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City Lights: Marking the Return to City Travel

After a year in remote spaces, travelers are yearning for a return to urban centers that offer a chance to reconnect. Here’s more about some soaring cities that offer a chance to reconnect with local cultures, neighborhoods and those magic city lights.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, known for its unique combination of modern skyscrapers, colonial architecture and natural attractions. Divided into districts, the city is recognized for its numerous landmarks, including the Petronas Twin Towers, Petaling Street flea market and the 400 million-year-old Batu Caves.

Located within the prestigious Golden Triangle district, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur offers travelers easy access to the trendy, upscale business and entertainment hub of Bukit Bintang. The property redefines the art of the luxury hotel experience in Malaysia, and is home to Spa Village Kuala Lumpur, offering a mix of the world’s most sophisticated therapies integrated with the healing practices of the region.


New York, New York

Travelers can spend days their exploring innovative art galleries, enjoying a round of mini-golf on Pier 25, or stuffing yourself with a multi-course delicious Japanese meal at Brushstroke. After a long day of exploring, head to Moore Street, where you’ll find chic cocktail bars, such as Smith and Mills, Walker’s, and the famous Brandy Library.


Available for exchange for members of the luxury travel and property club, THIRDHOME, this spectacular penthouse offers two exquisite bedrooms, offering peace and quiet high above the bustling energy of the city. Both rooms are spacious and offer queen-sized beds equipped with the most luxurious of linens. This home also offers six bathrooms, ensuring that everyone has the utmost space and privacy.


Quito, Ecuador

The capital of Ecuador, Quito is recognized for being the very first UNESCO World Heritage City and for having the best preserved colonial churches on the continent. The city is known for its 30 churches, particularly the monasteries of San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San Augustin, La Company, La Merced, the Sanctuary of Guapulco, and the Recoleta of San Diego, which are remarkable examples of the Baroque School of Quito.

Travelers interested in exploring the historic capital can do so with Quasar Expeditions. A leader in experiential travel throughout South America for over 30 years, Quasar offers unforgettable experiences throughout Quito, including tours to the various citadels and landmarks throughout the area that are are recognized for their architecture and decorative elements such as altarpieces, paintings and sculptures. With itineraries ranging from two to five days, explorers can experience the height of Ecuador's history, art, and religion dating back to the 16th century during their time in the city.

Urban South Africa

This year, United Airlines plans to launch year-round, daily nonstop routes from Newark Liberty Airport to Johannesburg and three new nonstop routes to Accra, Ghana and Nigeria, making Africa more accessible than ever. In Africa, urban South African cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town are not to miss while on the continent. Cape Town and Johannesburg are cities that are both rich in history, culture, and new exciting experiences. Cape Town is consistently hailed as one of the world’s most magnificent destinations and truly offers a unique and exciting experience for every traveler. Situated at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain, the city is well known for its cultural diversity and history. Museums like Robben Island and the District Six Museum pay tribute to the rich heritage and importance of this city to the African Continent. Cape Town is a truly cosmopolitan city, without compromising natural beauty, offering a wide range of experiences from penguin encounters to Africa’s finest wine-lands. A natural playground to adventurers, the rugged wilderness of the area offers a wide range of activities from hiking to kite surfing, cycling to shark diving. Johannesburg has flourished in recent years as a tourism destination thanks to the city’s many urban-renewal projects. From the museums and art galleries to the award-winning restaurants and markets, the city is full of soul with something to offer every type of traveler. For instance, Maboneng Precinct, once deemed a ‘no-go’ area is one of the most successful developments in the city, filled with trendy restaurants, local shops and the hot-spot Arts on Main, an area encompassing artists’ galleries and studios for visitors to peruse. Another flourishing neighborhood, Braamfrontein, is a mix of creative spaces such as the Wits Art Museum and Stevenson Gallery, shops, hip bars and historical focal point Constitution Hill, a former prison and military fort turned museum that shares the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. For the ultimate and exclusive hotels to stay with in these South African cities, travelers should look to Ellerman House for Cape Town, and The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa for Johannesburg.


Ellerman House is an iconic hotel located in Cape Town, South Africa. Ellerman House features one of South Africa’s most impressive private art collections and an award-winning wine list. New for 2021, Ellerman House used their 6-month period of closure to reinvent some spaces around the hotel. Adjustments include an extension to the gym and fitness center and the installation of privacy screens around the pool deck and lounge area. The hotel consists of 13 bedrooms and two 3-bedroom villas uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured gardens. Ellerman House is a pristine example of Cape Edwardian architecture blended with understated elegance and modern luxury. The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is an exclusive 5-star, all-suite hotel located in the affluent suburb of Sandhurst. New for 2021, the hotel recently unveiled a fresh new face to its public areas following a major refurbishment program throughout 2020. During the months of the hotel’s closure due to the pandemic, Team Saxon has been hard at work to ensure that the much loved Saxon hospitality can be enjoyed in even more beautiful surroundings with the improvements that have been made to the iconic Saxon reception area, Qunu restaurant, the Cigar Library and the Olive Bar. The hotel emulates the essence of the city with a property that is a unique blend of rich, cultural history with contemporary touches throughout.