The Cultured Traveller rounds-up the most fascinating cultural experiences and unmissable festivals happening on our planet in the coming months, including Turkey’s famous MEVLÂNA FESTIVAL of whirling dervishes; Scotland’s HOGMANY New Year’s Eve celebrations; one of the oldest surviving street festivals in the Caribbean, JUNKANOO; the Philippines’ colourful ATI-ATIHAN; Denmark’s renowned VINTERJAZZ fest, and the world’s most riotous carnival in RIO.

Nestled amongst lush tropical gardens alongside a stretch of white sand beach on Jimbaran Bay, recently renovated five-star InterContinental Bali Resort deftly immerses its guests in the ambiance of a tranquil Balinese village. Win four nights in a Club InterContinental Room – including airport transfers, breakfasts, afternoon teas and cocktails and canapés every evening – in The Cultured Traveller Prize Draw.

The Cultured Traveller checks into super-luxe tented camp SHINTA MANI WILD in the Cambodian rainforest; PERRY LANE HOTEL in the historic heart of beautiful SAVANNAH in America’s deep south; boutique eco-friendly LON RESORT, 100 km south-west of Melbourne; New Delhi’s reborn OBEROI; Lake Zürich’s new contemporary boutique hotel ALEX, and the Paris of the East’s most expensive place to stay, BVLGARI HOTEL SHANGHAI.

Despite the ever-present inequity between the wealthy and the rest of the city, Nicholas Chrisostomou discovers that CAPE TOWN has morphed into the Rainbow Nation’s cultural capital, thanks to the world-class Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, a burgeoning arts scene boasting dozens of cutting-edge galleries and the uber-cool Silo District, tucked in between the city’s harbour basins.

The hospitality grande dame of Saint Petersburg, historic BELMOND GRAND HOTEL EUROPE has welcomed more heads of state, VIPs, royal families and high-profile celebrities than any other in town during its 145-year history. Its sumptuous 350 sqm two-bedroomed IMPERIAL PRESIDENTIAL SUITE boasts a private gym, library, hammam and music room. Joe Mortimer checks out one of Russia’s largest suites.

If China wanted to assert its prominence on the world trade stage, it has achieved this and more via the recent opening of Beijing’s breathtaking new airport, conceived by trailblazing architect Zaha Hadid before her death. In this issue’s Boarding Pass section, The Cultured Traveller takes a look around the Chinese capital’s new architecturally stunning USD 12 billion DAXING AIRPORT.

Travellers in-the-know have been enjoying the invigorating mountain air of the Alps for centuries. From his retreat-like base at AYURVEDA RESORT SONNHOF, tucked away in a picture-postcard mountain valley surrounded by forests, Alex Benasuli finds that the Austrian hills are not only singing but positively pulsating with life.

In the shadow of the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east, Alex Benasuli discovers in SEATTLE a vibrant oceanic city with a bustling downtown, charming neighbourhoods, a burgeoning foodie scene and a multitude of cultural attractions that run the gamut from the scenic and natural to the prestigious and even downright different!

Home to countless parks, reserves and historic sites, and courtesy of its diverse natural geography, California boasts a continent of stunning landscapes in a single state. Punctuated by ancient forests, acres of desert, fertile vineyards, sandy beaches and snow-capped mountains, Sophia Amos, Harriet Ball and Rachel Santa Cruz take us on their ultimate winter road trip of NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

Since collaborating with luxury brand Bvlgari to open his first restaurant in Tokyo a decade ago, chef Luca Fantin has won countless accolades including a Michelin star. Situated within Bvlgari Resort Bali, Fantin’s second dining venue, IL RISTORANTE – LUCA FANTIN, delights Carolyn McKay with an intimate gastronomic experience, deftly showcasing creative interpretations of classic Italian fare.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could have overlooked Blondie in the band’s heyday. Punk Marilyn, pop goddess and icon of cool – DEBBIE HARRY has been all these things and more. Now, as the Blondie singer publishes her autobiography Face It, Paul Burston looks back at an extraordinary life and recalls an earlier encounter with pop’s original ambitious blonde.

Countless celebrities have appeared before the lens of British photographer and filmmaker TIM WALKER, a prolific presence in international creative circles since he shot his first Vogue fashion story at the age of 25. Dawn Gibson experiences the extraordinary creative process of one of the world’s most imaginative photographers, at an immersive retrospective at London’s V&A museum.