Where are you headed in the new year? What are the cool, most-wanted destinations to visit on a luxury vacation in 2023? Based on the numerous lists of where to go in 2023, we’ve curated an edit of the top 10 best (and hottest) luxury travel destinations in 2023.
what are the most popular destinations for luxury travel in 2023?
With this list, our aim is to share some of the more off-the-radar, lesser-known luxury travel destinations that are surfacing on multiple lists of where to go in 2023. Some of these are new to us, too! And some are familiar favorites that seem to shine brighter in the light of the new year. We totally want to hit the road and check them all out.
The 10 Most Popular Luxury Travel Destinations to visit in 2023
1. Marrakech, Morocco
Even before its historic World Cup performance in Qatar, Morocco was already emerging as a travel hotspot for 2023. The country’s rich history, cultural diversity, vibrant colors and cuisine are just a few of the reasons why.
Explore the historic Medina, Marrakech’s fortified old city. Marvel at ancient, elaborately decorated sights like the Saadian Tombs, the Badi Palace and Koutoubia Mosque before testing your haggling skills at the Jemaa El Fna open air market. And of course, you can’t forget the quintessential camel rides in the desert or a visit to a hammam.
If you don’t want to wait for the new Nobu Marrakech to open later this year, retreat from the hubbub to the lovely gardens – complete with lemon trees – at La Mamounia. This is where Charlie Chaplin and Churchill chose to hole up, and where Hitchcock filmed The Man Who Knew Too Much.
2. Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
With its tropical beaches, spectacular wildlife, ancient Mayan ruins, small villages and adventure activities, the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico is poised to be one of the most enticing areas to visit in 2023. Couple that with a boom of design-forward hotels opening their doors, and who can resist?
Late last year, tucked within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Casa Chablé opened with 10 rooms and bungalows. Guests take a 40-minute boat ride through lush mangrove forests to arrive at the resort’s 12 acres of tropical jungle fronted by white-sand beaches.
Between the two bustling towns of Tulum and Playa del Carmen, the ultra-luxurious boutique property Hotel Esencia has opened as well. It’s now known as one of the most refined offerings in Riviera Maya.
Finally, in May 2023, Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, will reopen on the Riviera Maya with 10 new waterfront suites and a culinary program overseen by chef Daniel Camacho. The property will also showcase Mayan culture and design with work by local artisans on display throughout the resort.
3. Oslo, Norway
After years of living in the shadows of neighboring Nordic cities, Stockholm and Copenhagen, Norway’s capital, Oslo, is ready for its time in the sun. In just over the past year the city has opened several shiny new museums like the Munch Museum and National Museum, a sprawling library and a number of upscale hotels and restaurants. All just time for the return of international tourists.
There are some great hotels that have opened up recently including the Sommero Hotel in Frogner that’s within easy reach of the city’s main attractions. The art deco inspired spot is home to Oslo’s first year-round rooftop pool and sauna.
Amerikalinjen Is another great option and it opened in 2019 just before the pandemic. Not only one of the most convenient places to stay, as it’s located across the street from Oslo Central Station in Jernbanetorget Square, it’s a stone’s throw away from the Oslo Opera House, the Royal Palace, the Munch Museum and the various saunas that dot the waterfront.
4. Kyoto, Japan
Having been closed to tourism for over two years, Japan has returned to restriction-free travel. While the obvious destination may be Tokyo, consider the more serene Kyoto as a travel option. Once Japan’s capital and home to the emperor from 794 to 1868, Kyoto has thrived as a hub for Japanese culture, art and education. Visit one of the over 2,000 historic temples and shrines, lush gardens and teahouses. Late March’s cherry blossom season is the most picturesque time to visit.
New hotels abound, including hospitality group Banyan Tree’s 138 room Dhawa Yura Kyoto, located in the heart of the city. Another new option is Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto, with 25 rooms set amid lush greenery in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also new – yet firmly rooted in the city’s history – is the newly opened Maana Kiyomizu, where visitors can spend the night in restored machiya, traditional wooden townhouses.
5. Orlando, Florida
While most Orlando visitors head to any one of the number of theme parks located in the vicinity, the city has made strides in numerous other tourism areas too. The 50,000-square-foot Lake Nona Sculpture Garden is populated with installations from the Lewis Collection, one of the world’s largest private collections. And for those looking to continue their wellness journey, Lake Nona is also home to the nation’s largest tennis facility and a 130,000-square-foot wellness center, the Lake Nona Performance Club. It houses Deepak Chopra’s own Chopra Mind Body Zone and Spa, offering everything from ayurvedic massage to aerial yoga.
If you do plan on going to Disney World, opt for the newly opened ette featring boho chic elegance that will have you leaving all the hustle, bustle and lines from the day behind. Or The Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes has recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation including a Greg Norman-designed golf course and 11 dining options.
6. Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand also has finally dropped their Covid travel restrictions. And, in addition the country is becoming more accessible than ever, thanks to the nonstop flights between New York and Auckland that Air New Zealand launched in September 2022. Australian carrier Qantas has also announced its own direct flight to New York City, coming in June 2023.
New Zealand’s most populous city boasts around 50 volcanoes, dozens of islands and countless beaches. It’s also home to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Family-friendly attractions range from the city’s Sky Tower to animal-centric spots like the Auckland Zoo and the Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. And just a few hours outside of the city, travelers will find iconic Kiwi attractions, such as the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and the Hobbiton Movie Set.
Stay at the 99-room Hotel Britomart, lined in timber and exuding Zen calm at the heart of Auckland’s Britomart District.
7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lined with white-sand beaches, lush rainforests and surrounded by green mountains, Rio de Janeiro boasts dramatic views from nearly every angle – including the iconic 125-foot-tall Christ the Redeemer statue. But there’s much more to Rio than scenic vistas. You’ll find culture and plenty of character including the soothing sounds of samba pulsating through the city streets in Lapa. And if you visit in February you can join the Cariocas for the first public Carnival (Feb. 17-25) since COVID punctuated the 2020 festivities.
If you can, book a room at the iconic Art Deco beachfront staple, Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel. This year it celebrates its centennial with a host of music, gastro, and art-angled events.
8. Madrid, Spain
While Barcelona often steals the spotlight, it’s in Madrid where you’ll find the Golden Triangle of Art. They have the world’s oldest restaurant and the flamenco club of your Spanish dreams. Madrid is a city with a rich history, gorgeous architecture, world-class shopping and a vibrant nightlife. Take in Picasso, Dali, Goya and more at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Palacio de Liria and Prado Museum, traditional bullfighting at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas and afterwards indulge in some traditional Spanish tapas.
Since Covid, there has been a flurry of tony hotel openings, bringing plenty of personality to what had been a more business-like scene. There’s the Mandarin Oriental Rit, Rosewood Villa Magna and Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel as well as The Edition to tuck into.
9. Vienna, Austria
Austria’s capital city may be old – like, Holy Roman Empire old – but this year promises new life for the historic and cultural destination. 2023 is the 150th anniversary of Vienna’s World’s Fair, and the celebrations include 12 months of cultural events. It’s also the 300th anniversary of the opening of the Belvedere, the palatial museum that’s mounting an art nouveau exhibit featuring 90 Gustav Klimt works in February.
After a two-year hiatus, the 2023 Viennese ball season promises lush nights of live orchestral music and black-tie occasions. Two of the year’s sparkliest, the Vienna Opera Ball and the Vienna Philharmonic Ball, are also marking their 65th and 80th anniversaries, respectively.
After all that, you’ll want to unwind at one of Vienna’s chic new hotels. Once Mozart’s home, recently opened The Rosewood Vienna, will debut its new Asaya Spa. Then later this year The Hoxton is set to open a 196-room hotel featuring an events auditorium (a first for the hotel brand) honoring Vienna’s legacy as a hub for live entertainment and culture.
With newly resumed American Airline flights from New York City’s JFK, a new $400-million terminal with automated immigration gates and preclearance for US bound passengers, Bermuda is the perfect easy getaway for East Coasters looking for some sun and sand no matter the season this year.
There are also some new resorts to choose from as well. Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa recently debuted a top-to-bottom renovation, adding villas and a Bermudian outpost of Sunken Harbor Club. The St. Regis Bermuda is another option with the nation’s first casino and sweeping views of Fort St. Catherine.
the hottest luxury travel destinations in 2023
That’s it! Our top 10 picks for places to see and cool luxury vacations to take in the new year. Are you in? Where are you heading in 2023?