With an ever-changing definition of luxury travel, A&K founder Geoffrey Kent shared his picks for travel in 2017. In addition to his selections, Kent also offered personal travel tips for each destination.
Iran: The country is much more than what appears on the news, Kent says, noting its 5,000 years of history, which have left ruined cities like Persepolis and Pasargadae. He suggests the Persia: A Tapestry of Ancient and Modern Iran itinerary
Travel Tip From Kent: “Iran is a photographers’ dream, from the intricate, colorful tile work found in mosques, to the friendly locals. For something different, don’t miss the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque, also known as the “Pink Mosque” with its multitude of tiles depicting pink roses.”
Japan’s Ryukyu Islands: Comprising 55 islands, the Ryukyu Islands have seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, in addition to several top beaches and scuba diving locations. Island hopping is a great way to see the best that islands have to offer. Japan, Hong Kong & the Ryukyu Islands Cruise: A Special President’s Journey departs from Osaka, traverses the islands, and arrives in Hong Kong 16 days later.
Travel Tip From Kent: “Historically most of this archipelago was part of an independent kingdom and it continues to show in the distinctive architecture, music, food and independent spirit.”
Brazil: The variety of Brazil offers something for everyone, from Iguassu Falls to the city of Rio to the pastel-colored buildings of Salvador. Kent suggests that both a safari and a private tour of Carnival are worthwhile adventures.
Travel Tip From Kent: “Jaguars are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild, which makes a visit to the Pantanal so rewarding. Home to the world’s greatest concentration of jaguars, your chances to see them are excellent. On our last trip, we saw several, along the river bank and swimming in the river.”
Iceland: Iceland has something for travelers year-round. It has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations, where guests can explore Reykjavik, walk on a massive glacier, ride Icelandic horses, or go four-wheeling, snowmobiling, and whale watching.
Travel Tip From Kent: “Iceland’s geo-thermal baths are a must, but I highly recommend going off the beaten path to Northern Iceland to Hofsós, for a dip in a thermal swimming pool set on a hillside overlooking the sea -- designed by the same architect as the Blue Lagoon.”
Kenya: The wildlife is the top reason to visit Kenya, boasting possibly the best game reserve in Africa, the Masai Mara. Kenya Safari in Style offers both nature and luxury.
Travel Tip From Kent: “Whereas safaris used to last more than a month, today’s travelers are much more time conscious. I recommend focusing on one country where you can have multiple spectacular safari experiences, like Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Masai Mara Game Reserve, in just a week and half.”
Scandinavia: Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo are three of Europe’s most eclectic cities. A cruise through the Oslo Fjord offers an incomparable sunrise; guests can even learn the secrets of the Vikings and their mighty longships on the Scandinavia: Stockholm, Copenhagen & Oslo itinerary.
Travel Tip From Kent: “The effects of the Nordic food revolution are being seen around the world. Discover its roots at Mathallen Food Hall during a cooking class on modern Norwegian cuisine.”
The Silk Road: Modern-day globetrotters can make the trek from Beijing to Tashkent through the vast hinterlands of Asia, stopping in some of the oldest cities in the world, including Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Guests can make the journey in luxurious fashion with the Explore Samarkand (and many other exotic destinations) in luxury and style on Around the World by Private Jet: The Tropics to the Arctic.
Travel Tip From Kent: “A must in Samarkand is to visit the Khujum carpet factory. Their pure silk rugs are a work of art and a good investment as they last forever. All the carpets are woven by hand and can take one or two years to complete.”
The Philippines: Another trending destination, the Philippines has idyllic beaches, a rich culture and history, and a flavorful cuisine. Kent suggests travelers visit the storied lanes of Old Manila, take a helicopter to the World War II stronghold of Corregidor, and float down the Loboc River.
Travel Tip From Kent: “Each region has their own take on the same food, so it makes even the same dishes taste different. Don’t miss out on a taste of the coconut vodka, crafted by hand from local coconuts, and sample the desserts, tinted violet by ube, a local yam.”
Australia: Competitive airfares, a favorable exchange rate, and isolation from many of the threats that affect the globe. The challenge is how to choose between Melbourne, Sydney, the Outback, the Yarra Valley wine lands, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Travel Tip From Kent: “The best way to appreciate the beauty of Sydney is from a private cruise through Sydney Harbour, which gives you unmatched views of the city’s landmarks such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, as well as some of its lesser-known coves and bays.”