January and February can feel like the longest months of the year, the excitement of Christmas is over and those long thought out New Year’s resolutions appear on their way out, so it is no surprise that this time of year is also one of the most popular times to start holiday planning for the year ahead. The world is full of new and exciting holiday opportunities so how do you make the difficult decision of where to go next? Exsus is a leading travel company specialising in luxury holidays of all varieties from tailor made tours and itineraries to relaxing breaks to replenish the senses. They have shared their top five travel destinations to take a trip to in 2016 with The LuxPad along with their favourite accommodation picks to inspire your next booking…
The USA National Parks Service is celebrating its centenary in August 2016 so there has never been a better time to soak up the atmosphere of these gargantuan nature reserves. Over the next 12 months hikers will be lacing up their boots, photographers will be cleaning their lenses and sightseers will be planning their routes for the adventures ahead. Whether spotting bison, wolves or bears that roam the rugged landscape of many, gazing over the colossal gorge of the Grand Canyon or walking the network of pathways through Yosemite Valley, the USA’s national parks span the entire length and breadth of the United States so there is no excuse to not start exploring them in 2016.
An all season resort which means ‘peaceful home’ Amangani Resort is at home among the vast Wyoming wilderness surrounded by rugged mountain ranges, alpine valleys and the aptly named Snake River. With 40 suites, each with their own separate sleeping and living areas along with bathrooms and dressing rooms, Amangani boasts unbeatable vicinity to nature with decks or balconies enjoying mountain and valley views. Mirroring the Wild West atmosphere outside, each suite is adorned with cowhide chairs, pine tables and redwood floors and even the bathtub doesn’t miss out on the spectacular views with a floor to ceiling window to enjoy the scenery whilst you soak.
Further Reading on USA National Parks...
An untapped gem in the tourism industry, Colombia is a throwback to days gone by and now continues to top the world’s most popular destination lists. With the same cultural and scenic punch as its South American neighbours, it is still blissfully unspoilt by crowds and the varying landscape allows for many holiday types. From the dense Amazon Rainforest near Leticia and the world-class beaches of Tayrona National Park to the snow-tipped mountains of the Seirra Navada de Santa Marta, the terrain offers countless opportunities and Exsus recommends a four day hike through the forgotten mountains to The Lost City (Colombia’s answer to Machu Picchu but 650 year older) to truly experience the natural beauty of the country.
The most luxurious accommodation in Tayona National Park, EcoHabs is the optimum blend of rustic design and glorious setting. With views of the turquoise sea and the vibrant rainforest, it is an idyllic and intimate escape in a magical location. EcoHabs has just fourteen thatched cabins, spread across a forested hillside and each have private decks with hammocks overlooking the undulating green hills of the Colombian national park.
Further Reading on Colombia...
With key African countries such Kenya and South Africa dominating the safari industry for the last half century, it’s time for other beautiful countries to share the limelight. With vast white stretches of desert in the north forming the largest salt pan in Africa, the harsh yet beautiful Namibia is still relatively undiscovered making it the perfect safari destination for 2016. Wildlife in the country has proliferated in recent years and Namibia now boasts the largest population of black rhino and cheetah in the world and whilst there you can travel through seas of rolling sand dunes to discover the desert-adapted Big Five. At the endless Etosha Pan you can watch the shifting sands and swirling mists around Namibia’s ghost towns or if you are after real adventure you can take to skies and experience the hauntingly beautiful landscape of one of the most remote places on earth from above.
Nestled amongst the barren beauty of the Etosha Pan is Onguma The Fort, a huge tower perfectly positioned to admire Namibia’s unique landscape and legendary sunsets. Moroccan inspired, the hotel’s ultra-stylish decor and friendly staff make the venue standout with the colours and textures complementing the desert outside. With just 12 suites, it is a private resort spaced well away from other accommodation in the area and the interiors boast rough stone fireplaces for the cold desert nights and an outdoor shower and decking area for the scorching days.
A country of sharp contrasts, where dark winter’s day is followed by summer’s midnight sun, Iceland is one of the most breathtakingly spectacular countries you can visit. Veering between the painterly greens of the Aurora Borealis to the sapphiric blues of the area’s many glaciers, Iceland presides over the world at the edge of a wintry wonderland that few of us will ever be able to visit in our lifetime. Expecting to see an influx of tourists in 2016 thanks to the opening of Into the Glacier, a man-made ice cave in the Langjokull Glacier, visitors can walk the ancient footsteps of Vikings on the Golden Circle, climb across lava fields or simply while an afternoon away at the steaming blue lagoons. A mesmerising mystical land to escape to at any time of the year, this Arctic wonderland is well deserving of 2nd place.
In the heart of the tundra, Hotel Rangá is a luxurious countryside hotel ideally positioned to explore the stark beauty of the Icelandic environment. Offering all the home comforts of a modern luxury resort, Rangá has garnered acclaim for its food, accommodation and service and is built in a charming log cabin style with continent themed rooms. Offering a cocoon of warmth and conviviality amongst Iceland’s harsh terrain, it is surrounded by geysers, lava fields and glaciers for which the country is famous.
In a land where volcanoes battle ancient temples for control of the dramatic landscape, Indonesia is blessed with a mind-blowing archipelago of over 17,000 islands to explore. Filled with pristine beaches, tropical wildlife and some of the best surfing opportunities in the world, the country offers not only the opportunity to sit back, relax and take-in the surroundings but also encourages an appetite for adventure. From the unmatched opulence of Bali & Lombok’s beachfront hotels, to the views over the mist covered peaks in Java, or the sultry kaleidoscope of vibrant culture, customs and animals in Sumatra, Indonesia is the top place to go in 2016 and from the countless things to see and do across the islands you will have the excuse to go back again to explore even more.
Situated in an unspoilt region of the Indonesian Archipelago, the ultra-exclusive Nihiwatu Resort is amongst lush tropical rainforests and every room looks out on to the azure blue of the Indian Ocean. Priding itself on spacious suites and exceptional service, it has a winning combination of deserted white sand beaches, delectable food and world-class surfing making the term ‘paradise’ no exaggeration. The magnificent villa estates each include private plunge pools, spacious living areas and they have all been decorated in a way that respects the local environment using natural materials such as bamboo, teak and driftwood combined with contemporary soft furnishings for a casual-luxe feel.
Further Reading on Indonesia...
Exsus features endless luxury holiday ideas on their website from adventure tours to relaxing breaks. With holidays across every corner of the globe, wherever you set your sights on going, the travel company can tailor your dream holiday to suit your every need.