Azerbaijan’s Top Tourist Attractions

Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is often compared to Dubai for its outlandish architecture and appetite for gold. Also comparable to Venice, a part of the capital known as Baku Boulevard or “Little Venice” is enveloped in man-made waterways and is a relaxing escape from the city within the city. But above all else, Azerbaijan is quickly emerging as an excellent luxury destination and even a perfect ground for business meetings. Besides its modern architectural feats, the country hosts an array of medieval architectural goldmines, spectacular mountainous natural retreats, and a rich culture that captivates all those with the eyes to see. This blog will cover a few of Azerbaijan’s top tourist attractions, some of the best hotels and retreats in the area, as well as a unique and well-kept living memorial of the soviet days. Here’s our list of Azerbaijan top tourist attractions:

Azerbaijan Top Tourist Attractions No. 1: Ivanovka Village the Collective Farm

For those hoping to get a more cultural experience from the visit, the living socialist museum that is the kolkhoz (Russian for collective farm) or the Ivanovka Village is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the peaceful Azerbaijani/Russian village life. 

A collective farm is an amalgamation of many farms usually held under the supervision of a communist government that dictates how the output is distributed when land is not privatized. All the inhabitants play a role in the operation of such an enterprise.

However, in Ivanovka, the farm belongs to the community. A community that, to a large extent, is self-sustainable and lives off of its own produce.

Life in the Ivanovka Village

The highest authority in the collective farm is the Council of Elders. They guide the everyday life of the villagers through the dictates of Molokon religion. Molokans are a Christian sect that evolved from Eastern Orthodoxy.

The entire community attends Sunday mass. Everyone works on the collective farm, and no doors are locked within the village. Members of the council of Elders can be seen going about attempting to reconcile between couples on the verge of divorce and convincing youngsters not to drink alcohol.

The population of over 3,000 Molokans is extremely honest and does not cuss. If a cow has strayed away from the herd and made it into Ivanovkan territory, the Molokan will not rest until its owner is found. Molokan men are bearded, and it is seen as a disgrace to die without one.

More About the Ivanovkan Collective Farm

Producing its own milk and cereals, the village boasts auto farms, mills, cattle breeding facilities, poultry farms, and even brick and tile factories. There also exists a milk processing plant that produces cheese and sour cream and a bakery that produces scrumptious Russian bread. The products that come out of the collective farm have earned the recognition of all of Azerbaijan.

Apart from enjoying local soul food, visitors can observe the local’s unique way of life and hear some of the well-kept folklore as it is translated to them.

The area has a refreshing aura of innocence and wholesome living. The calmness and quietude of the Ivanovkan plains are enough to make the soft whistles of the wind audible. The village is best visited in the warmer seasons.

Carpets in Azerbaijan

Carpets are held in high esteem in the country. There are laws preventing carpets older than 30 years of age from being exported and you will be searched and asked for a carpet certificate at the airport if you choose to buy this souvenir. 

Considered the epicenter of the carpet renaissance of the 21st century, Baku has an endless selection of carpet designs and types to choose from. 

Visitors can find a good wide selection of carpets in the Icheri Sheher shopping area A.K.A the Old City in Baku. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvelous architectural feats from as early as the 12th century can be found here, along with an array of handicrafts and local attires. Refer to this carpet buying guide before shopping for the esteemed hand-woven carpets.

The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is a great way to get acquainted with the country’s carpet scene. Click on the following link for a virtual tour of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.

Azerbaijan Top Tourist Attractions No. 2: Sheki City

Once a trading hub on the Silk Road, the mountainous area of the Azerbaijani mountains is very much alive with the legacy of the past. So much so that it has been compared with stepping into another era entirely. The wild hills, woodlands, bushlands, and valleys surrounding this area are ideal for hikers and nature lovers.

Astara City and the Flammable Water Spring of Yanar Bulag

Bordering Iran and facing the Caspian sea, Astara is a unique corner of the country. Laden with rice, tea, and citrus orchards and farms, the area is known for its tranquility and the Hikran National Park. Just a few kilometers northwest of the city, visitors are known to make a pitstop (with a lighter ready at hand) at the famous Burning Springs of Archivan. Located in a small pavilion, the water fountain is highly flammable due to the methane gas that is exuded along with its water.

Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Baku

Baku has some of the best hotels and resorts in the Caucus regions. Here are a few of our top picks.

Fairmont Baku – Flame Towers

One of the most scenic buildings across Bakus racy skyline is the flame-shaped towers that light up the sky with an almost translucent glow. When you choose the Fairmont Baku, you will be spending the night in the luxury of one of these suites. Overlooking the Caspian sea, with a rooftop pool and spa, plus a ground floor Lamborghini showroom, the state-of-the-art facilities of the Fairmont Baku are there to make your stay an unforgettable one. 

Hilton Baku

Another great choice for accommodation is the Hilton in Baku. Distinguishing itself with Arabic-speaking concierges and staff, the availability of Halal food, and accommodating the language preferences of guests wherever possible (such as the availability of Arabic TV), the Hilton Baku has gained the hearts of Arab guests with how at home it makes them feel. Furthermore, the hotel’s luxurious atmosphere also includes fitness facilities, pools, and spas. The hotel is also great for family trips, with babysitting options and a kid’s menu available.

Holiday Inn Baku

One of the few places that are pet-friendly and where children below 17 can stay free of charge, and those below 12 eat for free, the Holiday Inn leaves no guest unhappy. Providing guests with a range of accommodation options, the Holiday Inn caters to everyone in 5-star fashion and is very conveniently located within the center of the city.

Gulf Reps and the Azerbaijan Top Tourist Attractions

Gulf Reps is the leading travel and tourism representation company in the Middle East, with over 60 years of regional and industry experience. We have served clients on six continents, delivering transformative results to everyone from hoteliers to tourism boards. Our mix of world-class marketing expertise, PR specialists, unparalleled connections and relationships, and eclectic mix of marketing channels makes working with Gulf Reps the only sure way to drive Middle Eastern tourists to your destination.

To find out more about our services, you can call us at +971 (0)4 703 6333 or write to us at sammy@gulfreps.com

The Most Lavish Luxury Destinations this Year

Whether you want to soak up the tropical sun and sunbathe on pristine blue beaches or enjoy a snow fight with your family and kids, there’s a holiday destination that caters to even the most unimaginable needs nowadays. In this blog, we cover only the destinations and resorts that care for their guest in the most extravagant ways possible. So here are our picks for the poshest luxury destinations this year.

Our Selection of the Best Luxury Destinations in Ascending Order of Price

Outrigger Beach Resort, Fiji – The Best Value for Money in our Luxury Destinations List

With hammocks overlooking the ocean, bungalows and suites enveloped in heavenly green gardens, and the immaculate blue beach at your doorstep, the Outrigger Beach Resort in Fiji is a tropical dream. This destination is an action-filled adventure and is ideal for families and couples. 

The resort is located in the middle of a jungle-like environment that looks like a scene straight from the Lost series, only more lavish and the polar opposite of threatening. The concierges and staff of the resort are all professional, warm, and welcoming, as the Fijian culture dictates. 

The staff can be seen energetically welcoming new visitors at the resort entrance or engaging in theatrical, cultural performances such as firewalking.

The resort hosts a kids club that boasts a range of activities for the young ones. The activities cover different age groups and include but are not limited to spear-making, hill hikes, and even an exchange program with one of the local high schools for older kids.

Babysitting options are also available for couples who want to enjoy some time alone away from the kids. Adults are not forgotten in the resort’s adventurous mix of activities with fishing and canoeing activities (amongst other activities) available for adults.

Two minutes away from the resort lies Kula Wild Adventure Park (and an even shorter trip places you at Bebe’s Spa), where kids and adults alike can enjoy interacting with endangered local animal species. The park also has a variety of action activities such as canopy fliers, water slides, and an immersive walking path through Fiji’s wild side.

Starting from $1,990 for eight nights, Outrigger Fiji gives you the best value for money on our luxury destinations list.

The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles

Hollywood star’s preferred hideaway, the Beverly Hills Hotel, gives its guests the Hollywood royalty treatment from the second they walk through its red carpets.

Also known as “The Pink Palace,” Beverly Hills was built around this iconic hotel. 

Located in 12 acres of tropical greenery, palm trees, and exotic flowers, the air is electric in this fast-moving but heavenly part of LA. An abundance of sky-scraping palm trees, banana trees, and tropical greenery form this hotel’s environment and envelops most of its architecture. 

The hotel resorts’ outdoor spaces and poolsides carry an aura so unique that it almost seems like a planet of its own. 

Its interiors are lit with a golden glow that illuminates the lavish designs plastered on its walls that surround the best furnishings money can buy.

The hotel dining areas have been a Hollywood elite favorite for generations and are known to serve some of the best dishes in the country.
Starting from around $1,350 per night, the Superior King Room comes with a balcony and can host two adults with an extra-large double bed.

Aman’s Amanjena Resort, Morocco

Located in the tourist hotspot of Marrakech, this resort marries extreme luxury with rich Morrocan culture, architecture, and interior design. Strolling through the resort’s premises is comparable to walking into a palace of a Turkish Sultan. The royal atmosphere is completed by the court musicians playing Rababs (lute-like instruments) and singing in Morrocan fashion throughout the lounges and dining areas of the resort. 

Amanjena is located only 15 minutes away from the city center. But due to its sheer mass (there are over 900 villas in the resort), all that can be seen across the horizon are date palms sprung about and the clear blue sky. Ultimately, a feeling of quietude and calmness prevails. And at the evenings are serenaded by chirping birds perched upon the resort’s lush trees.

Water holes and fountains are found across villa floors. Moroccan-styled lowered and cushion-filled furniture are everywhere. The villa’s bathrooms are spacious, and at the edge of the bathtub lies a glass wall that onlooks a private garden, as is standard in most villas.

The massive resort, a delicate mix of clay-colored floors, date palms, olive trees, and water holes and pools spread throughout, makes the place akin to an oasis. A piece of heaven (as the Arabic phrase “jena” in the resort’s name implies) in the middle of the Moroccan desert. The consistent color palette of clay, green, and pale blue summon a feeling of wellness and tranquility.

The resort also hosts an abundance of wellness programs, with some of the world’s best wellness experts visiting throughout the year and leading a range of healing activities for guests. Otherwise, guests can enjoy many spa and wellness treatments such as the Holistic Immune Support Retreat, including purification rituals, marble-clad hammams, and foot reflexology treatments.

Amenjan also has a spacious 18-hole golf course within its vicinity. The course embodies a unique Moroccan terrain with date palms and an almost desert-like atmosphere, making it a one-of-a-kind experience.

For those wanting to host an event or a celebration, a celebratory tent can be erected in classical Moroccan fashion in the lush gardens of Amanjena.
Starting from around $4,220 per night, Amanjenas spacious standalone Al Hamra Maison comes with a vast private garden, indoor and outdoor (two gazebos) dining areas, a heated pool, and zelji tiled floors. This villa can cater to four individuals abundantly.

Mardan Palace, Turkey

Deemed the most expensive resort in all of the Mediterranean, the Mardan Palace has a 12,000 square foot spa and its own manmade beach, which was formed by importing 9,000 tonnes of Egyptian sand. 

The palace boasts the best interior furnishings imaginable, including marble bathrooms, velvet-lined furniture, and wooden floors. 

The finest accommodation in the palace is its King Suite which costs $5,000 per night. The suite includes a spacious private sauna, a stocked kitchen, and a private cinema room.

Four Seasons, New York City 

Constantly serenaded on lists of the most luxurious destinations globally, the Four Seasons in New York will clear the reason.

Once ranked the 3rd most expensive hotel globally, the Ty “Warner Penthouse Suite” at the top of the Four Seasons tower costs an impressive $60,000 per night. Guests can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire city, with suite walls almost entirely made out of glass. In addition, the suite has a private elevator that takes guests directly to the parking lot where a chauffeur is waiting in a Rolls Royce. Guests can also enjoy the New York City skyline while getting a massage at their private spa from one of the hotel masseuses. 

The Most Expensive of All Luxury Destinations: Lovers Deep

We’ve not included a location on this destination’s title because it does not have one. It keeps changing every time. 

Lovers Deep is a submarine run by three crew members: the captain, the butler, and the chef who occupy soundproof quarters in the sub. Guests can choose the submarine’s path, whether that be to visit the remains of an underwater shipwreck or a coral reef off the coast of your favorite beach. 

Guests can be picked up wherever they want, but this destination’s main pick-up area is St. Lucia in the Caribbean. 

The submarine’s interior is incomparable to anything we’ve seen. With top-tier interior furnishing, stunning naval architectural design, large spacious sea viewing platforms, and exquisite seafood and gourmet dishes cooked to guests’ desires, the Lovers Deep experience is unmatched. 

Guests can enjoy this experience for $175,000 per night, making this the most expensive luxury destination in the world.

Gulf Reps and Luxury Destinations

Gulf Reps is the leading travel and tourism representation company in the Middle East, with over 60 years of regional and industry experience. We have served clients on six continents, delivering transformative results to everyone from hoteliers to tourism boards. Our mix of world-class marketing expertise, PR specialists, unparalleled connections and relationships, and eclectic mix of marketing channels makes working with Gulf Reps the only sure way to drive Middle Eastern tourists to your destination.

To find out more about our services, you can call us at +971 (0)4 703 6333 or write to us at sammy@gulfreps.com