INSPIRED BY THE DESTINATIONS AND TRAVEL TRENDS WE LOVED IN 2014, HERE ARE THE PLACES WE'LL BE GETTING OUR PASSPORT STAMPS IN 2015.
FROM HONG KONG TO CHENGDU, CHINA
2014: Last year we raved about a family trip to Hong Kong and a stay at Swire Hotels’ Upper House.
2015: Follow this trailblazing hotel group to Chengdu for the opening of Temple House. Beyond the five-star digs, a trip here is all about the pandas — a chance to see and pet the country’s rare giant panda at the breeding and research base just north of the city. For parents, too, Chengdu is a treat of authentic Sichuan cuisine, outdoor teashops and beautiful parks. PS: United Airlines launched new nonstop flights from San Fran, so it’s easier than ever.
FROM ST. BARTH's TO IBIZA
2014: Every A-lister in LA landed or dropped anchor in St. Barth last spring, and we loved it with our families.
2015: Bring the kids to Ibiza, St. B’s European counterpart in both style and boho attitude. While the White Isle’s party reputation lives on, in reality Ibiza is a dream destination for families thanks to abundant and affordable villas, beach bars with supervised kids’ clubs (we love El Chiringuito on Es Cavallet beach) and calm, quiet bays that are ideal for little swimmers.
FROM SOUTH BEACH TO MID BEACH, MIAMI
FROM ST. LUCIA TO ANGUILLA
2014: Viceroy gave St. Lucia’s family- and honeymooner-fave Sugar Beach a reboot, and 2014 talk was all about their top-to-toe renovation of the villas, restaurant and dreamy spa.
2015: This year’s comeback kid is Anguilla’s storied Malliouhana. Now part of the Auberge Resorts group, this classic beach sleep recently unveiled the results of a full revamp, with fresh interiors by designer Todd Avery Lenahan, a renovated two-story spa and new cabana-lined two-tiered swimming pool. This is the year’s reservation to get.
FROM CARTAGENA TO BOGOTá
2014: Cartagena changed from a destination for the adventurous to a go-to warm-weather weekend for those in search of culture and winter sun.
2015: This year, we’ll be adding a stop in Bogotá to stay at the brand new W hotel, and we’ll convince our kids that museums can be cool with stops at the interactive Gold Museum and Museo Botero, home to over 120 works by the Colombian artist.
FROM CLASSIC TO HIP A LA TURCA
2015: This year, the hip hotels make their mark on the capital with the Mondrian opening in the Old City and Soho House unveiling its largest house to date in the Beyoglu. In Bodrum, too, the flash pack get two new playgrounds courtesy of party-loving, but surprisingly kid-friendly Nikki Beach, and at soon-to-open Viceroy Bodrum.
FROM PHUKET TO BALI
2014: Backpacker-favorite Phuket got a luxe upgrade last year as Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa, Point Yamu by COMO and Iniala Beach House opened their doors in quiet enclaves on the island’s east and west coasts.
2015: This year, Bali steals the spotlight with Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Fairmont and Nikki Beach opening in 2015, and Mandarin Oriental and Andaz gearing up for 2016 openings, followed by Waldorf Astoria in 2017.
FROM AMSTERDAM TO AMSTERDAM
2014: Amsterdam was firmly back on our radar in 2014 as Waldorf Astoria took up residence in six transformed townhouses in Herengracht following a five-year renovation.
2015: This year, we’re crushing on Canal House, the first urban hotel from Eleven Experience. The soon-to-open property will launch with five en-suite rooms and a special bunkroom for kids, plus access to a private canal barge and insider bike, art and architecture tours.
FROM COLORADO TO IDAHO
2014: All eyes were on Aspen and nearby Crested Butte last year as the Aspen Art Museum unveiled its new Shigeru Ban–designed space in August and the Eleven Experience crew opened Taylor River Lodge, a sibling to Crested Butte favorite, Scarp River Lodge.
2015: This year, we’re planning our return to Sun Valley, Idaho, the western US’s original family ski resort that’s going through something of a hotel renaissance. Expect a total renovation of longtime favorite, Sun Valley Lodge (including refreshed bedrooms and a new spa), plus the development of a $53 million Auberge Resort (due for completion in 2017) and rumored opening of a new Limelight Hotel.
FROM JETBLUE MINT TO LA COMPAGNIE
2014: Families doing the JFK-LAX hop found a new, more affordable way to survive the red eye in 2014 as JetBlue launched Mint, its premium business class cabin with lie-flat beds.
2015: This year, La Compagnie brings affordable biz class to trips across the pond. The airline already operates six flights a week between Newark and Paris, with business class fares for fully reclining seats starting at just $799, and will launch a new route between New York and London in the Spring.