Top Hotels Around the World in 2019

Is there any more important choice than lodging or Hotels when planning your vacation?  Don’t be the traveler that logs hours of internet research and thousands of dollars only to be miserable in a resort that you thought would be luxury.  Depending on your priorities, there’s the perfect lodging choice no matter where you choose to travel, but these Hotels are so lovely that you may want to choose your travel destination around the Hotel.  Travelandleisure.com recently published their list of top hotels to visit in 2019 and we couldn’t be more on board!  From huge, sprawling, popular resorts to under the radar cottages, their list was compiled by seasoned professional travelers, travel writers and hospitality specialists who are all in the know, and now you can be in the know before planning your next big adventure!

1.    Mombo Camp — Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Top Hotels Around the World in 2019

Botswana is the premier safari/wildlife conservation area in the world.  Rated a 90/100 on the conservation scale, they are largely dedicated to conserving the land and wildlife in the area and make sure that any safaris or tours are not impacting the integrity of either.  The camp is powered by solar power and employs teams of specialists, experts and scientists to ensure the safety of all parties: travellers, wild game, the earth, and the locals. Home to a large African elephant population along with zebras and Cape buffalo, the camp is a new lodge on one of the area’s most exclusive slices of land that measures over 96k acres.  See sights and have experiences straight out of the Disney movie Jungle Book at this pristine and unique hotel.

2.    Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island

A true castaways experience, Desroches Island is a coral island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  An authentic paradise, it offers only the best and luxurious accommodations and is the only resort on the island.  Rock slowly in an ocean-side hammock, relax in your private pool, take long naps in your rustic bungalow or cabana, or explore the 9 miles of white sand beaches and trails while feeling the ocean breeze blow on your face and listening to the soft waves crash on the shore.  When you are feeling adventurous you can visit our tortoise sanctuary where hundreds- years-old giant tortoises roam freely. When you want to renew, visit our spa or take a master yoga course. This is truly a vacation that you have on your terms.

3.    Amanyangyun — Shanghai

Boasting a one thousand-year year-old camphor forest transported from an actual village submerged by a reservoir project in Jingxia province by billionaire entrepreneur Ma Dadong, who brought them from his home province of Fuzhou, over 400 miles away, this hotel mixes the ancient and modern in curious ways.  Book one of the contemporary villas with elaborately carved interior beams and delicate tiles that are set next to open-air walkways and ponds. Shanghai itself is a metropolis drawing more and more attention from travelers from all over the world. There you will find the perfect blend of cultures and the modern mixed with the traditional.

4.    Capella Ubud — Bali, Indonesia

Designed by Bill Bensley, who is responsible for some of Southeast Asia’s most glamorous resorts, Capella Ubud takes an unexpected turn toward the natural to reflect Bensley’s love of camping. The result is 23 of the most lavish and fantastical tents ever created, something straight out of an adventure movie.  It includes copper tubs, saltwater pools, and suspension bridges. Each tent has a theme such as the Librarian’s Tent or the Cartographer’s Tent, and is outfitted with antiques from the owner’s collection. Bensley worked hard at preserving the integrity of the natural landscape and didn’t cut down a single tree on the resort’s 10 acres of rainforest and rice terraces.

5.    Skylark Negril Beach Resort — Jamaica

This hip resort is straight out of a design and style magazine. It draws inspiration from the naturally vibrant color palette of Jamaica and incorporates architectural elements such as whitewashed concrete, geometric shapes, and natural wood grains to create the minimalist style with added vivid splashes of color.

The property’s design reflects its natural surroundings- aqua marine guest room doors to symbolize the Caribbean Sea, shades of greens to symbolize the lush native vegetation, and  accent pieces to symbolize the signature ackee fruit’s bright red color. This resort will allow you access to the island’s authentic culture by way of food, music, architecture and design.

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The Best Untapped Destinations in Europe for 2019

It turns out, after years of vacationing to different areas, that some of the best memories come from the hidden and quite locations not many people have heard of before and also happen to be the Best Untapped Destinations.  The empty white, sandy beaches. The cobblestone streets where you are the only tourist.  These experiences truly immerse you in another land and culture without the touristy traps.  Once the general public finds out about an amazing destination, it’s only natural that the large influx of travelers morph that destination in some way.  Menus begin having English captions and suddenly street vendors are selling impostor goods in an attempt to appeal to the American spender.

Thanks to Travel + Leisure, we have compiled a great list of untapped European destinations for you to advantage of before everyone finds out!  Put these Best Untapped Destinations on your bucket list and get ready to have a genuine and authentic travel experience like no other.

Best Untapped Destinations in Europe in 2019

1.    Giornico, Switzerland

The ancient but well preserved village of Italian-speaking Giornico with its stone houses, vineyards and chestnut forests, is located in the Leventina Valley (Canton Ticino) in southern Switzerland. Architecture buffs will enjoy the seven churches, including the beautiful 12th century Romanesque Church of St. Nicholas. To fully appreciate it, drive north 35 miles from the popular lake resort towns of Ascona and Locarno and find the turnoff for Giornico, a stone relic of 14th-century Europe hiding off the main road. Down in the valley and rests a trickling little river crossed by two arching stone bridges. Take a gander at the impressive views of scenic road and rail routes, rock faces and waterfalls. Grotto dei due Ponti, a family-run restaurant serves dishes like spezzatino (meat ragoût) with polenta and overlooks the river.

2.    Kotor, Montenegro

Wedged between mountains and the bay, Kotor is a medieval maze of museums, churches, cafes and Venetian palaces. This is a perfect example of why some of these are some of the Best Untapped Destinations. It’s a delightful marriage of the past and present. Children race down cobblestone roads toward centuries-old school houses. Lines of laundry flap from wrought-iron balconies. At night, Kotor’s spectacularly lit-up walls glow as the streets buzz with live music and castle-top clubbing.  The wealthy British are scrambling to scoop up real estate in Kotor. The locals (dark-haired, green-eyed people of the Black Mountains which is where Montenegro gets its name) have opened restaurants to introduce visitors to the local fare.

3.   
Kotor, Montenegro

Ancient poets, fertile countryside, draping Cypress trees, neverending vineyards and olive groves…this truly is the gem of Tuscany.  Bolgheri boasts castles straight out of a Disney tale, like the castle of the Gherardesca Counts of Bolgheri, near Piazza Santa Teresa.   The churches are majestic as they are serene, such as the church of Saints Giacomo and Cristoforo, the oldest in the area. Carducci, author of the famous and timeless Rime Nuove, wrote beautiful poetry about the lines of Cypress trees, now numbering more than 2,500 and the only local vegetation that buffalos won’t eat. Take a bike ride over through the gentle hills of the hinterland and you will see the coast and the sea. In nearby Bibbona only 5 miles away, you’ll find the Relais Sant’Elena, a 15-room estate with canopy beds and pasta-making classes.

4.    Lavenham, England

This medieval wool town has extraordinarily well-preserved Tudor buildings and is unofficially labeled the prettiest town in England.  It’s tiny – the population hasn’t ever exceeded 2,000 – yet it is the 14th-richest town in England. This is thanks to its wool making.  Lavenham has a long history of fabrics. It was at one point exporting its fabrics as far as Russia making its wool merchants so rich that in 1487 Henry VII fined some of them for being ostentatious.

After the war, the area become impoverished for over 300 years, leaving the residents unable to afford architectural upgrades to stone and wood.  After hundreds of years, the architectural style became fashionable again and is a strong draw for tourists as it feels like a step back into time.

Let us know what you think about some of the Best Untapped Destinations in Europe right now. Have you heard of them or visited any of these?

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The Ultimate Travel Bucket List for 2019

Life is short: eat the cake, wear the swimsuit, buy the shoes, travel as much as you can, TAKE THE TRIP!  2019 could be your year; one full of new experiences and adventures that keep being put off in the name of work, kids, responsibilities.  Lucky for you, Forbes has compiled the ultimate 2019 travel bucket list and we condensed it to our top faves.  If you take any trips on this list it is sure to change you internally and bring you on the wildest ride of your life.  Keep reading!

1.    African Safari:    East Africa’s Mara, Crater & Serengeti Migration

The definitive East Africa adventure, this superb 8-night luxury fly-in safari combines the four most celebrated game reserves in Kenya and Tanzania.  The tour encompasses the vast open plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara, the delightful diversity of Tanzania’s Lake Manyara, the extraordinary Ngorongoro Crater, and the rolling grasslands of the Serengeti. Arguably the most spectacular game viewing itinerary in Africa, this is the journey of a lifetime.  Ideal for seasoned travellers and first timers alike, this wildlife and gourmet adventure combines easily with a romantic Indian Ocean island getaway to make a perfect honeymoon itinerary.

2.    The Northern Lights

The most reliable chances to see Alaska’s northern lights (also known as the Aurora Borealis) are in Fairbanks, and above the Arctic Circle. The aurora belt in Alaska’s great Interior and Arctic regions is among the most active in the world, and there are few other places on earth so suited for an Aurora Borealis vacation.

While there are no guarantees that the northern lights show will happen on any particular night, Northern Lights trips are typically best made in late fall and winter/early spring, though they can be seen throughout the winter months on nights with clear skies. If you visit Alaska in November, December or January, you will experience a very short period of daylight providing a unique experience in the high northern hemisphere.  In February and March, there are longer daylight hours for you to enjoy with evenings that still offer maximum viewing chances. No bucket list is complete without experiencing Alaska’s Northern Lights!

3.    Maldives

A 45 minute seaplane ride away from Male International Airport is Adaaran Prestige Water Villas located on the exclusive Meedhupparu Island in Maldive’s Raa Atoll Area. This is frequently the site of filming when the movie calls for a tropical oasis.  And tropical oasis it is! Despite its remote location, this resort features an outdoor pool, private spa baths, personal butler and chef service, not to mention the air-conditioned over-water villas are built over the Indian Ocean with glass panel floors. Each room boasts all the technology that one would need such as flat-screen TVs, DVD players and high-speed internet access.  Make sure to take advantage of an in-room massage and fitness center. Bathrooms come with a hot tub. Water sports activities and diving are offered. International fine dining is available on the 5 restaurants on the island. Guests repeatedly rate this resort higher than it’s competitors.

4.    The Grand Canyon

Vast and stunningly beautiful, the Grand Canyon is easily one of the world’s most famous landmarks and a natural wonder you have to see to believe. 277 miles from end to end with mile high rocky crag walls stretching from the top of the craters to the canyon’s floor, it is truly a sight to behold.  The gargantuan Colorado River follows a swift course southwest. There are tons of ways to see the canyon and a variety of places to stay such as Historic lodges, hotels and even rugged campgrounds, but be sure to book early as internationally, it is one of the top visited places.  You can even choose to see the canyon from the air by booking a helicopter tour!

5.    Great Barrier Reef

Encompassing around 3,000 individual reefs and almost 900 islands and cays, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most unforgettable natural treasures. With an unparalleled array of marine life such as thousands of different varieties of fish, birds, and clams, hundreds of types of birds, seaweed, and turtles, it’s understandable why snorkelers and certified divers often place the reef at the top of their bucket lists. Since experts expect that the reef will be hugely negatively impacted by external causes such as climate change in the next decade, there’s never been a better reason to plan a visit to this natural wonder.

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10 Trips to Take In Your 30’s

Looking for some of the best trips to take? More and more 30 somethings are prioritizing travel time amidst the busy family time and career-building. You’re older and wiser. And hopefully more financially secure. Where to travel now that you’ve got your life together? (Relatively-speaking, of course.) Here are 10 trips that deliver the perfect mix of excitement, intrigue, adventure, luxury, and most importantly—fun!—from an off-the-grid getaway in Alaska to a bucket-list safari in Africa.

  1. Costa Rica

    Cheap travel and world-class swells brought you to Costa Rica in your twenties. Now, experience some of the country’s more grown-up pleasures—namely, its jaw-dropping natural scenery, inspired cuisine, and wellness-focused attractions—at the adults-only Oxygen Jungle Villas. The boutique hotel is nestled within a plot of protected Costa Rican rainforest and perched above the Pacific Ocean, so you truly feel like you’re living in the wild. You’ll spend your days lounging in your Balinese-style villa, going on countless outdoor excursions (hiking, whale watching, scuba diving), and exploring the restaurants and storefronts of neighboring town Ojochal.

    2.    Lanserhof Tegernsee, Bavaria

    Vacation days—and we mean real vacation days, sans work and family commitments—are hard to come by in your thirties. Which is why it’s important to truly relax, re-center, and recharge when you do get a few days to yourself. Enter the legendary Lanserhof Tegernsee detox resort in the Bavarian Alps. Here, spa-goers are retaught how to chew and sleep, forced to cut sugar and alcohol from their diets, and if the specialists deem it necessary, subjected to futuristic medical evaluations including sleep assessments. The amenities make up for the rigors of the program: we’re talking an 18-course golf course, a saltwater swimming pool, nightly classical music concerts and a monastically beautiful setting (all glass and stone and embowered by the forest).

 

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

    Your thirties are all about cultivating a distinctive sense of taste and style. And in Stockholm, you’ll have world-class museums, galleries, design stores, and concept boutiques at your fingertips. A few must-stops: Sven Harrys-Art Museum, a slick new art space that houses the private collection of collector Sven-Harry Karlsson; Malmstenbutiken, a storied Swedish brand known for its furniture and textile designs; and hotel At Six, a boutique high-rise with an art collection that includes big names like Sol Le Witt and Jaume Plensa.

 

  1. Amalfi Coast

    You’ve dreamt about Amalfi’s pastel-hued villages, cobbled streets, and cerulean waters for as long as you can remember. Now that you have disposable income to spend and (hopefully) more vacation days, it’s time to make those dreams a reality. Stay in Amalfi at the five-start Hotel Santa Caterina, set in a 19th-century, liberty-style villa above the sea. When you’re not lounging by the private pool or the beach club, explore the town’s charming maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, precipitous steps, and bustling piazza.

 

  1. Sri Lanka

    If you’re celebrating a big anniversary or birthday, there’s no better place to do so than Sri Lanka. The exotic island offers out-of-this-world Indian Ocean coastlines, lush tropical vegetation, elephant-filled national parks, and plenty of luxury resorts like the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, spread across a 21-acre former coconut plantation on the southernmost coast of Sri Lanka. Splurge on a private villa—which comes with a private plunge pool, expansive deck, butler pantry, tiled rainfall shower—and you may never want to leave your guest room. But we’d recommend peeling yourself away for at least a few hours to indulge at an authentic Ayrvedic treatment at the spa, learn the ropes of Sri Lankan cooking at Anatara’s popular Spice Spoons Cooking school, or take part in a traditional high-tea service.

    6.    Chile

    With age comes wisdom—plus, an affinity for the finer things in life. And at Chile’s Viña Vik Hotel, a design-forward retreat and spa located two hours from Santiago, in Chile’s Millahue Valley, you’ll find plenty of amenities that will appeal to your refined tastes. We’re talking an award-winning spa, infinity pool, two restaurants, and high-design guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, original artwork, and curvilinear furniture (an homage to the property’s undulating titanium rooftop). Want to get outside and take in some of that jaw-dropping scenery? There are seven horses on standby that can whisk you around the property’s vineyard.

 

  1. Alaska

    There will come a time in your thirties when you just need to get away from it all (the job, the bills, the responsibilities) with a back-to-nature trip. And for this kind of escapist getaway, we’d recommend Alaska—a land of impenetrable forests, vast tundras, towering glaciers, and some of the world’s most awe-inspiring animals. To see the region’s wildlife up close and personal, hop on a guided glacier or wildlife walk with Salmon Berry Tours, where you might spot Dall sheep, mountain goats, and caribou as you explore the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Then it’s on to the Kenai Fjords National Park, the smallest national park in Alaska, to see The Harding Icefield (almost 714 square miles of ice up to a mile thick) and Resurrection Bay. Make your home base The Hotel Alyeska, a rustic mountain lodge with direct access to hiking and biking trails.

 

  1. Shanghai, China

    It can be easy to fall into a bit of a vacation rut in your thirties, returning to the same hotels and destinations over and over again. To rediscover your love of travel—and immerse yourself in an intoxicating foreign environment—pack your bags for Shanghai. The cosmopolitan city has it all: sleek skyscrapers, high-end shopping, innovative restaurants, and cultural landmarks, from the French Concession and Nanshi to the riverfront Bund. Check into The Puli Hotel and Spa, a serene urban hideaway with a central address in city’s Jing’An district and Zen vibe.

    9.    Douro Valley, Portugal

    You did Lisbon and Porto in your twenties. Now, it’s time to see a different side of Portugal by spending some time in Douro Valley—a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards the blanket steep mountainsides, with the majestic Douro River as the centerpiece. Visit the historic Six Senses, a 19th-century manor house restored for the 21st century by New York-based firm Clodagh Design. Guests can unwind with treatments in the spa. Take a break from your education in viniculture at the property’s magnificent infinity-edge pool, which looks out over the winding river.

 

  1. Newfoundland

    If you’ve been to Canada, chances are it wasn’t to Newfoundland. The sleepy Atlantic Canadian province doesn’t exactly have the uh, international appeal as cities like Montreal or Toronto. What it does have? Quaint fishing villages, arctic wildlife, jaw-droppingly beautiful national parks, and plenty of Maritime charm—all things you likely have more of an appreciation for now that’s you’re older. Start your adventure in the capital city of St. John’s, a colorful little town with steep streets and clapboard houses.  Then hit the road in the direction of Fogo Island. The tiny, salt-tanged isle offers fewer than a dozen restaurants and cafes, but makes up for it with a burgeoning art scene and plenty of design-forward accommodations—like the 29-room Fogo Island Inn.

 

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A Manhattan Travel Guide

In popular culture Manhattan is often viewed to as the center of the universe. When you visit Manhattan, it can certainly feel that way. Manhattan has something for everyone, from a diverse and incredible restaurant scenes and a plethora of iconic attractions, and an amazing variety of entertainment and art. Use this Manhattan travel guide to create a perfect itinerary for your next visit to New York, New York.

Travel to Manhattan to be surrounded by skyscrapers, gourmet restaurants, and cultures from all over the world. To make the most of your visit to this modern and bustling city, be sure to visit these attractions.

Things Not to Miss in Manhattan
• Catch a world famous Broadway show

Before the final curtain drops on the day, see a show on the Great White Way. This theater is home to the Tony-winning production of Chicago, a long-running hit about friendship, fame and all that jazz. Check out more Broadway shows to add touch of only-in-NYC drama to your packed itinerary.
• See all of New York from the top of the Empire State Building

If you want to see as much of NYC as possible, the tallest building in the western hemisphere is going to come in handy. From the top three floors of this site, you’ll be able to take in sweeping views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
• Tour the many famous Manhattan art museums

No trip to NYC is complete without a visit to the country’s foremost modern art institution. Explore over 200,000 works including instantly recognizable pieces by Van Gogh, Dali, Lichtenstein and Warhol. An ever-evolving assemblage of photography, painting, sculpture, film and performance art add to the picture.
• Take a long walk in Central Park or along the High Line

Take the R or W subway line from Lower Manhattan to 57th Street to approach the southern border of this famous oasis, adding a refreshing dose of greenery to your visit. The lower portion of the park contains playgrounds, a vintage carousel and lush natural spots like Sheep Meadow, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary and the Pond.
• Take a boat ride out to see The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

From the late 19th century until the 1950s, Ellis Island was the port of entry to the United States for tens of millions of passengers. In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, it remains a powerful symbol of the nation’s immigrant tradition. These days, it’s a museum where you can see artifacts relating to immigrant history—including, in the Peopling of America Center, the years before station’s opening and after its closure—and even search the records for your own relatives.

When to Go to Manhattan
There is really no bad time to make the trip to the Big Apple but one of the liveliest times for Manhattan travel is during the holiday season when shops decorate their windows displays and the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit up. Spring and fall are also pleasant times to visit the city when the weather is at its best.

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Best Heritage Hotels of Asia

Many of Asia’s most beautiful heritage hotels emerged during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Here, we take a travel through time to explore the top 2 of the region’s most stately places to rest your head:

Raffles Singapore

Originally opened in 1887 by the four brothers, the hotel has welcomed every manner of celebrity and diplomat over the years. It’s so rooted in Singapore history that the government declared the building a protected National Monument in 1987. From gleaming wooden floors to open courtyard gardens, luxurious afternoon tea sets and spacious suites, the hotel has long been associated with old-world comforts. This year, international architecture firm Aedas is leading the ultra-sensitive renovation project. The plan aims to re-imagine the social areas and dining experiences, refresh suites with updated technology and incorporate long overdue amenities — such as soundproof bedroom windows — while retaining the building’s beautiful old bones.

The Peninsula, Hong Kong

If the fleet of custom “Peninsula Green” Rolls-Royces in the driveway and white-capped pageboys standing guard by the door are any indication, The Peninsula has long been a top meeting place for Hong Kong’s upper crust.  It’s also one of the oldest hotels in the territory. The Pen, as it’s nicknamed, opened in 1928, overlooking Victoria Harbour from its prestigious plot in Tsim Sha Tsui. Around the property, Old World charm meets avant-garde atmosphere. The guestrooms have a more modern feel, thanks to a round of renovations completed in 2012. However, certain corners still feel like they’ve been locked in time. The high ceilings and French atmosphere come with grand chandeliers, leisurely lunches and white-gloved service.

Likewise, the ornate Lobby Lounge serves elegant afternoon tea sets soundtracked by a live string quartet, while Spring Moon has been a bastion of Cantonese fine-dining since it opened in 1986.

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