9 Hot Destinations in 2018


9 Hot Destinations in 2018


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Hong Kong                            

Pictured: The Murray

Starting  with home base, Hong Kong is back in the news and rightfully so with the opening of The Murray, Hong Kong in Central.  The hotel, part of Hong Kong’s Conserving Central Project, was previously the stand-alone Murray Building, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Coupled with the long awaited opening of the Tai Kwun arts complex in the former Central Police Station, Hong Kong will be given a much needed shot in the tourism arm. Other hotels slated to open later this year include St. Regis, Rosewood, and Hotel Vic, with Soho House planned for 2019.



Pictured: Capella Shanghai

Coming out of its post-World Expo 2010 lull, Shanghai is back in the limelight again thanks to a slew of openings that is re-injecting a new energy to this saucy city —  Capella, Sukhothai, and Edition top our list. Just when you think you’ve been there/done that, the art and design scene continues to heat up. On the West Bund riverfront, Tank Shanghai will transform disused oil tanks into a sprawling arts complex. Farther north, the recently opened Norman Foster and Thomas Heatherwick–designed Fosun Foundation, with a bronze cylindered moving facade, has begun hosting performances and art shows.


Negev Desert

On Israel’s southern tip in an area that covers more than half of the country, the Negev desert sits primed for discovery. Its many historic, archaeological and natural landmarks of literally biblical proportions remain off the beaten track.  And with the opening of Six Senses Shaharut on a dramatic cliff, intrepid travellers no longer have to forgo luxury. Moreover, the region is sandwiched between two other hot spots: Tel Aviv and Petra. A pit stop in either direction guarantees an amazing experience.


Downtown Los Angeles

As if this illustrious city needed more reasons to shine. In particular, Downtown LA continues to transform itself as “the” place to stay with the opening of Nomad hotel from the hip Sydell Group. In a building that used to be the Bank of Italy, it’ll also house a restaurant from New York wunder boys Will Guidara and Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park). Recent hotel openings also include The Mayfair (with its own flotilla of jazzed up F & B outlets) and Hotel Figueroa.



Counting down to René Redzepi’s influential Noma restaurant’s reopening in February, foodies will have more reasons to visit. Copenhagen is teeming with new places to indulge in hygge. On your Eat List: Restaurant Barr,  the beer-centric boîte by Redzepi and chef Thorsten Schmidt ; Apollo Bar & Kantine, design-focused restaurant in the Kunsthal Charlottenborg gallery; and of course, Restaurant Relae, on the World’s 50 Best list. And we’re not even talking about the design scene…!


Abu Dhabi

The recent opening of the Jean-Nouvel designed Louvre Abu Dhabi is melting the hearts of travel snobs. Currently the crown jewel of the Saadiyat Cultural District, with its treasure trove of world-class art and groundbreaking architecture, it is turning the emirate into the cultural capital of the Middle East. Look out for Zayed National Museum by Norman Foster; the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects; and the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which will be the largest in the world. And if art’s not your thing, there’ll soon be the $100 billion Warner Bros. World theme park.


Douro Valley

Portugal has been on the hot list for some time now but while Lisbon and more recently Alentejo have been getting a lot of the attention, our sights are set further north to Douro Valley, the country’s wine region and origin of port wine.  Despite being named a Unesco World Heritage site in 2001, it remains relatively undiscovered although the opening of the dreamy Six Senses Douro Valley has changed all that and has raised the luxury stakes in this rustic destination.



Marrakesh has long been a mecca for the artistic crowd, more so now with the recent opening of the YSL museum designed by Studio KO and the upcoming debut of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at hotel La Mamounia.  The city is home to a number of well-regarded galleries but the arrival of 1:54, which has editions in London and New York, is set to position the city as a hub for African art. New hotel openings include the Baglioni, Oberoi, and Park Hyatt.


Phu Quoc

Pictured: JW Marriott Phu Quoc

When we launched JW Marriott Phu Quoc a year ago, few had heard of this tiny island in southern Vietnam. Not for long. A surge of new resort developments bolstered by the opening of the new international airport means we’ll continue to hear exciting things out of this once sleepy isle. These include Radisson Blu, InterContinental, Dusit, Regent and Mövenpick.


Catherine Feliciano-Chon

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