If you want to stay in one of the most innovative buildings ever built, then you need to swiftly book into Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers. Designed by HOK International, it is located on the highest part of the city, overlooking the sweep of the Caspian Sea, the old Inner City and Baku itself. It is built in the shape and essence of a flame for Azerbaijan is known as “the land of fire”.
The owner has also commissioned a museum-calibre collection of modern art to complement the architecture – for an art orientated individual, this is a must.
An obvious activity is to take a two or three hour walking tour around the old city or Icheri Sheher. Close to the Caspian Sea, Icheri Sheher contained the entire city until it overspilled outside in the 19th century. Must see’s include the Museum of Miniature Books, the Maiden’s Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
One of the most extraordinary buildings in Baku has to be the breathtaking vision of Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre. It is coloured white for purity and no one line is straight – the curves never-ending, depicting eternity. The building often shows exclusive exhibitions such as the recent Andy Warhol exhibit.
Enjoy a traditional meal at one of the many good local restaurants in the city. I have eaten at the Mugham Klub and enjoyed the very freshest of herb salads, meat/vegetable gutabs (pancakes) and a meat pilaff. To accompany the meal, take tea and end with a delicious pahklava.
Baku is very walkable with most tourist attractions in the centre. For those a little further away, like the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art, take an “Aubergine” as the locals call the purple London cabs on Baku’s streets! The concierge at Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers has little cards available with the names of all the main attractions written in Azeri so it’s easy to make everyone understand you.
Contributer & Photographer: Sue Lowry. For sets of images of Baku, Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Khinalig, Gobustan, Ateshgah Fire Temple and Yanar Dag, visit Sue’s Flickr stream.
Sue travelled as a guest of Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers and British Airways. Follow Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers on Twitter: @FairmontBaku and on Facebook/Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers. They are also on Pinterest and YouTube. Follow British Airways on Twitter: @British_Airways and on Facebook/British Airways.
Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook, YouTube and Google+: MagellanPR / on Pinterest and Flickr: Sue Lowry. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com. Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller.