With Spring upon us and Summer rapidly approaching, many of us are looking to get away for some adventure and relaxation. Even if you’ve already planned for that holiday or maybe you haven’t, there are quite a few places that are being considered the must-visit hot spots for the year. Based on industry news and trends and with the input from A-list travel agents and local experts, you’ll find a brief summation of some of those placing “that are changing the travel map”.
Right here in the United States, we vast array of places to visit that will be sure to cater to whatever type of vacation that you are seeking. The U.S. is filled with great beaches from coast to coast, mountains, well-known national parks and several landmarks and areas of great history. One of these destinations that was mentioned were Houston, for its ambitious food scene. Miami is always a hot spot but in addition to South Beach, the spotlight has now turned to the Mid-Beach neighborhood. And of course, New York City is always hot. And while you’re in the Tri-State area, why not check out Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and the other neighboring states. There are so many more great places to visit in the U.S. Just do some research and you’re bound to find something for everyone.
For more than a decade it used to be Marrakesh that was on everyone’s destination list. Now it’s all about Fez. Fez is about 240 miles northeast of Marrakesh. Locals and expatriates are restoring riads and continue to as hotels, restaurants and galleries pop up. The biggest news right now is the Hotel Sahrai. This hotel has a rooftop bar and 50 rooms, many overlooking an infinity pool. Other notable places to stay are Karawan Riad and Palais Faraj. As far as restaurants go, Restaurant No. 7 is at the top of the list with its rotating series of acclaimed guest chefs. This year Fez also debuts an upgraded airport that will accommodate 2.5 million passengers, five times its current volume. The long range outlook looks good for Fez. So far over-development is not an issue.
Famous for its 1600 pandas, most of which are still in the wild. Chengdu is becoming more appealing to a broader range of travelers due to a new 72 hour no visa policy. This policy makes it easier for Americans to drop in on one of the city’s three major panda research facilities. As “city on the rise”, Chengdu offers several new hotels including The Swire’s Temple House, the Fairmount, Six Senses and Qing Cheng Mountain. One of its shiniest new attractions is the New Century Global Centre. It is considered the world’s largest building and is complete with an artificial beach.
Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic
Far from the resort-clogged beaches of Punta Cana, Puerta Plata is DR’s less frequented northern shore has remained under the radar. With developments in the works for 2015, sun-seekers are going to be lured here. Places to stay: The Gansevoort, has 3 bedroom apartment with private pools and 4 bedroom penthouses with rooftop hot tubs. Aman Villas is the 1st golf-integrated Aman Resort. Aman Resorts are well-known throughout the Caribbean.
This destination is known for being “a big, futuristic ambition”. Its constantly unfolding city center has become an eye-popping explosion of style. The latest attraction and reason enough to visit is the MVRDV-designed Markthal. It’s an igloo-like horseshoe that houses 96 stalls (Dutch cheeses to Moroccan spices reflecting the polyglot city), 20 shops, 9 restaurants and 228 apartments. It also features Holland’s largest artwork. Other recent starchitect landmarks include the multi-purpose Rotterdam Central Train Station and native son Rem Koolhaas’s nhow hotel, which sits like a pile of stacked metal boxes on the south bank of the Maas River, the city’s reigning cultural hub.
Most well-known as the birthplace of Napoleon. “Go inland and you will find the soul of Corsica”, advises Jean-Sebastien Orsini, director of traditional Corsiean polyphonic choir in the foothill town of Calanzana. Other attractions include the olive groves and quiet villages that dot the slopes and isolated valleys of the interior. If you’re into hiking, they have several hiking trails. The best time to go to Corsica is May-June and September-October for walking, hiking, biking and horseback riding. July through August (peak tourist season) for beaches and water sports.
The capital, Muscat, is only a short flight from Dubai. Arriving here feels like “stepping into a page from The Arabian Nights. The resort of choice is Chedi, which has a new spa. Still ruled by a sultan, who has modernized his country and kept it one of the most stable in the region without compromising the authentic charms of a ravishing culture. Many new resort options will be available this year.
Other hot destinations:
- Koyasan, Japan
- Maramures, Romania
- Haida Gawaii
- Tunis, Tunisia
- Choquequirao, Peru
- Mons, Belgium
- Faroe Islands
- Salta, Argentina Channel Islands
- Coober Pedy, Australia
- Abu Dhabi
- Milan, Italy (hosting Expo 2015 May 1-October 31)
What inspires a trip varies from person to person, of course. But whether you’re looking to take a Summer vacay or planning something for other times throughout the year, any place that you choose to visit should be one that brings you many years of unforgettable, irreplaceable memories. Enjoy and be safe in your travels.