Around the World in 40 Love
At Blend Group, we don’t think there are many better ways to experience the world than by mixing luxury travel with the best sporting occasions on the planet. Tennis, and its four prestigious majors, present the opportunity to visit some of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world while enjoying the world-class action on show from the best seats in the house.
Here’s our guide to 2024’s tennis Grand Slams and the destinations which host them.
Australian Open, January
Up first and dating back to 1905 is the Australian Open, kicking off in mid-January at the Melbourne Park tennis complex, its home since 1988. The facility encompasses several courts, including the world-renowned Rod Laver and Margaret Court arenas. Historically, the Australian Open has been the highest attended of all four tennis Grand Slams, with the 2023 edition enthralling over 900,000 live viewers, in contrast to Wimbledon’s 500,000 attendees.
While not as well renowned for luxury travel as its counterpart Sydney, Melbourne is undoubtedly full of culture. For example, a short drive from the city is the Yarra Valley, a picturesque wine region boasting several vineyards that are best explored by private tour. Visitors to Melbourne also have access to the Great Ocean Road, a 240 km stretch which takes in the world-famous 12 Apostles, iconic surf spots, pristine rainforest, stunning waterfalls, and more.
When it comes to luxury cuisine, Australia’s chic gem of the south also has you covered, from monthly food festivals to fine dining restaurants. Amongst our favourites here at Blend Group are O.MY, a casual bistro with a focus on farm-first, minimal-waste dining, and Vue de Monde, which sits 55 storeys high and offers a high-end international mix of modern Australian and European food.
French Open, May-June
Up next the Roland-Garros plays host, as the world of tennis descends on Paris. Having been held on an impressive 122 occasions, the men’s French Open has been dominated in the modern era by one person. The clay-adoring Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, has claimed victory at an incredible 14 of the last 19 events, however, it’s Djokovic who’ll be defending the title in 2024, as his victory in France last summer saw him become the standalone men’s grand slam title holder with his 23rd victory.
The French Open is arguably the ultimate destination for a luxury sport and culture getaway, as the City of Light offers an abundance of sophistication, culture and high-end cuisine. With a proud and vibrant history, Paris is home to some of Europe’s most notable landmarks, including the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Moulin Rouge.
Paris is also at the forefront of modern, high-end gastronomy, boasting over 100 Michelin-star restaurants. Monsieur Bleu sits within a historic museum and diners can gaze over the Seine and the Eiffel Tower, while Kei Kobayashi, which achieved its third Michelin star in 2020, offers a stunning fusion of French Japanese cuisine.
Held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon remains the most prestigious of the four tennis majors. A fixture on the sporting calendar since 1877, it is also the oldest of the four and it retains many of its original traditions, including the necessity for players to compete in whites.
From impromptu gigs to post-match seat scaling, the tournament has provided an abundance of iconic moments over the years. The image of a fresh-faced 17-year-old Boris Becker bursting onto the scene and winning in style in 1985 will forever be etched in history, while Goran Ivanisevic’s moment of glory in 2001 remains one of sport’s biggest upsets.
This year will see the tattooed Czech sensation Markéta Vondroušová look to defend her first-ever major in the ladies competition, while Spanish hotshot Carlos Alcaraz will hope to defend his men’s title, following his win in last summer’s epic final showdown against Djokovic.
Away from the court, London’s rich tapestry of cultural offerings provides an incredible setting for luxury enjoyment alongside the sport. The city’s culinary scene is one of the best in the world and continues to improve. Take a look at our insights on some of the capital’s most exciting new restaurant openings, as well as our favourite luxury hotels in the city.
US Open, August-September
Completing the quartet is the tennis world’s autumn edition, set once again to be held in Queen’s, New York City. Unquestionably one of the world’s most stylish, iconic and luxurious cities, New York is the ideal location for a luxury sporting getaway. From rooftop bars and art galleries to Michelin-star restaurants and high-end shopping opportunities, New York has it all.
Taking place on the hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows, the US Open has just turned 50 years old but has already provided a host of memorable moments, including Emma Raducanu’s iconic 2021 victory and Steffi Graf’s 1988 win, sealing her Golden Slam at the tender age of 19.
With around 70 Michelin-star restaurants, New York is one of the most bountiful cities in the world for fine dining. Among the hottest culinary spots in 2024 are Odo, the serene and intimate Japanese-themed spot, and Eleven Madison Park, a truly modern establishment which offers an exquisite plant-based menu. For some more inspiration, check out our recent insight on the city that never sleeps.
If you’d like to talk to us about a luxury sporting break, we’d love to hear from you here so we can begin creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you. We’ll take care of everything from travel and tickets to accommodation and extra special experiences, meaning there’s nothing for you to worry about.