For World-Class Cocktails in a Grade II-Listed Building
Big-hitting icons like Big Ben and St. Paul’s Cathedral welcome you to history-laden London, but we’ve gone much deeper into the UK’s innovative capital of culture. In late 2022, we launched Common Decency, the latest world-class cocktail bar from Leo Robitschek and Liana Oster. The subterranean lounge, located beneath the NoMad Hotel in Covent Garden, draws its name from the storied Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, where the hotel and lounge reside and where the legendary writer Oscar Wilde was infamously tried for “an affront to common decency.” Experience the rebirth and reclamation of this space’s next chapter by reserving one of the “snugs,” designed to accommodate groups of between 6 and 12 guests, where you’ll enjoy avant-garde cocktails served alongside modern riffs on the classics.
To Unlock Umami With Shochu From the Source
Fukuoka, Japan (#19)
On the often-overlooked island of Kyushu, famous for its active volcanic peaks, lush coastlines, and “onsen” (hot springs) virtually everywhere, Iichiko crafts shochu – Japan’s native spirit. Rich in flavor, smooth, and easy to drink with food, Iichiko is a “Honkaku” shochu, the highest grade. The secret behind shochu is Koji, the ingredient that unlocks umami (think: the flavor of soy sauce or miso) throughout Japanese cuisine. At the Iichiko Hita Distillery outside Fukuoka, you can take a complimentary distillery tour between 10 AM-4 PM. Note that the distillery is closed on most Tuesdays and Japanese national holidays.
For Going Way, Way Off the Grid
Flores, Indonesia (#20)
Consider island hopping on your next trip to Bali. Flores, just three islands over from Bali, is Indonesia’s next big thing, with a 400-mile-long highway running the length of the island, offering easy access to its mountain ridges, paddy-fringed villages, and pristine beaches that few tourists explore. After being one of the first to explore these less-trodden reaches, treat yourself to a luxury escape at Viceroy Bali. In this secluded haven, the Lembah Spa has an extensive menu of holistic treatments and over 170 staff members covering just 40 villas and four suites anticipate your every need, helping you relax into deep renewal.
To Experience Authentic Mexican Culture
Guadalajara, Mexico (#21)
Mexico’s second-largest city has long been a fantastic alternative to the capital. Guadalajara is finally being recognized as a vanguard of the new Mexico as much as it’s a guardian of some of its most famous traditions (mariachi music, wide-brimmed sombreros, and rodeos). While the historic core offers fashionable restaurants, interesting architecture, and outstanding cultural institutes, any visit to the Jalisco region wouldn’t be complete without a stay at Casa Salles Boutique Hotel, a luxury destination retreat within the scenic grounds adjacent to the working La Guarreña Distillery in the magical town of Tequila, located an hour from Guadalajara. The distillery is the exclusive home to El Tequileño, the award-winning tequila founded in 1959 by the legendary tequila pioneer Don Jorge Salles Cuervo.
For Living La Dolce Far Niente
Bergamo and Brescia, Italy (#47)
With almost too many options for food, wine, and art in Italy, the country elects a new Italian Capital of Culture annually to shine a spotlight on the unique offerings of that area. Bergamo and Brescia (two cities in Northern Italy less than an hour from Milan) received the title this year. Selected for their rich history, unique sights, and culinary traditions (the world-renowned stracciatella flavor was created at Pasticceria La Marianna in Bergamo 1961), these cities offer endless exploration. One of the best ways to get ready for your trip to Italy? Start sipping like an Italian at home. Use Amaro Montenegro, created in 1885 in Northern Italy, to make The Montenegroni, an original twist on the Italian classic (two parts Amaro Montenegro, one part sweet vermouth, one part gin, and two drops of angostura bitters). And one of the easiest ways to transport yourself to Northern Italy? Pop a bottle of FIOL Prosecco or Rosé Prosecco. After a glass or two, you’ll decide it’s time to book your ticket.
Didn’t see what you were looking for on this year’s 52 Places to Go? Visit the client list on our website and select “Travel & Hotels” from the drop-down menu. From the Cannes to Nantucket and New York City to the Catskills, we have you covered with hotel recommendations worldwide.