New year, new adventures. We’ve got you and your bucket list covered and have rounded up the most awe-inspiring travel trends – revealing where you have to travel in 2017! Skip getting lost in sourcing 2017’s #trenddestinations and enjoy planning your travels to these must-visits. And who doesn’t mind joining the global blogger elite holidaying at these trend destinations!
When travelling to Marrakesh, you will open up all senses to soak in everything this cultural melting pot has to offer. Known as ‘The Red City’ due to its thick walls surrounding the old city, exploring Marrakesh promises amazing, sun soaked weather all-year-round with its hottest months from June to September. Get lost wandering around and expect one amazing photo-opp after another with its stunning ancient palaces and thousands of years old cultural places.
WHAT TO DO IN MARRAKESH:
- Go shopping at the souqs. Dive into the whirlwind these traditional markets with ancient stalls and modern boutiques selling everything from traditional brightly-coloured spices, to hand-woven Morroccan carpets and babouches (traditional slippers). Make sure to bargain with the vendors!
- Leave the ‘Old Town’, also called Medina, behind. Explore the vast array of restaurants, cafés and art galleries offering modern cuisine mixed with traditional elements in the ‘Ville Nouvelle’ (new town), explore the surrounding desert and pay a visit to ‘Palmeraie’, a oasis with several hundred thousands of trees located just outside of Marrakesh.
- Indulge in local cuisine. French cuisine meets North African flavours! Besides trying traditional dishes such as pastille, tanija dishes and harira at omnipresent street food markets, make sure to pay a visit to Nomad Marrakesh in the heart of Medina, with its traditional Moroccan cuisine and stunning rooftop views!
- Get lost at Jemaa el-Fnaa. The main square of Morocco being frequented by locals and tourists alike seems overwhelming at first but once you dive into its craziness, you will experience an outer worldly Morocco. Listen to story-tellers telling their tales in Berber or Arabic to a local audience, get bewitched by magicians, and watch hawkers of traditional old medicine work their magic.
- Stay at a traditional riad. Marrakesh has countless hidden oasis with courtyards rich in natural greens and stunning rooftops offering views over Medina and beyond.
WHERE TO SLEEP: RIAD YASMINE
If you haven’t come across one of the most Instagram-able riads in Morocco, it’s about time! The travel blogger elite such as Jack and Lauren from @doyoutravel, Leonie from @ohhcouture and Angelica from @angelicablick called this charming boutique hotel their home-away-from-home and we cannot wait to visit ourselves very soon!
Besides what must be one of the most enchanted and beautiful patios in Morocco (and there are a lot of very charming ones!), Riad Yasmine has a lot more to offer: book yourself one of the 7 traditional rooms and suites of refined architectural beauty for the ultimate Moroccan experience. Soak in the views from their 220 sqm roof top terrace overlooking the buzzing city of Marrakesh.
- Room rates start at a budget-friendly nightly rate of 90US$.
The seaside town on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula quickly rose to Insta-fame after blogger grands such as Jessica from TuulaVintage and Camille from Camille Over The Rainbow made it their first-choice holiday destination. Being not only a pretty face but also showing character, there is a lot to explore in the Tulum area.
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO:
1. Take a day trip to ancient Mayan ruins in the Tulum area. Get there early to beat the crowds!
2. Explore the stunning underwater world in Tulum’s countless Cenotes – Mexican for natural freshwater pools, underwater caves and caverns.
3. Work on your tan at the white sandy beach Playa Paraíso and cool off in its glistening crystal clear waters.
5. Explore the natural park Sian Ka’an. Located south of Tulum, the reserve contains more than 1.2 million acres of estuaries, reefs, cenotes, and wetlands. Take tours of the local wildlife, take part in a diving or snorkeling tour, or simply just tour around the beautiful and expansive park.
WHERE TO SLEEP: Azulik Hotel
ADDRESS: Carretera Tulum Ruinas Km. 5, Rojo Gomez rumbo a Punta Allen, Zona Hotelera Tulum
This enchanted Adults-only eco resort & maya spa feels like the true back-to-nature experience or #ReconnectionSanctuary how Azulik classifies it. Get off the grid (no electricity – no TVs – no phones) and stay at one of their treehouse villas for a holistic Mexican experience you won’t forget.
Located only 4km from town, you are still close enough to all the hotspots yet far away to truly disconnect. What better place to dive into the latest novel and spend quality time with your love.
- Room rates start at 549US$/per night for the Mayan Villa and 1500US$/per night for the Honeymoon Villa
Crescent-shaped Santorini, the precious gem of the Aegean Sea and one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, is located in the southernmost part of Cyclades, Greece. Glistening blue waters fronted by multicolored cliffs soaring over 300m and white traditional stone houses lining the cliff tops will take your breath away the moment you arrive.
Santorini’s breathtaking beauty and its geological and historical sites make it one of the most Instagrammed destinations worldwide – think an active volcano with an underwater-crater, pristine blue-and-white designs wherever you look and countless archaeological sites.
3 MUST-DO’S IN SANTORINI:
- Explore the island’s towns: Firá is the picturesque capital of the island perched high up on the edge of the Caldera looking like a beautiful painting. Get your prime holiday shots in Oia, Imerovígli and Firostefáni which are located high above on a cliff, making up the so-called “Caldera’s eyebrow” offering mesmerizing views of the ocean and the volcano.
- Eat and drink your way through Greece’s kitchen: Greek Yoguhurt, 2$ Gyros, homemade Ouzo, seafood: you name it! Make sure to pay Amoudi Bay a visit for freshly caught seafood goodness.
- Hike the Firà trail and catch sunset in Oia. Pack your water, external battery and photo partner and hike along from Firá to Oia – we recommend doing this late in the afternoon to catch the magical sunset light and avoid the heat. It should take you around three hours when walking at a relaxed pace. Click here for directions.
WHERE TO SLEEP: PEGASUS SUITES & SPA
When staying in Santorini, waking up to an impeccable view is mandatory! The luxurious resort Pegasus Suites & Spas is located in the small village of Imerovigli and set dramatically over the cliffs of Santorini island. Its appealing interior design – think natural caves, volcanic rocks and signature colours of blue and white – is only the start to your most romantic getaway ever!
Villa with private pool or suite with private jacuzzi – which one of the countless photo-opps would be your favourite for your wedding, honeymoon or celebrating-life getaway in Greece? You will be spoilt for choice by which setting you wish to create these unique memories that will last a life time!
- Room rates range from approx. 440US$ per night at the Junior Suite to approx. 1190US$ per night for the Grand Luxury Plunge Pool Suite.
You cannot NOT put the ‘pearl of the ‘Indian Ocean’ on your bucket list in 2017: rough mountain areas meet lush tea farms meet stunning beaches. Whether you are the more adventurous (Safari! Jungle hike!) or the more relaxed traveller (Wellness lodges! Beach walks!), beautiful Sri Lanka will have you covered and is waiting for you only a short flight from Asian hub Singapore.
If you haven’t got itchy feet yet – get inspired with our 10 MUST-DO’S IN SRI LANKA.
From quiet beach side bungalows to stunning lake views, or even secluded lodges set high in the mountains, the best hotels in Sri Lanka have so much to offer when it comes to living it up in beautiful and natural surroundings.
WHERE TO SLEEP: TRI LANKA
ADDRESS: Koggala Lake, Aladuwa Watte, Pelassa, Thitthagalle, Ahangama 80650, Sri Lanka
In the peaceful surroundings of Koggala Lake lies Tri Lanka, one of the the first truly contemporary, sustainable luxury design hotels in the trend destination Sri Lanka. Located only 20km southeast of Galle, Sri Lanka’s must-stay Tri Lanka offers a captivating design guided by nature with all materials sourced locally. Catered for a super relaxing and stress-free vacation, Tri Lanka also puts an emphasis on creative experiences allowing you to dive into the best of Sri Lankan culture.
- Rooms start at approx. 270 US$ per room per night in low-season.
AMALFI COAST, ITALY
Italy’s most picturesque and photogenic coast line (also part of the UNESCO world heritage!) consists of 12 municipalities, with Positano, Praiano, Amalfi, Minori and Cetara amongst the most well-known ones. Feeling set back into the glamorous jet set 70’s with its bright orange-green striped sunbeds and la dolce vita it’s hard not to dream of sipping on rosé and spaghetti napoli when hearing about this hyped trend destination.
3 THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT MISS OUT ON:
1. Indulge in Italian food: eat pasta (skip the low-carb diet, you are in Italy after all!), cool down with a fresh, regional almond milk on ice and start the evening with a glass of limoncello!
2. Charter a boat to see the beautiful coast line and its beaches (our favourite: Monterosso) from the water – the famed island of Capri is also only a short boat ride away and if you’re lucky your skipper will have a bottle or two of his grandma’s homemade limoncello on board.
3. Hike from village to village to get the best views over the coast line and its sparkling waters as well as its mountainous landscape with picturesque houses nestled in the cliffs whose construction appear to defy any logic. Best time to travel is May – June and September – October to beat the heat and summer vacationers.
WHERE TO SLEEP: LE SIRENUSE
When travelling to the Amalfi Coast, you should not miss spending a night or two at the long-established luxury boutique hotel Le Sirenuse. Opened in 1951, when the four Marchesi brothers from Naples decided to open their summer house in Positano for international travellers, it hasn’t lost its spark ever since and is considered one of Italy’s leading seaside luxury hotels. Remaining a charming gem on the Amalfi coast with its 58 uniquely designed rooms, it’s also one of the most favourite hotels of globally-renown travel blogger @tuulavintage.
- Rooms start at approx. 313 US$ per night.
Bali will always be our first love. Hiking volcanos during sunrise, indulging in world-class cuisines, sipping on sunset cocktails in the most stylish beach clubs, learning to surf and relax-and-unwind surrounded by jungle vibes – Bali has it all!
Browse our countless UNIQUE GUIDES TO BALI here to get inspired for a trip of a lifetime!
WHERE TO SLEEP: THE UNGASAN CLIFFTOP RESORT
ADDRESS: Jalan Pantai Selatan Gau. Ungasan 80362 Bali, Indonesia
The Ungasan Clifftop Resort offers one of the most stunning, undisturbed views over Bali’s coastline and beyond. Offering a choice of 7 architecturally designed unique villas, tennis court, putting green, helicopter pad, 2 amazing restaurants, gym with a view, Vela Spa as well as one of Bali’s best beach clubs Sunday’s Beach Club – this has to be your best choice when travelling to Bali.
Experience dedicated personal service in a pure luxury setting within your private accommodation. Whether you are planning a family getaway, your wedding with the most stunning backdrop, or simply seek to unwind in discreet luxury by spoiling yourself with a stay in one of their 1-bedroom villas – The Ungasan will make sure your holiday in Bali will be unforgettable one.
- Rooms rates range from approx. 550US$ for a 1-bedroom villa and 2.600US$ for Villa Tamarama, hosting up to 10 people.
Nicknamed as Formosa (meaning “Beautiful Island” in Portuguese), Taiwan is a hidden gem of Southeast Asia just waiting to be discovered! From the vibrant capital of Taipei City to dramatic cliffside ocean views, friendly locals, traditional temples to mouthwatering dishes- this island has it all.
WHAT TO DO IN TAIWAN:
- Travel to the top of Taipei 101 and marvel at the fantastic city scenery nestled amongst the distant mountain. Once up top this iconic landmark, we suggest sitting back and enjoying a coffee or gelato!
- Eat and shop at the local night markets. Across the city you can take your pick of more than 15 night markets to experience. Get your haggling game on and head to our favorite Shilin Night Market located just out of Jiantan MRT Station.
- Cafe hop through the city and get your caffeine fix, while experiencing the booming coffee culture of Taiwan. The capital city alone is home to a unique collection of coffee shops that gathers influences from around the world. From minimalistic venues such as Coffee DPT, to cute and cozy like Sugar Pea, we promise you there’s something for everyone and every tastebud here.
- Take it easy at Sun Moon Lake, because you deserve a break! Offering picturesque scenery and clear blue waters, this idyllic lake is the perfect place escape the urban noise. We suggest taking a leisurely boat ride to get that perfect Insta-shot.
- Soak in the natural hot springs for a better health. Set off on a hike within the mountains or check in at a hotspring resort for a natural sulfur bath to relieve any body pains and clear up your skin! Take our pick at Chou Sun Villa for a zen getaway that will leave you feeling refreshed and reenergized.
- Get lost in the Old Street of Jiu Fen for a glimpse of the past. Situated on the mountainside by the sea, Jiu Fen carries a rich history and culture dating back to the Qing Dynasty. The unbeatable view paired with countless of shops and eateries makes this a must-visit place of Taiwan.
WHERE TO SLEEP: The Lalu Sun Moon Lake
Located in one of our must-visit place of Taiwan, The Lalu Sun Moon Lake offers breathtaking views and luxurious amenities that will keep you disconnected from the rest of the world. Click here to read our full review!
- Room rates start from approx. 488US$ per night
You have most likely come across the dreamy images with the sky filled with hot air balloons – and always wondered where it was (assuming the geotag was missing!). Located in the central Anatolian region of Turkey only a 1.5 hour flight from Istanbul, Cappadocia is best known for its unique lunar-like landscape, underground historical cities and cave churches as well as its balloon rides.
But that’s not all the region has to offer – or how does skiing down a volcano sound?
MORE MUST-DO’S IN CAPPADOCIA:
- Horse riding. Cappadocia means ‘the land of beautiful horses’ and what could be more exciting than exploring its beautiful nature on the back of a horse. Plus: you will visit areas tour buses cannot reach! Traverse fascinating valleys, cross ancient villages greeting the locals and ride through walnut gardens.
- Balloon riding. The obvious must-do when visiting Cappadocia – adventuring around the rough landscape on the ground is fascinating, but wait until you see the dramatic rock formations and vast strips of nothing-ness surrounded by many other colorful balloons.
- Go hiking. You enjoy being active surrounded by the nature or are travelling on a budget? Cappadocia offers endless breathtaking trails waiting to be explored. Pick your favourite route, pack some lunch (how about some traditional pottery kebab) and water, and set off for a one-of-a-kind day experience including endless caves and rock climbing opportunities.
WHERE TO SLEEP: ROX CAPPADOCIA
One of Cappadocia’s most unique and award-winning (Best Rooftop View hotel in the European continent by World Luxury Hotel Awards 2015) boutique hotels – Rox – is located right next to famous Uchisar Castle, offering panoramic views of the city of Goreme and Guvercinlik Valley from its terraces. Set in a renovated, old traditional Greek house, its interior design features unique stone architecture and its rooms are decorated with unique custom design furniture.
Start your day with a traditional rich breakfast offering a tasteful selection of organic products, local cheese and homemade jams (insert drooling smiley here). Round your up your morning meal with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea while soaking in the views of Mount Erciyes, Uchisar Castle and the colourful hot air balloons rising over the valleys.
A must-mention: their check-out time is a relaxed 12:00, so you can sleep in and really enjoy the morning.
- Room rates start at approx. 105US$ per night.
The ‘Sultanate of Oman’ has always been a flourishing country of trade and beyond. Provoking images of red deserts with bedouin tents and caravans of camels marching across and simultaneously breathtaking palaces covered in golden details and magical corners.
WHAT TO DO IN OMAN:
- Go for a swim in the 60-metre deep Bimah Sinkhole which is located just 2 hours outside of Muscat. With glistening blue waters set against greyscale stone it is an enchanted place where many Omani legends try to explain its formation.
- Shop souvenirs and find treasures on the markets of Oman’s capital, Muscat. Venture a little out of town to the old souq Muttrah to find dazzling jewellery and dive into the Arab culture.
- Visit Nizwa and and Bahla forts in Nizwa, a 1-2 hour drive from Oman’s capital city. The most visited monument in Oman cannot be missed on your travels through this captivating country!
- Trek in the Al Hajar mountains if you are the more adventurous traveller. The peaks are rising to more than 3,000 metres and offer breathtaking views of the countryside between Muscat and Nizwa.
- Spend a night under the stars. Do it like the bedouins and book yourself into a traditional tent to spend the night in the desert with the wide night sky above you.
WHERE TO SLEEP: Alila Jabal Akhdar
The enchanted Alila Jabal Akhdar (meaning “The Green Mountain” in Arabic) is located of the Al Hajar mountain range, one of Oman’s most stunning regions (venturing out for a hike is a must-do on your holiday!). Perched here 2,000 metres above sea level, Alila Jabal Akhdar overlooks a dramatic gorge, surrounded by jaw-dropping views of the Al Hajar Mountains. Don’t miss out on staying in this haven offering a welcoming retreat from the desert heat in the most stunning and luxurious surroundings, experiencing the height of sumptuous comfort and Omani hospitality.
Which of these trend destinations have you visited? Spill your personal secrets in our Facebook group The Asia Collective – Luxe Travellers and share your travel experiences with fellow travel addicts!