–Words by Jo Baldwin
Travel gives us many amazing experiences, and this year is set to be no different. Here, I take a quick look at what 2020 has in store across the world.
Matera, located in the arch of Italy’s foot, will star in the newest Bond movie this year. It’s a strange, prehistoric-looking UNESCO World Heritage city built into the rock of a ravine. Mater’s famous for sassi, cave dwellings turned into galleries, restaurants and charming cave hotels like Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita.
Hipster Cruising may seem like a contradiction in terms but this year sees the launch of Virgin Voyages, which will offer just that: Adult only ships with Tom Dixon- designed interiors, a tattoo parlour, karaoke studios, open-air gym, a vinyl record shop curated by musician Mark Ronson, bars serving craft beer, and all inclusive restaurants; such as Razzle Dazzle, serving vegan ‘Impossible Burgers’ and ‘CBD Cocktails’. It’s cruising, but not as you know it!
Intrepid Holidays! With the increasingly chosen vegan lifestyle, Intrepid Holidays now offer vegan food adventure tours in India, Italy and Thailand; with insider tips on where to find the best vegan eats, unique activities, such as vegan-friendly cooking classes and authentic new travel experiences.
Lagoon Attitude in Mauritius is a brand new adult only hotel dedicated to social and environmental sustainability practices; including no single use plastic, up-cycled furniture, using local produce, marine discovery visits and clean up initiatives for guests.
Striking in its bold design, which looks like a birds nest crossed with a wooden fort, the new Arctic Bath Hotel in Sweden Lapland has all the wow factor as it’s usually afloat! Visit in summer, when the hotel will be floating on the water to see the midnight sun. And in winter, the hotel will be surrounded by frozen river. And if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights will make an appearance.
In the Med, the latest addition to The Domes sophisticated Grecian brands portfolio is a short stroll from the Mediterranean’s latest hotspot of Chania in Crete. Domes Zeen Chania is an eco-conscious, minimalist modern village, where cool families escape the crowds in favour of easy, poolside living.
The UAE’s best kept secret, Oberoi Beach Resort Al Zorah is close to Dubai yet has a tranquil setting amongst one million square metres of protected mangroves, with pristine white sand beaches and lagoons.
For families who love an all-inclusive getaway ClubMed is a great choice. 2020 sees their newest hotel opening on the private Indian Ocean island of St Anne in the Seychelles: The Club Med Seychelles Eco-Resort. Adults and children will awaken their inner Robinson Crusoe on a holiday in total harmony with nature, within this protected national marine park.
Travelling Solo? There’s never been a better time, with travel trends seeing a huge rise in the popularity of solo travel. Exodus now have ‘Edits’ tours, offering curated world adventures, for busy professionals in their 30s and 40s, designed to help maximise annual leave, packed with adventure and active itineraries.
In Utah, the number one hotel on everyone’s wish list is Amangiri (meaning “peaceful mountain”) which blends seamlessly into the ever changing landscape, ochre in the morning light, apricot by midday, dazzling pink at dusk. Also a favourite is The View Hotel, where the name is a giveaway for the fact that it overlooks the iconic Monument Valley mittens rock formations, and also provides jaw dropping starlit night time vistas, perfect for star gazing.
Oman is fast becoming a popular choice with families and couples seeking nature, adventure and relaxation in equal measures. Unwind on the stretched os sandy beaches, explore the golden sand dunes and towering mountains and discover the rich cultural cities.
Japan’s newest luxury hotel Aman Kyoto is one of the year’s most anticipated hotel openings. Inspired by the tradition ryokan and onsen, it’s Japan’s most indulgent and private hotels and in easy reach of Kyoto’s 17 world heritage sites.
Costa Rica has been providing travellers with eco resorts for decades, leading the way in environmentally sustainable travel. The brand new tented eco-friendly sanctuary Kasiiya Papagayo is nestled in the tropical jungle, next to perfect unspoilt beaches and has five private tented suites hidden away on a private 123-acre private reserve.
A visit to Bali wouldn’t be complete without visiting the cultural centre of Ubud, with its boho cafes, shops, yoga retreats, temples and lush jungle. The newest hotel on the block here, Capella Ubud, is a boutique luxury tented camp located high in the rainforest. Foodies will love sitting around the live cooking station and watch the chef fire up some incredible Asian barbecue food.
Namibia is undoubtedly the safari destination of 2020. As the safest country is Africa, it’s perfect for self-drive holiday where the whole family get to enjoy unbeatable safari drives, cultural experiences and countless adventures and fun in the Namib Desert.
Located on New Zealand’s south island, the new Lindis Hotel epitomises the Kiwi notion of “manaakitanga” meaning hospitality. The Lindis has been designed to be a place where you can slow down from the fast-pace of everyday life, whilst being enclosed by pristine wilderness. For those wishing to stay active, there’s fly-fishing, horse trekking, cycling tours, vineyard visits and exhilarating 4WD tours.
Ras Al Khaimah is around 45 minutes from Dubai, and will feature the new Maldivian resort style Anantara Mina Al Arab Khaimah Resort offering overwater luxury villas on the Arabian Gulf in an eco-sanctuary.
One & Only Gorilla’s Nest in the foothill of the Virunga Volcano Range allow you to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime personal encounter with rare and majestic mountain gorillas, roaming free in their own natural habitat.
The new Six Senses New York is the first North American property for Six Senses and will feature two unique, twisting towers located between Manhattan’s Hudson River and the popular High Line, an elevated railway transformed into a public park, featuring lush horticulture, artworks, and seasonal food.
Now that you can fly direct to Western Australia, Perth and Australia’s West Coast has seen a surge in popularity. There’s independent new cafes, bars and restaurants, culture and music aplenty. Plus great beaches within easy reach of the city. Beyond the city, it’s the jumping-off point to go South to Margaret River, well established as a foodie destination, with top-notch produce and wines. And North, there’s Ningaloo Reef, where you can swim with whale sharks!