Where To Go In 2018 – TRAVEL SLIDESHOW
The start of a new year is an opportunity to revise our list of must-see destinations. Authenticity remains the most modern form of luxury travel, which makes 2018 a great year for the second city. These are the lesser-known cities in popular destinations—the smaller, more off-beat urban locales. They are filled with charming cafes, expansive (but not crowded) beaches, and mid-century architectural treasures. If there were a pageant for cities, they’d win the prize for congeniality.
By Brandon Presser (@BPnomad)
The Western Cape, South Africa
It’s a big year for Cape Town, South Africa’s cultural counterpoint to corporate Johannesburg. The city has earned the title of World Design Capital for 2018, with grand plans to further bolster its reputation as Africa’s beacon of progress. The city has firmly become the must-see coda for most safari seekers, but the plains and peninsulas around the metropolis remain far less visited. If Cape Town’s on your 2018 to-do list, then spend some extra time exploring the rambling wine valleys of Constantia, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch – all of which are dotted with friendly vineyards that double as B&Bs – before following the Garden Route, a perennially popular beach drive heading east from Mossel Bay.
Where to Stay:
The award-winning Steenberg winery has over a dozen elegant rooms spread across its colonial estate, located about 30 minutes from Cape Town. One of the original farms in the region of Constantia, the vineyard sprawls beneath a spine of nearby mountains.
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
With over 7,000 islands in the Caribbean, finding your castaway fantasy is actually a lot easier than it seems. Americans don’t even need a passport. For a true taste of the islands, skip over big-shot St. Thomas and head for quieter St. Croix. Bedecked in crumbling forts and steeped in centuries of elaborate trade history, St. Croix beats to “island time,” not the hurried tick-tock of the tourism clock.
Where to Stay:
The Buccaneer, situated on a small promontory just outside the island’s main town, captures St. Croix’s throwback splendor. Featured on 2013’s edition of The Bachelor, the island’s premiere property proudly claims to be the spot where Sean and Catherine fell in love.
Riga, Latvia & Tallinn, Estonia
Look east, dear Europhile, to find a constellation of majestic cities inspiring as much awe and wonder as Paris, London and Rome. Sure, they’re smaller than the European hubs, but the castle-clad towns of Eastern Europe are stocked with the vestiges from a thousand years of imperial rule. Riga derives its charm from the beer gardens and coffee shops that line its winding alleys. More reason to go this year: Riga was designated as one of 2018’s Capitals of Culture, meaning generous sums of EU money will be funnelled towards a series of festivals and public initiatives. And while you’re there, make sure to visit Tallinn, Riga’s Estonian sister city that’s a four-hour drive north, for more Baltic café culture and underground tunnels.
Where to Stay:
In Riga, try Hotel Bergs, an old estate house in the city center that’s been refurbished with handsome modern touches. In Tallinn, stay at The Three Sisters, an exclusive Relais & Chateaux property secreted behind the stone medieval walls of an old merchant house.
Florianopolis & Recife, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is in for quite a ride with FIFA this summer and the Olympic Games in 2016. Everyone has Rio on the brain, but what about Brazil’s other major cities? Due south of Rio is surf-haven Florianopolis with its sea-and-be-seen coastal beaches. To the north, try Recife, situated along Pernambuco’s 100-plus miles of emerald shores.
Where to Stay:
Take full advantage of Florianopolis’ beachside locale by staying at quiet Ponta dos Ganchos just north of the city. In Recife, Nannai Resort & Spa offers all the trappings of a palm-shaded getaway.
Seoul, South Korea
Everyone’s keen on checking out upcoming Olympic cities, but Korea’s oft-forgotten in the hype despite the Winter Olypics scheduled for 2018 in PyeongChang. Seoul, its capital, has the metropolitan heft and vibrancy of any global centre, yet the tourist numbers are surprisingly slim compared to continental heavy-hitters like Bangkok and Hong Kong. This is good news for you, as you explore the latest trends – like window shopping and latte-sipping in Seoul neighbourhood Garosu-gil – with legions of locals.
Where to Stay
Catch your Zs “Gangnam Style” at the lavish Park Hyatt Seoul on the southern side of the city. Sleek rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows glow like iridescent Jenga bricks after sunset.