The Afar Guide to
Luxury Travel

Smart Luxury

Luxury no longer refers to high thread count sheets and over-the-top bling. The term has evolved to encompass one-of-a-kind experiences, remarkable craftsmanship, and remote, unplugged escapes. Anyone can visit Europe’s great cultural sites, but few can say they’ve had a private tour of London’s Tate Modern or a backstage visit to Versailles. Shopping becomes memorable when you can watch a tailor hand-stitch your made-to-measure suit or a perfumer concoct your perfect scent. In our tech-filled world, sometimes the ultimate luxury is simply getting away from it all. Design-driven, service-focused hotels have emerged in the rainforests of Ecuador, the pampas of Uruguay and other remote corners of the world. And expert guides can give you exclusive access to adventure, from skiing untouched powder to surfing crowd-free waves. When you want to splurge, go big and book a meal at one of the world’s top restaurants or a day (or week) of pampering at an award-winning spa.

Cultural Immersion
Art and architecture, both past and present, tell the story of a place. And shopping can provide an education in craftsmanship and also some great souvenirs. These experiences will give you a deep dive into the best cultural experiences around the globe.
Sponsored
Sponsored
Sybaritic Escapes
What fuels your travels? Foodies might fly across the world for a four-hour meal at one of the world’s top restaurants while sun seekers would pilgrimage to Mykonos and Trancoso to party alongside the world’s most stylish jet setters. No matter what your passion, we’ve got you covered.
Outdoor Luxury
From skiing untouched powder in the Alps to spotting wildlife by horseback in a private African game reserve we’ve found experience to satisfy all of your off the grid wilderness fantasies.
Sponsored
Top 10 Destinations to Visit in 2016
1
Dublin. Literary greats James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Maeve Binchy all found inspiration here in the Irish capital. Whether you want to tour writer haunts, set out on a pub crawl, or go straight to the source—the Guinness Storehouse—Monograms’ Local Hosts will help you unlock the most fascinating experiences. You’ll divide your time between Dublin and London on this seven-night itinerary.
2
Rome. There’s always something new to discover in the Eternal City, no matter if it’s your first visit or your fifth. And Monograms’ Week in Rome itinerary gives you the time to scratch beneath the surface. After insightful tours of the Sistine Chapel and Colosseum—with VIP access that lets you bypass lines—you have four free days. Explore architect Zaha Hadid’s contemporary museum, the Maxxi, and spend a night out in the hip neighborhood of Pigneto.
3
Paris. What your perfect Parisian day? We bet you’ll have fun striving to answer that question during a Week in Paris with Monograms. It might begin with a fresh-from-the-oven croissant at a Montmartre café, followed by browsing boutiques, gawking at museum masterpieces, and a starry night’s Seine cruise. Round out your trip with an excursion to Versailles or the Normandy landing beaches.
4
Venice. Packed with tourists, this canal city immediately brings to mind gondolas, glassblowers, and St. Mark’s Square, complete with its pigeons. You can take in all those classic experiences with Monograms—and also take a deeper dive into Venice by following insider tips from the Local Hosts. They might steer you towards the best spots for cichetti (bite-size snacks like stuffed zucchini flowers or whipped cod) or lesser-known neighborhoods.
5
Florence. The hometown of Michelangelo and Dante may have peaked in the Renaissance, but Florence isn’t resting on its laurels. The renovated Museo dell’Opera del Duomo reopened in late 2015, and the Mercato Centrale also got a recent refresh—it’s now a one-stop destination for sampling the finest local food purveyors. Get to know the Florence of 2016 on a Monograms trip that also includes Rome (and first-class train transfers).
6
Barcelona. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the death of homegrown talent Antoni Gaudí, who left his fantastical mark on this seaside city. You’ll see his most famous works (Casa Battló and La Sagrada Familia Basilica, whose construction is targeted for 2026 completion) with Monograms on an itinerary split between Barcelona and Madrid. Don’t bid Barcelona adéu without sampling widely at its famous tapas bars.
7
Lima. Many travelers touch down in Lima and immediately hit the road, but Monograms gives you the chance to get acquainted with the Peruvian capital, starting with tours of its colonial center and the underground tombs at San Francisco Monastery. The food scene is arguably South America’s most innovative, and you’ll want to fuel up, anyway, before the next stops on the Peru Highlights itinerary: Cusco and Machu Picchu.
8
Kenya. Why not make 2016 the year you cross safari off your wish list. Monograms makes it easy and worry free with this 10-day Kenya itinerary featuring game drives with a private guide, most meals, and transfers— beginning with a warm welcome at the Nairobi airport. Keep your eyes peeled for zebras, giraffes, lions, migrating wildebeest, plus views of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.
9
Beijing. Once off limits to all but the imperial family, the Forbidden City now welcomes millions annually. Find out what the fuss is about on a private tour of the spectacular palace complex and gardens, part of the Monograms Beijing package. You’ll visit Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China and have the opportunity to set your own agenda, say, wandering the traditional hutongs (alleyways) or indulging in Peking duck for lunch.
10
Sydney. Ample sunshine, exceptional beaches, an easy-breezy vibe, the culinary and cultural perks of a metropolis—it’s enough to give other cities an inferiority complex. From trendy Balmain to the nightlife scene of Darlinghurst, you’ll get to know Sydney’s neighborhoods and charms during the 9-day Journey Down Under itinerary. Photo-ops (plus a sightseeing tour) of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge are guaranteed.