In 2024, the prospect of travel holds the potential for refreshing encounters, be it discovering the scenic beauty of distant places or immersing oneself in the lively cultures of bustling urban centers. As individuals set out on this thrilling new year, they will be prompted to recognize that each expedition offers an opportunity to forge a distinctive connection with the world.
Apart from not being as popular among Americans as destinations like the Amalfi Coast or Sicily, Forte dei Marmi holds a distinct status as the Italian equivalent of the Hamptons, particularly favored by the wealthy and influential. Situated in the heart of Tuscany, Villa Roma Imperiale stands as a testament to the enduring affection of an Italian family who has been vacationing in the area for generations. Their aspiration was to establish a haven embodying the essence of vita fortemarmina. This intimate beach house, comprising 31 bedrooms, exudes a refined glamour that encourages a leisurely pace of life.
Forte dei Marmi, with its fine golden sands and serene waters, provides a tranquil and picturesque retreat, making it an ideal destination for a laid-back beach holiday. The villa's strategic location allows guests to easily access iconic beach clubs, just a brief five-minute walk away. Additionally, the proximity to cultural festivities in nearby Pietrasanta, the breathtaking views of Cinque Terre within an hour's drive, and the opportunity to hike the Apuan Alps further enhance the allure of this enchanting getaway.
Nestled amid the picturesque Italian Dolomites, FORESTIS emerges as a pioneering Alpine destination, conceived by visionary hoteliers Stefan Hinteregger and Teresa Unterthiner. The property is at the forefront of a new era in the Alps, elevating Wellness and Nature Immersion to unprecedented heights and marking a transformative chapter in the European mountain hospitality industry. As a conceptual 5-star mountain retreat, FORESTIS redefines luxury through simplicity.
In May 2023, FORESTIS introduced Odles Lodge, a stand-alone property comprising a chalet and four distinct suites. This addition invites guests to fully immerse themselves in the natural elements of the surrounding environment. The unveiling of Odles Lodge aligns with the growing trend of boutique hotel openings in the Dolomites, catering to a discerning clientele seeking serene and nature-centric getaways for a luxurious retreat experience.
Collezione EM proudly presents Violino d'Oro, Venice's newest five-star boutique hotel that opened its doors in November. Tucked along the picturesque canals just a brief two-minute stroll from Piazza San Marco, this enchanting retreat pays homage to Venice's rich cultural heritage. Conceived by Sara and Elena Maestrelli, representing three decades of the Italian Florentine Family's hospitality legacy, Violino d'Oro offers an intimate and authentically Italian palazzo experience.
Occupying a 17th-century historical building at the heart of the city, the hotel features 32 rooms. Its design seamlessly weaves together ancient art, Oriental influences, contemporary elements, and original Venetian seminato craftsmanship from one of Venice's oldest artisan families. Il Piccolo, the in-house restaurant led by Executive Chef Stefano Santo, presents innovative plant-based cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is nestled in a cozy space with typical Venetian windows that offer views of Campo Barozzi.
Violino d'Oro invites guests to discover the diverse and sustainable flavors of Venice, making it a must-stay property for those seeking authentic and memorable Venetian experiences.
In a historic first, the initial three stages of the Tour de France will unfold in Italy in 2024, with the race commencing in the captivating city of Florence. Before cyclists embark on their journey eastward towards Rimini on the Adriatic Coast, traversing the Apennines through Emilia-Romagna, and concluding stage three in Turin, Florence will serve as the starting point. This city, renowned for its Renaissance architecture, rich culture, and exquisite cuisine, eagerly welcomes participants to the heart of Tuscany.
Nestled at Santa Maria Novella, Grand Hotel Minerva stands as a cultural haven, offering 97 rooms and suites, a breathtaking rooftop, and meticulous design by Carlo Scarpa to provide an immersive Florentine experience. The hotel's elegant design, featuring luxurious bedding, curated Italian decor, and modern amenities, introduces Tour de France travelers to an authentic and refined stay. With its prime location just minutes away from iconic attractions such as The Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Grand Hotel Minerva allows guests to easily explore the city's main highlights.
The hotel itself enhances the experience with Tuscan cuisine centered around vegetables and the region at La Buona Novella. Additionally, a rooftop pool and bar offer panoramic 360-degree views of the city, providing a perfect setting for guests to unwind and savor the enchanting atmosphere of Florence.
A highlight of St. Moritz's social calendar every January, the Gourmet Festival, now celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2024, promises an exceptional start to the year. Renowned for its collaboration between first-class guest chefs and local culinary talents, the festival curates extraordinary gastronomic experiences for guests and food enthusiasts, all within the framework of an annual theme. In honor of its milestone 30th edition, the festival will center around the theme of "three," specifically highlighting the Michelin star ratings of the guest chefs. Notably, all chefs participating in the 2024 festival boast a prestigious three-star status from the esteemed Michelin guide.
For those seeking accommodations during this culinary celebration, St. Moritz offers four distinguished five-star properties: Suvretta House, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, and the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, all esteemed members of Swiss Deluxe Hotels. Beyond providing easy access to the festival, each of these luxurious establishments offers guests more than just opulent suites. Visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating alpine scenery with activities such as skiing, carriage rides through the snow, snowshoeing, and various wellness facilities. St. Moritz ensures that guests not only savor the finest Swiss cuisine during the Gourmet Festival but also indulge in a truly immersive and unforgettable alpine experience.
Perched 600 feet above Lake Garda, the Cape of Senses welcomed its first guests in July 2023, emerging as the region's newest year-round spa retreat. With breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains, the property beckons visitors to embrace relaxation and rejuvenation throughout the year, fostering a sense of deceleration and sensory reconnection in a serene environment. The family-owned hotel, envisioned by architects and interior designers Hugo and Alessia Demetz, seamlessly blends simplistic elegance with traditional Italian charm. The establishment comprises 55 suites, each adorned with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer mesmerizing Mediterranean vistas.
At the heart of the relaxation experience is the 2,100 square-foot Senses Spa, embodying a holistic approach with an array of facilities, including pools, a sauna, a fitness area, treatment rooms, and relaxation spaces. The spa also features a library and a garden dedicated to wellness activities, including a yoga platform. Guests can unwind at the outdoor heated infinity pool and jacuzzi, which provide a private oasis with panoramic lake views, or opt for the connected indoor pool.
To enhance their stay, travelers can partake in bespoke experiences, such as private dinners on a lake jetty, vineyard picnics, sailing tours, cooking classes in the local community, and more. The property extends opportunities for exploration through local tours to nearby destinations like Verona (only 25 minutes away), Torri del Benaco, Garda, Venice, and Milan. Active pursuits, including hiking tours, golf, yoga, and meditation, are also on offer, ensuring a diverse range of experiences for a memorable stay at Cape of Senses.
Nestled on the edge of the world in the Azores, Pegasus Lodges presents Fajã do Belo, an enticing retreat for travelers in search of a transformative experience in an unspoiled natural setting. The lodge provides access to hidden lakes, cascading waterfalls, and a secluded surf spot, making it an idyllic haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities such as canyoning, rock climbing, fishing, and diving ensure that each day unfolds as a new and exhilarating adventure.
Immersing seamlessly into its natural surroundings, Fajã Do Belo offers an off-the-grid escape. Accessible only through a mountain hike, the journey to the property establishes a genuine connection between travelers and the pristine environment. The lodges at Fajã Do Belo, exuding natural charm, showcase exquisite design featuring volcanic stone, reflecting the distinctive architectural style typical of the island. Waking up each morning to magnificent views becomes a soul-soothing ritual, restoring life to its fullest.
As the day concludes, guests can unwind in the property's communal areas, providing an ideal setting for beachfront gatherings, bonfire conversations, and the creation of lasting memories with fellow adventurers. Fajã do Belo stands out as the destination for those seeking an authentic and immersive Azorean experience, where the spirit of adventure meets the tranquility of nature.
As Italian cities start considering admission fees to address issues of over-tourism in 2024, the tranquil island of Sardinia, situated in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy, emerges as a serene alternative for travelers seeking refuge from crowded destinations. With no admission fees required to enter the island and a wave of new luxury hotels arriving in 2024, travelers have the opportunity to experience their dream Italian vacation at this well-preserved secret destination. THIRDHOME Adventures, a curated small-group of luxury tours, offers the chance to join the Sardinia Island Escape, allowing participants to explore the captivating beauty and authentic lifestyle of Sardinia, including an exclusive stay at Villa la Belle Etoile.
Villa la Belle Etoile, featured as one of the most exclusive homes in THIRDHOME's portfolio, provides breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and ensures guest privacy with its elevated position over the beach. This 7,000 square ft. property, located 40 minutes by car from Cagliari Airport, spans four levels and comes complete with a staff of seven, including first-class concierge services. Highlighted in the exciting new series Millionaire Holiday Home Swap on Paramount+ UK, Villa la Belle Etoile boasts 5/5 star reviews and features 8 bedrooms, each with a unique theme.
For those seeking an extended stay in Sardinia, the Il Nido Azzurro offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can immerse themselves in the island's natural beauty. Available exclusively to THIRDHOME members, a premier luxury travel club for second homeowners, this one-bedroom, one-bath apartment comes equipped with a fully stocked kitchen, coffee machine, spacious living room, garden, and a terrace with views of the private beach. Nestled in one of the most exclusive areas of Sardinia near the famous village of Santa Maria di Gallura, this property provides an ideal base for exploring the island's rich history, hiking at Punta Contessa Park, cycling around the island, and enjoying the transparent waters and white sand beaches. After a day of exploration, guests can unwind with a glass of freshly made wine and admire the crystal blue waters.
In 2024, the Indonesian government is preparing to enforce a $10 tourist tax for all visitors to Bali, aimed at safeguarding the island's rich heritage and supporting local community initiatives and preservation. Ubud, considered the cultural heartland of Bali, is renowned for its majestic temples, royal palaces, traditional markets, lush green hillsides, and scenic rice terraces. Rooted in spirituality and healing, Ubud offers access to sacred temples for blessings or ceremonies and traditional healers for private sessions.
For those traveling to the Land of the Gods in 2024, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is poised to pay homage to Ubud's culture, traditions, and holistic healing through its new Disconnect to Reconnect Program. This offering invites guests to reconnect with their authentic selves, fostering mindfulness and gaining a renewed sense of clarity and purpose while immersing themselves in the natural world. The program aligns with the broader initiative to contribute to the preservation of Bali's cultural and natural treasures through responsible tourism practices.
Bali has long been known for its unique blend of modern and traditional charm, attracting visitors with its vibrant and youthful energy. While this spirit continues post-pandemic, Bali is now experiencing a significant shift towards greater eco-consciousness. The hospitality industry and major corporations on the island have united to introduce sustainable initiatives, aiming to make substantial contributions to land preservation. An innovative policy has been put into action, marking a collective effort to ban single-use plastic bags across Bali. This move not only reduces waste but also plays a crucial role in safeguarding the environment.
This commitment to sustainability reflects the growing trend of responsible tourism, where both the local community and tourists actively participate in initiatives such as beach cleanups and plastic reduction campaigns. Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach, IHG's first five-star hotel in a resort location, is actively engaged in promoting cleanliness and sustainability. The hotel has formed partnerships with organizations like SOS (Scholars of Sustenance) for leftover food donation and management, as well as Sungai Watch for mangrove cleanup initiatives. Looking ahead to 2024, Bali's government plans to implement a $10 e-tax on tourists, further contributing to community initiatives and preservation efforts on the island.
In 2024, the growing trend of Citizen Science trips is gaining popularity, with a focus on incorporating tourism into active ecosystem restoration efforts. These unique journeys provide everyday travelers with an exceptional opportunity to directly engage with researchers and specialists on specialized projects, aiming to make a significant impact while offering an adventurous and enriching experience.
Baros Maldives continues to underscore its commitment to safeguarding marine biodiversity by establishing multiple marine protected areas. As a Maldivian-owned resort dedicated to marine conservation, Baros implements awareness and educational programs. This includes guided tours to uninhabited islands, diving, and snorkeling activities aimed at promoting a better understanding of oceanic ecological challenges. One notable initiative is the 'Coral Propagation' program, which involves creating coral nurseries by transplanting fragments onto solid substrates, benefiting various marine life. Guests at Baros can actively participate in the 'Coral Sponsorship' program, allowing them to attach living coral fragments to coral tables on the island.
Ambra Federica Dugaria, the resident marine biologist at Baros, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of both Baros House Reef and nearby dive sites. The focus is on enhancing the environmental awareness of guests through a tourism-oriented approach, which includes comprehensive presentations on specific subjects presented in a clear and accessible manner, catering to audiences with varying levels of expertise. Baros Maldives is actively contributing to the transformative intersection of tourism and environmental conservation through these innovative initiatives.
Niseko Village, often referred to as the “Aspen of the East,” is excited to introduce Niseko-yo, just in time for the winter season. This pristine haven for winter sports enthusiasts in Hokkaido now offers an enticing blend of gastronomy, shopping, nightlife, and a myriad of snow and winter experiences for 2024. The resort is introducing new and acclaimed restaurants, including Gogyo powered by Ippudo, Long Tang’s dim sum, Chuan’s celebrated Sichuan hotpot, and Baby Crosta offering the first pizza omakase experience in Niseko, providing guests with a diverse array of culinary delights.
Adding to the allure, The Mandala Club, a private members club based in Singapore, has extended its hospitality to Niseko Village. Visitors can indulge in the Mandala Club’s cultural experiences in the heart of the snow-covered landscape. Another new addition to the village is the Chuya tearoom at Higashiyama Niseko Village, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. This tearoom takes pride in being a traditional tea haven during the day and transforms into a vibrant cocktail bar by night. Adorned with captivating masterpieces by artists Frank Woo and Emi Shiratori, visitors are invited to witness an immersive celebration of nature and the enchanting lore of the area at the heart of YTL’s Niseko Village.
The year 2024 marks the 65th anniversary of the Galapagos National Park, a testament to the ongoing commitment to conserving and restoring the natural marvel of the Galápagos Islands. These islands offer a profound connection to the natural world and have been extensively studied, notably by Charles Darwin, who unraveled the significance of the unique endemic wildlife inhabiting each island. For those seeking an experience similar to Darwin's explorations, Voyagers Travel, a specialist in trips to the Galapagos in Ecuador, offers expeditions on board several vessels.
With the primary mission of enabling its guests to visit remote destinations while minimizing their environmental impact, Voyagers is preparing to welcome the yacht M/Y Conservation. This new vessel will feature a comprehensive sustainability plan from design to daily operations. In particular, the Conservation will be equipped to welcome on board scientists, conservationists and volunteers who will participate in archipelago research and monitor the impact of introduced species and increased tourism. Voyagers' commitment to sustainability and research aligns with ongoing efforts to preserve the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands for future generations.
As climate change concerns grow, an increasing number of travelers are choosing environmentally conscious tourism. The recent closure of the iconic Explorers Glacier, or Exploradores, in Laguna San Rafael, due to risks and uncertainty regarding the glacier's behavior, has led to a surge in last-chance trips to destinations where travelers can witness gigantic glaciers and ice caves before they disappear.
Amidst the breathtaking Patagonian Ice Fields, travelers have a rare opportunity to explore imposing glaciers and encounter the legendary "Patagonian Ice Dragon." This small yet resilient insect contributes to slowing down glacier thawing by spending its entire life in the ice, feeding on cryoconite, a type of dust that can accelerate thawing by limiting glaciers' reflectivity. As Patagonia's glaciers diminish, the presence of the Ice Dragon plays a role in maintaining the region's delicate ecosystem.
For accommodations in Patagonia, The Singular Patagonia emerges as an excellent choice for travelers seeking to explore and preserve the region known as the “end of the world.” The property offers opulent comforts while fostering a deep connection with Patagonia's authentic wilderness. Each stay at the property reflects the essence of the area's surroundings, paying tribute to local history and customs and integrating the identity of the region into the guest experience. With world-class amenities, extraordinary dining experiences, and personalized service, travelers can embark on an adventure to preserve nature while immersing themselves in its splendor.
With kiteboarding set to make its official Olympic debut in 2024, the sport is poised for a surge in popularity. However, enthusiasts don't need to travel all the way to Paris to experience the thrill of kiteboarding. Turks and Caicos, closer to home, offer some of the best kiteboarding in the world. Vasco Borges, owner of Beach Enclave Turks & Caicos and a passionate kiteboarder himself, sees the world through a unique prism.
The allure of Turks & Caicos for kiteboarding is evident, with the island's consistent trade winds, shallow warm waters, and large areas of flat, uncrowded riding making it an ideal destination for this thrilling watersport. For Vasco, the ocean isn't just an expanse of water but an arena for adventure, and the wind is a trusted partner guiding his board across the waves. This deeply personal perspective shapes his vision for the 2024 expansion of Beach Enclave.
The significant expansion at North Shore includes new beach houses, offering privacy, tranquility, and an oceanfront Club Lounge. The award-winning Grace Bay is introducing contemporary villas with a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor living, termed the "Reserve at Grace Bay." Long Bay, known as a kiteboarder's haven, adds exquisite beach houses along its pristine white-sand beachfront, providing a sanctuary for families and water-sport enthusiasts. This expansion reflects the growing interest in kiteboarding and the desire to create unique, immersive experiences for travelers in Turks and Caicos.
In 2024, the Southern Kalahari stands out as a timely destination, with an increasing global consciousness about the importance of environmental preservation and responsible tourism. Nestled against the backdrop of the Southern Kalahari's Korranberg Mountains is the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa's largest private game reserve committed to safeguarding the diverse landscapes and wildlife of the region. Tswalu places a strong emphasis on climate change research and conservation, being a member of The Long Run, and is twice the size of the Sabi Sand, offering guests a unique opportunity to experience conservation and research up-close.
Embracing a mood of unfiltered adventure, Tswalu has introduced the new Loapi camp. This camp comprises six individually run and operated micro-camps, each spaced 330 feet apart, featuring an environmentally sensitive modular design. A distinctive feature of Loapi is its own conservation room, where guests can engage with their guide to learn about on-site wildlife, conservation efforts, and climate change research in the Kalahari ecosystem. This initiative reflects Tswalu's commitment to providing immersive and educational experiences for visitors while actively contributing to the preservation of the Southern Kalahari's unique environment.
In 2024, a decade after attaining its prestigious designation as the 1000th site on UNESCO's World Heritage List, the Okavango Delta remains a captivating marvel of nature. Distinguished by its status as one of the few major interior deltas on the planet that does not flow into a sea or ocean, the delta system boasts an intricate network of waterways, lush greenery, and diverse ecosystems. It presents an unparalleled spectacle of beauty, providing travelers with a chance to immerse themselves in a world untouched by human intervention.
Nestled within the Delta's embrace is the Moremi Game Reserve, recognized as Botswana's finest wildlife region. In late April 2024, a new addition will join Natural Selection's collection of premium camps in northern Botswana – Tawana. This camp is set to elevate the safari experience for discerning travelers seeking luxury, comfort, and style in the heart of this enchanting wilderness. The addition of Tawana further underscores the commitment to providing guests with exceptional accommodations and an immersive experience within the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the Okavango Delta.
Stretching over 13,000 miles as Kenya’s largest protected area, Tsavo National Park features awe-inspiring, diverse landscapes from vast acacia-dotted plains to ancient lava flows. In contrast to its Maasai Mara counterpart, Tsavo National Park boasts the Chyulu Hills, Mzima Springs, and the Shetani Lava Flow, creating an ideal landscape for guests seeking a unique, wellness-focused safari experience in 2024 as wellness travel and connecting with nature continue to take priority in travel plans.
Flipping the traditional safari experience on its head, Finch Hattons Luxury Camp encourages guests to step out of the safari vehicle for an immersive, intimate encounter with Tsavo National Park and all its wonders. A 4:30 a.m. wake-up call for a sunrise hike up the Chyulu Hills brings guests closer to the clouds and sounds of the bush than one can imagine—hiking through a narrow, slightly treacherous path before conquering the mountain as daybreak peaks through. Formed by fiery magma over 200 years ago, the Shetani Lava Flow stretches almost five miles, offering the perfect hike surrounded by the backdrop of the Chyulus and Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance. This approach to safari tourism embraces a deeper connection with nature and emphasizes the wellness benefits of exploring the diverse landscapes of Tsavo National Park.
Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp is undergoing an exciting transformation, offering a vibrant new iteration that celebrates local culture. The camp's refurbished design aims to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is entirely true to its location on the northernmost tip of the Serengeti. With insights from American Express Travel's '2023 Global Travel Trends Reports' indicating a growing desire among travelers to immerse themselves in local culture, the camp's bold yet relaxed design takes guests deeper into the Mara.
Inspired by the vibrant colors and patterns of the local Maasai geometrics, the design incorporates eye-catching elements, including a beaded piece by Side Designs. The refurbishment includes a rethink of the camp's six tented suites and main guest area, paying homage to the colorful shapes and intricate beadwork and patterns of the Kuba tribe. The design features tones of ochre (yellow) and indigo blue, with olive-green color and nomadic-style tents complemented by clean, curved lines on tables, chairs, and vanities, emphasizing the camp's immersion in nature with a luxurious and fresh touch.
In addition to the visual transformation, Singita’s Mara River Tented Camp is set to embrace a fresh take on new African flavors. The culinary experience will focus on culturally relevant food indigenous to the region, with an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients that provide guests with a taste of East African culinary traditions. This comprehensive approach ensures that the camp not only offers a visually stunning environment but also an authentic and immersive experience in the heart of the Serengeti.
In May 2024, Singita Milele welcomes travelers to an exclusive villa that overlooks the Serengeti, offering a remarkable blend of luxury and immersion in the untamed beauty of Africa. This villa transcends the ordinary, providing accommodations for up to ten guests. Each of the five individually designed suites, named after the region's iconic wildlife, captures the essence of Africa's creativity with locally sourced elements.
Singita Milele goes beyond conventional expectations with features such as floor-to-ceiling glass doors that seamlessly connect guests with the Serengeti's landscape, inviting infinity pools, private jacuzzies, and spacious decks. The villa sets a new standard for luxury travel, ensuring a full staff complement and private game vehicles to make every safari, wellness experience, and culinary adventure unforgettable. The dedicated team at Singita Milele is committed to providing an exceptional and immersive experience in the heart of the Serengeti.
Just minutes from the bustling city of Johannesburg, The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa offers a five-star luxury experience. The all-suite hotel, situated on 10 acres of lush gardens, is a hidden oasis that seamlessly blends cultural history with contemporary touches. Notably, the Saxon Hotel served as a residence for Nelson Mandela for six months while he edited his autobiography, "Long Walk to Freedom." During this time, the Saxon provided Mandela with a place of solace, where he engaged in meetings with prominent figures, both domestic and international, contributing to the end of South Africa's apartheid.
As December marks the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, April 27, 2024, holds particular significance in South Africa as it commemorates the 30th anniversary of Freedom Day. This event is of immense importance, signifying the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation, and white minority rule, and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela under a new constitution.
The legacy of Mandela is celebrated not only at the Saxon Hotel but also across Johannesburg, with museums, statues, landmarks, and infrastructure named in his honor. This rich tribute makes Johannesburg, and particularly the Saxon Hotel, an ideal location to commemorate Freedom Day. For those seeking an even deeper connection, the Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite at The Saxon features bespoke art and furniture that beautifully pay homage to Mandela's Xhosa culture, providing a unique and meaningful experience for guests.