We’re always on the lookout for the hottest new hotels and the most unique, exclusive, off-the-beaten-track experiences for our luxury tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable and well-travelled experts share their top tips on their favourite destinations, hotels and adventures for 2019, from Colombia to Canada.
Colombia is fast emerging as a top Latin America destination, thanks to its colourful culture and beautiful landscapes and beaches - get there before too many more people catch on to its charms. Our Colombia expert Ashleigh recommends our Colombia adventure holiday: ‘I love it as it features an exciting mix of culture and wildlife in a geographically diverse and historic country, combining well-known favourites with some off-the-tourist-trail gems’.
This holiday takes in Bogota and Cartagena and also gives you the chance to head to the vast savannahs and forests of Los Llanos, where you can saddle up and ride horses like the local cowboys. Stay at Corocora Camp in the heart of the wilderness, and enjoy barbecues round the campfire in the evenings, accompanied by vivid sunsets.
Celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday in India in 2019. Our Flagship Rajasthan itinerary starts in Delhi, where you can visit the interesting National Gandhi Museum to find out more about this iconic figure. From seeing the Taj Mahal to coming face to face with majestic Bengal tigers in Ranthambore National Park and taking a hot air balloon over the Pink City of Jaipur, this trip is fantastic for its sheer diversity and endless exciting adventures.
On this trip, experience a stay at SUJAN Jawai Camp, an oasis of colonial-style luxury in the heart of the desert in Bera, where you can go on safari in a private jeep to see leopards and a wide variety of birdlife. Our India expert Flora loves this all-inclusive camp: ‘I felt like true royalty staying with SUJAN. Meeting the locals was my highlight: they’re so friendly and keen to interact. After spotting two leopards, I finished off the day with a cool G&T as the sun set over the dramatic mountains and still reservoir - absolute bliss!’
Mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death by discovering the gems of Tuscany in Exsus style. On a self-drive holiday to Florence, Montepulciano and Chianti, learn the secrets of Tuscan cuisine with expert chefs, visit vineyards, and stay at the beautiful Il Salviatino, a 15th-century villa near Florence. Our Italy expert Gina says: ‘This retreat offers the best of both worlds - it sits in the hills of Fiesole, so you can have breakfast with an espresso overlooking the roof of the Duomo in the distance, but you can easily explore the city with the complimentary shuttle’.
While you’re in Florence, see some of da Vinci’s masterpieces in the acclaimed galleries, and Gina also recommends taking a trip on a vintage barchetto boat (Florence’s version of Venice’s gondola) on the River Arno. Along the way, sip a glass of wine as your local guide brings the city’s rich Renaissance history and famous residents such as da Vinci to life.
Discover Namibia on this luxury safari holiday, which takes you into the heart of its wild, untamed landscapes and brings you face to face with wildlife from elephants to oryxes. Visit the red dunes of Sossusvlei, followed by a stay at the distinctive Shipwreck Lodge, which is an exciting and unique new addition to the Skeleton Coast.
Our Namibia expert Katie says: 'I love this lodge because not only are you in the heart of this harsh and solitary landscape, but you get to wake up every morning in your very own luxury “shipwreck” cabin with exquisite views over the very seas that caused the demise of the ships that now lie scattered across this beautiful coastline! Luxury, history and creativity all mixed up in one makes Shipwreck Lodge a unique, refreshing and eco-friendly way to experience one of the main highlights of Namibia’.
Head to Argentina to meet its dazzlingly diverse wildlife, from capybaras to penguins, and visit Iguazu Falls, one of the most impressive natural wonders in Latin America. This Argentina wildlife adventure is one of our Argentina expert Caroline's favourites. ‘For me, this incredible itinerary has a winning combination of wildlife, culture and history, which you can take in while staying in unique accommodation in remarkable settings. This trip proves the old saying true… location, location, location!’
Make your way from Buenos Aires to the Ibera Wetlands and the Valdes Peninsula, and experience the unmissable Iguazu Falls from the beautiful, recently-opened Awasi Iguazu, which is set on a private reserve. Each luxury villa has its own private 4WD vehicle and guide, and you can enjoy exclusive trips to the nearby falls before retreating to a stylish bed for the night, overlooking the jungle.
Explore the best of British Columbia and celebrate the 200th birthday of Queen Victoria in 2019 in the charming capital, Victoria, which sits on Vancouver Island - get there on a scenic seaplane ride from Vancouver. This ultimate holiday in Canada takes you from cosmopolitan Vancouver to a cowboy ranch as well as well as the pristine wildernesses of Clayoquot Sound.
Travel by floatplane to stay at one of our Canada expert Dave's top picks in British Columbia, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. ‘It is very exclusive, small and remote, with amazing activities and great food’. Clayoquot offers an extra-special glamping experience, where you can discover hidden coves and secluded beaches, and dine in the clouds on a remote mountaintop while savouring the panoramic views over the peaks.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings by gazing at the moon and the stars in Utah, whose clear night skies make it a perfect spot for stargazing. Stay at Amangiri, nestled in the heart of Utah's distinctive landscapes, which has a pool set around the rocks and a blissful indoor/outdoor spa. Amangiri is one of our USA expert Mark's favourite places to stay. ‘This is a one-off hotel and there’s nothing quite like it - the architecture and the location are stunning, and you can go wine tasting and stargazing at the same time’. As the stars give way to the sun, get even closer to the skies on a memorable hot air balloon trip at sunrise - trips depart directly from the hotel.
On our Once Upon a Time in the West holiday, indulge in the very best of the American Southwest: experience Amangiri, head to glitzy Las Vegas and take a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon - Grand Canyon National Park is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.
Venture into the heart of the wilderness in Sweden and discover your inner Bear Grylls on a summer family adventure that’s perfect for a holiday away from TVs and iPads. On this trip, experience a hotel with a difference, Island Lodge, which sits on its own private island in the Stockholm archipelago. Our Sweden expert Dave says: ‘Island Lodge offers an amazing family experience, and the great thing is that it’s not far from Stockholm, so you can easily combine the city with island life’.
Stroll along secluded, unspoilt beaches and go kayaking. Forage for mushrooms and berries in the forest and help cook your delicious evening meal (or if you prefer not to, your chefs will prepare it for you), and have dinner in a rock shelter by candlelight. Relax in the wood-fired tub, which sits by the waterfront, before retreating to your domed tent for the night.
Holidays in 2019 are all about health, wellness, relaxing and recharging, and Sri Lanka is firmly on our radar this year as it fits this bill perfectly. Amongst its secluded beaches and stunning countryside, you can kick back and clock in to a slower pace of life.
On our blissful escape to Sri Lanka, stay at the eco-friendly wellness retreat Tri Lanka, which sits on the shores of the serene Kogalla Lake, surrounded by lush greenery and cinnamon plantations. Our Sri Lanka expert Georgina singles it out for its lovely lake views and exceptional ways to restore your wellbeing. ‘As well as exploring your surroundings on foot or by kayak, you can indulge in a personalised wellness programme of spa treatments and yoga classes in a simply beautiful setting’.
French Polynesia is an island paradise of postcard-perfect beaches, crystal-clear waters and the kind of heavenly hotels you never want to leave. Our luxury holiday in the South Pacific offers some A-list island hopping, taking in Bora Bora as well as Tahiti, Moorea and Taha’a, finishing in A-list hangout Los Angeles.
Along the way, stay at the recently revamped and renamed Conrad Bora Bora Nui, whose stylish villas are clustered around a private white-sand bay and perched on the water. After a dip in the pool and a visit to the spa, have a cocktail at the swim-up bar overlooking the coral reef. Our French Polynesia expert Flora says of this hotel: ‘It is beautiful and tranquil, and is particularly special for its iconic views over Mount Otemanu’.
These are just suggested itineraries - every one of our holidays is tailor-made from scratch. To visit any of these destinations and beyond, call our travel experts on 020 7337 9010 or make an enquiry.