As globetrotters seek travel that transcends sightseeing, we unveil ideas that will become a feast for all the senses.
The 10 most sensory travel experiences of 2023
In a world saturated with screens and virtual realities, the allure of truly immersive experiences has never been stronger. As globetrotters seek travel that transcends sightseeing, we unveil ideas that will become a feast for all the senses.
From spending a day in a ryokan, a Japanese-style inn to learning Japanese dance and flower arrangements, Japan's cultural offerings are highly appealing to the senses. A night at a ryokan in Hakone or Kyoto offers a clear glimpse into the traditional Japanese lifestyle. Comprising of tatami rooms, futon beds, Japanese-style baths, and local cuisine, ryokans provide indulgences for all your senses. One can also choose to learn themeditative Japanese dance in Tokyo, or the traditional flower arrangement called Ikebana, in Tokyo and Kyoto, which is a unique satisfying form of art and a way to add Japanese charm to your house back in India.
The islands of Seychelles are dotted with some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna, providing room for unique visual and acoustic experiences. The Vallée de Mai, a pristine palm forest popularly described as the "Garden of Eden", is home to the largest population of Coco-de-mer- The world’s biggest and heaviest nut. Here you can also witness rare creatures, such as Seychelles black parrots, sheath-tailed bats, palm frogs, Seychelles magpie-robin and scops owl. The giant tortoises of Seychelles, found in Aldabra atoll and the inner islands make for the most delightful sights in Seychelles.
Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean is a painting coming to life with mile-long stretches of white sand, and azure waters lined with palm leaves that filter warm sunlight and air rich with the notes of fragrant spices. At its heart lies The Residence Zanzibar, an exclusive villa retreat in Kizimkazi village. Experience the island’s heartbeat on a guided journey through villages and spice plantations, led by the resort’s herbalist. Feel the textures and savour the flavours of tropical spices and fruits. Venture to the uninhabited Pungwe and Kwale islands within the Menai Bay Conservation Area, where a chef serves fresh seafood barbecue lunch.
Oman is home to the finest frankincense globally and it’s also one of the most respected exporters of top-quality frankincense. Oman’s one and only accredited Frankincense sommelier takes guests of Shangri-La Muscat on a guided tour of the resort’s private garden, where one can see, touch, and smell the aromatic resin in its raw form. The team has also developed several recipes and beverages infused with Frankincense, such as the smoked chicken on Frankincense and Shangri-La Spritz infused with gin, lavender syrup, pineapple, pink grapefruit, butterfly pea and sparkling wine.
Kenya’s Amboseli National Park is one of the greatest wildlife experiences in the world. It is home to hundreds of bird species including pelicans, kingfishers , free-ranging elephants, as well as numerous raptor species. A stay at a premier resort like Tukai Lodge Amboseli allows one to book an offbeat escapade with local guides to interact with the local Maasai tribe and take an unfiltered look into their culture, daily occupations, and rituals. The guests at the resort can also enjoy breathtaking views of the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, with endless luxury and wellness amenities at their disposal.
Vietnam’s history, culture, cuisine, and native offerings have become a hit among different segments of Indian travellers. A stay at The Anam Mui Ne,amidst classic Vietnamese aesthetics, is a pure sensory indulgence. It is crafted with encaustic mosaic tiles, locally sourced stone from Thanh Hoa and Nghe An, and authentic thatched roofs from Binh Thuan, and decorated with traditional Cham vases and statues. The resort also has 250 oil paintings made by Vietnamese artists Vu Trong Anh and Bui Van Quang designated for specific rooms, suites, the lobby, restaurants, and hallways. You can also learn coconut leaf weaving and traditional Vietnamese cooking.
A 10-minute drive from Sri Lanka’s resort town, Bentota, the Lunuganga country estate by Teardrop Hotels packs in the legacy of legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa.The hotel is situated on the banks of the Dedduwa Lake and is surrounded by paddy fields,cinnamon estates, and coconut plantations creating a therapeutic atmosphere for all senses. Staying in its timeless villas, one can experience Bawa’s genius vision that unfolded over a period of 40 years. The hotel's expansive Gallery Studio with its art-laced ambience, is perfect for honeymooners.The Main House Studio of the hotel sits closest to Bawa’s own room and evokes vibes of the colonial era with its elegant interiors.
St. Moritz is an elite winter sports destination with its own idyllic charm. Its quaint mountain, Muottas Muragl, a funicular ride away, offers panoramic views of the landscape dominated by lakes and the Bernina Massif. The hotels and restaurants in St. Moritz benefit tremendously from these stunning views, attracting guests from all over the world to savour delicious cuisines on a generous sun terrace. Its luxury spas offer soothing massages, relaxing hot baths, and rejuvenating treatments to pamper your body and soul.
Qatar is surrounded by the Arabian Sea and is blessed with year-round sunny weather, which makes it an ideal location for water sports. The nation's sparkling beaches, waterparks, and marinas invite thrill seekers to try out new adventures, especially during the winter. Kite surfing is a popular water activity in the country that mixes wakeboarding, windsurfing, and surfing, an ideal combination of adventure and pleasure. Adventurers can also try wakeboarding, kayaking or waterskiing in the waters of Doha all guided by professional divers and safety equipment.
Thailand, an all-year-round destination, is home to the most memorable encounters. A unique way to explore Thailand is to visit the countryside and immerse in the local culture. The Thai province of Mae Hong Son in the northwest is one of the best places to witness and engage with the indigenous tribes of Thailand. Here you can treat your taste buds to the special delicacies exclusive to these hearty tribes and participate in their daily avocations. Likewise, locals of Phetchabun annually host the “Paddle in the Forest and Look for Freshwater Jellyfish” event where tourists can stimulate their senses of touch, and sight through activities like fish-feeding, shell-seeking, and butterfly sighting.