The 19 best places to travel in 2019
Here’s the best places to travel in 2019, compiled by The Forbes. Have a look at the suggestions and add them to your bucket list.
Anguilla is a honeymoon hot spot and also ideal for family holidays. “The iconic Belmond Cap Juluca will soon reopen on December 15th after a complete renovation and will feature a brand new oceanfront infinity edge pool as well as a touch of Venetian glamour at the new Cip’s by Cipriani restaurant. There will also be a new Cap Shack, where you’ll sip rum punch and dine on beach BBQ tapas from a food truck while swaying to cool calypso tunes under the stars,” says Tiffany Dowd, a global luxury hotel expert and luxury travel influencer, who chose the destination for Forbes.
Los Cabos, Mexico
One of the largest, protected national marine parks in the world is just 60 miles south of Los Cabos. “Cabo Pulmo National Park used to be heavily overfished before the park became officially protected in the 90s; it’s also a UNESCO site because of its rich biodiversity, high marine productivity and beauty. Cabo Pulmo stretches five miles along the coast of Baja California Sur and houses the oldest living reef of on the west coast of North America. (Fishermen have been taught how to be dive masters to keep the ocean healthy and full of fish.) There, you can find sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and humpback whales. Thanks to the success of the national marine park, travelers can now kayak, go stand-up paddleboarding or snorkel/scuba dive with sea lions and even (friendly) bull sharks. Back in Los Cabos, visit chef Enrique Silva’s working organic farm and restaurant at Los Tamarindos, where you can pick your produce and make a meal with him. There are a number of hotels to check out, including a recently opened Montage Los Cabos and the forthcoming Four Seasons Costa Palmas, slated to open in 2019,” says Michaela Guzy, a media executive, entrepreneur and on-air show host, who chose the destination.
Kenya Airways has recently started offering direct flights from New York’s JFK to Nairobi, which is going to help increase tourism footfalls to the country. Delta is also expected to start offering direct flight from Atlanta to Nairobi. “In Kenya, I love the Fairmont, which has three properties across the country. In Nairobi, Fairmont The Norfolk is focused not just on being a hotel, but being a cultural center. They’re bringing Nairobi’s vibrant culture into the hotel with shows by local fashion designers and exhibitions of work by Kenyan artists,” says Natalie Beauregard, travel guides editor at AFAR, choosing the property for the list.
This country, gifted by the undiscovered beaches and UNESCO World Heritage towns, has experienced a development boom this past year, making it a perfect country to explore on its own. “The legendary Aman Sveti Stefan, a fortified island that dates to the 15th century, is the go-to spot for rest and relaxation with its pink-sand beach and killer spa. In nearby Tivat, the glitzy Regent Porto Montenegro is a prime place for shopping, socializing, beach clubs and boating; a St. Tropez scene, though at a more reasonable price. Meanwhile, the recently opened Chedi Lustica Bay, part of the new Lustica Bay Marina Village, is one of seven hotels to be built in this area, complete with an 18-hole golf course, along with the One & Only Portonovi, due to be finished by the end of next year. With luxury accommodations now able to match its stunning surroundings, Montenegro is a place to put on your horizon in the new year,” says Joanna Kuflik, director of services at Marchay, a membership-based community that plans luxury travel experiences for a select elite worldwide, who chose this destination for Forbes.
Belize is not just known for its cays or the inland eco resorts, its best kept secret Placencia, is worth exploring. “Placencia is a cute waterfront fishing village with bright houses and buildings that is slowly being discovered. It’s also home to Itz’ana, the first luxury resort in the area. The owner collects Mayan artifacts, and this is his second independent hotel in Belize (the first was Ka’ana in San Ignacio). At Itz’ana, the lobby is designed to feel like you’re in a guest house, not a hotel. In addition to the stunning rooms in the main property, there are also villas with private plunge pools,” says Jeri Clausing, contributing editor for luxury at Travel Weekly.
Bhutan is ideal for everything, with a peace and calm that you don’t experience anywhere else. It transports you to another culture with different values than what we are used to. You can also challenge yourself to trek to places like the Tiger Nest, a cliffside Buddhist temple. There are great hotels, like the Taj Tashi in Thimphu, which is modeled after a Bhutanese temple and has wonderful amenities, like a signature spa that uses oils from the Himalayas. Amanjiwo in Paro is spectacularly beautiful with a trail between the different lodges in Bhutan, says Juliana A Saad, Brazilian writer and editor who specializes in travel, lifestyle and luxury.
Azores is a set of beautiful islands that are situated in the middle of the Atlantic. Delta Air Lines from New York’s JFK runs non stop flights to Azores. “The Azores are known for outdoor adventure along with historical and cultural charm. These islands have something for everyone: vineyards, volcanic crater lakes, world-class whale watching, hot springs, UNESCO protected landscapes, natural swimming pools, thermal springs, diving, surfing, waterfalls — this destination is one big playground that’s rich in natural beauty,” says Michele Wise, a travel advisor with KK Travels Worldwide.
Chosen by Fernanda Costa Gama Logemann, the founder of the Brazil-based travel platform, Spice up the Road, Botswana is an exciting destination. “It’s the perfect way to disconnect from your routine and connect with wildlife and nature, but still have the opportunity to enjoy the kind of comfort and luxury that makes a difference in a stay. Want a great way to experience the glamorous and unique world of glamping? The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has just reopened and is located in the heart of Chobe National Park in Botswana, offering beautiful lodges and amazing wildlife viewing in the savannah,” he says.
Mexico is gaining popularity among travellers. “Just check out the number of hotels that are opening here. Now, joining Ritz-Carlton and Park Hyatt, Kimpton and Sofitel have both announced they will open in Mexico’s capital. This clearly speaks to a rising interest among tourists to explore our city — and I’m pretty sure our gastronomic scene has a lot to do with that, too,” says María Pellicer who has been working in the travel industry for the past decade.
From waterfalls and glaciers to whale-watching and puffins, Iceland is a place like none other. In 2019, the way to see it is with Silversea, which is venturing to Iceland with Silver Cloud, the finest and most elegant expedition ship float. She will be circumnavigating the land of fire and ice in August of 2019, and only 250 lucky guests will be able to experience the beauty of this mystical country so close up, says Tania L Swasbrook, an avid traveller who specializes in ultra luxury travel with a particular passion for wellness, romance and adventure.
“One of the things that got my attention recently was the announcement of the first SO/ property in the Americas. The SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado is expected to open in early 2020, at the intersection of Paseo de Marti and the Malecón in the heart of Havana. The property will feature the creative signature of Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, who has been inspired by the world of Cuban dance for the glamorous, yet playful hotel. I have to admit that my initial reaction was selfish, because I traveled in Cuba for my honeymoon in 2001, so I’m already planning to celebrate the opening and my wedding anniversary in Havana,” says Jill K Robinson who writes about travel, adventure, food and drink for different magazines.
“Cartagena is a riot of color, cuisine and culture. Where to stay? Casa San Agustin is situated in the center of the action inside the city walls. It’s a romantic getaway with unique features, like a pool running beneath a centuries old aqueduct,” says Haisley Smith, the vice-president of marketing and business development for Brownell.
Ljublijana in Slovenia is one of Europe’s most charming places. “It’s a young and lively city that should be hot on everyone’s radar. For a unique perfective and beautiful views, sail the Ljubljanica River on a traditional wooden boat to experience the city. The new InterContinental Ljubljana is the perfect place to stay for a luxurious and modern chic experience. The hotel has a great location near the train station, Old Town and Park Tivoli. You’ll find some of the most spectacular views from its rootop B-Bar and B by Alfredo Russo restaurant,” says Tiffany Dowd.
Sunrise yoga on the banks of a sacred Mayan cenote? Sí, por favor! This is just one of the magical wonders you’ll discover at Chable Resort, in a 250-year-old converted hacienda just outside Merida, Mexico. But Chable is more than just a wellness retreat with a world-class spa. It incorporates indigenous Mayan traditions and healing into treatments, like a temezcal under the careful eye of the Résident Abuela Ak’bal, a spiritual leader. After a mind, body, soul connection, take a dip in the thermal pools. For golf lovers, a Pitch & Putt will open in January 2019, and the well-curated gift shop features only Mexican designers. No visit to Mexico is complete without tasting the local cuisine and tequila. An estimated 40% of produce and herbs used at Chable are grown on its own farm, utilizing traditional Mayan techniques. At Ixi’im Restaurant, executive chef Luis Ronzon works hand in hand with star chef Jorge Vallejo, known for his award-winning restaurant, Quintonil, in Mexico City. Ixi’im also has the world’s largest tequila collection (in terms of bottle design), with 3,500 on display. And you must not miss the handmade tortillas at the Palapa Maya, where Doña Eneida — the village’s grandmother and Chable’s Yucatan chef — cooks her family’s recipes for guests, says Michaela Guzy.
Baha Mar, Bahamas
Chosen by Haisley Smith, Baha Mar is a 1,000-acre resort complex on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, close to its capital Nassau. “Pick your hotel based on your passion: the luxurious Rosewood Baha Mar, the cutting-edge SLS Baha Mar or the family-friendly Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. The resort complex opened earlier this year with well-publicized hiccups, but the Bahamian government recently allowed for 2,000 additional work visas to help the resorts round out their staffs. It’s smooth sailing and cocktail sipping from here on out.”
“I’m excited about Poland, where there’s a lot of a youthful energy right now. In Warsaw, there’s so much going on with culture and the arts, including the new Raffles Europejski, set in a landmark, 160-year-old building. Another city that’s doing a lot with the arts scene is Katowice. Also worth checking out is Szczecin, an emerging city in the northwest of the country that is home to a new philharmonic building. Of course, any visit here should also include a stop at some of the more sobering historic locations, like Auschwitz. It’s a destination you’ll really want to explore,” says Natalie Beauregard.
Krabi is a special place in the south of Thailand that is still under the radar, uncrowded and peaceful. “The place to stay is Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, set right on a white-sand beach. The bungalows are like little houses with lap pools, bathtubs in the form of a lotus flower and the biggest beds you’ll ever see. The hotel hosts barbecues on the beach and will take you on boat trips around the islands, which jut out of the sea. It looks like Halong Bay in Vietnam, but is blissfully serene. Once you’re in Krabi, you’ll never want to leave,” says Juliana A Saad, a Brazilian writer and editor who specializes in travel, lifestyle and luxury.
Madeira is a great nature destination and is still fairly unexplored. Because of its remote location, there’s a feeling of something exotic and isolated — but then again, it’s Portugal, so food and culture are still there. For those who love nature, this is something to keep an eye on, says María Pellicer.
Alicante in the Valencia region of southeastern Spain is a beautiful and picturesque destination set on the hills of the Mediterranean Sea between the bay of Altea and the natural park of Sierra Helada. There are stunning views, plus the weather is amazing year round. There, you’ll find SHA Wellness Clinic, which is in a class of its own, perfectly combining the chicness, beauty and service of a luxury Mediterranean resort with an expert team of medical professionals. The combination of Western and Eastern medicine provides a true 360-degree approach to wellness. SHA Wellness also recently launched “SHA Residences,” 11 luxurious suites that allow you to truly immerse yourself in a healthier lifestyle while in the company of your loved ones, says Tania L Swasbrook.