If you’re anything like us, then you’ve perpetually got wanderlust on the brain! With so many amazing places in the world to travel to, and frankly, limited time in the year, it can be difficult narrowing down our must-visit spots. Lucky for us all, the fab folks over at Quintessentially Travel have done the legwork and selected their top three travel picks that we’ve got to visit in 2015. You heard it here ladies, time to get planning and start booking! Happy travels…
Voted one of the world’s top travel destinations, Bhutan is one of those untouched places on earth that even the most seasoned travellers consider a privilege to visit, and yet, very few make the journey! Perched high in the Himalayas, this hidden paradise is an adrenaline junkie’s dream destination. So, why should you throw on the hiking boots next year? Well, the Royal Government of Bhutan has declared 2015 as “Visit Bhutan 2015” year to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of the King, which means there will be a plethora of colourful festivals, events and activities held in different parts of Bhutan throughout the year.
Where to stay
Uma by COMO, Paro, is an intimate, 29-room resort featuring the most exclusive private villas in Bhutan with an enviable location in the Paro Valley. This puts you within striking distance of the country’s great cultural landmarks, which means you’ll immerse yourself in plenty of culture, from museums and monasteries to markets and more. With nine private villas, 20 luxury rooms, an award-winning restaurant and spa, Uma by Como is the ultimate luxury getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life!
Lying in South-western France, Bordeaux features world-class wines, gorgeous architecture, lively and charming towns, cultural heritage sites as well as a huge selection of museums, making it the ideal destination for culture vultures! From the sculpted old town architecture to luxury boutiques, performance halls, and some of the country’s finest restaurants, the Bordeaux region constantly strives to protect and showcase its heritage.
Saint-Emilion: UNESCO World Heritage site
Saint-Emilion is an enchanting mediaeval town perched on a hillside overlooking its reputed vineyards. Listed as part of the UNESCO world heritage, this charming town is steeped in art and history, an absolute delight for culture vultures! With origins dating back to the 8th century, there’s so much to explore in Saint-Emilion – just walk along the charming cobbled lanes, indulge in wine tasting from the region and soak it all in.
Médoc – Pauillac
Bathed in the light of the estuary, lulled by the rhythm of the tides, the vineyards of Pauillac in the Medoc is one of the most prestigious in the world. With over 1000 acres, this wine-making region has been in action since 1855 when the first three wineries, Châteaux Lafite-Rothschild, Latour and Mouton-Rothschild broke ground and created the oldest wine co-operative in France called “La Rose Pauillac”. With plenty of friendly winemakers willingly opening their cellar doors for tastings and tours, you better make sure you have a designated driver!
Where to stay
Les Sources de Caudalie is a family-run, five star-hotel set in the heart of Bordeaux. First opened in 1999 and sitting among the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte- this gorgeous hotel offers a traditional, authentic and luxurious getaway for the world traveller, with every room and suite reflecting the themes, heritage and history of the Bordeaux region. To ensure your stay is as action-packed as possible, Les Sources de Caudalie organise cooking classes, wine-tastings, local bicycle and boat tours, phew! If you fancy balancing out all that excitement with some much-needed rest and relaxation, then you’ll be pleased as punch to hear Les Sources de Caudalie has three amazing restaurants (including a 1-Michelin star spot) on site as well as a world-class spa that incorporate grapes and vines into their treatments – it is wine country after all!
Where to eat
1. Le Gabriel – Located on the beautiful Place de la Bourse overlooking the water with a Bistrot, Restaurant and bar.
Le Gabriel, 10 Place de la Bourse, 33000 Bordeaux, France, 05 56 30 00 80, www.bordeaux-gabriel.fr
2. Le Vin Rue Neuve – A building situated between some of the most ancient buildings in the town. The chef is passionate about his wine and using fresh products from the local market.
Le Vin Rue Neuve, 23 Rue Neuve 33000 Bordeaux, France, +33(0)556431749, www.levinrueneuve.com
3. Le Pavillion des Boulevards – Immaculately furnished in white with a big , green open terrace, this is the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful summer evening eating traditional French food.
Le Pavillion des Boulevards, 120 rue Croix-de-Seguey 33000 Bordeaux, France, +33(0)5 56 81 51 02, www.lepavillondesboulevards.fr
4. Le Pressoir d’argent – is a luxury hotel and spa with a stunning restaurant where you can enjoy a unique culinary experience in a historic setting accompanied by the best wines from Bordeaux and other regions. The mauve atmosphere recalls the rich regional heritage.
Le Pressoir d’argent, 2-5 Place de la Comédie, 33000 Bordeaux, France, +33(0)5 57 30 43 04, www.ghbordeaux.com
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Considered Vietnam’s most famous seaside resort-town, Nha Trang has stretches of pristine beaches that attracts travellers from around the world, especially diving enthusiasts.
Together with the heavenly beaches, the hot springs, diversified kinds of fish, and the colorful coral reef underwater have made Nha Trang one of the best spots for scuba diving and snorkelling. With visibility averaging 15 to 20 m (but also capable of reaching 30m), the best time to go diving in Nha Trang is from January to August when divers can encounter plenty of marine life including reef sharks and stingrays.
Where to stay
The Amanoi is located in the Nui Chua National Park, overlooking the stunning Vinh Hy Bay with breathtaking views of the coastline. Guest accommodation includes 31 private pavilions (some of which have private swimming pools) and five Aman Villas – talk about escaping from it all! Pool Pavilions feature a private swimming pool with panoramic views. Ocean Pavilions offer expansive views of Vinh Hy Bay and the East Sea, while Ocean Pool Pavilions offer similar views alongside private swimming pools. Each Aman Villa consists of four or five free-standing bedroom pavilions, as well as living and dining pavilions and a large private swimming pool. A live-in housekeeper and cook meet all guests’ needs, including the preparation of Vietnamese or Western cuisine in the villa’s private kitchen, making the villas perfect for a group.
Amanoi’s Aman Spa is a destination unto itself, providing a serene setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. Offering a wide range of treatments from scrubs and wraps to facials and massage, the Aman Spa use all-natural and chemical-free products alongside traditional Vietnamese ingredients. Once you’ve pampered your body, we definitely recommend heading over to the Pilates studio or Yoga pavilion to pamper your mind and soul!
Quintessentially Travel is a luxury travel management company under the Quintessentially Group. With access to some of the newest properties, hottest destinations, and insider recommendations- you can book your holidays and enjoy the world renowned Quintessentially concierge service while traveling. For more information, visitwww.quintessentiallytravel.com or contact them at Singapore@quintessentiallytravel.com or +65 6511 1190