Luxtripper Travel Editor
I can't wait to pack my bags and jet off to some of these incredible destinations in 2020!
If Tahiti isn't paradise, then what is? The name alone evokes images of palm trees swaying in the breeze, ivory-white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise water. The largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is often overlooked in favour of Bora Bora, though it's no secret that Tahiti is just as beautiful (and more affordable too!)
Home to French Polynesia's capital, Papeete, Tahiti is the centre for French Polynesia's vibrant culture; the city's markets are perfect for picking up some local goods such as the coveted Tahitian black pearls, as well as sampling fresh Polynesian dishes and fruits. A place of adventure, you can hike through the breathtaking Vaipohe Valley, passing cascading waterfalls and exotic flowers, before discovering tropical beaches with dolphins playing distantly in the waves.
Who wouldn't want to stay in an overwater villa? At the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, you can wake up to the gentle whisper of the lagoon before jumping straight into the water for a mesmerising snorkelling adventure beneath the waves.
Of all the African nations, Tanzania excites the imagination. Home to the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, this is the land for the intrepid explorer, a place where you can watch as animals move freely in the wild and feel the warmth of the Indian Ocean as you swim in water as clear as glass.
Perhaps the most coveted destination in Tanzania, Serengeti National Park is the country's oldest national park, a vast expanse of savannah, woodland and grassland plains. Home to iconic African animals such as elephants, giraffes and zebras, this is the place to experience an African safari unlike no other, being fully immersed in spectacular Tanzanian landscapes. It's only natural that after the adventure of a safari in Tanzania, you'll want to cool off from the scorching African heat by the beach. And where better to go to than Zanzibar? An archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, this cultural hot-spot is rich in history and tradition as well as hosting an array of breathtaking white-sand beaches with an unrivalled party scene.
For a truly luxurious experience in Tanzania, you must stay at the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti for daily game drives into the national park, and the Tulia Zanzibar Unique Beach Resort for direct access to a picturesque, tropical beachfront.
Who wouldn't want to go Vietnam? Stretching all the way along the coast from China to the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam has everything, from exotic beaches and misty mountains to historic cities and exquisite food.
A holiday to Vietnam should be very much viewed as a cultural journey, with the differences in the architecture, cuisines and customs of the north and south making you feel as if you're in two different countries! Starting in Hanoi, you can step straight into Vietnam's rich past as you wander through the narrow streets of the city's Old Quarter whilst sampling the delicious Vietnamese dish pho. From Hanoi, the world is your oyster, whether you want to explore Halong Bay's vast expanse of islands or the verdant rice paddies of Sapa in the north west. As you head further south on your Vietnam holiday, you can discover the cultural cities of Hue and Hoi An before arriving in beach paradise at the coastal city of Nha Trang. Afterwards, the tropical climate of South East Asia awaits you in steamy Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, where you can weave your way through palm-tree lined rivers in the famous Mekong Delta.
There is no end to luxury in Vietnam. For eco-luxury, Topas Ecolodge provides you the opportunity to enjoy freshly-grown ingredients and interact with the local community in the Hoang Lien Son Mountains; for exotic beach splendour, enjoy ultimate seclusion at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay with breathtaking coastal views.
NOTE: This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, which are now being held in the summer of 2021.
Japan is the place to be in 2020. With the 2019 Rugby World Cup only just over, Japan is now the focus of the world as Tokyo gets ready to host the 2020 Summer Olympics!
A country which fuses modernity and tradition, Tokyo embodies this unique blend of the past and the future, with Buddhist temples and traditional sake bars nearby to robot cafes and eclectic shopping districts. Although a city like no other, your holiday to Japan will not be complete unless you visit Kyoto; a window to Japan's past, Kyoto is home to over 2000 Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples as well as Gion, the world-famous geisha district. Looking for unrivalled Japanese food? Osaka is unofficially termed the Nation's Kitchen and it's no surprise why: you can treat your tastebuds to tantalising takoyaki and scrumptious sushi at the many street food stalls in the city. If you want to see Mount Fuji on your Japan holiday (who wouldn't?), then you must visit the hot-spring town Hakone in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, a secluded haven with spectacular views of Mount Fuji, particularly beautiful in autumn.
If you seek stylish luxury, then the Aman Tokyo will go above and beyond your expectations. Blending the traditional ryokan style with a modern elegance, the hotel's suave aesthetic will make you feel as if you're in a James Bond movie.
Like a scene straight from the Arabian Nights, Oman is a mirror to the Arabia from the past, a million miles away from the bright lights of the neighbouring Dubai. With scenery comprising of tropical oases, craggy mountains and endless deserts, Oman is a land of old-age romance and glamour.
With a wealth of history, Oman is dotted with ancient mosques, sandstone fortresses and low-lying valley town, reflecting the centuries of tradition and culture. From Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to the Bahla Fort, visitors to Oman can step back in time and feel as if they're wandering through a past era. Aside from its history, Oman's landscape is unlike anywhere else on the planet. With a whole host of outdoor adventures, you can experience hikes in the desert, swimming in Wadi Shab and watersports in the Gulf of Oman.
Looking for the best place to stay in Oman? The Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is simply out of this world, perched within a sublime canyon in the north of Oman. Surrounded by spectacular desert mountains, you can experience Oman's rugged landscape from the resort's sky-high infinity pool.
Despite being known as the 'Teardrop of India, Sri Lanka is more than just a teardrop; this large island in the Indian Ocean has a diverse landscape of dense rainforest, endless sandy beaches and lush highlands.
For a first time to Sri Lanka, you can experience the country's spectacular natural landscapes and rich heritage on a tour of the Cultural Triangle. Starting in Sigiriya, you'll be in awe of the mighty Sigiriya Rock, an ancient fortress with a strong archaeological and historical importance. Afterwards, you'll be off to Kandy to see the impressive Temple of the Tooth, a Buddhist temple in the heart of the city where the relic of the tooth of Buddha is housed. Sri Lanka is also home to some of the world's much-loved wildlife; for unrivalled animal encounters in the Cultural Triangle, the Minneriya National Park, the site of one of the world's largest gatherings of Asian Elephants, offers you the chance to spot elephants roaming the wild. Likewise, the Yala National Park on the south-east coast is the place to go to experience a Sri Lankan safari like no other; imagine leopards skulking through the trees, crocodiles lurking in lakes and peacocks prancing in the open forest.
Looking for somewhere a different to stay? The Wild Coast Tented Lodge in the Yala National Park offers secluded, luxury lodges in-amongst the trees located on a beautiful stretch of golden-sand beach, with daily safaris into the national park.
India is vast, so vast you can travel through sweeping snowy mountain landscapes in the north to tropical, palm-lined backwaters in the south. With no two regions the same, a journey through India is a feast for the senses, an opportunity to discover historic cities and breathtaking landscapes.
Where to begin? With a history spanning millennia, you can jump straight into India's rich past with a journey through the state of Rajasthan, discovering the 'Venice of the East' (Udaipur), India's 'Pink City' (Jaipur) as well as the Ranthambore National Park for an incredible Indian safari. Along with the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra, south of the capital New Delhi, the tropics await in the south-western state of Kerala, where you can experience a traditional house boat cruise in the Keralan backwaters, a world of lush green with palm trees and interweaving rivers. If you're looking to head off the beaten track, you should visit the Andaman Islands in the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea; imagine white, sandy beaches, glistening turquoise water and wildlife-rich tropical vegetation.
For somewhere that extra bit special to stay in India, The Oberoi Amarvilas will give you just that, providing guests with exclusive access to the Taj Mahal so that you can beat the crowds and see this impressive UNESCO site in style. Searching for beach paradise? The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa is a secluded resort in the Andaman Islands, surrounded by untouched beaches, wildlife-rich rainforests and national parks.
A world of waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and beaches, Costa Rica is a haven for the eco-conscious. Located in central America with two ocean borders, Costa Rica's tropical climate makes it ideal for an outdoor escape in nature.
An adventurer's playground, hold on tight and plunge straight into this tropical wilderness; you can experience white-water rafting in rushing rapids, jungle hiking in wildlife-rich rainforests and scuba diving in kaleidoscopic coral reefs. If you're looking for relaxation, then there is more than just adventure in Costa Rica. The country's many eco-lodges and hilltop hideaways have wellness at their core, the pure rainforest air perfect for soothing the soul and revitalising the mind. Also a popular retreat for yoga enthusiasts, you can wake up to the sound of the rainforest for a rejuvenating yoga session before feasting on locally-grown tropical fruits.
Be thrilled in Costa Rica at the Pacuare Lodge, a boutique, luxury hideaway in the heart of the rainforest. From climbing to rafting, you'll feel invigorated as you traverse the jungle terrain before relaxing in your own private pool.
Largely overshadowed by it's well-known neighbour, Thailand, Malaysia is making it's name for itself as the South East Asian destination for 2020. With tropical coastlines, fast-paced cities and a vibrant culture, Malaysia should be on everyone's bucket list!
Plunging straight into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital city, you'll be able to experience Malay culture at it's finest, tasting aromatic local food at the Petaling Street Market and climbing the vivid stairs leading to the Batu Caves, a series of limestone caves and temples north of the city. Afterwards, you can experience Malaysia's tropical gem, Langkawi Island, located in the glistening Andaman Sea for your own piece of beach paradise. A lush island with white, sandy beaches and virgin rainforest, this exotic paradise is a secluded haven offering adventures in nature such as jungle trails and scuba diving, as well as ultimate spa relaxation.
Where to stay in Malaysia? There's nowhere better than The Datai Langkawi; tucked between lush rainforest and turquoise waters, this tranquil resort is the perfect place to get away from it all and discover Langkawi's natural beauty.
Haven't heard of Bhutan? Located in the Eastern Himalayas, this sparsely populated nation is often referred to the as the world's last Shangri-La; it's sweeping mountain scenery, traditional valley towns and relative detachment from the modern world makes it a place like no other.
With an abundance of national parks and weaving mountain paths, the only problem you'll encounter on your Bhutan holiday is knowing where to look. Whether you're exploring the many dzongs and Buddhist monasteries of Thimphu (the capital city), Paro or Punakha, or wandering alongside rushing crystal-clear rivers, your eyes will be constantly feasting on the breathtaking Bhutanese landscapes and architecture. Not only a visual paradise, the incredible Bhutanese cuisine will tantalise your tastebuds - the unique blend of chilli and cheese infused in most of the national dishes is simply delicious! For the eco-conscious, you'll be pleased to know that Bhutan is also a carbon-negative country, as well as being on its way to receive the title for the first fully-organic nation in 2020.
Where to stay? For boutique luxury, the Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary is a tranquil retreat in Paro, offering it's guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique Bhutanese culture whilst also experiencing Bhutan's iconic hot stone bath!
If you're looking to go somewhere new for an unforgettable holiday this coming 2020, contact one of our Luxury Travel Experts today to start planning your next tailor-made adventure...