When it comes to choosing a ‘cool’ destination for your 2020 travels, we’d imagine somewhere like the South of France will feature high on your list. Think Monaco and St. Tropez.
But these locales are so cliché. Sure, they’re places you can show off your latest summer wardrobe stylings, but there’s always a “worldlier than thou” attitude that plagues them.
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Fortunately, the world is a playground waiting to be explored and has plenty more to offer other than skinny fit chinos, loafers and a
lazy French laissez-faire attitude. We’ve hunted out some of the truly cool places you should be putting on your ‘to visit’ lists in the New Year.
Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Antibes
Ok, ok. We’ll permit you some laissez-faire lassitude. If you want to stand where many a famous face has stood in the past century, pay a visit to the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc in the French Riveria. Host to all manner of celebrities over the years, especially during the Cannes Film Festival, this hotel has a saltwater swimming pool like no other, and one that earned itself the cover spot on Slim Aaron’s Poolside with Slim Aarons coffee-table photography book.
Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza
Ibiza isn’t just an island for young tattooed guys to visit for a week for sun, sex and house music. Au contraire. It’s also one of the most beautiful destinations in the Balaeric Islands. It’s home to the Hacienda, Ibiza’s first five-star hotel (an accolade it achieved in the 1980s), which is found some 180 metres above sea level, on the edge of a cliff. It, therefore, provides stunning coastal views, perfect for your Instagram feed or for taking in Ibiza’s world-famous sunsets.
Necker Island, British Virgin Islands
Situated in the Caribbean Sea, this 30-hectare island is owned by British billionaire Richard Branson. But when he’s not calling it home, he puts the island and its villas up for rent, with space for up to 34 people. For a small fee of US$87,500 per day, you and your 33 guests have access to private beaches and pools, tennis courts, personal staff including a chef and use of a wide range of watersports equipment. Not to mention, unlimited picturesque views.
Lake Bled, Slovenia
If you didn’t go on a Contiki Tour when you finished University, chances are you haven’t visited Slovenia. You should, because it’s home to the stunning Lake Bled. Bled Island can be found in the centre of the lake, and it’s open to the public, you just need to either rent a rowboat or take a Pletna to reach it. There are numerous hikes in the area, and you can even ride on a toboggan track and pretend you’re five again.
Mustique Island, Grenadines
We doubt you’ve ever heard of Mustique Island. This 2.2 square mile private island is nestled within the West Indies and is home to a range of exotic animals. With only 100 villas and two small hotels to stay in, you can comfortably call it an exclusive destination. If you don’t fancy trying your hand at the various watersports available, you can secure yourself a spot at Basil’s Bar be the envy of your Instagram followers.
Angra dos Reis, Brazil
If it’s diving you’re after in 2020, look no further than Angra dos Reis in southern Rio de Janeiro. Shipwrecks, coral reefs and diverse marine life await you, not to mention stunning sea views and bountiful beaches. Adrenaline junkies are catered for, too, with canoeing and plentiful hikes on offer for those who want to spend their time exploring all the island has to offer.
Eden Roc Pool, Miami
Targeted at those who want the full Miami Beach experience, but for considerably less cash than the next-door Fontainebleau, Eden Roc provides guests with three infinity pools, one of which is adults-only and found on the roof, giving you oceanic views. When you’re not relaxing in the pool you can unwind in any of the 18 spa treatment rooms, or bust a sweat in the well-equipped fitness centre.
Squaw Valley, California
Want to escape the sun and heat of Australia? Squaw Valley in California provides some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the US. The resort was host to the 1960 Winter Olympics, and thanks to combining with neighbouring Alpine Meadows, offers access to 6,200 acres comprising 270 trails.
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
If you don’t fancy flying around the world for a cool destination in 2020, there are plenty of places to visit in your own backyard. Take Kakadu National Park for example, the second-largest national park in the world. The sheer scale of the Park is unfathomable, with it stretching 200kms north to south and 100kms east to west, it’s the same size as Slovenia. With several species of birds, mammals, insects, plants and marine life, along with tens of thousands of aboriginal rock art pieces to be discovered, you won’t be short of things to do or Instagram pictures to upload.
For those that have spelt the roses and realised climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is now a cliche, and for a travel experience like no other, consider jetting off to the Magashi Camp in Rwanda for a safari. The camp boasts a healthy lion population – so you can be sure of a snapshot of Simba – but you can also feast your eyes on black rhino, leopards, and hyenas. What’s more, because it’s a private access area, the camp offers night-time game drives, too.