From luxury tents in the Moroccan desert to private island retreats in Cambodia, Dan Cooper picks the best luxury destinations to visit in 2015
Topping lists of all kinds this year, Croatia is slowly becoming the destination for travellers. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the historic Dubrovnik coast is a Grecian-esque paradise for those looking for something a little less predictable and a little more spectacular.
Must book: Bol Mare with Red Savannah
Must see: the Ancient City Walls; Mljet island tour; Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Koh Rong, Cambodia
If you are looking for the most private of retreats, a luxury resort on one of Koh Rong’s private islands may be the answer. Whether you’re booking a romantic getaway for two or the perfect family escape, Cambodia has recently become an increasingly popular choice as the ultimate luxury hideaway.
Must book: Song Saa Private Island with Passepartout Homes
Must see: local Buddhist ceremonies (all year round); Cambrew Brewery; private snorkelling reefs
French Polynesia, South Pacific
Consisting of 118 separate islands far out in the Asian South Pacific – Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and Taha’a being the most visited – French Polynesia provides some of the most understated luxury boltholes on the market. From round-the-clock bespoke spa treatments to some of the best golf courses in the world, this is an ideal location for honeymooners and couples.
Must book: Four Seasons Bora Bora with Oxford Private Travel
Must see: Mounte Otemanu; Coral Gardens; local safari and reef tours
Southern deserts, Morocco
Take glamping to the max in 2015 and experience the picturesque Moroccan wilderness in the comfort and luxury of a stunning mobile safari tent. Hundreds of miles from civilisation in any direction, a dedicated team of Berbers, who live and work at the camp, will make sure that your luxury safari is as safe, hospitable and exciting as possible.
Must book: Luxury Caidale tents with Natural High
Must see: Ouarzazate trading town; the Atlas Mountains; Erg Chebbi and Erg Chiggaga sand dunes
St Barts, Caribbean
Famous for its cool and casual French culture, St Barts is host to an array of exceptional hotels, restaurants and beaches, and has what can only be described as an exclusive charm indigenous to the island.
Must book: Eden Rock with Bon Vivant
Must see: St Jean Beach; La Bête a Z’ailes restaurant; La Bulle Diving Center
Kyoto is a chance to see Japan both at both its most contemporary and also its most ancient. Having served as the capital for over 1,000 years, the post-imperial city of Kyoto is a kaleidoscope of iconic Japanese heritage, renovated and immaculate. If you’re an admirer of the traditional Japanese haiku, Kyoto is the destination for you.
Must book: Hoshinoya Kyoto with Abercrombie & Kent
Must see: the Golden Pavilion; cherry blossom; sentō (public baths)
As the perfect winter sun location, Muscat is a city often described as the best-kept secret in the Middle East. With border relations to the United Arab Emirates and only an hour’s flight from Dubai, Oman’s popularity can only grow into 2015.
Must book: The Chedi Muscat with Oxford Private Travel
Must see: Omani-French Museum; Royal Opera House; Qurum Beach
Bequia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Bequia is the second largest island in the Grenadines and often described as the quirkier alternative to St Barts. With plenty of wonderful restaurants and some of the whitest beaches in the world, Bequia has an alluring native charm not found anywhere else in the world.
Must book: Ginger Lily Villa with Grenadine Escape
Must see: the Falls of Baleine; Owia Salt Pond; Mount Pleasant
Salento, Apulia, Italy
Famous for producing some of the best olive oils in the world, the Salento region of Italy is also one of the most beautiful destinations available for a Mediterranean escape. Referred to as the Florence of the South, this southeastern haven proves a supreme location for those in need of crystal blue waters and golden sandy beaches.
Must Book: Villa Corallo Blu with Passepartout Homes
Must see: the baroque city of Lecce; the renowned coastal town of Otranto; the ‘trulli’ huts native to the region
A city where East meets West, and where tradition meets contemporary. This unique cross-fertilisation helps distinguish this outstanding city from anywhere else in the world. With popularity forecast to grow in 2015, Istanbul is the most recent destination for the best five-star luxury hotels.
Must book: Hotel Raffles with Bon Vivant
Must see: the Sultanahmed Mosque; Sultanahmet District; Bosphorus Strait