Best of 2023: presenting the most indelible luxury travel destinations, hotels and restaurants of the year

From super yachts to private members’ clubs, we compile our selection of the best luxury hotels, restaurant and travel destinations of 2023 to look back on an eventful year

2023 was the year that saw new travel trends and an uptick in new and highly anticipated luxury hotel and restaurant openings. From super yachts to private members’ clubs, below is our selection of the best luxury hotels, restaurant and travel destinations of 2023.

Raffles London at The OWOThe OWO luxury travelOne of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings this year was Raffles London at The OWO, which finally opened its doors to the public in late September. As suggested by the name, one of London’s most historic landmarks — The Old War Office — was converted into this luxury hotel after undergoing an extraordinary transformation that lasted over five years.

This hotel features 125 rooms and suites, a collection of 11 restaurants and bars, and an immersive spa. The iconic building, which was home to many monarchs including Henry VIII and served as an office to Winston Churchill, was originally completed in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young. 

Through the renovations, the building’s key features were completely restored while also preserving its legacy. The hotel’s suites are already heavily sought after, with views overlooking the Horse Guards and St. James’s Park.

Rambutan, Borough MarketRambutanThis March saw the launch of Rambutan, the debut restaurant of Cynthia Shanmugalingam in the heart of London’s Borough Market. This restaurant is inspired by Sri Lankan cooking with a focus on the chef’s ancestral home in the north of the island. Authenticity is paramount here, as the restaurant and its dishes are the product of years of cooking and collecting family recipes from Cynthia’s family members as well as chefs who have shared their secrets.

At Rambutan, you see a fusion of both old and new recipes, using ingredients from Borough Market as well as Sri Lanka to make heritage dishes with an immigrant twist. This is one exciting restaurant opening that you’ll  want to check out over and over again.

1 Warwick Private Members’ Club1 Warwick LondonEarlier this year saw the opening of 1 Warwick Private Members’ Club in the heart of Soho. This new members’ house is a thoughtfully renovated 1910 Neo-Baroque House set over six floors and features a beautifully designed members-only, year-round rooftop & bar, members lounges, a studio and gym, private and shared workspaces, meeting and event spaces and a dynamic cultural program.

1 Warwick is also home to Yasmin, a beautiful members-only rooftop bar and restaurant — complete with a wraparound terrace — that overlooks the Soho skyline. But it’s the menu by executive chef Tom Cenci that is the real draw. With a selection of outstanding Middle Eastern dishes inspired by his time in Istanbul, diners can enjoy everything from mezze sharers to large plates. With sensational food, killer cocktails, and a welcoming atmosphere you won’t want to leave.

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show — the rise of the super yachtsSuper yachts luxury travelSuper yachts saw a big boost in 2023, and we couldn’t do a travel roundup without including them. One of the best places to see a showcase of the best boats and yachts was the Fort Lauderdale boat show. Here, we saw the debut of two UK-built yachts: the Princess Y95 and 27m Sunseeker Ocean 182, as both flew the flag of British luxury and craftsmanship on the high seas.

And while you’re enjoying the boat show — or are in the market for a superyacht of your own — you need to be aware of the art of navigating the superyacht party scene. For a handy guide explaining the world of superyachts and the dos and don’ts at a yacht show, look no further than our Autumn Edition, which you can find right here.

Niseko Village, JapanLuxury travel Niseko VillageWhen Tempus’s creative director Ross Forbes visited Niseko Village in Hokkaido, Japan, it left a lasting mark. So much so that we just had to include this beautiful luxury travel destination in our roundup. Known for its champagne-powder snow, it’s a haven for skiers and snowboarders alike.

The two places in Niseko Village that should definitely be on your radar are the Green Leaf and Higashiayama, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. These aren’t just hotels, says Ross, they’re integral to the Niseko experience, harmonising luxury with a genuine respect for the natural environment. This village is more than a winter playground — it’s a place where the land, culture, and luxury accommodations conspire to offer a profoundly enriching, exhilarating experience rarely found elsewhere in Japan.

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