A World Of Wonder
The Ultimate International Bucket List
The world is full of amazing and unforgettable experiences- glistening beaches, crystal-clear waters, remote hideaways, mystical mountains and buzzing cities. There is no better way to appreciate it all than with this remarkable collection of international hotels and resorts. Outstanding luxury, heart-warming hospitality and unmissable experiences are sure to help you create spectacular vacations and memories for a lifetime.
Where To Go: Thimphu, Bhutan
A kingdom lost in time, shrouded in mystery and cocooned in lush green mountains; Bhutan is no ordinary place. Thimphu is the heart of Bhutan, a mini metropolis along the Wang Chu river, adapting to modern sensibilities with glimpses of centuries-old charm. Crimson-robed monks walk streets devoid of traffic signals; breach the city limits, and in minutes you are engulfed by deep ravines, layered with thick blue pine forests.
Where To Stay: Taj Tashi
Taj Tashi, a landmark in the city overlooking imposing mountains and the quaint township, blends local architecture with modern design. Hand-drawn Buddhist murals dot the property with 66 spacious rooms and suites, two restaurants (one of which serves traditional Bhutanese cuisine), a tea lounge (where you can try Suja, Bhutan's distinctive 'salted butter tea'), an indoor pool and a bar. Unwind with a special Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath at the Jiva Spa or soak in the culture by exploring the vibrant local markets and prayer wheel lined monasteries, warmed with the glow of 108 butter lamps. Don’t forgo the chance to get personalized postage stamps, to commemorate your special holiday.
Take a 1.5-hour drive to Paro, pause for a traditional Bhutanese breakfast of Khur-le (buckwheat pancakes) before driving to the trailhead of Taktsang Monastery. Popularly known as Tiger’s Nest, the monastery is a 2-hour hike up a forested mountainside, and has a small collection of 17th century temples, precariously perched on a cliff 3000 feet off the ground.
Where To Go: Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Dubai is the go-to city for a globetrotting, glamorous crowd – radiating futuristic vision while still being embedded with tradition. Existing in stark contrast to its surrounding desert land, you can meander through souks, race up sky scrapers, get lost in gigantic shopping malls, fine-dine in the world’s best restaurants and relax on beaches with bustling promenades. It’s not a cliché to say there’s something for everyone here – the city sees a wave of expats and nearly 10 million visitors a year.
Where To Stay: Taj Dubai
A heady mix of extravagance and style, the Taj Dubai is the perfect fit for those who love the high life. The contemporary yet lavish rooms have glistening views of the Business Bay skyline, the Burj Khalifa and downtown Dubai. Guests can choose from regular rooms, club rooms and luxury suites, retreat to the poolside or fitness-centre, while a concierge caters to their every need. Relish Asian street food at the swanky Miss Tess or Indian cuisine at the award-winning Bombay Brasserie. Afternoon tea is best served at the Byzantium Lounge, a gilded space fit for aristocracy and sundowners are best had with panoramic views of Downtown Dubai at Treehouse, the chic outdoor lounge.
Where To Stay: Taj Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Poised to be the neighbourhood’s luxe, business hotel, this contemporary landmark is perfect for business and leisure travellers alike. Families can opt for one-bedroom suites, and keep the children entertained with the hotel’s many creatively stimulating activities like cooking lessons, arts and crafts. Dining is at the epicentre here with Paros- a Mediterranean inspired rooftop pool bar and restaurant, as well as Shamiana- the beloved all-day dining restaurant brought in from the Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai to the Middle East.
Go sky diving at Skydive Dubai, a perfect opportunity to tick off jumping out of a plane from your bucket list. The drop zone is over the Palm Dubai, affording adrenaline junkies an aerial photo opportunity of a lifetime!
Where To Go: Langkawi, Malaysia
Off the west coast of Malaysia, Langkawi is a stunning archipelago made up of more than a 100 islands and islets. Surrounded by turquoise waters teeming with sea life, the many islands offer varied terrain ranging from idyllic paddy fields and blonde beaches to jungle-clad hills and swaying palm trees. Royal Experiences:
Where To Stay: Vivanta Rebak Island
This resort is located on its very own private island, tucked away in 390 acres of forest amidst stunning rock formations. Their luxury 2-bedroom suite is perfect for families looking for a stylish retreat and comes with a spacious living room, lush garden views and open floor plans. The fully equipped spa offers Malay, Balinese and aroma-based therapies that are perfect for a relaxing experience after a fun-filled day. Be spoiled for choice with exciting activities including treks, water sports, diving and snorkelling.
The secluded setting of the resort is ideal for special occasions and the hotel’s Moon Deck is a breath-taking venue for a carefully curated private dinner. Serenade your loved one with music, as you choose from a bespoke wine list and extensive culinary options – an ideal setting for momentous occasions.
Where To Go: London, United Kingdom
Europe’s (and perhaps the world’s) quintessential favourite, London, needs no introduction. Brimming with history, architecture, shopping and fine dining, London lets you time travel along the Thames pausing at centuries-old gothic grandeur as well as the hippest bar scenes the globe has to offer. Arts and culture never take a back seat as museums and galleries boast collections like nowhere else, constantly reinventing themselves to host only the very best. The dining scene is exemplary, from world-renowned Michelin star gourmet delights to hole-in-the wall local favourites with serpentine waiting queues. The public parks are idyllic, with water bodies and verdant flora that comes alive in different seasons, giving the city its romantic charm.
Where To Stay: St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London
Across a picturesque courtyard from 51 Buckingham Gate is St. James’ Court, a classic English hotel with British charm. While the hotel’s many spacious rooms and suites come fully equipped with modern amenities, its greatest draw is perhaps the gorgeous sit-out around a cherub-adorned fountain, perfect for a glass of summer wine, and a chance to be a part of London’s most creative afternoon teas – including an Alice Tea Party in Wonderland. The newly relaunched Jiva – Temple Spa is decadent in its offerings and promises to spoil you to the core.
Where To Stay: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences
Once home to the Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate oozes luxury and exclusivity from the moment you set foot inside its élite interiors. The plush suites and residences designed to accommodate between one and six bedrooms, give guests the flexibility to stay as small and large groups, in spacious living areas.
With an on-site Michelin-starred restaurant, Quilon, and the revered ‘Golden Keys’ concierge service, it ensures that even the most discerning guests’ needs are carefully fulfilled.
Head to Borough Market in London’s Southwark, a complete gourmet spectrum for fresh produce and innovative culinary delights. With over a hundred stalls oozing with delicious cheeses, organic honey and beautiful boulangeries, this epicurean haven is a food lover’s delight!
Where To Go: Bentota, Sri Lanka
An ideal sun-and-surf playground away from the crowds, Bentota’s golden stretch of sandy beach is perfect for a quick getaway from the humdrum of city life. An hour’s drive from Colombo, this sleepy costal town is known for its laid-back vibe, Sri Lankan warmth and stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
Where To Stay: Taj Bentota Resort & Spa
Feel the fresh ocean breeze through your hair, as you soak your feet in temperate tropical waters and let yourself relax at the rejuvenating Jiva Spa. The multiple on-site restaurants serve everything from oriental cuisine to European favourites, while private dining spots include various settings throughout the property. The spacious, sunlit rooms at the resort have terraces and balconies for you to enjoy panoramic views of the stunning ocean.
Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project and watch the release of baby turtles back into the sea; you also get a chance to spot different species like the Green, Hawksbill, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback. Alternatively, an hour’s drive south will take you to the charming town of Galle lined with shops and restaurants and a chance to go whale watching in Mirissa (1 hour drive from Galle).
Where To Go: Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu is frenzied and serene all at once – crowded alleyways and traffic-laden streets hide ancient temples and serve as a gateway to the surrounding Himalayan region. The old town is home to chaotic markets and street-side cuisine but also hosts one of the world’s most popular Buddhist pilgrimage sites – the Boudhanath stupa dating back to the 14th century.
Where To Stay: Vivanta Kathmandu
This business hotel in the heart of Kathmandu’s Patan district, is a respite for business and leisure travellers looking for trusted comfort and modern amenities in one of the world’s most remote cities. The rooftop pool and Koko Bar is perfect to enjoy delightful sundowners and hors d’oeuvres, as you look out on to the magnificent Himalayas on the distant horizon. A state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa give you the chance to relax before you enjoy a trendy Saturday brunch at the pan-Asian restaurant, Akari, or try local Newari dishes at Mynt.
Take a meditation course at Kopan Monastery or wander the narrow streets and open markets of Thamel. Alterantively, combine your trip to Kathmandu with Meghauli Serai – A Taj Safari in Chitwan National Park. Chitwan National Park is home to the endangered one-horned rhino, tigers and a host of seasonal and migratory birds and is truly a rare adventure well worth the deviation from your itinerary.
Where To Go: New York City, United States Of America
The awe-inspiring nerve center of the USA (and perhaps the world) is always bustling with energy like no other city on the planet. A trendsetter for arts, dining, nightlife, fashion, shopping and culture, it wears its many faces without skipping a beat. Skyscrapers line its streets, its museums have dizzying collections, and spots like Brooklyn Bridge and Old Pier One inspire stunning views of the Hudson and East rivers. The elevated, linear Highline Park is truly unique, as is a visit to any one of its five boroughs- each oozing with its own unique character.
Where To Stay: The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
A landmark since the 1920s, the Pierre is one of New York City’s most luxurious 5-star hotels. Located in the upscale Upper East Side neighbourhood on Manhattan’s posh Fifth Avenue, facing the gorgeous Central Park, the area is home to excellent restaurants, high-end shopping and is only a 20-minute drive from LaGuardia Airport. The hotel’s 189 rooms and suites are historic and indulgent yet contemporary, while seasonal outdoor dining overlooking Central Park is the perfect setting for an unforgettable meal.
Let the in-house Les Clefs D’Or Concierge offer you an insider’s experience on Manhattan by planning private tours and exclusive experiences. Choose from reservations gourmet restaurants, tickets for the finest Broadway performances and special tours like no other.
Where To Go: Maldives
If you are looking to ease the pace and escape to a secluded haven, then look no further than this island country surrounded by cyan-blue waters, made up of 1200 atolls. It is no surprise that the best white sand beaches on Earth are found here, along with an underwater world filled with underwater shipwrecks, brightly coloured coral, manta rays, sharks and vibrantly coloured schools of fish.
Where To Stay: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives
A short, 15-minute speed boat ride from Male Airport takes you to this resort that feels a million miles away from civilization. Sea-view villas and suites set across acres of beachside gardens over a postcard-worthy lagoon, boast panoramic ocean views, prolific luxury, private plunge pools and open baths. The icing on the cake are the overwater villas, built on stilts, offering private sun decks with loungers, easy chairs and direct access to the ocean. Immerse yourself in tranquillity at the Jiva Spa by indulging in a Soundarya treatment that involves a 5-hour long therapeutic experience with a nourishing scrub, wrap, aromatherapy massage, facial and a manicure-pedicure, guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.
Where To Stay: Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Maldives
Another perfect retreat for your tropical holiday, this resort is a 50-minute speed boat ride from Male airport. With exotic ocean views, dramatic sunsets and its own reef and shipwreck to explore, it is a dream, for beach lovers and divers alike. If you want to give back to nature, the resort has a coral regeneration program, where divers can help plant coral to help revive this great ecosystem. The resort’s Nirvana suites are perfect for families – built as duplex villas spread over two floors with two bedrooms, they have outdoor rain showers, a wooden deck, private plunge pools and an enormous living area overlooking the Indian Ocean. Let the kids enjoy the many activities created especially for them, as you take a stroll onto the beach or head to the Jiva spa, which hosts an array of rich, relaxing Indian therapies for every need.
The remote nature of both resorts makes them ideal for private dining experiences like nowhere else in the world. The hotel associates will be happy to set up a private dinner with champagne and fresh catch in any of the islands’ several alcoves. Both resorts also have their own PADI Certified Ocean Dive center for you to avail of the opportunity to get your own diving license.
Where To Go: Cape Town, South Africa
A melting pot of people, cultures, cuisines and landscapes, Cape Town is framed by the endless ocean and gorgeous Table Mountain National Park. The locals adopt an active lifestyle, as the abundant outdoor space and miles of coastline lend themselves to great opportunities for hiking, surfing, paragliding and abseiling. An hour’s drive outside the city puts you in quaint fishing villages, winelands and gives you access to activities like shark cave diving and whale watching.
Where To Stay: Taj Cape Town
Originally home to the South African Reserve Bank, this gorgeous building combines heritage with luxury, right in the heart of the old city. The hotel is walking distance to some of South Africa’s most famous landmarks and is surrounded by an eclectic array of shops, galleries and restaurants. The best feature of the well-appointed rooms is that every single one of them has spectacular city views, or expansive vistas overlooking the iconic Table Mountain. The Taj Club Rooms and Suites offer butler service, evening canapés and a private breakfast. Enjoy specialty fine dining at the Indian restaurant Bombay Brasserie or prohibition-era cocktails and delicious tapas-styled dishes at the Twankey Bar. Relax at the indoor heated pool or at the Jiva Grande Spa – the first of its kind in Africa – which offers authentic Indian wellness treatments.
Opt for a candle-lit private dining experience, with a carefully curated menu and discerning wine selection. Your table can be set up on one of the hotel’s balconies, which affords spectacular views of the Table Mountain at sunset. An hour’s drive from the city will give you a chance to visit the southernmost tip of Africa- The Cape of Good Hope.
So whether you are vacationing for family time, a special occasion, revisiting a favourite destination or ticking off that bucket list, IHCL’s collection of international hotels has you covered. With a list of places so inspiring, that every memory will be worth a special mention, Taj Holidays is the perfect partner for your international getaway.
For the jet-set itinerary of your dreams and your chance to embark on amazing experiences across the globe look no further. With the best in class hospitality, inimitable dining, unique recreational experiences, picturesque locations & exciting international holiday packages- cherish moments for a lifetime with Taj Holidays. Every holiday is crafted with impeccable details just for you and your loved ones.