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Top places to look to visit in 2024.

Budapest, Hungary – why? Experience a 150-year-old city.

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, with its rich architectural heritage, thermal baths, creative atmosphere, and vibrant nightlife. Budapest is indeed known for its diverse architectural styles, including art nouveau, neoclassical, Gothic, and baroque, creating a visually stunning cityscape.

The Blue Danube River adds to the city's charm, providing a picturesque backdrop to its architectural wonders. The thermal baths, with their mineral-rich waters and ornate designs, are a unique and relaxing experience, reflecting the city's rich history.

The reunification of Buda, Pest, and Obuda 150 years ago is a significant historical event, and it seems like the city is celebrating this milestone with various cultural events. The reopening of the Chain Bridge after a two-year restoration further adds to the festive atmosphere, offering stunning views of Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building.

Budapest's Mayor Gergely Karácsony aptly describes the Chain Bridge as a "symbol of togetherness," emphasizing its role in connecting the different parts of the city. Overall, Budapest appears to be a fascinating blend of history, architecture, culture, and a dynamic contemporary spirit.

Cyclades, Greece – why? Fresh air & island-hopping made easy.

The Cyclades, continue to be a highly popular and sought-after destination. The Cyclades, including Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Milos, and Ios, have become social media sensations with their iconic blue and white landscapes, vibrant beach clubs, and unique shopping experiences.

Smart new properties being unveiled in 2024 indicates a growing trend in luxury accommodations in the Cyclades. The addition of new flights by British Airways, as well as the launch of Cycladic, the first inter-island airline, suggests increased accessibility, making it easier for travellers to reach these picturesque islands.

The booming hotel business is evident with the expansion of Santo Pure in Oia on Santorini and the introduction of Santo Mine, a 37-suite luxury resort. Kalesma on Mykonos is set to launch its spa for the 2024 season, offering amenities like a hammam and cryotherapy area.

The opening of the Gundari Resort on Folegandros and a new One&Only property on Kea further enhances the options for luxury stays in the Cyclades.

Santo Mine Oia Suites - Santorini.

Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos & Tinos make up some of the Cyclades.

Mauritius - Why? Indian Ocean waters, a museum, and dazzling beach villas

Mauritius provides a fascinating insight into the island's evolving tourism landscape, transitioning from its heyday in the '80s to a current era marked by cultural vibrancy and a new wave of hospitality.

While Mauritius has long been celebrated for its picturesque seaside resorts, the upcoming Socio Tribeca hotel, part of the Lux Collective, suggests a new era of contemporary accommodation that goes beyond the beach.

The promise of an impressive and culturally attuned hotel indicates a shift toward offering diverse and enriching experiences for visitors.

The opening of the Intercontinental Slavery Museum in Port Louis in September 2023 signifies a monumental step in acknowledging and addressing the island's colonial history. This cultural attraction, housed in a restored 1700s military hospital, reflects a commitment to cultural understanding and historical reconciliation.

The Muse Villas, offer an elevated resort experience on a private islet, showcases the growing trend of providing exclusive and secluded options for travellers seeking a more private retreat.

Rodrigues, Mauritius's lesser-known sister island, potentially gaining attention in the coming year. The re-imagined properties such as Play Mourouk and Cotton Bay Resort & Spa reopening after renovations will only grow in interest for exploring the charms of this hidden gem.

Overall, the evolving cultural scene, new hospitality ventures, and the revitalization of both well-known and lesser-known destinations make Mauritius and Rodrigues promising and dynamic travel destinations for 2024.

Muse Villas - Mauritius

Contance Tekoma - Rodrigues Island

Grenada, - why? luxe resorts, and a spicy carnival celebration

Grenada paints a picture of an emerging destination that is gaining attention, especially as it is undergoing significant developments in terms of accessibility and new accommodations.

The anticipation of new hotels and resorts further enhances Grenada's appeal. The choice of Grenada as the location for Six Senses' first resort in the Caribbean, La Sagesse, scheduled to open in early 2024, indicates the island's growing prominence. This resort, spread over 38 acres with access to the ocean and various adventures, underscores Grenada's potential for unique and immersive experiences, such as shipwreck dives and waterfall trails.

Beach House by Silversands, set to open in January 2024, adds to the variety of accommodations, offering beachfront and cliff-side villas and suites. Silversands Resort, which opened in 2018 and boasts a 100-meter infinity pool, highlights the island's commitment to providing luxury amenities and experiences.

All in all, Grenada is emerging as a destination with increased accessibility, diverse offerings, and a focus on luxurious and immersive experiences, making it a compelling option for travellers seeking a Caribbean getaway.

Quebec, Canada - Why? off-the-beaten-track nature and cultural immersion.

Quebec showcases the province's commitment to offering diverse Indigenous-led experiences, spanning from the US border to the far north, providing visitors with opportunities to engage with both nature and culture.

In Nunavik, Quebec's northernmost region and the homeland of the Inuit, new experiences are emerging to bring attention to this less-travelled area. Ungava Polar Eco-Tours, an Inuit-owned venture, plans to offer five-day adventures to the uninhabited Gyrfalcon Islands in Ungava Bay starting in summer 2024. This promises immersive encounters with wildlife such as polar bears, musk ox, and caribou, along with the chance to witness some of the world's highest tidal elevations.

The Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation is also contributing to the wildlife viewing experiences by opening the Putep 't-awt observation site in the summer. This site, located on the St. Lawrence River, offers a unique land-based location for observing a beluga whale nursery.

In the Quebec City region, the Huron-Wendat community of Wendake is enhancing its offerings for visitors. The Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations has opened 24 new and renovated suites in summer 2023, providing a comfortable and culturally immersive accommodation option. The reopening of Sagamité restaurant in Old Wendake, along with plans to add a microbrewery and pub in 2024, adds culinary diversity to the visitor experience.

Quebec is fostering a rich tapestry of Indigenous-led experiences, blending nature, culture, and hospitality to provide a unique and immersive journey for travellers.

South Island, New Zealand – Why? laid-back wilderness experiences, immersive Māori history.

New Zealand's South Island paints a vivid picture of its stunning natural landscapes, and the introduction of more flights from the UK to Christchurch makes it more accessible for travellers to immerse themselves in the beauty of the region.

The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track is becoming New Zealand's 11th Great Walk in October 2024 adds another layer to the island's appeal. This 38-mile-long track is set in Fiordland and promises panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. What sets it apart from other Great Walks is the inclusion of mountaintop accommodations, such as Okaka Lodge and Port Craig Lodge. These lodges offer amenities like hot showers, king-size beds, and even pack transfers by helicopter, providing a level of comfort and luxury not always found on other hiking trails.

The lush rainforests, aquamarine lakes, and snowcapped peaks reinforces the South Island's reputation for its diverse and breathtaking scenery. The Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track, with its unique features and accommodations, enhances the overall experience for those seeking an immersive journey into New Zealand's natural wonders.

The combination of convenient air travel connections and the addition of a new Great Walk with exceptional accommodations makes the South Island an enticing destination for nature enthusiasts and hikers looking for a unique and comfortable outdoor experience.

The developments in Queenstown and the West Coast of New Zealand provide exciting prospects for travellers, offering new trails, immersive experiences, and expanded luxury accommodations.

The Wharehuanui Trail, set to open in late 2024, is a nine-mile trail connecting the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown to the suburb of Arthurs Point in Queenstown. This trail adds to the region's outdoor offerings, providing a scenic and recreational link between two charming locales.

On the West Coast, the Pounamu Pathway project is a multimillion-dollar initiative that aims to bring Māori history to life along the driving route from Haast to Westport. The four new immersive visitor centres, developed by Wētā Workshop and the Ngāi Tahu tribe, promise to offer an interconnected experience. Scheduled to open in stages, these centres will provide insights into Māori culture and history, combining visual effects expertise with indigenous storytelling.

For those seeking a more laid-back wilderness experience, the expansion of Flockhill, an ultra-luxury lodge in Arthur’s Pass, is noteworthy. The addition of 14 new villas and an on-site restaurant, led by acclaimed Kiwi chef Taylor Cullen, expands the offerings for those looking for a high-end stay in a picturesque location.

Until the Flockhill expansion is complete at the end of 2024, visitors can consider staying in one of the recently refurbished premium rooms at the historic Hermitage Hotel in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. This provides an option for those who appreciate a mix of history and modern comforts in a stunning natural setting.

These developments showcase New Zealand's commitment to enhancing both its natural and cultural attractions, providing a diverse range of experiences for travellers, whether they seek outdoor adventures, cultural immersion, or luxurious retreats.

Flockhill - Arthur’s Pass

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