16 Destinations I Think You’ll Love
Where have I been in the last year? Well, I am so glad you asked!
As I was scrolling through my calendar, I could not believe how many places I had visited the past 365 days. Well, time passes quickly, and even while I am at an exotic destination, I am already planning my next adventure. Maybe a few locations below will inspire you to plan your next getaway. Even if your dream destination is not mentioned here, this list might motivate you to start the planning steps of a trip to someplace you have been fantasizing about.
Toes in the sand and a cocktail in my hand! The South of France is one of my favorite places in the world, so of course after moving to Paris, this had to be my first destination. It is such an easy TGV train trip, and the journey is part of the experience. I love strolling the Boulevard de la Croisette, and especially ogling the theater which holds the annual Festival de Cannes. If Paris is your destination, then a getaway to the chic Côte d’Azur should be on your list during your time in Europe.
Tunnel me here! I’ve been to London four times in the past year since moving to Paris, and I expect six trips this year. I love traveling on the Eurostar, as it is a relaxing journey and also easy to rest up before a pint with fish and chips upon arrival. On my last visit I stayed at The Lanesborough, one of the world’s top hotels. If romance takes you here, make sure to dine at Céleste after starting the night with a glass of champagne at The Library Bar, one of my favorite hotel cocktail lounges.
Four Seasons Hong Kong
When you begin a journey in a first-class airline seat, you can only hope the rest of the expedition will be as luxurious, and Asia did not disappoint. I can see why Hong Kong features the most skyscrapers in the world and for me that means fabulous views from amazing skyscraper hotels. My favorite was the Ritz Carlton and the Ozone bar, which is mandatory on any visit to the appropriately-nicknamed Pearl of the Orient.
Ritz Carlton Ozone Bar
In a quick, comfortable 1-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong, you are in Macau, the “Vegas of the East.” There are so many beautiful hotel options that at any price point your budget requires, you are sure to find the perfect place to stay. Coconut cocktails poolside at the St. Regis by day and gambling away by night. Having traveled to Vegas monthly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. If you like luxury and gambling minus the late-night club techno atmosphere, Macau is a stop for you. Learn more about my hotels on this trip here.
Steaks and martinis. This describes usually all my visits to the Big Apple, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I should start by saying that my days usually begin with a grande coffee from Starbucks, accompanied by a cream cheese lathered bagel and then a stroll through Central Park. My ambition always says a jog will happen after the calorie-filled bagel, but usually it is just a walk about the beautiful 20-acre lake to help work off those calories from another Italian or Steak dinner ahead of me. This trip I went to one of the most iconic steak restaurants, The Palm Steakhouse, and the Porterhouse steak did not disappoint. Champagne at the St. Regis King Cole Bar is a must for any lounge lover, and make sure to try the famous Bloody Mary. You can read more about my Manhattan Musts here.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Sun and sand, with many margaritas, of course. When I lived full-time in California, Mexico was an easy jaunt from the Golden State and it was time to get my toes back in the sand. I love the laid-back vibe and the abundant choices of accommodations and margarita-tasting explorations. All the tourist cities in Mexico are very similar, but I always put PV, as it’s known, at the top of my list.
It’s time for winter and you don’t get more luxurious than the following two destinations.
I love snow! Ok, not shoveling your driveway, blizzard, freezing, can’t-feel-your-face cold. I love to be bundled up in front of the fireplace with a hot toddy, a snuggle partner, and a glistening mountain view. I prefer small ski towns where you can walk from cocktails at one place to fondue at another, and Gstaad provides that. Oh, and the luxury–this town oozes it! Le Grand Bellevue saw me frequently, and it will see me again next season. I am in love with so many of the luxurious hotels there, which you can read about here.
Number 1–no place like it. When I am asked my favorite winter ski resort, this is my answer. This was my fourth time in Zermatt, and I already have two visits booked for this ski season. I think it’s the car less zones, the horse-drawn carriages, and the close proximity of everything in the town. I love enjoying après ski at CERVO, an incredible hotel and restaurant right mid-slope. Live bands after coming down the mountain and a warm drink after an exhilarating day on the slopes: there’s nothing better! Check out my favorite ski lounges throughout the world here.
Do you know the song, “Christmas in Killarney” by the Irish Rovers and redone by Bing Crosby? Well, that was me and it was just as Bing said, “the prettiest picture you’ve ever seen.” If Ireland is ever on your travel list, make sure that you have more than pubs in Dublin on the agenda. The Ring of Kerry is a must-drive and its beauty is anything but ordinary.
My first venture back to the US since my official move and knowing my taxes were on the itinerary, I figured I needed a gentle ease into my environment, so Vail, here I am. I love Colorado and it doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter. No matter the country you call home, a visit to the state of Colorado is as important as having been to Paris or Rome. The Four Seasons Remedy Bar is a must-visit for your favorite classic cocktail and if you are sushi fan like me, in the center of Vail is my favorite, Matsuhisa, where you can enjoy an incredible dinner.
So, despite that appointment with my tax accountant, Orange County, California is my home and I knew I could count on 70 degrees in January. If you’ve never been, strolling the piers of the beach cities in Newport, Seal, and Huntington Beach is the best way to truly soak up everything that defines Southern California. Champagne at the Coliseum Pool at the Pelican Hill Resort was first on my list, and it was the epitome of a perfect day. Check out a few more of my favorite Southern California places here.
A flight took me here. This was never a destination on my must-visit in the next couple years. When looking to redeem miles for Bali, I found a first-class seat and KL (as it’s known), here I come. I knew of the Petronas Twin Towers (from a Sean Connery movie, of course) and the movie did not do them justice. I was extremely impressed by the modernization and can see why it is one of the fastest-growing regions in Southeast Asia.
Finally, at my dream destination:10 days of pure bliss. A first-timer in Indonesia and I made the most of it. Renting a villa was how I rolled, and nothing beats waking up and diving into your own pool. I would recommend the villa route, as this is the place where staying in your own residence is the norm, not the exception. Of course, fancy hotels flourish here, but elegant accommodations are in every city, so give a private pool a try! The forest, temples, and assorted town nightlife deliver any type of holiday you wish.
I had been waiting all year for this trip and it is a city to love. I’m not sure what took me so long to get here, but I already have another trip planned next year. Hands down, Singapore can receive an award for the cleanest city in the world, and there are many laws and fines in place to make sure it stays that way. Did you know chewing gum is banned in Singapore? My favorite days were spent visiting Marina Bay Sands, with the world’s largest pool, dining options from famous chefs, amazing shopping, and casino all in one complex.
Lefkada Island, Greece
Village of Vasiliki – Blue seas and sunshine define all the Greek Islands, but my first visit to this jewel will not be my last. This village was small, quaint, and made me feel like a local. Lounging at lunch by the sea enjoying fresh fish was a daily occurrence, and you know Greek wine was on the menu, too! Sun, fun, and relaxation is what the town of Vasiliki provided, and I was sure to soak up every moment of it. Many people veer towards the popular islands like Mykonos, but don’t write off the smaller, just as beautiful jewels. Learn more about my trip here.
Doesn’t everyone end the summer season in Ibiza, Spain? Its reputation as a party club atmosphere does not disappoint, with all the top DJs around the world flocking to the island in August. But for me, I’ve seen amazing sunsets throughout the globe, and I would put Ibiza in the top three most amazing. Happy hour and sunsets, not to mention the amazing beaches and waters, will take me back here again and again. Now you’ll know where to find me next August.
I have no doubt many of the destinations above you have heard of, traveled to, or have on your must-visit list. If not, maybe this article has reminded you of how many new or exciting places there are to travel and enjoy other cultures outside of our home countries. Take a chance on a new destination, and not just because it seems to be popular here and now. Explore the world, even if it’s the town a few hours away from you. Try to look through a different set of lenses, and you’d be surprised how a new angle can give you a new perspective. Now it’s time for me to begin planning the next 365 days as the adventure continues.