The Design World’s 19 Most Beloved Travel Destinations | Architectural Digest

The Design World’s 19 Most Beloved Travel Destinations | Architectural Digest

After, I like to do the walk across the Thames, pop into the Tate, head out the back door, and head over to my favorite tapas place, Jose on Bermondsey, with a stop at the Flea Vintage Makers market or the Borough Market (my absolute fave!). Also, I love Fortnum & Mason and Liberty, and Sir John Soane’s Museum is another little hideaway for me. —Brandon Jørgensen, Atelier Jørgensen

Portraits line the walls at Ballyfin, a 19th-century manor in Ireland.

Photo: Amelia Troubridge

County Laois, Ireland

Ballyfin is one of the most beautiful country house hotels in Ireland, if not all of Europe. The glamour of this 19th-century stately house is unrivaled for its restored decor and magnificent furnishings. For a truly grand experience—and if you have ever wanted to feel like the Lord of the manor—this is your place. Situated in County Laois, it’s about a two-hour car ride outside of Dublin and in its own demesne (better known as an estate and parkland), it is complete with a magical castle-like folly within the grounds allowing you to be transported back in time. The lavish decorating that creates the sumptuous rooms is a true lesson in country-house style, while the Irish hospitality and service is unrivaled. It’s an immersive and inspirational experience where aristocratic Irish history surrounds you at every turn. —Martyn Lawrence Bullard


It is such an experience to sit in a Jeep and observe the wild animal life in a completely untouched and unpolluted environment, surrounded by nothing but yourself and the peacefulness of nature. I love wildlife. To witness the game of life and be amongst wild animals in their most natural elements is truly special. —Jean-Michel Gathy

An 1860s house in Istanbul restored by interiors consultant Serdar Gülgün is filled with 18th- and 19th-century Ottoman art and furniture.

Photo: Reto Guntli


The world tends to be my paintbox, the color-drenched inspiration to all I do. I love to travel as much as possible and often return to beloved locations that feed my soul. Istanbul is a major player in my love affair with travel. The city offers not only history and culture, but also reveals beautiful people, food, and amazing artisans, many of which still practice crafts passed down for many generations. It’s a true blend of East and West with touches of modern luxury and old-world glamour. Design abounds all over the whole city where religion and culture have blended over centuries to formulate a style very much its own, echoing the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. —Martyn Lawrence Bullard

Kep, Cambodia

Knai Bang Chatt Resort in Kep, Cambodia [is a must-see]. Though it’s definitely off the beaten path, Knai Bang Chatt holds a spot in my heart as the most beautiful place I’ve stayed. I was there years ago after a two-week-long trip through Vietnam and Cambodia. At the very southern tip, facing the Gulf of Thailand, is Kep. There’s a long and sad story about its history: Kep used to be Cambodia’s most popular beach town, but fell on hard times due to the Khmer Rouge. Many of Kep’s mostly French villas are abandoned, but some have been restored. The water is warm and the sea is calm. One has to visit Angkor Wat if in Cambodia, and once in Kep take a ride with a fisherman to a local private island for an informal dinner on the beach. —Elizabeth Roberts


My top destinations are where there is wildlife, mountain retreats, or remote islands. Having been sequestered at home for the past year and a half, I have heard many people react by expressing a longing for life and great parties, but not me. I instinctively want to travel towards expansive open spaces, plains and mountain backdrops, and most of all, experience the fresh air in the mountains, the oceans, or amongst wildlife.