InterContinental ICons aims to uncover and spark conversations around what makes some of our most-visited cities unique and why they continue to inspire visitors and residents. Responding to research demonstrating that the most popular sights in global cities are not always representative of the cities’ unique spirit, we invite you to rediscover these places with #intercontinentalicons.
WHAT MAKES A CITY TRULY ICONIC?
Through an independent study, carried out in Dubai, Mexico City, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Sydney, we revealed that travellers often feel that they only scratch the surface of a city, with more than 70% feeling obliged to only see the most popular tourist sites, despite 80% expressing the desire to experience more of what the city has to offer and exploring like a well-informed local.
Social media analysis reveals that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most over-exposed tourist site in the world, representing 10% of all posts worldwide, with Buckingham Palace the most-tagged site in London (21%) and Central Park the most-tagged in New York City (20%).
We want to ensure our guests, and all worldly travellers, are able to discover the true essence of a destination. We invite you to take part in a global conversation debating what makes a city truly iconic. What do you see as the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings in these cities? The findings will inform the top five InterContinental ICons in Dubai, Mexico City, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Sydney, to enable travellers to create a more authentic itinerary on future visits.
Some of the leading InterContinental Hotels and Resorts across the world have curated bookable experiences inspired by the InterContinental ICons.
The winning ICons for New York
- Fresh bagels at a West Village bagel shop
- Sipping craft cocktails in a bar in an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Brooklyn
- The sharp blue sky against the striking architecture of the city skyline seen from the Hudson River Ferry
- Soaking up the sunshine on a lunchtime picnic in Central Park
- The astonishing luminosity as you stand on the concourse of the Oculus
InterContinental New York Barclay
Step into the kitchen of The Barclay with Chef Peter Betz for a private New York Breakfast at the Chef’s Table. Enjoy a classic NY breakfast prepared live by our own Chef and participate in crafting the dishes. Shake up a cocktail from one of our historic classics menu.
Includes a tour of the Barclay rooftop garden and Apiary, two (2) tickets to One World Observatory and a Central Park picnic-inspired welcome amenity. Min two night stay in a suite accommodation.
Inclusions for the New York breakfast:
- Classic New York Bagels with house smoked salmon, whitefish, selection of flavored cream cheese
- Artisinal pastries
- Eggs Benedict
- Fresh fruit
- Smoothies and fresh squeezed juice prepared live
Please call the hotel at +1.212.755.5900
InterContinental Presidente Mexico City
Get to know Mexico City and its museums with this iconic city tour:
InterContinental Presidente Mexico City invites you to be part of this adventure that begins by walking along the iconic Paseo de la Reforma Avenue until you reach Chapultepec Park, where you will enjoy the most important green lung of the city. At the highest point of the green forest, visit Chapultepec Castle and be surprised by its history and beautiful views.
Later, don’t miss Plaza Garibaldi, where you will enjoy the traditional live Mariachi music, as well as visit the Tequila and Mezcal Museum where you can taste these typical Mexican drinks.
Our guide will accompany you all the time to make this a unique experience.
- $230 dls (1-3 personas)
- $400 dls (4-7 personas)
Book with our Concierge department preferably 24 hours in advance directly at the desk or by mail at email@example.com
The winning ICons for Mexico
- The smoky flavour of tacos al pastor
- The scent of mezcal just before taking the first sip
- The surprising downtown museums, like the Palacio de Bellas Artes with its Diego Rivera paintings
- The contrast of buildings in Zocalo, from the plaza and National Palace to the Templo Mayor ruins
- The view of Paseo de la Reforma in the early morning
The winning ICons for Paris
- Smell of oven-fresh bread from the boulangeries of Oberkampf
- The tickles of the blades of grass during a springtime picnic in the Buttes Chaumont
- Sounds of laughter and glasses tinkling at apero hour on the terraces in Bastille
- The washing sound of boats as your stroll along Seine near the haven of Ile Saint-Louis
- Filling your basket with organic cheeses and prunes from the organic market in Les Batignolles
InterContinental Paris – Le Grand
Eat like a Parisian – take an IConic journey through one of the world’s capitals of gastronomy
InterContinental Paris – Le Grand will highlight the InterContinental ICons in Paris through an experience that allows you to Eat Like a Parisian
- Start the day with Laurent André, Executive Chef of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, and accompany him to the Batignolles market to hand pick some delicious organic produce.
- With your fresh produce in hand, head back to the hotel and enjoy a private cooking lesson with Chef André in the kitchen of the iconic Café de la Paix.
- You’ll then discover the authentically Parisian park, Les Buttes Chaumont, whilst enjoying your freshly created springtime picnic amid the lush greenery.
- After lunch, stop to enjoy the scent of freshly baked bread from the boulangeries in Oberkampf and enjoy a croissant from the bakery « Utopie », voted best bakery in France in 2016.
Thanks to this multi-sensory journey, you will discover why Paris is a true world Icon.
For bookings and more information, please contact DianeLaure.Dudoue@ihg.com at InterContinental Paris – Le Grand.
InterContinental London Park Lane
IConic London at Dawn
Stay in one of InterContinental London – Park Lane’s stunning suites and wake up to the glorious morning view of London’s skyline, a contrast of the old and new architecture which makes this city so special. Guests will then be taken to Richmond Park for a walk around one of London’s most beautiful green spaces to spot the stags and deer that roam freely throughout. Guests will be equipped with a deluxe picnic basket, containing their choice of a continental breakfast or lunch from the hotel’s Theo Randall restaurant. For optimum wildlife spotting, binoculars will be included, as well as a picnic blanket to relax and recline on while enjoying savoury and sweet treats.
Please call the hotel at +442074093131
The winning ICons for London
- The contrast of old and new architecture on the ever-changing London skyline
- A Sunday roast enjoyed by the fireside in an historic, hidden London pub
- Hearing the market traders and watching the eclectic mix of people on Portobello Road on a Friday morning
- Spotting the stags emerge in Richmond Park on a misty, autumn morning
- The thrill of seeing the twinkling lights of the capital as you cross the Thames in a cab at night
The winning ICons for Dubai
- Tasting the many unique flavours of Karak Chai along Jumeirah Beach Road
- The enchanting smell of burning bukhoor, transporting you back in time
- Sound of water lapping an Abra as it glides along Dubai Creek
- The crackle of a campfire breaking the silence on a night-time desert escape
- The fascinating contrast of old and new under the glow of a warm Dubai sunset
InterContinental Dubai Festival City
A sensory journey taking you back in time
Savour Karak Chai and Emirati delicacies during a sunset Abra cruise
Embarq on an Emirati journey mixing contemporary and Bedouin traditions along Dubai Creek. Discover the sights, senses and charms of old Dubai in this traditional boat made of wood at sunset accompanied by our InterContinental Chef delicacies including Karak Chai with different local spices.
Karak is derived from the word ‘kadak’ which means strong in Hindi. A legacy of the UAE’s long-standing trade and cultural relationship with India.
A bespoke Arabic bukhoor session with our InterContinental expert
There are many benefits of bukhoor – physical, spiritual, emotional, and medicinal. Discover the rich history, uses and benefits of each ingredient from our InterContinental Les Clefs d’Or Concierge. Mix frankincense, sandalwood, infused oils and spices to create your very own incense to bring home with you.
Get to witness how bukhoor are stored and made exclusively from the perfume shops’ factory in Al Quoz.
For additional information and to book your IConic experience, please visit InterContinental Dubai Festival City’s website.
InterContinental Dubai Marina
An IConic Karak Experience
Discover a unique tea-tasting experience with our masterclass in the heart of Dubai Marina
The creamy, fragrant and truly addictive ‘Karak’ (chai) stands strong as one of the most popular drinks in Dubai and tasting its unique flavours has been voted an InterContinental ICon.
How does one recreate that immaculate cup of Karak that is not bitter, weak or bland? Here at InterContinental Dubai Marina, you will learn the best methods to brew the perfect cup of tea in order to bring out all its refreshing flavors.
Our expert will show you how to prepare the perfect brew and we’ll take you back in time to learn the humble beginnings of Karak. To add to this quintessential experience, bring home a custom blend of Karak chai and clay cup souvenir.
Indulge in a private masterclass of incense expertise with a Master Perfumer
Bakhoor is the Arabic name given to wood chips or bricks made from sandalwood, resins, ambergris soaked in fragrant oils. It is traditional in many Arab countries to pass Bakhoor among guests in a Majlis as a gesture of hospitality.
Guests will be given a two-hour private session by Shaikha Al Remeithi starting with a brief history of Middle East’s beloved Bakhoor, which has been used and appreciated since ancient times.
Bakhoor is also aromatherapy, often associated with its ability to bring about calmness in the nervous system. The two-hour bespoke workshop offers access to a library of ingredients, to make your own fragrant blend.
For additional information and to book your IConic experience, please visit InterContinental Dubai Marina’s website.
The winning ICons for Sydney
- The cool breeze on your face as you ride the Manly to Circular Quay ferry
- The Sydney skyline viewed from a rooftop in Five Ways Paddington
- The smell of sunblock and a barbeque cooking up on the North Bondi grassy knoll
- Fish and chips enjoyed barefoot at Kutti Beach
- The sun on your shoulders on the Hermitage Foreshore walk while you soak up the best views over Sydney Harbour
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
Located in Sydney’s exclusive suburb of Double Bay, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is offering a luxurious gourmet picnic lunch to its in-house guests at the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, voted one of the InterContinental ICons.
Enjoy a selection of cheeses, sandwiches, salads, sweet treats and refreshments all packaged into a picnic basket for you to grab on departing the hotel for the Hermitage Foreshore Walk. You can catch a taxi or local bus which only takes 15 minutes to arrive at the start of the trail; you can soak up the scenery and enjoy your refreshments at a hidden bay (Queen’s Beach or Milk Beach are our favourites).
Picnic Basket is $85 based on two adults
Children’s menu available upon request. Please notify the team when placing the order if you have any dietary requirements.
T&C’s -Bookings set to minimum of 2 people. Full pre-payment required, non-refundable. Deposit of $150 is required for the hire of the picnic basket. 72 hours advance bookings essential.
Please call the hotel at +61 2 9253 9000
The winning ICons for Shanghai
- The intersection of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River at Waibaidu Bridge
- The melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund
- The warm aroma of Xiaolongbao at the Temple of the City Gods
- Brightly lit Lujiazui Financial Centre
- Old songs played on a vinyl record player
MEET THE PANEL
These worldly and influential individuals are searching for what makes the cities they love truly iconic. Join the conversation #intercontinentalicons
Deputy Editor and Fashion Features Director, British Vogue
New York-based Creative Director of Wall Street Paper and Venture Partner of Harlem Capital Partners
Sydney-based mixed media artist
Mexico City-based photographer
Dubai-based Palestinian-American TV presenter and activist
New York-based photographer
Mexico City-based content creator, travel blogger and marathoner