Holidaying in 2022? These 25 getaways have something special to offer

Dust off your passport and haul out your luggage: here are 25 exciting destinations to share with family and friends this year.

By Bloomberg Pursuits, January 10 2022
Holidaying in 2022? These 25 getaways have something special to offer

We miss the world. Although 2021 brought some encouraging cracks in the pandemic’s barriers to travel, there were still too many places we couldn’t go.

And painfully, seeing everyone we missed was impossible. When planning group trips, attempting to reach distant loved ones, or trying to attend social events abroad, we faced obstacles at every turn.

The current wave of the Covid-19 omicron variant has us feeling we may never again get together the way we once did. So for this edition of the most compelling places to visit in the year ahead, we focus on new ways to gather.

Whether it’s a villa in the lush mountains of Portugal that caters to groups, a cruise in the Galápagos that matches families with kids the same age, or a hotel in Thailand that encourages drinking games, these recommendations intend to conjure a feeling of joyful reunion, no matter your risk tolerance.

A glamping expedition in the Argentine wilderness is made all the more memorable with family at your side, and a whisky-tasting adventure in Wales wouldn’t be the same without friends, would it?

Here are those and 23 other ideas to inspire you to enjoy the world - and one another – again.

Share trippy dinners in Melbourne

The pool at W Melbourne.
The pool at W Melbourne.

After six lockdowns in almost two years, Australia’s culture capital is preparing to show off a marvelous array of architectural and culinary tricks. 

West Side Place, a $1 billion mixed-use development in the heart of the central business district, is changing the city’s skyline with four neck-craning condo buildings, one of which will include a Ritz-Carlton hotel with a sky lobby on the 80th floor to open in 2022.

A gravity-defying set of towers called Sapphire by the Gardens, linked together by a floating gold bridge, will include another in-the-clouds hotel this year, the Shangri-La.

And all of it is visible from the rooftop at Fable Melbourne on Lonsdale Street – one of Melbourne’s best new bars, with its Greek-inspired mezze and mythology-inspired cocktails.

(Get the Hephaestus Craft, with malt, cognac, and chocolate bitters that get set on fire—a nod to the blacksmith of the gods.) 

Local chef Scott Pickett is also going stratospheric, but in a different way. His Higher Order restaurant transcends the norms of dinner service with an experiential concept that’s described as a “culinary hallucination”; it takes patrons through a series of theatrically staged rooms where food is presented by snow queens and robots. 

And though the W Melbourne will have a spectacular pool soaring over the city, its biggest thrill will be Curious, a subterranean bar and restaurant where the design scheme – all mirrored panels and geometric installations - is like walking into a kaleidoscope.

Trek through forests in... Singapore?

A couple visits the orchidetum at Singapore's National Orchid Garden.
A couple visits the orchidetum at Singapore's National Orchid Garden.

While Hong Kong self-isolates and Japan closes itself off to tourists, Singapore is setting up a vast network of travel corridors and establishing itself as a Covid-resilient city of the future.

That means doubling down on green spaces – a boon for mental and physical well-being as well as sustainable development.

You and your crew will be immersed in nature the moment you set foot in Changi Airport’s Jewel terminal, which features the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and a terraced forest.

Likewise, the zero-waste Pan Pacific hotel, with a profusion of lush balconies and terraces, will soon open in Orchard Road’s upscale shopping district. It will have a junglelike entrance, followed by a sandy beach and lagoon, then a manicured garden, and finally a rooftop lawn with mirror pools. 

Only a few minutes away by taxi is the family-favorite Montane Orchidetum at the National Orchid Garden, which feels like time-traveling to a primordial mountain rainforest filled with bromeliads, rhododendrons, and 50 varieties of the namesake flower. 

Cap it off with a few nights at the Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa, an all-villa hotel perfect for small groups. The 61 Yabu Pushelberg-designed houses (from two to four rooms) sit on an island that’s teeming with native flora. Think of it as your own personal Bali, but just a 10-minute drive from the central business district.

Play drinking games in Hua Hin, Thailand

Bartenders make tiki drinks at Malo, the bar at the Peri Hotel Hua Hin.
Bartenders make tiki drinks at Malo, the bar at the Peri Hotel Hua Hin.

Bangkok’s high-end haven has been drawing retirees and wealthy weekenders to its wide beaches and golf courses for decades.

Yet during the pandemic, nature-starved Bangkokians snapped up luxury condominiums and beach villas en masse in Hua Hin, noticeably lowering the area’s median age and increasing its cachet. 

The Standard has recently opened an outpost on the town’s main beach, offering oceanside boot camps, communal “Thai izakaya” dining, and copious clinking of limoncello-filled glasses. It follows the late 2020 opening of the Peri Hotel, brimming with rattan and a colorful Matisse-goes-to-Bali aesthetic that’s as fun as it is inviting.

Soon the in crowd will have its poshest watering hole yet: an offshoot of Teens of Thailand, Bangkok’s hot-ticket cocktail bar, set to open right on the sand by the end of January.

Experience the Galápagos the luxe way

A blue-footed booby and seal make friends in the Galápagos Islands.
A blue-footed booby and seal make friends in the Galápagos Islands.

Always the gold standard for wildlife viewing, the Galápagos Islands are getting a luxury upgrade when it comes to almost everything else.

The fanciest ship to sail the archipelago, Silversea’s 100-passenger, all-suite Silver Origin departed on its maiden voyage in June 2021, with Ecuadorian menus, a stargazing platform on its top deck, and 24-hour room service that includes complimentary Champagne and caviar.

For more intimate exploration, try Ecoventura’s two 20-passenger Relais & Châteaux ships – a third vessel arrives in December 2022 – and be pampered by a chef who trained in France. You can pick from themed family itineraries, such as one aimed at teens that guarantees your kids will find travelers of a similar age on board. The company also arranges cultural exchanges with local students.

Rounding out the triumvirate of new arrivals is Aqua Expeditions, known for vessels in the Peruvian Amazon and the Mekong Delta that set standards for haute cuisine at sea.

It launches the first superyacht in the Galápagos in May, the 164-foot Aqua Mare, with eight suites. Its Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei-inspired menus are by Lima-based "Jungle Chef" Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and feature ingredients from all across Ecuador. 

Make a coffee pilgrimage to Pereira, Colombia

Horses rest in the countryside outside the coffee-growing town of Salento.
Horses rest in the countryside outside the coffee-growing town of Salento.

Now that travelers feel comfortable venturing beyond Cartagena, Bogotá, and Medellín, the verdant Andean region around the city of Pereira is taking its turn to shine.

Among its draws are Colombia’s coffee triangle, inviting villages, and mind-boggling biodiversity. The metropolis is also becoming more accessible thanks to new nonstop flights on American Airlines from Miami.

Think of Pereira as a gateway to all sorts of adventures, such as trekking among the world’s tallest palm trees, rafting down lazy rivers, horseback riding through the rainforest, and hot air ballooning – Covid-safe pastimes that have catapulted the area’s appeal.

Stay at Hacienda Bambusa, a working cattle and cacao farm owned by the family of Juan Pablo Montoya, the country’s most famous Formula One driver. Each of its eight spacious rooms has a veranda with a large hammock, and some face the property’s tree-shaded pool.

From its deck, you might spot some of the region’s 1,000-plus bird species.

Not to be missed are explorations of nearby towns, including Salento, famous for its multicolored homes, and Filandia, with its quiet plazas and charming colonial buildings.

Camp out in rural Argentina

The Nomadic Camp, set up for a private group in a remote part of Argentine Patagonia.
The Nomadic Camp, set up for a private group in a remote part of Argentine Patagonia.

Only Harry Hastings, founder of Plan South America, could dream up an experience in which the remote Andes and windswept Pampas are the backdrops for multiple generations to gather in luxury. It’s a family reunion scenario that sounds like a wild reality show. 

The company’s new Nomadic Camp deploys leave-no-trace glamping sites, which can accommodate as many as 100 guests in the most far-flung pockets of the country, be it the high puna desert or Los Glaciares National Park, with amenities that include Malbec-paired asado dinners.

Base yourself in the Lakes Region, and you can take helicopter safaris to a high-altitude winery in Salta or visit a ranch in Corrientes to ride with gauchos. 

Connect it all with a few nights at the recently opened, all-inclusive Explora el Chaltén, a 20-room, estancia-inspired adventure lodge within the 14,300-acre Los Huemules Natural Reserve in Argentine Patagonia.

An all-female guide team leads excursions ranging from mountain ascents to overland trips to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. End the day in one of five open-air Jacuzzis overlooking the snow-capped peaks of Río Eléctrico valley – a worthy reward for your rugged endeavors.

See the next “it” place in Romania

Revolution Square in Bucharest.
Revolution Square in Bucharest.

With few well-known international touchstones beyond mythical bloodsuckers, Romania is touting its manageable size (similar to Utah’s) and status as one of Europe’s most biodiverse places to become an easy add-on for visitors to Croatia or Montenegro.

There are painted monasteries in the Bucovina hills to the north, villages on the Danube River with storybook historic centers, and winemakers and chefs tapping into a rich heritage that was almost lost after 40 years of communist rule.

In Bucharest faded boulevards are slowly being restored to their former grandeur; they’re also home to five-star hotels such as the Corinthia and the Marmorosch, the latter of which opened last year in a belle epoque bank building.

That sophistication extends to the countryside, where Bethlen Estates in Cris and Schuster Boarding House in Brasov make stylish departure points for day trips that can include truffle hunting or bear tracking.

See it all with the help of Beyond Dracula, a travel outfit on a mission to rebrand its home turf as Europe’s next great destination – instead of, you know, a place with counts and vampires.

Meet the makers in Wales

Walking along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path near Tenby in southern Pembrokeshire.
Walking along the 870-mile Wales Coast Path near Tenby in southern Pembrokeshire.

In the Celtic corner of the U.K. west of London, Brexit has brought an unexpected silver lining: an intense pride in local culture and a desire to protect it.

Look no further than the Welsh Geographical Indication list, an initiative that aims to do for Caerphilly cheese and Anglesey sea salt what the French did for Champagne. It will make the products – and the artisans who produce them – sacrosanct.

Single-malt Welsh whisky, which has a 1,700-year history, may be the most enticing; it’s a lighter and more fruit-forward spirit compared with its Scotch counterpart.

Enjoy it while hanging out with the friendly distillers at some of the 30 or so small outposts that have cropped up in recent years.

Make Penderyn the priority; after winning seven gold medals at the 2021 Spirits Business World Whisky Masters, the brand’s all-woman blending team is opening tasting rooms around Wales, including in its namesake town.

Going there puts you near the majestic cliffside ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle and Hay-on-Wye, a town where every public building, from the church to the movie theater, has been converted into a bookstore. Browse, and then move on to more active pursuits.

The jaw-dropping Wales Coast Path stretches 870 miles along the country’s entire coastline, offering epic strolls or bike rides. And for a dose of adrenaline, Wales now claims Europe’s fastest seated zip line, with four side-by-side cables that let you race across the Cynon Valley at 70 mph.

Have brunch with all of Gouda

Shopping for Gouda's namesake souvenir at 't Kaaswinkeltje cheese shop.
Shopping for Gouda's namesake souvenir at 't Kaaswinkeltje cheese shop.

Under-the-radar Gouda has at least as many painterly canals and 17th century landmarks as Amsterdam, which is a mere 50-minute train ride north.

But here you’ll commune with locals more than tourists – especially if you visit over Easter, when you can join the yearly Paasontbijt, a massive, free-for-all breakfast with residents from all walks of life on the monumental Markt square.

Bring the whole crew: At the newly opened Relais & Châteaux Weeshuis Gouda, which occupies a 16th century orphanage, the plushest accommodation is a velour-covered duplex family suite with side-by-side twin beds in the attic.

Sint Janskerk cathedral, right across the street, will bear installations commemorating the city’s 750th anniversary, which will include a temporary rooftop walkway with views of the historic inner city and a virtual-reality experience transporting visitors to Gouda’s Golden Age in the 1600s. (Church has never been so fun for kids.)

This being Gouda, there’s also a cheese market: It takes place on Thursday mornings in the middle of town, alongside medieval reenactments by blue-eyed teens in wooden shoes.

Book a volcano-facing villa in Madeira

A mid-hike vantage from Pico Do Arieiro, Madeira's third-highest peak.
A mid-hike vantage from Pico Do Arieiro, Madeira's third-highest peak.

Want the trappings of the Mediterranean with only a fraction of the visitors? Try the volcanic island of Madeira, a remnant of Portugal’s colonial empire off the northwest coast of Africa, where the travel demographic is fast shifting from British pensioners to global luxury seekers.

There you’ll find beach bars, Michelin-starred restaurants, and lavish quintas (as private villas are called). And it’s all newly accessible via direct flights from Boston and New York on Sata Azores Airlines. 

Make time to hike through an intricate system of historic levadas, or irrigation channels dramatically dredged and terraced into the rocky mountain faces, to see stunning canyons and waterfalls.

Then treat yourself to the island’s famed fortified wine: At shoreside Fajã do Padres, accessible only by cable car, tasting tables are set in the sand at the bottom of a precipitous cliff.

And don’t miss the intimate, convivial dinners at the Wanderer. Its chef doubles as a forager, gathering edible flowers and seaweed to pair with locally farmed and fished proteins. The flavors on the five-course “discovery” menu, which changes constantly, are as explosive as the island’s caldera once was. 

Charter your own cruise in Alaska

The Admiralty Dream, one of six ships in the Alaskan Dream Cruises fleet, can get visitors close to glaciers.
The Admiralty Dream, one of six ships in the Alaskan Dream Cruises fleet, can get visitors close to glaciers.

In 2021 you could barely cruise Alaska at all. Now you can make your trip a fully private family affair via the 12-passenger Kruzof Explorer, a Bering Sea crab boat that the Alaska Native-owned Alaskan Dream Cruises has turned into a comfy expedition vessel.

Its kayaks and paddleboards get unloaded into the pristine waters of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve or Misty Fjords National Monument with a 5-ton crane that formerly hauled in crustacean pots.

The boat has also been granted the rare privilege to bring visitors to tiny communities such as the remote Tlingit village of Klawock (on the western side of Prince of Wales Island) for rare meetings with master totem pole carvers.

Renting out a whole ship is a pricey endeavor, at $89,100 per week for a full-crew charter, but it’s one of the most intimate ways to see the Last Frontier state, which is primed to welcome a record-breaking 1.5 million cruise visitors on 38-plus ships this year.

Other notable newcomers include Hurtigruten Group’s hybrid-electric, 530-passenger Roald Amundsen and two 4,000-passenger Norwegian Cruise Line ships equipped with the ultimate teen amenity: go-kart racetracks.

Take a second honeymoon on Italy’s Amalfi Coast

A private elevator takes you to the secluded cove below Borgo Santandrea.
A private elevator takes you to the secluded cove below Borgo Santandrea.

It’s hard to think of a more romantic place to celebrate (your last two, three?) anniversaries than the sparkling Amalfi Coast, with its dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, and Hollywood regulars.

Those enduring draws notwithstanding, until 2021 the entire Amalfi region hadn’t seen a single new luxury hotel in almost two decades, thanks in part to the allure of its iconic grande dames – Il San Pietro di Positano, Hotel Santa Caterina, and Le Sirenuse.

Suddenly there’s some welcome competition. Borgo Santandrea opened last summer along a craggy bluff in the fishing town of Conca dei Marini, with elevator access to a private beach and 45 rooms and suites that showcase handmade Italian ceramics. It’s not trying to be another grand dame, but Capri’s Hotel La Palma is.

It reopens as part of the Oetker Collection this April: A renovation by Rome’s Delogu Architecture and interior designer Francis Sultana is expanding all 50 rooms and suites and upgrading them with marble and bronze bathrooms. The property dates to 1822, making it both Amalfi’s oldest hotel and its latest seduction.

Go FIFA-crazy in Doha

The Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar.
The Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar.

The host of this year’s FIFA World Cup is looking to roar long after the final goal has been scored. Of Qatar’s estimated US$300 billion in infrastructure projects and 100 new hotels, a majority are in the capital.

Focus on the four-island, 23-square-mile development of Lusail City: the man-made archipelago will contain Doha’s Foster + Partners-designed soccer facilities alongside a gleaming Rosewood hotel, a bevy of residential towers, and a 10-million-square-foot luxury shopping complex.

The shorefront Katara Towers, Lusail’s main contribution to the urban skyline, were designed to resemble the crossed scimitars of the national seal; they will be filled (partially) with hotels from Fairmont and Raffles.

Not as large but equally ambitious is Pearl-Qatar, with 1.5 square miles of pedestrian-friendly retail and yacht-lined marinas. 

But wait: there’s more. On the mainland is Doha Quest, the country’s first theme park, which houses the world’s tallest indoor roller coaster at about 200 feet tall.

And near the Souq Waqif, where vendors peddle gold, spices, and falconry goods, is the National Museum of Qatar. It opened right before the pandemic in a Jean Nouvel-designed building that looks like a cubist rendition of a desert rose.

Catch a feel-good beach break in Costalegre, Mexico

Casa Mi Ojo, one of the private villas within the Costa Careyes resort.
Casa Mi Ojo, one of the private villas within the Costa Careyes resort.

The name Costalegre translates to “happy coast,” and considering the history of the region, it fits.

Stretching 93 miles along the Pacific, its 43 beaches, capes, and bays are blissfully removed from the mass tourism of nearby Puerto Vallarta and have been a secret retreat for well-heeled families since the 1960s.

That’s when a former banker from Italy named Gian Franco Brignone established Costalegre’s first resort, Costa Careyes, on a 20,000-acre nature reserve that has since attracted cultural luminaries including Paul Matisse and Madonna.

Soon enough, neighboring resorts Las Alamandas and Cuixmala joined with equally A-list-worthy amenities and conservation initiatives.

This March the new Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will carry that legacy forward by earmarking 98% of its 3,000 acres for an eco-reserve; the remaining beachfront land will feature 157 rooms and suites, mostly facing the Pacific or the jungle, plus miles of hiking trails and a traditional temazcal sauna.

Although the area is exclusive, getting there will be easier: A new international airport is set to open in 2022, and freshly paved roads from Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo are replacing the crude paths that previously made for long, bumpy journeys.

Discover a family-friendly classic in Newport

A sampling of dishes created by April Bloomfield for the Dining Room at the Vanderbilt.
A sampling of dishes created by April Bloomfield for the Dining Room at the Vanderbilt.

By the time Julian Fellowes’s period drama Gilded Age makes its debut on HBO in late January, its backdrop – Newport – will be toasting a new golden era of its own. And it’s not just because of Hollywood’s spotlight.

First came the Brenton and Hammetts hotels, a pair of nautical boltholes that arrived downtown just in time to welcome droves of East Coast residents looking for drivable getaways.

They joined the Wayfinder, a boho-chic hotel owned by several local chefs that has 197 pet-friendly rooms and rainbow floaties in the pool.

In the second half of 2021, Auberge Resorts Collection took over the Vanderbilt, a stately historic hotel in need of a face-lift, and infused it with handsome interiors and a restaurant with dishes created by April Bloomfield.

(Its 33 redesigned rooms will be unveiled in early 2022.) The Sailing Museum opens on the waterfront in May; one of its interactive exhibits will let you test your strength on the grinders that power the America’s Cup boats.

It was once considered a little old-fashioned, but now the City by the Sea has something exciting for everyone.

Become conservationists In KwaZulu-Natal

Phina Homestead, a private villa on AndBeyond's Phinda reserve.
Phina Homestead, a private villa on AndBeyond's Phinda reserve.

This unsung, malaria-free safari region halfway between Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa accidentally wound up in the spotlight when the omicron variant was first sequenced in its nearby research labs – less an indication of relative risk than the trailblazing scientific contributions underway here.

When Babanango Travellers Camp opens its 12 tented suites on the banks of the White Umfolozi River in May, it will offer a firsthand look at how conservationists create reserves.

Its 54,000 rewilded acres, repopulated thus far with antelope and rhino, contain mist-shrouded grassland, golden savanna, and a riverine forest where 310 avian species have been spotted; reintroduction of more species is in the works.

Farther west, in the 22,000-acre Nambiti Private Game Reserve, the Homestead will raise the already-high bar for eco-friendly design when it opens in April, with a dozen rooms that benefit from gray-water recycling, green roofs, solar energy, and an all-electric fleet of safari vehicles.

Want to bring the kids? At AndBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge, new itineraries on set departure dates encourage teenagers to band together to compete in conservation-related challenges in collaboration with researchers. At night they join their family to share stories around a campfire and listen to Zulu drummers.

A room at the belle epoque-inspired Hotel Motto.
A room at the belle epoque-inspired Hotel Motto.

There’s no better way to ease back into city travel than picking a small, walkable gem that has something in store for every season. This spring the Heidi Horten Collection, named for the Austrian billionaire whose Klimts and Warhols will fill it, opens in a 22,000-square-foot town house in the heart of Vienna. 

Accommodations are also getting a more contemporary twist: In summer a 99-room Rosewood will open in the former Erste Group Bank headquarters near Petersplatz in the old town.

Come fall, guests in the Almanac’s 111 lustrous rooms will have access to intimate literary events and helicopter trips to wineries right outside the city.

Whether you’re bringing friends or looking to make them, one option outshines the rest: small-group bread-baking and pastry-making classes booked exclusively through the recently opened Hotel Motto.

A debut from Bernd Schlacher, a popular restaurateur and mentor to many of Vienna’s best bakers and pâtissiers, the hotel offers 91 belle epoque-inspired rooms, a glassed-in rooftop restaurant, and predictably knockout tartes flambées.

Get in first at suddenly-cool Boca Raton

The facade of the Boca Raton resort was restored in 2021 from its once-iconic pink hue to the original shade of white.
The facade of the Boca Raton resort was restored in 2021 from its once-iconic pink hue to the original shade of white.

Is it a retirement haven or an extension of Miami’s party scene? Boca Raton is looking more like the latter these days, luring a younger, permanent crowd during the pandemic and spurring the development of dinner spots that don’t trade in early-bird specials.

Exhibit A: the Boca Raton resort and club, where membership has risen among fortysomething professionals with kids.

The historic Addison Mizner-designed resort is fresh off a renovation that transformed it into a complex with five swanky hotels and a water park. It also has restaurants from New York’s culinary wunderkinds Major Food Group, including a retro-cool takeover of the old golf clubhouse, now called Flamingo Grill.

Within a few miles are similarly sophisticated openings: Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is expected to start serving guests in April with a four-story spa and 184 rooms on a barrier island called Singer; a Mandarin Oriental is also due by yearend as part of a new, $334 million multiuse retail complex on Via Mizner.

Take it easy in the Virgin Islands

The presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton St Thomas.
The presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton St Thomas.

The reputation of the U.S. Virgin Islands, better known for their busy cruise port than pristine waters or luxury offerings, is on an upswing and a well-timed hotel boom is also under way. In late 2020 the owners of the beloved family-friendly Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Martha’s Vineyard opened a beach club called Lovango on a private island right off St. John.

More recently they’ve added a clutch of elegant treehouses to make it more of a full-fledged resort. Each one has indoor and outdoor showers, ocean-facing decks, and enough space for four.

Across Pillsbury Sound, St. Thomas’s fanciest property, the Ritz-Carlton, is fresh off a US$100 million renovation; new amenities include a family pool with waterslide, a seaside spa cabana, and a 60-foot catamaran for private snorkel tours.

And Noni Beach, from Marriott’s Autograph Collection, with rattan-and-raffia décor and a quarter-mile stretch of sugary coastline, is taking bookings for this summer.

Splash around the Coachella Valley

The golf course and surrounding at Sensei Porcupine Creek.
The golf course and surrounding at Sensei Porcupine Creek.

Crowd surfing is back in 2022, with Coachella’s namesake music festival slated to return in April, but now you can go Kelly Slater–style surfing in the desert, too, thanks to a 3 million-gallon wave pool at the soon-to-open Palm Springs Surf Club.

Even couch surfing is glamorous in this 303-square-mile architectural haven, where the latest rentals include the fully staffed Kempa Villa, with a private helipad and vineyard among its 9,000 acres of party-ready amenities.

More lowbrow thrills can be had at the sprawling, newly renovated JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, which includes an old-school arcade, duckpin bowling lanes, mini golf, and electric boat rides on 18 acres of lakes.

But even rock stars need to decompress. For that, there’s the standard-setting L’Horizon Resort & Spa – which in 2022 is almost doubling in size with 24 new suites and an 80-foot-long pool – and Sensei Porcupine Creek, opening this fall in Rancho Mirage as the second outpost of Larry Ellison’s opulent wellness resort brand.

As for Slater, he has news, too: In 2022 his Coral Mountain project will break ground, with a resort, residences, and plenty of man-made waves.

Join a big dinner party in José Ignacio, Uruguay

Posada Ayana, one of the latest hotels to open in José Ignacio.
Posada Ayana, one of the latest hotels to open in José Ignacio.

The tiny, stylish fishing village of José Ignacio is popular with discerning travelers not just because it’s a fashionable place to remain unseen. Its Francis Mallmann restaurants and discreet beach bars attract a cosmopolitan crowd to stay at boutique bed-and-breakfast spots tucked away amid the dunes.

Choose your own foodie adventure: at the six-suite Luz, set on 35 acres of olive groves and vineyards, you can either go by horseback to white-tablecloth picnics or join locals for pop-up dinners served at communal tables in a pine forest.

Posada Ayana, a new 17-room hotel with a stunning green marble pool, doesn’t even have a restaurant – it throws dinner parties.

Robert Kofler, the Austrian art buff behind the project, commissioned artist James Turrell to build one of his famous, monumental Skyspace installations, this one with a 16-foot roof aperture that reflects the brightest part of the Milky Way onto a circular piece of granite laid into the floor.

Need even more social media fodder? The 75,000-square-foot Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry, Uruguay’s first contemporary art museum, opens this month with a retrospective honoring late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Join urban escapees in New York’s Catskills

The lounge at Inness, a 220-acre hotel and golf club in Accord.
The lounge at Inness, a 220-acre hotel and golf club in Accord.

Even after two years of pandemic-induced homebuying and unprecedented development, the towns of the Catskills and neighboring Hudson River Valley aren’t slowing down.

In fact 2022 should be the most luxurious year yet for the upstate New York region, which encompasses about 6,000 square miles of maple forests, fertile farmland, and pretty hamlets.

In the Hudson Valley, Auberge Resorts Collection’s Wildflower Farms will soon turn 140 acres of woodland overlooking the Shawangunk Ridge into a retreat with 65 bungalows, cottages, and suites – the first five-star brand in the area.

It will join Chatwal Lodge, a spinoff of the Midtown Manhattan hotel, set to open in April with 10 chalet-style suites, plus a restaurant, lounge, and croquet lawn on 30 protected acres on the edge of the Toronto Reservoir.

Others have been bringing a big-city approach to the country by introducing members clubs, such as the farmhouse-style resort Inness, in Accord, which offers a nine-hole golf course from the same team that designed cult favorite Sweetens Cove in Tennessee.

All the buzz should give a new platform to the many small shops and producers that have long made this area so special.

A toes-in-the-sand spot for happy hour at Soho Beach House Canuoan.
A toes-in-the-sand spot for happy hour at Soho Beach House Canuoan.

You don’t have to win the lottery to go to the Caribbean island chain that includes Mustique – with its exclusive villas that command six-figure weekly sums – and Canouan, whose unofficial slogan is “Where the billionaires go to escape the millionaires.”

Laid-back options are now abundant on the 42-island archipelago of the Grenadines, where uninhabited coves and epic dive sites are as easy to come by as free-flowing rum punches and firsthand stories about the British royal family.

On tiny Bequia, the Liming Hotel sits on a secluded stretch of private beach with gentle waves; it has nine villas with residential stylings and as many as four bedrooms, plus a grand mansion that easily sleeps 10. Petit St. Vincent, on its own island, has recently raised its flags again after a long Covid closure and a renovation that refreshed its 22 eco-friendly cottages.

And a surprisingly affordable 40-room outpost of Soho Beach House has opened with barefoot luxury vibes in a burgeoning Canouan resort complex, where Aman is rumored to come next.

Megayachts abound, but you can also charter masted sailboats for as little as US$350 a day with the esteemed local company Barefoot Yacht Charters. As a bonus, a gleaming airport has begun welcoming direct flights from Air Canada, American Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Walk among elephants in Zambia

A family explores on foot in Liuwa Plain National Park.
A family explores on foot in Liuwa Plain National Park.

Several new safari lodges are perfectly sized for familial takeovers, generally with three or four tents apiece.

Green Safaris, for instance, has intimate and eco-sensitive properties such as Chisa, whose solar-powered accommodations look like stilted nests hovering over the Busanga Plains.

The area, known as "the mini-Serengeti," stands out for its converging ecosystems, which host diverse and unusual species including the black-maned lion.

At Chisa, groups can ditch the traditional Jeeps and explore by bike, foot, or hot air balloon and join local organizations such as the anti-poaching group Panthera for talks and nature walks.

Also ideal for intrepid families is Shawa Luangwa, Green Safaris’ five-tent camp in South Luangwa National Park, which offers “silent game drives” via electric Land Cruisers; and Shoebill Island Camp, a four-tent outfit in Liuwa Plains National Park’s Bangweulu Wetlands run by the conservation nonprofit African Parks.

Walking expeditions there focus on avian species: Among the most colorful highlights are rare shoebill storks and endangered gray-crowned cranes.

Gather your favorite friends in Oaxaca, Mexico

The suites at Casona Sforza face the pool and the Pacific Ocean beyond.
The suites at Casona Sforza face the pool and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Flavorful moles, epic surf breaks, ancient craft traditions – they’re reason enough to visit culturally diverse Oaxaca, home to 16 indigenous languages. This year add spectacularly designed hotels to that list.

The region’s Pacific coast now claims a pair of architecturally striking retreats, Casona Sforza and Monte Uzulu, both capable of competing with Cabo’s best.

The former is the passion project of entrepreneur Ezequiel Ayarza Sforza, who hired Mexican architect Alberto Kalach to create 11 light-filled suites under a series of contemporary vaulted arches in the laid-back surf town of Puerto Escondido.

An hour’s drive to the southeast takes you to the fishing village of San Agustinillo, where Monte Uzulu’s 11 ocean-facing rooms have thatched roofs and handmade wooden furnishings to help them harmonize with nature.

Both hotels are small enough to take over with a group, and both offer exciting excursions to pre-Hispanic archaeological sites and bioluminescent lagoons.

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