Destination Guide - James Bond

Following In The Footsteps Of 007

24. Sep 2021
by Punita Malhotra

With No Time to Die now on international cinema release - what does your current destination hit-list look like?

A sinfully extravagant hotel in a maddeningly enviable location. Martinis, shaken, not stirred. A hair-raising car chase on a gorgeously twisty coastal road. A heart-stopping climax in a sweeping, other-worldly landscape. The James Bond franchise has always given us irresistible travel goals. Prime your silver birch Aston Martin DB5 and off you go:  

Nittedal, Norway


Norway: Fjords and Fishing villages

The Scandinavian country is a land of exhilarating landscapes…with windswept coasts, wild mountains, deep river valleys, rippling glaciers, deep forests and icy fjords. Cities like urbane Oslo and charming Bergen tempt with pleasing architecture, superb dining and top-notch attractions. Far-flung locales like the Lofoten Islands are a treat for the eyes with their picture-postcard fishing villages. From stave churches to scenic train journeys and Viking longships to Europe’s first underwater restaurant, the drama never ceases in Norway. It’s a license to thrill with whale-watching episodes, polar-bear hunting expeditions, skiing adventures and jaw-dropping hikes. End with the spectacular sky-show of the Aurora Borealis, till you continue to see the streaks of green, blue, pink and purple, even with eyes wide shut.

Nostalgic inspiration: No Time To Die (2021), Daniel Craig
Secret mission: Throw caution to the winds at North Atlantic Road
007 moment: Dare to cross a frozen lake in Nittedal

Where to stay: Hotel Continental, Oslo

Grand Pyramid and Sphinx, Cairo


Cairo: Mother of Cities

The capital of the world’s greatest civilisation is synonymous with the colossal Pyramids of Giza that give the illusion of rising out of the golden sands of the desert. Beyond the modern cityscape, echoes of fairytales lurk on the streets crowded with donkey carts and fancy cars. Mosques, mausoleums and caravanserais of the Ottoman era, sheesha smokers in ancient coffee houses and exotic souks like Khan el-Khalili complete the Arabian dream. Imagine the times of the pharaohs and mummies as you flit in and out of the grand museums devoted to Ancient, Coptic and Islamic Egypt. Head out to the Saqqara necropolis and Dahshur pyramids. Complete the fantasy with a Felucca sunset cruise on the Blue Nile.

Nostalgic inspiration: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Roger Moore
Secret mission: Sneak around the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx 
007 moment: Have a mock fist-fight atop the Gayer-Anderson Museum

Where to stay: Read the BusinessClass.com guide to The Best Luxury Hotels in Cairo

Tokyo 


Tokyo: Mercurial Megapolis

Old-fashioned meets futuristic in the world’s largest city. One minute you’re lost in the incense-smoked shrines of backstreets, and the next moment you’re navigating the frenzy of Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo’s Times Square. Lap up the history at the Imperial Palace, stroll through zen-like manicured gardens or let yourself loose in the “Art Triangle”. Hog all you can at a cheerful Izakaya or dance the night away in an uber-chic karaoke bar. Pep up the evenings watching a sumo wrestling practice or a Kabuki play. Zip away like lightning on a bullet train for a side trip to Nikko, Hakone and Mount Fuji. Finally, wrap it up with a traditional Onsen for a brand new you.

Nostalgic inspiration: You Only Live Twice (1967), Sean Connery
Secret mission: Zip past the Yoyogi National Gymnasium
007 moment: Stage an entry at the New Otani Hotel

Where to stay: Park Hyatt, Tokyo

Macau by night


Hong Kong: Grit and Glamour

British and Cantonese cultures collide in a peninsular city dominated by a steel-and-glass skyline set against green mountain peaks. Sampans, ferries and super-ships dotting the Victoria Harbour remind of a seafaring legacy. Hong Kong’s rich cultural scene offers experiences as varied as Chinese opera in bamboo theatres, stage shows in world-class concert halls and busker performances at the Temple Street Night Market. Museum-maniacs can embrace modernity with avant-garde galleries or stick to traditional at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Ogle at views along the 130-year old Peak Tram route, be dwarfed by the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, admire Tang Dynasty architecture at Nan Lian Garden. If smiling statues of the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas and sub-tropical forests of Tai Po Kau leave you craving more, escape the city for an afternoon kayaking through volcanic sea arches.

Nostalgic inspiration: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), Roger Moore
Secret mission: Chase the stars from Victoria Harbour
007 moment: Be a high-roller at the Floating Macau Palace

Where to stay: Read the BusinessClass.com expert review of The Peninsula, Hong Kong

Bahamas life


Bahamas: Islands of Idyll

An archipelago of 2,000 islands, powdery-white sand shores and a kaleidoscope of aquamarine blues make the Bahamas one of the most sought-after beach destinations in the world. The non-stop energy of the capital, Nassau, is infectious, as is the captivating of its modern and World Heritage Sites. Lounge on pink beaches of Harbour Island, swim with wild pigs, go snorkelling above vibrant coral reefs and dive into blue-holes off the mangrove-studded Andros. Rejoice with the locals during the wild Junkanoo celebrations, sipping on “goombay smash” and sampling Bahamian stone crab claws. Switch gears from outdoor adventures to authentic Caribbean community life, watching locals tune handmade musical instruments, parade in Batik sarongs or savour farm-fresh meals. An oceanside wellness session to the lullaby of the waves? Yes, please!

Nostalgic inspiration: Casino Royale (2006), Daniel Craig
Secret mission: Leave a trail in the Versailles Gardens
007 moment: Emerge from the Atlantic Ocean - in Bond-style!

Where to stay: Read the BusinessClass.com expert review of Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas

The Grand Canal, Venice


Venice: Palazzos and Prosecco

The capital of Italy’s Veneto region is an ensemble of over 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. Enigma and enchantment envelop sunken palazzos, Gothic masterpieces, Renaissance treasures, solemn churches and secret gardens in the City of Canals. Rediscover romance as you hum along with a gondolier, shop for exquisite masks in the slim alleys and cross hundreds of bridges making surprising discoveries. See artisans sculpting traditional gondolas at the Venetian boatyard and stop at the Arsenale, where the most elaborate ships were built. Fall in love with Byzantine mosaic at the Basilica di San Marco, dress up for world-renowned opera at the Teatro La Fenice and take a private cooking class to whip up Venetian delicacies. Know how Cicchetti, Prosecco and Tiramisù transform every meal into an exclusive affair.

Nostalgic inspiration: Moonraker (1979), Roger Moore
Secret mission: Spot a telltale sign at St. Mark’s Square
007 moment: Black-tie dinner at the Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Where to stay: Read the BusinessClass.com guide to The Best Luxury Hotels in Venice

Udaipur


Udaipur: Glory and Grandeur

The former capital of the Mewar Kingdom of Rajasthan, set against craggy green hills and glassy lakes, is one of India’s most romantic cities. The banks of the iconic Lake Pichola are adorned with ornate turreted palaces, graceful antiquarian temples and serene bathing Ghats. Glide across the placid waters to reach the Taj Lake Palace Hotel and Jag Mandir Palace, located on two small islands. Wind through atmospheric streets of the old town to shop for colourful and crafty take-me-homes. Take a crash course in the history of Mewar’s Maharajas at City Palace, the largest royal complex in Rajasthan, stumble upon mirrored chambers, elaborate royal chambers and pillar-carved courtyards. Head out of the city to gawp at the Jain temples of Ranakpur and the Kumbhalgarh Fort, the second-longest fortified wall in the world. 

Nostalgic inspiration: Octopussy (1983), Roger Moore
Secret mission: Race a rickshaw through the bazaars of the old city
007 moment: A boat spa on Lake Pichola as a guest at Taj Lake Palace Hotel 

Where to stay: Taj Lake Palace Hotel

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City


Mexico City: Rainbows and Relics

Vivacious and laid-back, cosmopolitan and folksy, the capital of Mexico is a fascinating megacity and a mecca for gastronomes. Expect eye-candy overload with elegant hotels, massive cathedrals, grand boulevards, chic shopping streets and colonial structures, but grabbing the limelight are ruins of the pre-Hispanic cultures of central Mexico. Be seen at the gigantic Teotihuacán pyramids, the Toltec site at Tula, the Templo Mayor of Zócalo and the Diego Rivera murals of the Palacio Nacional. Soak in the exuberance of Cuban music in a cantina or take it up several notches with a national fiesta. If high octane sport is your poison, sign up for a Lucha Libre (wrestling), a bullfight or a football match. Art lovers can embark upon an Aztec crafts trail, and liquor fans can take a deep dive into the Museo del Tequila y Mezcal.
 
Nostalgic inspiration: Spectre (2015), Daniel Craig
Secret mission: Up the stakes at the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de Mexico
007 moment: Stalk at the Museo Nacional de Arte and Plaza de la Constitución

Where to stay: Los Alcobas

Shanghai, Pudong side


Shanghai: Towers and Tai Chi

China’s most prominent and wealthiest city brings to mind neon lights, high-rise towers and Art Deco buildings. Known for its entertainment industry, world-class dining, dumpling stalls, mega malls, designer stores and backstreet shops, Shanghai is a mecca for lovers of pace and gloss. The financial nerve-centre of the world’s new superpower, this vibrant city is making waves in everything from the contemporary art of West Bund to slick spaces of the Cool Docks. Balance the nouveau-riche exuberance with aimless wanderings in the colonial alleys of the old city, leisurely gardens of Yu Yuan, and a lazy Huangpu River cruise. Culture vultures can spend a few hours in the vast Shanghai Museum. Jazz up an evening with a visiting ballet troupe if you get the chance.

Nostalgic inspiration: Skyfall (2012), Daniel Craig
Secret mission: Follow the clues in Pudong
007 moment: Mix business with pleasure at Century Avenue

Where to stay: The Peninsula, Shanghai

Jamaica - where 007 was created


Jamaica: Rum and Rhythm

This Caribbean Island nation is a dream with soft-white beaches, rugged mountains, wild rivers, tumbling waterfalls and cactus-strewn Savannahs. Cruise the coastline in a pirate boat or disappear into a turquoise swimming hole. Announce your love for reggae at one of the many clubs and stage shows. Tour the colonial plantation houses of Montego Bay, sense the electric nightlife at Kingston, go hike in the misty, wild-flowered Blue Mountains or take a hunt down crocodiles in the Black River in the South Coast. Cuisine figures prominently on every agenda, bookmark grilled lobster, conch soup and jerk chicken accompanied by full-bodied rum or aromatic coffee.

Nostalgic inspiration: Dr. No (1962) – Sean Connery, Live and Let Die (1973) and No Time to Die (2021) – Daniel Craig
Secret mission: Risk a new adventure at Swamp Safari
007 moment: Appear incognito in the Fleming Villa at GoldenEye – where Ian Fleming conjured up Bond … James Bond ... 007 - Licence to Thrill ...

Where to stay: GoldenEye

The Peninsula Hong Kong


James Bond has stayed in some of the world's most iconic hotels. But which ones did he choose and just why was he there? Read the BusinnessClass.com guide to The Best Luxury Hotels Featured In James Bond Films

BusinessClass.com searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers for both flights and hotels. 

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