City Guides

Must-See Destinations of 2019
By PRIOR

June 06, 2019

The New Grand Tour: revel in six new destinations filled with adventure, guest-edited by PRIOR, a modern travellers’ club which unlocks a traveler’s sense of curiosity and wonder. Established by travel aficionado David Prior (you can read his X-Files interview here), PRIOR deepens the way you travel with custom travel planning, designed tours and essential travel knowledge by those in the know. As an X-Files exclusive, PRIOR has enlisted the six destinations that make for an elegant and enriching escape.

  1. Jaipur, India

Known as the Pink City for the profusion of salmon-hued facades, Jaipur’s street stalls are awash in handicrafts, Hindu temples on every other block, and gem cutters, jewellery makers and textile designers who still flourish in what was a historic nexus for merchants and maharajas. PRIOR’S pick of astonishing architectural destinations?

Left: Jaipur’s City Palace, photography by Gentl and Hyers. Right: Bar Palladio, photography by Stacie Flinner.

Wholesale Flower Market (Phool Mandi)
Best seen at dawn, this heaving flower market (locally known as Phool Mandi) sees vendors trade from burlap sacks sliced open and spilling over with freshly plucked marigolds, roses and chrysanthemums. Blooms and garlands are bargained for by weight, then carted off on bikes, tuk-tuks, donkeys and heads to celebrations and temples.

Bar Palladio
On any given night, you’ll rub shoulders with interior designers from around the world at Bar Palladio, the Mughal-meets-Venetian fantasy brought into being by Danish decorator Marie-Anne Oudejans. Floral banquettes, hand-painted murals and peacock-blue arches set the scene for a languorous hangout that doubles as a restaurant specialising in Italian fare, 
Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road

.

  1. Istria, Croatia

Long upstaged by Dalmatia to the South, Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula showcases the best of country’s medieval splendor and Italianate cuisine minus the Disneyfication of Dubrovnik. Strung along its coastline are towns like Rovinj, Pula and Poreč with Roman ruins, Venetian-style bell towers and seafood markets where fishermen supply the morning’s haul to local tavernas.

The fishing port of Rivinj along the coast of Istria. Photography by Dimitry Anikin.

  1. Athens, Greece

From the ashes of the financial crisis, Athens has risen as one of Europe’s most vibrant culture capitals. Shuttered storefronts are gaining new lease, with a resurgence underway among chefs, artists and dreamers for whom the hardships of the last decade forged a necessary ingenuity. As a result, Athens is worthier than ever of a three-day stay to take in the perennial allures and a raft of new galleries, restaurants, bars and shops across the city.Visiting the capital city this summer? Prior praises recent establishment Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, an epic waterfront temple to the arts on a 100-foot-high hill with dramatic sea views.
 For a full guide to this historic city, view the X-Files guide to Athens here.

The Ancient Greek Acropolis. Photography by Kylie Docherty.

  1. Todos Santos , Mexico
Todos Santos offers all the allure of a beach town with a genuine undertow of Mexican life and culture. With artisan textile stores, beautifully restored haciendas, and highly surf-able and secluded beaches, the town has been officially singled out as one of the country’s Pueblos Mágicos (magic towns) for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is also a prime place to enjoy Baja’s varied seafood-focused cuisine, with menus showcasing the day’s catch. 

Image supplied by Prior Club.

On the edges of the town, Jazamango is both an organic farm and restaurant run by highly regarded Mexican chef Javier Plascencia. In terms of sleeping options, Hotel San Cristobal is set in a fishing beach called Punta Lobos and was designed by boutique hotelier Liz Lambert featuring Mexican-tiled floors, terra-cotta-potted cacti and brightly woven artisanal blankets.

The Hotel San Cristobal. Photography by Pia Riverola.

  1. New Orleans, USA

Over 13 years have passed since Hurricane Katrina and in that time New Orleans has undergone an incredible renaissance. From the architecture to music to food, it is undoubtedly the country’s most culturally characteristic city. For standout dining, Friday lunch downstairs at Galatoire’s.is an institution. A place for lunches that linger on into dinner, its menu is faithful to French Creole cooking without being mired in the past.

Left: Sarah and Paul Costello’s New Orleans verandah, photography by Paul Costello. Right: New Orleans street scene, photography by Arun Kuchibhotla.

Hear some of the finest musicians New Orleans at Snug Harbor, a classic jazz venue open since the ‘80s. If you want to hear more music after the show, step into one of the many music venues that line Frenchmen Street. We recommend walking around and stepping into wherever catches your ear.

  1. Kyoto, Japan

Long the aesthetic capital of Japan, Kyoto’s rediscovery of traditional craft has made it a place of pilgrimage for design lovers around the world. In the artisan studios of the city and its surrounds a range of mediums including indigo-dyeing, ceramics, lacquerware and basket weaving are being rethought and adapted for the 21st century. Prime movers in the movement include Japan Handmade, an ongoing collaboration between Danish designers OeO and six Kyoto craft industries, and Sachio Yoshioka, the fifth-generation master of a dye workshop, who is keeping centuries-old traditions of cloth-dyeing alive for a modern clientele. A rash of new hotels are also opening in the city in 2019, including an Ace outpost designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, with an approach that embraces natural materials and light.

The Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine of Kyoto, photography by Banter Snaps.

All content supplied by PRIOR. To learn more about the way this modern and unique explorer’s club works, visit their website, Instagram or read David Prior’s interview for X-Files here. Happy vacationing!

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