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5 must-see monuments and 5 luxury hotels to stay in

In the ancient world, the Greeks had made a list of seven places any sight-seeing tourists in the Hellenic world should make the effort to see. Since the days of the Greeks and the Romans, the only monument in this list that still stands is the Great Pyramid at Giza. Our world offers more unique monuments, which span the globe and includes a myriad of ancient and modern cultures that the Greeks knew nothing about. If you have got the spirit of an explorer but the taste for fine dining and spa treatments, here are five luxury hotels nearby to help you travel in style! Great Wall of China & Bejing’s Peninsula Hotel In ancient China, the Great Wall stood as a symbol of protection and Chinese royal power. Located an hour south of this ancient wall, the Peninsula Hotel in Bejing was China’s first luxury hotel when it opened as The Palace Hotel in 1989. Under new ownership, it underwent a $123 Million USD renovation to become a suite-only luxury hotel which means you will get nothing but the best for your stay. With suites starting around $250/night, the hotel features a casual buffet, an all-day lobby restaurant, a rooftop bar and lounge called Yun, and Huan Ting, a five-star Cantonese dining experience. And after a long day out at the Great Wall, come back for a relaxing swim in the indoor pool, take advantage of the state-of-the-art fitness center, spa, or business center. Christ the Redeemer Statue & Rio de Janeiro’s Belmond Copacabana Palace The only “modern” attraction on the list, the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio was built in Brazil right before the outbreak of World War II. Standing over 120 feet tall, the statue stands atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. Taking advantage of the close proximity to the mountain, not only is the Belmond Copacabana Palace a mere 30-minute drive from this incredible statue, but it is also the premier place to stay in Rio. Located along the sugar-white beaches of the Atlantic, the Copacabana Palace features balcony suites with French textiles and luxurious accommodations. The hotel has been a crown jewel in Brazil since it opened in the 1920s, and the directly adjacent Ristorante Hotel Cipriani will be sure to delight your taste buds after a day at Rio’s most famous landmark. The hotel also has a beautiful outdoor pool and a rooftop tennis court. Machu Picchu & the Belmond Hotel Monasterio Built at the height of Inca power, this royal resort was built and abandoned within 100 years and left undisturbed till the 1920s. The historic sight has given the world a glimpse of pre-Columbian Inca life and is a beautiful three and a half hour scenic train ride from the Belmond Hotel Monasterio. Built within the rebuilt ruins of a former monastery and landmark, this beautiful hotel features stone walls, exquisite gardens, and access to the Belmond’s luxury train that will take you to the base of your Machu Picchu adventure, meaning you get to travel in the same caliber of luxury as you’ll be enjoying in the hotel itself. The Roman Colosseum & the Hotel Hassler, Roma For centuries, the Roman Colosseum has stood as a testament to the wealth and power of the once-mighty Roman empire. Now a tourist destination seen by millions every year, this wonder of the ancient world is a mere 2 km from one of Rome’s finest luxury hotels, the Hotel Hassler. Hassler is renowned for its elegance and beauty, built atop the historic Spanish Steps area of Roma. With a full-service spa, fitness center and the Rossano Ferretti Hair Salon, you can treat yourself while looking out over a panoramic rooftop view of Rome. Imàgo, the Hassler’s 6th floor panoramic Michelin starred restaurant, offers you a taste and view of Rome you’ll not find anywhere else in the city. Rooms range from decadent penthouses to exquisite suites and are sure to leave you feeling like an emperor of Rome yourself. Petra, Jordan & Al Manara Last, but certainly not least, is Petra, an ancient city carved into the cliffs of modern-day Jordan. Petra was home to the Nabataean people as early as 200 BC and is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient sculpture and architecture. It was most famously used, in modern times, as the backdrop for the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Located a mere hour and a half south, in the ancient port city of Aqaba, your luxury stay awaits you at Al Manara. With over twenty room and suite layouts to choose from, there is a room for every budget and occasion, whether it be for business or pleasure. The hotel offers pristine views right along the sea as well as a 24/7 fitness center, spa, and room service. Enjoy the flavor of traditional Jordanian cuisine at one of the hotel’s fine restaurants, and finish the day with a seaside sunset nightcap at the Pool Bar. Guido Graf is Founder of Privateupgrades. Privateupgrades is a global luxury travel club with over 20 years of experience in luxury hotels, ensuring exclusive VIP privileges like upgrades, free breakfast, free nights, rate discounts, free airport transfers, free massages and much more. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Guido Graf

Guido Graf, born in Vienna, is a respected businessman and pioneer in the European luxury travel industry. After studying in Switzerland, he founded Deluxetargets in 2001, one of the most esteemed companies for luxury travel in Europe. In 2017, he recognized the growing importance of the digital market and launched PrivateUpgrades, an online platform providing access to over 2000 luxury hotels with exclusive VIP benefits. Graf is widely acknowledged as an expert in luxury hotels and continually sets new standards for exceptional travel experiences. Moreover, since 2008, he is the exclusive representative for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic in Switzerland. Graf also sits on advisory boards of several renowned luxury hotel brands and has held a consulting role in several significant hotel openings such as the Royal Atlantis in Dubai. His innovative spirit and entrepreneurial foresight make him a leading figure in the luxury travel industry.

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  1. I highly recommend staying near the Colosseum in Rome. It’s one of the most fascinating sights in the entire city. And the area is wonderful for taking a walk and eating out at a restaurant. It’s also a great place to be on a Friday night! Also, I’m hoping to get to Beijing one day. I’ll bet there’s some great food there too.

  2. I’ve never seen that sort of plane photo before. Absolutely brilliant, pictured in front of a setting sun. Not much good for airlines though, as it’s a silhouette you don’t even know which airline it’s from, no sight of the branding at all.

  3. Petra’s still on my bucket list. I’ve seen so many brilliant pictures of the city and heard good things about the place from one of my friends who visited. Helpful to have a hotel recommendation too. I hope to get to Jordan sooner rather than later though there are a lot of places that I’m saying that about.

  4. I like the idea of the Belmond train that takes you to the base of Machu Picchu. I roughed it enough when I was younger in my sleep at the station inter-rail years. I’m at a stage of my life when I think that I’ve earned some comfort and maybe even some luxury.

  5. I’d love to see the Great Pyramid of Giza one day but you’re right, there are so many more amazing places to see as well. I think many are going to be hesitant of travelling to or nearby China anytime soon but it’s still on my bucket list. I’ve never thought of travellign to Rio but I would actually like to go. The Christ the Redeemer is so well known, it’s often been in films and TV shows so it would be cool to see it for yourself. Still standing since construction started in the 1920s and every bit as impressive in all the years since. That’s one of the new 7 wonders of the world, along with others listed here. I feel like I’m missing out as I’ve not visited a single one of these yet.

  6. I used to think that you could swoop in, see one of the world’s wonders, and then rush on to the next place. That’s changed and I suppose that I’ve been influenced by the slow travel trend.

    The great thing about these hotels is that you are close to the monuments. These are some of the world’s greatest monuments and if you are truly going to appreciate them then they need more than an hour or two of your time.

    Being close means that you can visit before thousands of people arrive and also again when the masses are on their way home.

    After my visit to a place there are always questions that I would like answering and being on hand gives me the chance for another visit. There’s no point rushing away as I always like to get other travellers perspectives too, they always see these monuments from a different viewpoint.

  7. Machu Picchu would be a brilliant one to visit. I read before about how precisely the stones are cut and how Machu Picchu is actually on two fault lines, so apparently the Inca buildings shake but settle back into place whenever there’s an earthquake. Knowing the fault line thing makes it all the more incredible any of it still stands, especially as Lima was levelled by earthquakes before. Cusco too I think. I’m pretty sure there’s supposed to be some kind of museum around there as well, which is good because otherwise there’s no information on the place or it’s history, and it would be a shame to go and not learn more about it. I had wondered where the nearest accommodation would be as it’s rather out in the sticks. Still, 3.5hrs on train, you could still go there and back to the summit and see the landmark within a day.

  8. For me taking photographs is all part of a holiday, I usually try to stay at a hotel close to my destination so that it gives me the chance to get to the monuments either before or after the crowds. Yes, sometimes you want people in your pictures as they can add something to the image but most of the time the last thing you want is people wandering across in front of your lens. Although many of my mates accuse me of taking photography far too seriously I also like to try and get different lights. If you stay for two or three days you can get an amazing variety of moods as the light and weather change.

    1. All too true! If you stay for a few days in Italy, you will experience exactly what you’re talking about. The lighting there is spectacular and with its changes throughout the day, you do have the chance to capture different types of moods.

  9. All these 5 places on the list is on my list too! I have always, always wanted to walk the Great Wall, as a structure that can be seen from space, it truly is a MUST for any avid traveler. Being a fan of archeaology I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu and The Treasury in Petra, so much history and amazingness in one place. And being a catholic Christ the Redeemer in Rio is a dream, as well as Vatican. Of course, you can’t miss out on the Colosseum when in Rome, right?

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