From breath taking wildlife and scenery to idyllic sandy beaches and lavish casinos, we hope that this month’s Luxury Editor travel inspiration will encourage you to treat yourself this spring. Read on for some wanderlust.
Best For: Artistic City Break
Revered as one of the world’s great art capitals, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without exploring the abundance of treasures scattered throughout its superb museums. Throughout history the Netherlands has produced some of the most celebrated artists on the globe and there is no better place to see the fruits of their labour than the Rijksmuseum, where collection highlights include Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” as well as a stunning early self-portrait by Rembrandt. A temporary exhibition focussing on the origins of European Baroque, which showcases masterpieces by the likes of Caravaggio, makes visiting in May even more worthwhile. For fans of slightly more contemporary art, the Van Gogh museum is not to be missed. Since being founded in the 1970s, the museum has developed an astonishing collection, which includes hundreds of personal letters in addition to some of the artist’s finest paintings and sketches, allowing visitors to develop a clearer understanding of the enigmatic painter’s life.
As well as its rich art heritage, Amsterdam has developed international acclaim for its iconic canals and charming stilted buildings. To enjoy this pulsating city in all its glory head to the rooftop bar at SkyLounge, where the award-winning snacks menu, including crispy Peking duck and grilled gamba skewers, proves the perfect complement to the breath-taking views. We recommend starting your evening in style here before heading to one of the city’s many esteemed restaurants. Our personal favourite is the Michelin-starred Restaurant Vermeer, where head chef Christopher Naylor takes pride in selecting the highest quality seasonal Dutch produce, resulting in beautifully presented, mouth-watering dishes.
Best For: Sporting Glamour
Located on the elegant French Riviera, the principality of Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and the famous. The city’s reputation for glitz and glamour is due in no small part to the intrinsic link between the Casino de Monte Carlo and Ian Fleming’s James Bond, perhaps the world’s most debonair literary creation. Located in a sophisticated Belle Époque building, you can follow in 007’s footsteps by taking a seat at one of the classic felt blackjack or craps tables, which attract high rollers from across the globe. And who knows, with over €297million already won over the past year, you may win a pretty tasty jackpot.
May is undoubtedly the most spectacular time of year to visit Monaco, as this is when the annual Grand Prix comes to town (24th May 2020). The highlight of the Formula One calendar, the race brings Monaco to a standstill as the crowds flock to see their sporting idols whizzing around the city’s compact streets. Considered the most technically challenging course on the circuit, this is where the legendary Ayrton Senna rose to prominence with victory in 1984, further enhancing its iconic status. For the best views of the race, head to the beautiful Port Hercule, where you’ll hear the home crowd roaring on local driver Charles Leclerc.
Best For: Spectacular Scenery
Located just south of Naples on the Sorrento Peninsula, the Amalfi Coast is one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Europe. For a real taste of the region head to Sorrento, which offers astonishing views of the imposing Mount Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples, as well as acting as the ideal base for trips to nearby Pompeii and Herculaneum. The town’s main square (Piazza Tasso) is a veritable treasure trove, highlighted perfectly by the alluring Chiesa del Carmine, which features a striking fresco by Baroque painter Onofrio Avellino. Fashion enthusiasts are spoilt for choice by the trendy boutiques on Corso Italia, the town’s main shopping street, but the highlight of any trip here is a hike down to the Marina Grande, which is home to a traditional fishing community and the pristine pastel-coloured housed so typical of the region. On the other side of the peninsula lies the chocolate-box town of Positano. Dramatically perched on a cliff-edge, the town was a popular holiday destination in Roman times, when many leading statesman would purchase villas along the coast, and continues to be a favourite amongst celebrities to this day. Italy’s supercars are famous around the world and you can make your trip even more special by exploring the region in luxury Ferraris or Lamborghinis, with a host of companies offering exclusive, personalised itineraries.
Best For: Adult Escapes
With the school holidays still a couple of months away, May is the perfect time to head to Mykonos, one of the most beautiful Greek islands, to get your first sunshine fix of the year whilst avoiding the crowds. Celebrated for its gorgeous beaches, Mykonos’ Aegean coastline offers something for everyone. Active couples should look no further than Platis Gialos beach, which offers an incredible array of water sports activities, including jet skiing and windsurfing. If you are after something a bit more laid back, we recommend Fokos beach, which offers seclusion and great swimming conditions, as well as the comfort of an excellent traditional taverna. History buffs often use Mykonos as a base from which to explore nearby Delos. Traditionally it doubled as an important religious hub and a bustling trading port and is now considered the most significant archaeological site in the Cyclades. After a day of exploration you can wind down by taking a romantic stroll in Little Venice, which boasts a smattering of quaint stilted buildings on the water’s edge, before sitting down to dine at Matsuhisa Mykonos, located within the five star Belvedere Hotel. Known for his unique fusion of Japanese and Latin American cuisine, Nobu Matsuhisa’s menu features his signature dishes, including black cod in miso, as well as sumptuous Greek seafood, freshly caught from the glistening Aegean below.
Best For: Nature Lovers
Despite not necessarily being the most publicised holiday destination in the world, we firmly believe that Namibia is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered this spring. The country derives its name from the mesmerising Namib Desert, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding natural beauty. As the only coastal desert in the world, the scenery is simply spellbinding, with smooth sand dunes seamlessly merging into the Atlantic Ocean. The desert is also recognised for its astonishing abundance of wildlife – the best way to explore it is by a luxury 4×4 tour, which gives you the opportunity to see lions, cheetahs and elephants, amongst many other species, which have incredibly adapted to living in such arid conditions. The Namib-Naukluft National Park should also be on every traveller’s itinerary, not least for the impressive Sesriem Canyon and the distinctive red dunes at Sossusvlei, which look almost Martian in appearance. However, the country’s most picturesque sight is undoubtedly watching the sunset illuminate the western face of its highest peak, Brandenberg Mountain.