|Make Tracks in Majestic Style|
Close your eyes and imagine a bygone era of unparalleled service and luxurious style that’s beyond anything you’ve ever experienced. That old-fashion dedication to lavish attention, glamour, and sensory delights is the reality of a ride aboard the storied Venice Simplon Orient-Express. Depart from Istanbul for a six-day tour that encompasses Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna, and Venice. Or perhaps you prefer to choose a journey that begins in romantic Paris and winds its way through Europe to end in Istanbul. Along the way you’ll dine on gourmet meals created by top French chefs, while breakfast and afternoon tea are delivered right to your cabin. Before or after dinner, treat yourself to the exquisite concoctions of the Orient-Express’ signature bar car, where dressing for the occasion is part of the fun. When it’s time to end your exciting day aboard the opulent train, you’ll discover that a fleet of discreet attendants has transformed your sumptuous cabin from a place to read and relax into spacious sleeping quarters. And if you’d like to experience all of this exclusively with your friends and family, the Orient-Express is available for private hire as well.
|Play Sultan During a Palatial Experience|
It may be difficult to step back into the real world after leaving the Mardan Palace in Antalya, whose coast is known as the Turkish Riviera. The property contains unique elements that seem like they were created solely for the pleasure of a sultan, while the service and luxury are definitely on par with royal expectations. Among the enthralling experiences at the Mardan Palace is the opportunity to explore the underwater world right from the resort property. The Mardan’s own Swim Reef is a 900-square-metre man-made personal lagoon, where you’ll snorkel with native marine life like rays and thousands of varieties of tropical fish. Your adventure also includes deep pockets of coral and even an enclosed shark tank—a heart-racing yet completely safe way to glimpse the splendour of the ocean. For those who prefer their pleasures on dry land, the breathtaking spa surpasses any that you may have visited before. Of course massages, facials, and body treatments are part of the offerings, but the Oriental steam bath, hamam, Thalasso therapy, hydro-therapy, and other comprehensive treatments go far beyond a typical spa. Other delightful leisure pursuits include golfing on the property’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and walking across a bridge connected to the colossal swimming pool oasis that was originally designed by Leonardo da Vinci in the 1500s and ultimately built on the Mardan property.
|Learn a New Artistic Language|
Observing the artistic traditions of a culture is a great way to understand and appreciate it, but learning about an art form through a hands-on experience is even better. At the innovative Les Arts Turcs in Istanbul, not only can visitors view and purchase Turkish art, but they can take lessons from some of the country’s most illustrious artists in areas such as calligraphy, ceramics, carpet and textile design, belly dancing, Turkish music, and kilim weaving. Imagine returning home after your holiday with the added knowledge of the ancient art of calligraphy or being able to design your own Turkish-inspired textiles. You can schedule personal or group sessions, receiving exclusive instruction from master craftsman and musicians—an exclusive experience that would be difficult to duplicate anywhere else in the world.
|Catch a Bird’s Eye View of Cappadocia|
Cappadocia and the surrounding central Anatolian region is one of the most unique places in the world—this world, at least. The rocky landscape, formed courtesy of ancient volcanic explosions, is like viewing the surface of the moon. This unusual landscape is made even more fascinating by all of the dwellings, churches, and other structures built right into the rocky terrain. And the best way to view all of this is by hot air balloon, a fantastic vantage from which to glimpse every little crevice. Kapadokya Balloons offers hot air balloon rides that sweep so low, you can actually pick fruit from Cappadocian trees.