Each New Year ushers fresh aspirations to travelers and many other “new” in the travel scene – new destinations, new hotels and resorts, new offerings, and new rising stars in tourism. What can 2015 be ushering in?
Saying hello to 2015 and keeping next year’s calendar full is so easy for globetrotters, backpackers/flashpackers and all kinds of travel enthusiasts. The Internet is bursting to the seams with all sorts of recommendations for possible destinations they can check out. Andrew Sessa’s “22 Don’t-miss Travel Destinations for 2015” published in New York Post offers great options based on your preferred hotel ambiance and travel taste.
The hotels included in the list are:
- Baccarat Hotels & Residences New York, New York, New York
This luxe 114-room stay, opening in Midtown Manhattan in February, across … the Museum of Modern Art, represents a rebirth for the 250-year-old brand that bears its name.
Barry Sternlight of Starwood transforms this hotel into a luxury brand with the interiors done by the renowned Gilles & Boissier. Foodies with expensive and refined taste will love Stephen Sill’s French touch in its restaurant run by no less than Chef Shea Gallante.
- Virgin Hotels Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
… It will launch in Chicago’s Central Loop district, with a four-star spot in a converted 1928 bank building…
It has 250 contemporary rooms with the ambiance of a luxurious airport clubhouse all glammed up amenities – wine bar, American diner, lounge bar, restaurant, Italian café, atrium and soon a rooftop izakaya and cocktail joint.
- Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii
… this oceanfront hotel, meant to open by the end of 2015, it’ll have its first outpost on Oahu.
This white and gleaming 17-story-hotel will have over 400 rooms reminiscent of a contemporary Ihilani. Credit for the handiwork goes to Mary Philpotts McGrath, the 2013 Pritzker Prize-winning architect.
- Baha Mar, New Providence, Bahamas
… this massive, $3.5 billion resort development just west of the Bahamian capital city of Nassau comprises five hotels, including four brand-new ones — a Rosewood, SLS, Grand Hyatt and the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel — and a renovated Melia property.
This 2,200-room resort will open in late spring. It boasts of 40 restaurants, the Caribbean’s biggest casino, 30,000 square foot ESPA, an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, grass and hard tennis courts, and a racquet club with clay.
- Bahama House Inn, Harbour Island, Bahamas
After a two-plus-year redo, this petite retreat on one of the Bahamas’ quietest and most exclusive islands will emerge in November as part of Eleven Experience…
It is intended to provide accommodations for 18 guests meant to be virtually exclusive and opulent – tradition Bahamian décor, gourmet cuisine, saltwater pool and water views from wraparound verandahs, and guided water sports.
- AltaGracia, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
… this self-described “boutique hacienda,” opening in January, breaks new ground in the relatively unexplored mountains of southern Costa Rica…
This boutique hacienda with 50 1- or-2-roomed casitas gives its guests an adventure that’s an experience in luxury.
- The Ritz Paris, Paris, France
… this Place Vendôme grand dame … will debut its much-anticipated facelift in the fall…
It has 143 wood-paneled bedrooms and suites stylishly refurbished by French designer Thierry W. Despont. It boasts of courtyard with a clear retractable roof, a casual restaurant, a kitchen at its cooking school, an entirely rethought spa, and a new ballroom.
- The Lanesborough, London, England
… The grand 93-room hotel … will also now be the first British outpost of the Paris-based Oetker Collection of luxury hotels…
This iconic edifice with classic Regency design is reopening next spring. The major draws are marble floorings, embellished wood, crystal chandeliers, plaster ceilings, and a drawn-out spa by 2016.
- Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China
Nestled at the base of western China’s Qing Cheng Mountains … this May-opening spa resort will be wellness- and sustainability-minded …The 113-suite resort’s modern design and pristine park-like setting combine ancient and modern, mixing pagoda-roofed structures and natural materials …
This mountain resort’s major attractions include two beautiful pools, an impressive green spa, a giant panda center, access to natural, cultural and old wonders.
- Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
This high-end safari camp opens in May, just in time for the annual Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras…
This camp offers 30 modern and posh tented rooms and suites perching on the verge of the Great Rift Valley. Walking safaris and hot air ballooning will be the main ways to explore the wilderness.
- Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Stone Town, Tanzania
The island of Zanzibar … off the coast of Tanzania — will get a fresh dose of contemporary international style this March, when a Park Hyatt opens in its main town’s historic center…
It has 11 posh suites and 56 rooms in a fusion of Eurasian inspired designs and with access to the beautiful Indian Ocean views and outdoor infinity pool.
- Brown Beach House, Tel Aviv, Israel
… the boutique Brown TLV hotel took Tel Aviv by storm, combining a masculine, mid-century residential look and feel with great food, cossetting service and seriously cool cachet.
Brown Beach House, Tel Aviv’s first small-scale hotel with 40 rooms, is debuting in February 2015. It will be a Mediterranean coastline spot that will be coveted with its retro beachy vibe reminiscent of Miami in the 50s.
Sessa also offers readers top destinations to satiate different travel preferences and tastes:
For Romance/For Couples: Fiji and French Polynesia are hot with “its intimate, exclusive, but fully inclusive experiences…”
For Families: “Colombia is the new Caribbean” … It is a stylish destination with its modish boutique hotels such as the Four Seasons.
For Culture-Seekers: “Italy’s the place to be for travelers interested in art, history, food and culture, especially in 2015.” EXPO Milan and Venice Bienalle are events to watch out for in 2015.
For Cruisers: “Southeast Asia: Myanmar and cruising along the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia are especially hot…” cruises here are rousing, stimulating and culturally inspiring.
For Adventure Junkies: Ogasawara Islands in Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a fabulous destination for nature lovers who are into adventure.
For Foodies: Cuba is attracting international foodies with its gastronomic epicurean delights from the magic-spinning hands of the world’s famous chefs like Basque chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz and Mexico’s pride Enrique Olvera.
For History Buffs: South Africa, commemorating 25 years since apartheid, is a great spot to visit. Check out SunStar unveiled last November 2014, an impressive sculpture atop Cape Town’s Signal Hill.
For Big Spenders/Luxury Hounds: Chile with its stunning and pristine natural wealth – from the Patagonia to the Atacama Desert – as well as authentic Chilean cuisine will let you feel grateful you have what you have to enjoy life’s expensive offerings.
For Wallet Watchers: Merida, the Paris of Mexico, is a great cultural destination without the usual cost. “Come for January’s arts festival or February’s Carnaval, and stay at Hacienda Misné or Mansion Merida on the Park.”
For Couch Crashers: What are the top-rending as next-door alternatives for Airbnb travelers? There are many options; Andorra is one instead of France or Spain or France.