Looking to plan a bucket list trip in 2017? Here are five premier destinations to put on your travel wish list:
Tanzania: Asilia Highlands
Tanzania is famed for its wildlife and spectacular scenery from pristine islands in the Indian Ocean to magnificent volcanic mountain peaks, including Kilimanjaro. Asilia’s new Highlands camp is located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, about 45 minutes from the famous Ngorongoro Crater, so you are conveniently positioned for easy access to the game preserve, which boasts some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Aside from the classic safari experience, Asilia Highlands is in the heart of Masai country, where guides arrange visits to local bomas for an in-depth perspective on how the ancient culture lives today, much like they have for millennia.
Highlands’ eight geodesic domed tented suites on the slopes of the Olmoti volcano present sweeping views all the way to the Serengeti. The chicly designed tents are appointed with king beds, double showers, flush toilets, and a wood-burning stove for chilly evenings. A series of linked tents at the top of the hill form a reception space for lounging, a fully stocked bar, and a dining room serving gourmet meals prepared with organic ingredients.
Seychelles: Crystal Esprit
This Eden-like archipelago in the Indian Ocean is home to exotic flora and fauna including Aldabra giant tortoises, flying foxes, and rare Seychelles magpie-robins. Unlike typical sand-spit beach destinations, these granitic islands offer spectacular scenery with dramatic sculpted rock outcroppings, lush rainforests, and breathtaking beaches.
Crystal Cruises' new Esprit spends the winter months island hopping in this tropical paradise. With only 30 cabins and a capacity of 62 passengers, Esprit evokes the casual elegance of a private yacht with the service and amenities of a leading luxury cruise line. Guests hop on and off zodiac boats for excursions to nature preserves and famous beaches. Or you can stay onboard and make use of the Marina’s swim platform, snorkeling gear, water skis, and jet skies. You can even take a ride under the waves in a submarine that can plunge to depths of 300 meters.
Japan: Prince Galley Tokyo Kioicho & Suiran
From Tokyo’s pulsing streets to the serene temples of Kyoto, Japan is topping travel hit lists with luxurious new hotels that deliver exceptional experiences down to the finest detail. At the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, the capital’s first Luxury Collection property, never-ending views of the vast cityscape spread out before you from the 30th to 36th floors of the Tokyo Garden Terrace tower. The vibe is tranquil with an ethereal modern design concept that attempts to create a sense of floating above the supercharged metropolis.
In historic Kyoto, The Luxury Collection’s Suiran captures the Zen mood of ancient Japan on the banks of the green Hozu River. Walk to the neighboring Tenryuji Temple, a World Heritage site, and the enchanting Bamboo Grove, or head into the city for a taste of Kyoto’s famous gourmet cuisine with dishes that are created to be multisensory works of art.
From the mighty Peruvian Amazon to the sublime Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru is a nature lovers’ paradise, ranking fourth in the world for biodiversity. With its lush rainforests and fertile highlands, the country is home to abundant species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and orchids (more than 3,000 species). Among its awe-inspiring natural wonders, Peru also offers landmark archeological sites, such as Machu Picchu, opening a fascinating window into the ancient Incan civilization.
For 40 years, eco-tourism pioneer Inkaterra has combined luxury accommodations with authentic cultural experiences that celebrate the country’s natural and historic wonders. Let Inkaterra’s Peru experts plan a memorable cross-country adventure that guides you from the mythical peaks of Machu Picchu to the depths of the Amazon rainforest.
Amsterdam: The Conservatorium
Forget the old clichés of hash bars and seedy red light districts, Amsterdam is undergoing a renaissance as a top cultural destination with acclaimed art museums, au courant shopping, and a burgeoning culinary scene. Nicknamed the Venice of the North, the city’s interlocking canals create a romantic ambience steeped in history dating back to 1275.
Located in a former music conservatory in the city’s central Museum Square district, The Conservatorium blends history with modernity in a 19th-century architectural gem. The building’s beautiful historical details are enhanced by the dramatic contemporary design that features a soaring atrium and bi-level suites with walls of windows. Try a gin and tonic in the Tunes Bar, which serves 40 different gins before dinner at Taiko, an Asian-fusion hotspot.