In 2020, luxury travellers from across the globe have seen their various planned trips and holidays postponed or cancelled, with the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in just about all areas of life. And sporting fans have been dealt an extra blow, as the hotly anticipated year that would have seen both the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Euro 2020 football championship take place has been forced to wipe its calendar clean.
It’s not all bad news though, as many such events have simply been put off until 2021 rather than cancelled all together. So, although 2020 might be a write-off, the following twelve months are set to mark an iconic moment in sport as things return to their normal flow – albeit a year behind schedule.
If you’re planning a celebratory trip abroad next year and are keen to combine a lavish luxury getaway with some on-the-pitch or trackside action, then look no further – because we sat down with the experts at online sports betting site, The Bet Calculator, to find out which destinations should be on your ‘not-to-be-missed’ list.
The most obvious destination to add to your travel calendar for 2021 has got to be Japan, as the hotly anticipated Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is finally scheduled to kick off on Friday, 23rd July. Likely to attract scores of fans and supporters from across the globe, the postponed event is set to take on a whole new meaning as it symbolises the coming together of the world as one after a tumultuous time all round.
The new dates were confirmed recently by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organising committee, with the closing ceremony set to be held on Sunday, 8th August. The Paralympics are set to be held afterwards, starting on 25th August and running until 6th September.
So, what does Tokyo have to offer in luxury? As it happens, quite a lot. This is a city that doesn’t do things by halves in any sense, so the extravagance of its top tier hotels is to be expected. With its shiny, futuristic skyscrapers and spectacular views across the sprawling megalopolis – with Mount Fuji in the background, if you get one of the best rooms – suites are second-to-none. Michelin-starred dining options and luxury spas come almost as standard, and the service is, quite frankly, impeccable.
Our top pick? The Imperial Hotel – one of the city’s very finest hotels, which has been providing first-class hospitality to guests for over a century, with no signs of its standards slipping any time soon. Boasting an impressive 13 restaurants, lavish suites, a heated pool and spa, it offers all the facilities you could need to enjoy a relaxing stay – whether you’re keen to unwind after a day taking in the trackside action, or immerse yourself in the city’s buzzing cultural scene.
This year’s Euro 2020 UEFA football event was supposed to mark a huge milestone for the tournament, which was set to celebrate its 60th anniversary – and for the first time ever would span, not one, but twelve countries across the continent.
So, if you’re eager to enjoy a bit of European sunshine, or simply immerse yourself in the local culture, then you can, quite literally, take your pick during the revised dates of 11th June to 11th July 2021 – with the initial group stages set to be held in Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Scotland, the Netherlands and Spain.
The quarter finals will be played in Italy, Germany, Russia and Azerbaijan – with the final kicking off at London’s Wembley Stadium on 11th July 2021.
If you’re keen to catch the opening match, then a short hop to Copenhagen, Denmark is a great opportunity to soak up some of the excitement whilst relaxing in the lap of luxury when it all gets too much. The Radisson Collection Royal Hotel is ideally located for both the stadium and exploring the city itself and offers breath-taking panoramic views across the city. Designed by Arne Jacobsen as Copenhagen’s first skyscraper, it features iconic modern design elements that exude opulence at every turn.
Whilst the UK might be home turf for some, it doesn’t make it any less worthy of inclusion in our line up of top sporting destinations to visit in 2021. Not only will it, once again, be playing host to the famous Wimbledon tournament – the oldest and arguably most prestigious event in the sport – from July 21st, but its Wembley Stadium will also serve as the backdrop for the Euro 2021 final.
You could easily spend all summer in the capital, and there’s no shortage of luxury for the taking should you decide to do so. Treat yourself to the very finest accommodation money can buy at The Savoy – set in Covent Garden, just behind The Strand and in a prime location for shopping and sightseeing.
Fusing Edwardian style with Art Deco on opposite sides, it’s home to a range of opulent eateries including Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, with the American Bar offering beautiful views of the Thames. The service here is truly a cut above, and the in-house Book Butler is a must. They will provide you with novels hand-selected by the hotel’s grandly titled Literary Ambassador, should you find yourself with some time to relax back at your digs.
Home or away, 2021 promises to be an exciting year in sport – so get booking now to guarantee your slice of the action, from the VIP box, of course.