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January 2015 / Travel / by Cassia Geller

Ready, jet, go

As soon as the party popper dust clears and our bleary Champagned eyes adjust to a brand new year, thoughts turn to one thing and one thing only: travel. After all, there’s a whole 12 months to fill with fabulous trips. Eager to get booking, we asked the well-travelled folk at Globalista.co.uk – authors of luxury travel insiders’ guides and experts in all things opulent and adventurous – to tell us where to go in 2015, when…

January

Colombia has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with Bogota reinventing itself as a cosmopolitan centre to rival Rio. On the last weekend of January, head to Cartagena for The Hay Festival, one of the most fascinating literary events in the world. Make sure to stay within the fortified walls. (hayfestival.com)


February

Described by Byron as “the fairy city of the heart”, Venice is a romantic wonderland of winding streets, canals, gondolas, palazzos and museums. A Valentine’s visit means you miss out the maddening crowds, too. Our top hotel pick is The Gritti Palace. (thegrittipalace.com)


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March

A mix of fast-fading British colonialism and brash Canto-cool ensures Hong Kong is the traveller’s epicentre of Asia, compounded by the newest Art Basel in March. Stay at the Mandarin Oriental – a truly classic HK address. (mandarinoriental.com)


April

New Orleans has a more colourful history than anywhere in America, marked by a lust for life in the French Quarter and the graceful heritage of the Garden District. April brings the soul-stirring New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, which has showcased the greats of jazz and blues for over 50 years. The Soniat House hotel (above) oozes Southern charm. (soniathouse.com)


May

The small seaside town of Cannes has a distinct buzz of its own. The hectic glitz and glamour of the Festival de Cannes is something that should be experienced once in your life. Stay at one of the monoliths on the Croisette before making your way down the coast to enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix from the Hotel de Paris’ terrace. (hoteldeparis.fr)


StRegisAspenExteriorWinter

June

Aspen has it all – one of the rare resorts where the genuine variety of terrain means it suits everyone from beginners to experts. If you don’t ski, don’t worry; every June Aspen becomes foodie heaven, hosting world-famous chefs and some fantastic parties. The St. Regis is arguably our favourite hotel. (stregisaspen.com)


July

Once thought to be part of the lost continent of Atlantis, The Azores archipelago does not even feature on some world maps – making this one of Europe’s wildest destinations. The simultaneously tropical and temperate climate encourages breathtaking biodiversity, at its best in July. Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, nestled in the majestic Furnas Valley, is the place to stay. (bensaude.pt/terranostragardenhotel)


August

A direct overnight flight, minimal time change and glorious sunshine all make South Africa the perfect high summer destination (main image). Start at Cape Town’s gorgeous Table Bay Hotel, then take the Garden Route for idyllic beaches, temperate forests, whale-watching and fantastic food and wines from world-class local vineyards. (suninternational.com/table-bay)


September

Ibiza is a tale of two islands: half the notorious party scene, half quiet private island. Whichever side you’re on, Ibizan Septembers promise an endless choice of beaches, dramatic coastal walks, outstanding restaurants and superb hotels and villas. For hip Ibiza, stay at the Ibiza Gran Hotel; for quiet, check into Atzaró. (ibizagranhotel.com; atzaro.com)


October

Once the preserve of gap year backpackers, Vietnam now competes with its more soigné South East Asian neighbours, with incredible restaurants and fantastic accommodation. Hanoi is Vietnam’s cultured colonial grandmother, and southern Saigon is the most buzzing city. Try the modern Park Hyatt or the historical Caravelle. (saigon.park.hyatt.com; caravellehotel.com)


November

November is a glorious time to visit Japan, starting with the energetic metropolis of Tokyo: sensational sushi, cloud-brushing skyscrapers, and serene cherry blossom parks. Spend a few days at The Peninsula before heading by bullet train to the temples and shrines of Kyoto then the moving Peace Park of Hiroshima. (tokyo.peninsula.com)


Adrer-Amellal-Egypt-by-Omar-HikalDecember

Eight hours from Cairo, Siwa is the ultimate escape. This isolated oasis is one of the most magical wildernesses on Earth, with salt lakes, hot springs, and palm shaded pools. There is only one place to stay: Adrère Amellal – a stunning eco-lodge lit with candles and cooled by the nightly desert winds. (adrereamellal.net)


(globalista.co.uk; info@globalista.co.uk)