Looking for somewhere new to check out or check in? From Portugal to Japan, Sydney to Dubai, these are the hottest places to travel to this month.
WorldPride 2023 lands in Sydney
It’s the first time WorldPride has been held in the Southern Hemisphere and Sydney is buzzing with anticipation. Running from 17 February until 5 March, the city will showcase a dazzling array of arts, theatre and sporting events as well as ultra-glam concerts and parties.
Kicking off the celebrations is the Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert on 24 February at The Domain, featuring pop stars Kylie Minogue, Charli XCX and Jessica Mauboy. Key events include the Mardi Gras Parade down Oxford Street, the Pride March across the Harbour Bridge, Mardi Gras Fair Day at Victoria Park, and a suite of talks and discussions tackling the issues affecting the community at the largest LGBTQIA+ human rights conference ever held in the Asia Pacific region.
The Dorchester in London reopens its doors
Since 1931, The Dorchester has been one of London’s most glamorous stays, playing host to a myriad of noteworthy guests including Prince Philip, Elizabeth Taylor and Mariah Carey. After shutting its doors for a year-long renovation, the hotel reopens the doors to its glitzy ground floor this month, giving guests a first taste of the highly anticipated revamp, including the transformation of its The Promenade dining spot and new Vesper Bar and Artists’ Bar. The redesigned rooms and suites will be unveiled in March.
Lobster cannelloni and quail egg tartlets are just some of the delicacies on offer during the evening at The Promenade, while the Artists’ Bar serves champagne, seafood and entertainment, best paired with one of the venue’s signature art-inspired cocktails – try the gold-flecked City of Gold. The elegant 1930s-themed Vesper Bar hosts an award-winning team of cocktail alchemists serving up both classic and experimental tipples.
The Dorchester’s ground floor is also home to British restaurant The Grill, three-Michelin-starred French restaurant Alain Ducasse and the opulent China Tang, which plates up elevated Cantonese fare.
Super Nintendo World opens in the US
Get ready, a new family holiday dream destination has arrived: the first Super Nintendo World outside of Japan lands in California at Universal Studios Hollywood. Immerse yourself in the world of Mario and friends through interactive gameplay, augmented reality and thrilling rides. The Mario Kart-inspired ride Bowser’s Challenge is set to be a hit, as players whizz through the iconic video game’s tracks in a multi-sensory race against Mario’s arch nemesis, Bowser. Toadstool Cafe will provide you with the perfect energy boost, with character-inspired dishes such as Toadstool Cheesy Garlic Knots and Fire Flower Spaghetti and Meatballs. A photo opportunity with Mario and his friends is a must, and you’ll want to finish the day at the Character Shop, where you’ll be able to purchase exclusive Super Nintendo World merchandise. Doors to Super Nintendo World are set to open 17 February.
Atlantis The Royal makes its glittering debut in Dubai
Spanning 406,000 square metres and standing 43 storeys high, the new Atlantis in Dubai has taken the crown as the city’s most luxurious resort – a remarkable feat in a destination renowned for its opulence. Positioned on Palm Island, the hotel boasts waterfront views of both the Arabian Gulf and lagoon. Guests will be spoiled for choice with 795 rooms, suites and signature penthouses on offer – 44 of the rooms come with their own private infinity pools. The hotel officially opens its doors to guests on 10 February, although some of the world’s glitziest guests, including Kendall Jenner, Rebel Wilson and Liam Payne, were given a sneak preview in January, which included a private performance by Beyoncé.
A world-class stay must also offer world-class eats and Atlantis The Royal is home to over 17 restaurants helmed by some of the most talented chefs in the world, including Nobu Matsuhisa, Heston Blumenthal and couture cake queen, Mich Turner. At sunset, sit sky-high at the hotel's infinity pool, Cloud 22, while sipping on cocktails in your own private cabana on the 22nd floor.
Sapporo’s snow festival is back after a three-year hiatus
One of Japan's most popular winter festivals is set to return for the first time in three years this February. The 73rd Sapporo Snow Festival will be held over eight days from 4-11 February at two central sites: Odori Park will be home to a snow slide and magnificent giant snow sculptures while nearby Susukino will hold the Ice Sculpture Contest.
Porto welcomes a new boutique stay
On the outside, The Rebello, on the riverbank in Porto, Portugal, is all weathered bricks and industrial vibes, thanks to its World Heritage-listed warehouse past. But on the inside, you’ll find sleek interiors where raw materials and natural textures combine to create a boutique stay that oozes understated luxury. The property’s 107 rooms will be a mix of hotel and residential apartments and the highlight will be its relaxed rooftop bar, where guests will enjoy classic cocktails while overlooking the city. Along with two onsite restaurants, the Rebello will offer a destination spa designed to take Zen to a whole new level.
Hospitality giant Merivale makes its first foray into Victoria
Restaurant supergroup Merivale is expanding across the NSW border with the debut of its first venue – Totti’s – in Victoria this month. The sibling restaurant to the popular Sydney institution has taken over the ground floor of the Lorne Hotel. Roughly two hours’ drive from Melbourne, the casual Italian eatery will serve up classic dishes from Totti’s, including its signature woodfired bread, antipasti and house-made pasta, all with panoramic views of Louttit Bay in the background.
Also in Victoria, the Royce Hotel in Melbourne has reopened its doors after a two-year renovation. Originally built in 1928, the heritage-listed Art Deco building was the original home of Rolls-Royce in Melbourne and has now been turned into a chic getaway on the border of South Yarra and the CBD. The boutique hotel comprises 94 rooms, including 18 unique suites and six two-storey loft-suites that used to house the Rolls-Royce mechanic workshop. Enjoy breakfast alfresco at the airy Conservatory terrace or visit the Showroom Bar, which will serve classic British fare all day long.
Image credit: Anna Kucera (WorldPride), Super Nintendo World Hollywood