Sofitel-luxury experience, and close proximity to the Royal Palace, its more than memorable.

Image of facade of Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra at night

Surrounded by landscaped gardens in the city’s old quarter, the 5 star hotel, with its two swimming pools and excessively comfortable rooms, is an oasis in the buzzing city. By the way, for flights we’ve seen some great deals on Jetstar lately!

Hamburg

Reichshof Hamburg

Image of bed in large room at Reichshof Hamburg

If you think Germans share a collective love for Berlin or Munich you’d be wrong. The German city most locals share an affinity for is in fact Hamburg. You may have heard of the famous warehouse district, the newly opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall, and the Reeperbahn entertainment district (where The Beatles spent their formative years). All these attractions are close to the Reichshof Hamburg hotel.

Close-up of bar at Bar 1910 at Reichshof Hamburg

Once the grandest hotel in Europe, the Reichshof had telephones lines in every room way before everyone else. Feel what it was like to be a guest during the hotel’s golden era by running your fingers across the original wooden panelling. Then, continue your tactile history lesson of Hamburg by visiting (and feeling) the red-brick warehouses of Speicherstadt.

Marrakesh

Les Jardins de La Koutoubia

Image of heated outdoor pool at Les Jardins de La Koutoubia

Another city famous for its red-bricks is Marrakesh – nicknamed the Red City for its ochre coloured city walls. The name Marrakesh is practically synonymous with “exotic land”. And the must-do on everyone’s list in this low-cost city is to go bargaining for colourful tajines, woven carpets, and saffron in the city’s vibrant market. Our favourite luxury hotel close to the famous Jemaa el-Fnaa market is Les Jardins de La Koutoubia.

Image of Moroccan lounge with fireplace at Les Jardins de La Koutoubia

Can’t get enough of the visual symphony you experienced among the stalls? Stay in the Medina Room and you’ll have views of the old Medina throughout your stay. So, make like the French glitterati and visit Marrakesh this year.

Capetown

Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront

Image of Tobago's Restaurant terrace at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront

If you’ve ever received a postcard from Cape Town then you’ve been desiring to go there ever since laying eyes on its mesmerising skyline – a headland, surrounded by the dramatic Atlantic. Make your long awaited trip happen this year and ensure you soak up as much of the coastline you’ve been dreaming of by staying at oceanfront Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront.

A 15-minute walk to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the 5 star nautical hotel is our top choice for sojourners to the Mother City for its superb location, ocean views from most rooms and its outdoor, heated rim-flow pool.

Crete

Corinna Mare Suites & Studios

Image of Corinna Star Restaurant at Corinna Mare Suites & Studios

Natural light in Crete is special. When it hits the island at different intensities throughout the day the colourless, medium-height block buildings that dot the island are painted in warm, inviting hues.

Image of outdoor swimming pool at Corinna Mare Suites & Studios

Stay in a hotel on the sea for a front row view of all the day’s best colours. We recommend staying on the favourited Kalamaki beach at the newly refurbished Corinna Mare Suites & Studios. Have Mediterranean and Cretan food to your heart’s content at the sea-side hotel restaurant with the actual Mediterranean Sea as your backdrop.

Aarhus

Comwell Aarhus

Image of Aarhus skyline at night

Like the subtleness that is the Nordic culture, the Nordic influence in our daily lives is discreet. Integrated in the aesthetics of our homes, we don’t really think “Nordic” when we eat off our light-coloured wood table tops or turn on our geometric pattered lights. “The minimalist” has become us.

Image of room with panoramic view at Comwell Aarhus

Going on design pilgrimage is one way to experience the Nordics. Start your journey to the motherland of functional design in Aarhus, this year’s European Capital of Culture, and stay at design hotel Comwell Aarhus. You can bring home your favourite hotel designs from the hotel’s own HAY shop.

Oslo

Hotel Continental Oslo

Image of the Abel Suite at Hotel Continental Oslo

A true labour of love, the Hotel Continental Oslo has been in the family for four generations. Its founder famously proclaimed “take care of the artists” and ever since it’s been associated with the arts. The hotel’s Art Deco styled Theatercaféen will transport guests to the early 20th century, a time in which artists, the restaurant being their favourite meeting spot, would have surrounded them.

Image of the Eik Annen Etage restaurant at Hotel Continental Oslo

While it’s the top rated 5 star in Oslo, the hotel still functions like a family. Their Instagram is like a family photo album. We love that they honour their team of housekeepers on Housekeepers’ Day and that their doorman could pass as a movie star.

Helsinki

Indigo Helsinki Boulevard

Image of Minna Parikka shoes and Iittala's glass decoration in standard room

A Bulevardi address doesn’t get any better. Located on this Parisian-like, café lined street is Indigo Helsinki Boulevard. Guests will see Artek and littala furniture/décor upon arrival in the lobby and Minna Parikka shoes on display once they check in to their rooms.

Image of superior room at Indigo Helsinki Boulevard

Heard about New Nordic Cuisine? Dine at hotel restaurant Bröd Punavuori to understand that design in the Nordics trickles through everything, even food, and come full circle on your Nordic design pilgrimage. Don’t forget to enjoy the saunas!

Lisbon

Pestana Palace Lisboa

Image of bed at Pestana Palace Lisboa

Since the recession in 2008, it’s never been more opportune to visit Lisbon than now. There are loads of new art initiatives popping up including the recent opening of the Museum for Art, Architecture and Technology. As we love staying at luxury-end hotels in affordable cities we plan to start each day tucked into the exquisite sheets of Pestana Palace Lisboa.

Image of bar at Pestana Palace Lisboa

Experience the heart of Potuguese culture by sampling scrumptious Portuguese cuisine, starting at hotel restaurant Valle Flôr, and visiting historic landmarks. You don’t have to venture far as the hotel is in fact a 19th century palace and national monument! For the city’s famous landmarks, visit the historic Belém and Bairro Alto districts that conveniently border the hotel’s Alcântara district on either side.