SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I made İstanbul home. And like so many moves, it began with a visit.
I’d planned a typical three-day tour. From my perch at the Four Seasons in Sultanahmet, I’d hit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, explore the ancient lanes of the Grand Bazaar and take in the tiled splendor of Topkapi Palace. I’d hop on a ferry to the Asian side for brunch in Kadiköy and maybe drinks in Moda. Then off I’d go with Turkish Airlines, non-stop to New York.
But that plan quickly fell apart. A chance encounter led to a feast of fish and raki, Turkey’s anise-flavored liqueur, with a group of new friends. And then an idea: What if I stayed?
I did. I spent the better part of four years in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu neighborhood, high up a hillside overlooking the Bosporus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. Once one of the world’s most polluted bodies of water, the Bosporus benefitted from intensive cleanup efforts over the past several years, and from my top-floor terrace I often watched the boats crisscrossing that ancient strait.
Beyoğlu is best known for İstiklâl Avenue, a pedestrian promenade lined with shops and restaurants, cafés and bars. And though much changed under the Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, it remains the pulsing heart of European İstanbul with its mishmash of old and new buildings, high-end dining and tantalizing street fare, underground wine cellars and rooftop pools.
For a taste of Black Sea cuisine, head to Hayvore, or go for the grilled kebab at Dürümzade, and wash it down with a cool, creamy ayran, Turkey’s national drink. For dessert, try the marzipan at Şirin Firin (maybe the baklava, too), and walk it all off with a hike to the iconic Galata Tower. From there, amble down the hill to the 16th-century Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamam and enjoy a Turkish bath at its best.
Celebrate World Vegan Day Nov. 1, with these vegan dishes from around the world.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The Hotel AMERON Zurich Bellerive au Lac, forged from the collaborative efforts of interior design firm Monoplan AG and other cutting-edge design firms, bills itself as a celebration of the 1920s and ‘30s aesthetic. The story behind it is compelling as the building dates to 1928 and has connections with the early days of Switzerland's movie industry. However, there are several fun Mid-Century Modern and late 20th-century design touches in the public and private areas. Clearly, it's going for the "modern luxury" vibe Millennial and Gen-X business and leisure travelers look for when seeking a quality smaller property with a great location.
InterContinental New York Barclay is the perfect spot for luxury in the heart of Manhattan. With the 1946 Package, enjoy a two-night stay in the Penthouse Suite, an exclusive InterContinental75 cocktail lesson with a mixologist, 75-minute couples massage with Zeel, a movie screening on the Penthouse Suite terrace with classic films from the year of InterContinental’s birth with a premium 1946 vintage wine to enjoy.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
One of the many fallouts from the turbulent past 1.5 years of pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns has been the rethinking and imminent restructuring of loyalty programs throughout the travel industry, from airline and hotel brands to cruise and rental car companies. Loyalty programs are more than a perk for customers; they can be worth more than the brand itself for the program owners and operators. For example, the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, is valued at roughly $6 billion, whereas its passenger loyalty program, AAdvantage, boasts an estimated worth of $24 billion according to a recent analysis by Financial Times.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Ayutthaya, Thailand, with us.