We think 2024 will be a watershed year for luxury travel. We read that ILTM Cannes event in December (International Luxury Travel Market) set new records as the largest ever.
We’ve scoured the internet, chatted to clients and read the some of the finest luxury travel magazines, including…
- Luxury Traveler Advisor
- Luxe Recess
- Luxury Travel Magazine
- Signature Luxury Travel & Style
- Luxe Getaways
- World Travel Magazine
- Bold Magazine
- Luxury Lifestyle Magazine
… And we’ve crafted 10 destinations for your vacation this year. We hope you enjoy the selection!
Somewhere Different – Udaipur, India
The Rajasthani city is renowned for its lakes, palaces, and exquisite handicrafts and is the most prominent tourist destinations in India. Udaipur was discovered by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553 and is known as the Eastern Venice Named the best city in the world to visit, Udaipur also many royal palaces here that have been converted into luxurious hotels today. Because of its position within Rajasthan’s desert plains, the region has a warm and semi-arid climate with three primary seasons: summer, rainy season, and winter.
UNESCO World Heritage Site – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende has been voted the most charming small town in Mexico. A colourful, colonial-style city with a vibrant wine scene, markets and artisans galore, and one of the most impressive gastronomic scenes in Mexico. Visit the iconic pink Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel towering above the lower, Spanish-style buildings sprawled out around the square.
Museums abound in San Miguel and once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll have your pick from shrimp tempura on a crunchy tostada, slow-cooked barbacoa from a modest street stand, or Sri Lankan-Swiss-Mexican fusion food.
Wine and Walking – Adelaide Hills, Australia
Just outside of Adelaide and a three-hour flight from Sydney, this fabled wine region has charming villages and a bustling culinary scene. The Adelaide Hills are ripe for visiting. This stunning South Australian region produces some of the continent’s finest cool-climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, not to mention delicious fruits and vegetables. Its many excellent restaurants, cellars, and tasting rooms make it one of the most palate-pleasing getaways in Australia.
Winding roads weave among vineyards and bushland, and nature hikes (like the one up 2,384-foot Mt. Lofty) offer a rare chance to see a koala in the wild. Take your pick of charming tree-lined villages, including historically German settlements with attractive stone buildings, outdoor cafés, and craft shops. And German-style microbreweries also offer a nice alternative to the region’s excellent wine options.
Adventure – Antarctica
The 7th Continent. The land mass at the bottom of the globe, completely encased in ice. Its remote wilderness featured on nature documentaries and in our science and history books. And for those reasons, it might seem somewhat abstract and hard to reach. Perhaps even impossible. But it’s not. Despite its seemingly impossible remoteness, Antarctica has never been so accessible to adventurous travellers.
Voyages departing from Ushuaia, Argentina access Antarctica by sea. They traverse the infamous Drake Passage, a 600-mile (1,000 kilometer) body of water that separates South America from the Antarctic Peninsula. Depending upon conditions, this crossing often takes a day and a half at sea and is a prime opportunity to view iconic wildlife such as the great wandering albatross.
Our favourite expedition ship is the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture. The ship is prepared for epic exploration – with ice-breaking hulls, sea kayaks, Zodiacs, and a pair of ultra-cool submarines – but also features the spacious suites, fine dining, and cushy amenities that have garnered a following for the line’s ocean-going fleet. Passengers can zip through frozen fjords and explore ancient sea ice by day, then order caviar and filet mignon before tucking into Frette linens by night.
Winter – Niseko, Japan
Japan’s epic snowfalls and renowned hospitality traditions make it a winter destination like no other. Sapporo, capital of the northernmost island of Hokkaido, boasts great museums and a famous Snow Festival, but for a slopes-forward alternative, head farther afield to Niseko. There’s terrain to suit all levels in Niseko. Niseko United comprises four resorts (serviced by thirty lifts) and more than 2,000 skiable acres. Unlike in other parts of Japan, going off-piste is encouraged here, enabling advanced athletes to swoosh through tree groves and thigh-deep champagne powder.
The infrastructure is world-class. Gondolas and hooded chairlifts provide a welcome respite from the snow-globe conditions, and the collection of friendly ski villages run the gamut from smaller and less touristy Annupuri to bustling Grand Hirafu, with its international après scene.
The ski resorts here might be the only ones known for dining. Many of them showcase Hokkaido’s seafood bounty—king crab, sweet and buttery sea urchin—whether in familiar sushi format or in teeming rice bowls. Handmade soba noodles are widely available, and tasty soup curries, a regional specialty, are hard to beat after a cold day on the slopes. Bars purvey a fabulous range of local beers and finely crafted Japanese whiskies, and no Niseko ski day is complete without a soak in the traditional hot-spring-fed baths known as onsen.
Stateside – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sedona, with its red rock landscapes and vibrant art scene, has long been a popular vacation spot in the American Southwest. Just a state away, Santa Fe, New Mexico beckons with its own blend of culture, history, and natural beauty.
Perched at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe has a multitude of experiences for those seeking inspiration and adventure. The city’s distinctive adobe Pueblo-style architecture forms a picturesque backdrop that has long inspired artists, writers, and creatives from around the world. Strolling through the narrow, winding streets of the historic district, you’ll find galleries filled with work inspired by Santa Fe’s unique natural setting. For more of a museum fix, check out the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill for the world’s largest collection of international folk art.
After exploring the town, fuel up by enjoying the city’s vibrant culinary scene, which takes cues from its multicultural heritage. Book a table through Resy to dine on the mouthwatering dishes of New Mexican cuisine at Paloma where Hatch green chiles reign supreme or indulge in international fare prepared by world-class chefs sharing Santa Fe’s unique creative sensibility.
Pure Luxury – Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Could this be the best hotel in the world? Dubbed a seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the seventh tallest hotel in the world. Designed to look like an Arabian dhow sail, the property boasts an infinity pool terrace and man-made beach. The Burj Al Arab hotel has a 180 meter high atrium, the world’s largest Swarovski crystal ceiling and a helipad. The interior has been decorated with around 1,800 square meters of 24-carat gold leaf.
Guests can enjoy a wide range of facilities including personal butlers, chauffeur driven Rolls Royce cars, Talise Spa, and a 17 pillow menu. Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah hotels are also home to the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP), which has helped to release more than 1,600 rescued sea turtles into the Arabian Gulf.
Luxury With a Conscience – Joali Being, The Maldives
Founded to provide a sanctuary of well-being for the Earth and all its inhabitants, along with immersive wellness programs for guests, the Joali Being Hotel in the Maldives also provides a safe refuge for turtles with three rehabilitation and conservation centers created in partnership with the Olive Ridley Project. The resort allows you to forge a meaningful connection with the gentle creatures with visits to the rehabilitation tank to assist marine biologists as they care for the turtles. You can even adopt any of the rescue center’s turtles to receive monthly updates until the turtle is well enough to return home to the wild.
There’s No Place Like Home – Lundies House, Scottish Highlands
For the combination of heart-stopping remoteness (the Kyle of Tongue is the very definition of far flung) and blissful comfort (you will want for absolutely nothing).
Lundies is the small jewel of the 15 properties across three Scottish Wildland estates, owned by Danes Anders and Anne Holch Povlsen –altogether a vast conservation effort that spans some 220,00 acres of Highland from the (little visited) north coast to the (popular) Cairngorms. Anders has spoken about a fishing holiday to the Highlands he took as a child in the 1980’s inspiring him to eventually make his home in Scotland, and the first Wildland property was Glenfeshie in the Cairngorms (an estate that inspired Sir Edwin Landseer’s painting Monarch of the Glen.) When three of the couple’s children were killed in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka in 2018, in an open letter the Povlsen’s expressed that it was the ‘magnificent landscape’ of the Highlands that helped the family confront their loss. Attention to detail, atmosphere, craft and colour in Lundies feels especially and profoundly personal – Anne is the interior designer. Three years open, Lundies launch mid-Covid went somewhat unnoticed; it’s still somewhat undiscovered.
Trekking – Mustang, Himalayas
Only opening its doors to the outside world in the early 1990s, Nepal’s last ‘forbidden kingdom’ is one of Asia’s most intriguing places to visit. Having being sealed off for so long, ancient cultural traditions in Mustang remain remarkably intact, and the influences of neighbouring Tibet are apparent at every turn. Fascinating temples, burial caves carved into the cliffsides and traditional villages seemingly untouched by time all await to be explored. The landscapes of Mustang are equally distinctive, with arid valleys and stratified cliffs broken only occasionally by riverside villages, encircled by verdant agricultural terraces and fruit orchards.
The arrival of Shinta Mani Mustang – A Bensley Collection opens up this enigmatic and unexplored kingdom to those seeking a truly off-the-beaten track Nepalese adventure without having to make any compromises on comfort. This splendid lodge showcases arresting views of the Nilgiri mountain, and cocoons guests in warm hospitality, superb cuisine and spa indulgence after active days exploring the area. The private guiding included in the programme here means that there is complete flexibility when it comes to how you shape your experience. The activities outlined are merely suggestions of what is possible, and can be fully adapted to suit your interests and preferred pace.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection. Why not top it off and fly private?
As always, our private charter team are ready and waiting for your instruction. We’ll ensure a seamless door-to-door service, meticulously planned and overseen from inception until well after landing.