It looks like 2020 is shaping up to be an intriguing time to travel and this year’s major trends will shed light on lots of unsung locations and reveal new aspects to some old favourites. Broaden your personal horizons, learn a new skill, get under a destination’s skin – there is also a mass awareness of climate change which will play a vital role in steering our future travel decisions...
1 Experience the Aurora Borealis from new floating hotel and spa retreat, Arctic Bath, in Swedish Lapland. This bucket list spectacle is best viewed during the months of August to March. The hotel has just six cabins and there is a big focus on health and wellness plus enjoy dogsledding, visiting the Storforsen Nature Reserve or going on a moose safari.
2 Trek to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, a spectacular undertaking which ranks among the greatest outdoor challenges on the planet. Recommended months to climb are July to October and December to February.
3 Spend a few days relaxing at the new Mandarin Oriental on Lake Como before heading into Milan for a special private viewing and dinner beneath Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’.
4 Go on a Maldivian adventure to Kanuhura, a five star luxury family-friendly retreat. Kids under 12 go free and can take part in many fun experiences including creating pirate costumes and boarding their very own ‘pirate ship’ to dig for treasure on one of Kanuhura’s two deserted islands.
5 Book a trip to Abu Dhabi for some winter sun and go kayaking around The Louvre on Saadiyat Island.
6 Thrill-seekers will love this paragliding experience at Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman. Soar with the birds 960 feet above sea level, soaking up the beautiful views of the Al Hajar mountains and the Gulf of Oman, before descending onto Zighy beach below.
7 Stay in comfort without compromising on your ethics at the UK’s first 100% vegan hotel, Saorsa 1875, in Perthshire. It’s the perfect antidote to the frantic pace of modern living with eleven bedrooms individually styled with calming linens and antique furnishings. The restaurant is completely plant-based, showcasing local, seasonal and foraged produce.
8 Marrakech will be the first African Capital of Culture in 2020, awarded thanks to its substantial haul of architectural, artistic and cultural legacy. And where better to stay than the iconic Royal Mansour, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with two new sensational restaurants – Sesamo and The Nest.
9 Go on an eight-day cooking course in Goa where you will get to grips with cooking fish, rice, coconut, vegetables and the local fruit kokum. You will also visit market and tea plantations and a spice garden.
10 Sail the vibrant waters of Indonesia to Komodo National Park and the Raja Ampat islands on Amandira, a two-masted traditional Phinisi vessel handcrafted by the Konjo tribe. The ship can accommodate up to ten guests.
11 Try out the world’s first multi-sensory virtual reality experience, ‘The Vessel’ at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina in Hawaii. The Vessel offers customised journeys using advanced therapeutic technology, such as Deep Space and Zen Garden, that help ‘reset’ your brain to achieve a more relaxed state of mind.
12 Embark on a one-of-a-kind global adventure aboard the custom-designed Four Seasons Private Jet. Book the World of Adventures trip, departing in May 2020 which spans 8 countries and 24 unforgettable days; meditate at sunset over Petite Anse Bay, see endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, learn to salsa in Bogotá, and much more!
13 Edge, said to be the Western Hemisphere’s highest outdoor observation deck, is set to launch in New York on March 11th, with a record-setting height of 1,131 feet and views extending up to 80 miles plus a champagne bar operated by London-based Rhubarb Hospitality Group. Stay at the new Aman hotel opening in the heart of Manhattan within the grandeur of the iconic Crown Building.
14 Another big movement this year is the rise of the ski safari. At Eleven Experience’s Chalet Pelerin and new Chalet Hibou in under-the-radar French village Le Miroir, it’s possible to glide through seven resorts in as many days, from Val d’Isère and Tignes to the charmingly old-school Sainte Foy, and heli-ski across the Italian border.
15 2020 will mark the launch of Crystal Endeavour, Crystal Cruises’ first custom-built expedition ship in August. It will have naturalists and expedition leaders Boris Wise and Eva Molin Westerholm overseeing as many as 22 expert guides. The ship will accommodate just 200 guests, with butlers on hand, Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma & Sushi Bar, mud rooms and a full-service spa.
16 Bordering a protected nature reserve, the new Six Senses Kitzbuehel Alps is the first sustainable luxury hotel and residences in the Austrian Alps. With full ski-in, ski-out access, the resort is nestled in an evergreen forest, just five minutes above the village of Jochberg.
17 Explore the highlights of the American South on a tailor-made self-drive holiday. Visit Nashville, the home of American country music, for a private, backstage tour of the Ryman auditorium. Hear candid stories about stars like Johnny Cash who graced the stage and tour dressing rooms, getting a closer look at rare vintage photos and priceless memorabilia.
18 Shaped endearingly like a mythical creature’s head on the island of Borneo, Sabah is home to some of the most spectacular natural marvels to be found in this part of the world. Nature enthusiasts and adventure-seekers from across the globe come here to bask in sun-soaked pristine coasts, explore undersea creatures of world-renowned scuba diving sites, scale to the top of Borneo’s highest peak, and venture deep into tropical rainforests brimming with rich biodiversity of plant and animal life.
19 Enjoy a thrilling helicopter journey over the Alps before indulging in a Heli picnic on top of Mont Blanc, hosted by your own personal sommelier.
20 Dive into one of Switzerland’s oldest traditions with an authentic Alpine cheese-making experience at The Chedi in Andermatt. You’ll press your own wheel of artisanal cheese and have it posted to you once it’s matured a few months later.