30 Dec
Top 10 Tourist Destinations of 2011

A study by MasterCard lists the top tourist cities across the world in the year 2011. Here you go:

10. Rome, Italy

The city of endless art, churches and monumental museums has something to offer everyone. Check into The Hassler Roma, located at the top of the Spanish Steps, right in the heart of the city, and shop till you drop at Via Condotti. Rome’s a treat for the eyes as well with historic landmarks, like the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the gardens of Villa Borghese and of course, the Trevi Fountain.

9. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The flashy desert city of Dubai has lots to engage the traveler with. Check in to the world’s fist Armani hotel at the Burj Khalifa, or this year’s ‘Leading Hotel’ winner, the Burj Al Arab. At night, head to Buddha Bar, at the Dubai Grosvenor.

8. Frankfurt, Germany
One of Germany’s most stylish cities, Frankfurt’s beauty lies in the seamless balance between old and new. The skyline moves effortlessly from the neo-gothic to the modern and is dotted with great hotels like the Schloss Reinhartshausen and the recently opened Villa Kennedy, an early 1900s mansion with modern accents like metal chandeliers. Shop at Zeil, Frankfurt’s famed shopping street, which has outlets of all haute designer labels and luxury stores.

7. Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey’s capital city has enough ancient monuments, bijou boutiques, theatres and art Galleries – like the modernist Istanbul Modern Gallery. Istanbul offers amenities befitting a king, from private cruises across the Bosphorus Sea to self-indulgent luxury spas in a genuine Ottoman mansion. We recommend staying at the Ajia – a modern, minimalist boutique hotel by the sea. The hotel, with 16 rooms, including three suites that come with Philippe Starck baths next to the beds, is reachable after a 35 minute boat ride.

6. Madrid, Spain
Madrid is a party city. But the city has enough for the culture vultures too. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (see pic) with its Picassos and the Museo del Prado which has a fabulous collection of Velázquezs, Goyas, Rubens, Rafaels and Botticell are worth a visit.

5. Hong Kong
The city is home to the Hong Kong Ritz Carlton, tallest hotel in the world. So it’s worth it to head to the hotel’s Ozone bar for drinks and the view, or even the a stylish Italian restaurant Tosca, whose highlight is the Chocolate Library – a cacao-themed lounge, which apparently serves up some real divine chocolate high tea. And with the Spectrum Wine Auctions also coming up, wine connoisseurs have all the more reason to fly. Destination Hong Kong.

4. Singapore
The island city, with its annual shopping festival and world class hotels is already a hot travel destination. The awe-inspiring Marina Bay Sands, with its indoor canals, vast casino and roof-top infinity pool is one of the newest (hotel) landmarks on Singapore’s horizon. Also look out for quirky, one-off experiences like the luxury one-room Merlion Suite.

3. Bangkok, Thailand
The Thai city, also on MasterCard’s list of top tourist cities, is a top party place. Bangkok is not short of stylish restaurants and bars, like the SkyBar at the Sirocco Lebua Hotel. This stunning rooftop bar, on the 63rd floor of one of Bangkok’s best hotels, boasts 360 degree views of the city.

2. Paris, France
The City of Love has granted some of its top hotels the prestigious right to call themselves palaces. Among them are the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome and the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat which are worth checking into, or at least checking out.

1. London, United Kingdom
At the top of MasterCard’s best tourist cities, London, home to the British Queen, has enough to keep the well-travelled visitor busy. Check into London’s newest design hotel, W hotel, in Leicester Square. Watch War Horse, which just won a prestigious Tony Award, at the National Theatre or shop at Selfridges’ summer sale. 

                                                                                             Sincerely …………. 


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