Summer is quickly approaching, and while some of us already have our vacation plans ironed out, some of us still want to see a little more inspiration (or plan a second vacation), and some others want to see what destinations are out there, past the summertime.
A few months ago, we outlined some of the top trends for luxury travel in 2018, according to Virtuoso’s 2018 Luxe Report, which is the latest version of the annual go-to for a forecast of what to expect in travel for the year ahead. The report reveals consumer preferences in high-end and experiential travel, gleaned from a comprehensive survey of the network’s travel advisors worldwide. If you would like to take another look at that post, you can view it here: Luxury Travel Trends for 2018.
Here are a few destinations that you might want to consider in your travels this summer and beyond.
Home to some of Italy’s finest, most desirable foods and wines, Tuscany has a timeless familiarity with its iconic Florentine cathedral dome, gently rolling hills dipped in soft morning mist and sculptural cypress alleys. But then, this region in central Italy is postcard material. Golden wheat fields, silver olive groves and pea-green vineyards marching in sharp terraced rows on hillsides form a graceful prelude to soul-soaring medieval hilltop villages, mountain ranges and fecund forests in the north, and a garland of bijou islands beaded along the coastal south.
Where to stay? Forbes has an article on finding your piece of paradise in Italy; you can read it here: Paradise For Rent.
From the mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in Torres del Paine National Park to the bustling city of Santiago, it's no wonder Chile was named Lonely Planet's number one country to visit in 2018. You'll also find beaches up and down the coast, which means there is something for everyone in this spectacularly diverse country.
Where to stay? Hotel Magnolia in Santiago is a boutique hotel in a restored 1920s building with marble staircases alongside glass floors and geometric designs.
Where to stay? OCIO Territorial Hotel is a tucked-away 15-room retreat with dramatic views over the Castro fjord.
It's the power of Icelandic nature to turn the prosaic into the extraordinary. A dip in a pool becomes a soak in a geothermal lagoon; a casual stroll can transform into a trek across a glittering glacier; and a quiet night of camping may mean front-row seats to the aurora borealis’ curtains of fire, or the soft, pinkish hue of the midnight sun. Iceland has a transformative effect on people, too – its sagas turned brutes into poets, and its stories of huldufólk (hidden people) may make believers out of skeptics. Here you'll find some of the world's highest concentrations of dreamers, authors, artists and musicians, all fuelled by their surrounds.
Where to stay? The Blue Lagoon opened a beautiful new luxury resort earlier this year, which captures the natural beauty while offering the most relaxing amenities.
On the surface, Japan appears exceedingly modern, but traveling around it offers numerous opportunities to connect with the country's traditional culture. Spend the night in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding through well-worn wooden halls to the bathhouse. Chant with monks or learn how to whisk bitter matcha (powdered green tea) into a froth. From the splendor of a Kyoto geisha dance to the spare beauty of a Zen rock garden, Japan has the power to enthrall even the most jaded traveler. And it doesn’t end there, with the cherry blossoms blooming in Spring, and premier ski resorts during the winter, Japan is a special destination that has something to offer year-round.
Where to stay? The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto pays tribute to the city's rich cultural heritage, while maintaining a level of luxury and service befitting a 5-star hotel.
Most of these destinations are based on the trend for high-end experiential travel among the luxury travel segment. Over the next few months, we will cover each of these destinations in more depth. Follow along as our dream vacation series has something for everyone.