Departures Studio84 created this story in collaboration with LXR Hotels & Resorts and American Express Travel®. Departures’ editorial contributors were not involved in its creation.

Where Unique Experiences Abound

Workshops with Turkish artisans. Helicopter rides over Malibu. Divine afternoon tea in London. Bask in local culture with LXR Hotels & Resorts and Fine Hotels + Resorts®.*

Oceana Santa Monica epitomizes the Southern California lifestyle.

IT’S ONE THING to see the world. But as Marcel Proust famously declared, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Only we’d expand the adage to all five senses. Sampling regional fare at an insider haunt, shopping with tapped-in locals at a hidden gem, learning how a maker creates their Indigenous craft — these life-changing encounters can expand our lives and become formative memories.

LXR Hotels & Resorts champions this same philosophy, encouraging you to dive into local life by accessing cultural activities unique to each property and destination. Combined with highly attentive staff and elegant interiors that reference their setting’s rare character, these stays satisfy your thirst for adventure without sacrificing your affinity for plush amenities. From royal treatments in Dubai to vineyard excursions in Turkey to surfing lessons in Los Angeles, we’ve surveyed just a few of these signature opportunities.

Insider tip: The following LXR Hotels & Resorts are part of the Fine Hotels + Resorts program. Platinum Card® Members can book these properties through American Express Travel and receive an exclusive suite of benefits. We’ve highlighted a few below, including guaranteed 4pm check-out and a unique $100 experience credit that varies by property.*

Palatial Dubai


Inspired by beaux-arts architecture, Habtoor Palace blankets you in royal elegance with neoclassical interiors, enriched by worldly artifacts with tales of an Emirati’s extravagant travels. After your daily complimentary breakfast for two at BQ French Kitchen and Bar, slip into Silk Spa and use your $100 experience credit toward signature treatments that marry ancient techniques and scientific expertise, as well as two hammams.* Then take a dip in the sparkling rooftop pools before sampling the finest champagnes and caviars in the decadent Champagne Lounge.

Golden Age Decadence in London


Don’t forget to pack your top hat and brolly en route to The Biltmore Mayfair. Located on the prestigious Grosvenor Square, the hotel hosts an exceptional afternoon tea, where you can use your $100 experience credit toward food & beverage, and is steps from the city’s top shopping on Oxford Street and New Bond Street — your butler can even put together a personalized experience at renowned designer stores.* History buffs will love touring Regency London on an exclusive Blue Badge Guide-certified route.

Insider tip: Platinum Card® Members can enjoy a complimentary fourth night at The Biltmore Mayfair when they book with Fine Hotels + Resorts at AmexTravel.com through November 26, 2023 for stays completed by November 30, 2023. In addition, enjoy a guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout and more. Terms apply.*

Next-Level Indulgence


Crockfords Las Vegas combines boutique service with resort comforts and pays homage to its London origins with contemporary Victorian-style flourishes. Enjoy soaring views from guest rooms on the high floors of this 66-story tower before heading downstairs to savor the new Athena infinity pool, a premium casino, and Awana Spa, and use your $125 experience credit toward food & beverage at 10 dining experiences, including Fuhu, Kusa Nori, VIVA, and more from award-winning chefs.*

Off-the-Beaten-Path Turkey


While Istanbul gains popularity as a bucket-list destination, Susona Bodrum thrills discerning travelers on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Named after the mythic Aegean mermaid, the hotel invites you to venture beyond its paradisiacal locale with day trips to a local vineyard — where you can take in sunsets over Karaova — and workshops with artisans of Bodrum leather sandals. Cap it all off with a nourishing, slow-cooked dinner and use your $100 experience credit toward food & beverage at Malva.*

Southern California Dreams


Nestled on a covetable palm tree-lined street in Santa Monica, this airy hotel realizes the idyllic private beach-home fantasy with warm interiors and spacious suites. Use your $125 experience credit toward food & beverage at Sandpiper, then tap into the local active lifestyle with surf lessons and oceanfront yoga, or work with the concierge on personalized outings — think sailing on a private yacht, coastal horseback riding, helicopter rides along Malibu’s coast, private culinary tours, and exclusive access to the Getty Villa — all before your guaranteed 4pm check-out.*

Our Contributors

Departures Studio84

Departures Studio84 is the creative, strategy, and media team at Departures dedicated to bringing merchant partnerships to life.

*Terms and Conditions

Special offer and Fine Hotels + Resorts® (FHR) program benefits are available for new bookings made through American Express Travel with participating properties and are valid only for eligible U.S. Consumer, Business, and Corporate Platinum Card® Members and Centurion® Members (Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Members are not eligible). Special offer is not combinable with other offers unless indicated, including, without limitation, lower rate offers. Special offer percentage discounts apply solely to the nightly room rate, excluding any property-imposed fees. Bookings may require pre-payment or advance deposits. Bookings must be made 06/11/2023 through 11/26/2023 for a stay starting on 06/11/2023 and completing by 11/30/2023. In certain circumstances, this offer may be canceled prior to the end of the booking period; if you don’t see this offer with the property, then it’s no longer available, so please check prior to booking. A minimum stay of 4 consecutive nights is required for the special offer. No blackout dates apply to the special offer. Only these room categories are eligible for the special offer: Biltmore Grosvenor Square View Suite, Biltmore One Bedroom Suite, Junior Suite, King Deluxe Grosvenor Square View Room, King Deluxe Room, King Grand Deluxe Grosvenor Square View Room, King Grand Deluxe Room. Special offer cannot be repeated regardless of the duration of stay. Any complimentary nights will be reflected at the time of booking; applicable taxes and fees for the complimentary nights will be removed at check-out. Special offer bookings may require pre-payment or advance deposits. Bookings must be made using an eligible Card and must be paid using that Card, or another American Express® Card, in the eligible Card Member's name, and that Card Member must be traveling on the itinerary booked. The average total value of the program benefits is based on prior-year bookings for stays of two nights; the actual value varies. Noon check-in and room upgrade are subject to availability and are provided at check-in; certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade. The type of experience credit varies by property; the experience credit will be applied to eligible charges up to the amount of the experience credit. Advance reservations are recommended for certain experience credits. The type and value of the daily breakfast (for two) varies by property; breakfast will be valued at a minimum of US$60 per room per day. If the cost of Wi-Fi is included in a mandatory property fee, a daily credit of that amount will be applied at check-out. Benefits are applied per room, per stay (with a three-room limit per stay). Back-to-back stays booked by a single Card Member, Card Members staying in the same room or Card Members traveling in the same party within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay and are ineligible for additional FHR benefits (“Prohibited Action”). American Express and the Property reserve the right to modify or revoke FHR benefits at any time without notice if we or they determine, in our or their sole discretion, that you may have engaged in a Prohibited Action, or have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with your FHR benefits. Benefit restrictions vary by property. Benefits cannot be redeemed for cash and are not combinable with other offers unless indicated. Benefits must be used during the stay booked. Any credits applicable are applied at check-out in USD or the local currency equivalent. Benefits, participating properties and availability and amenities at those properties are subject to change.

Seller of Travel Disclosure

American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. is acting solely as a sales agent for travel suppliers and is not responsible for the actions or inactions of such suppliers. Certain suppliers pay us commission and other incentives for reaching sales targets or other goals and may provide incentives to our Travel Consultants. For more information visit www.americanexpress.com/travelterms. California CST#1022318; Washington UBI#600-469-694


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.