Queen Elizabeth celebrates her platinum jubilee in 2022, and while that may be reason enough to go to London to witness all of the official celebrations that will swirl around Buckingham Palace in June, how about paying tribute to the UK’s longest reigning monarch with a pilgrimage through her beloved Scotland? It’s not hard to see why she retreats to the Highlands every summer to rest at Balmoral Castle, said to be her favourite palace. The Auld Reekie is buzzing with new energy. The highly anticipated Hotel W, designed by Jestico and Whiles in conjunction with Allan Murray Architects, is opening next winter.
As we ask ourselves what cities of the future should look like, we naturally look around for examples. Places like Shanghai, Tokyo, and New York City seem to fit the description on paper, but I’d argue that no city better encapsulates that definition than Doha, the capital of Qatar. There is so much to discover; from East to West/West-East, a series of four steel monoliths created by sculptor Richard Serra to the Museum of Islamic Art, the massive 560,000square foot gallery. Eat at Syrian comfort food spot Damasca One, Em Sherif a rooftop spot that serves up authentic regional dishes, and the lively corner restaurant Nourlaya Contemporary for Sri Lankan cuisine. Stay at the Mandarin Oriental Doha or Banyan Tree Doha.
A few years ago, Jordan’s spectacular rockcarved ancient city of Petra was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success as the tourism industry threatened its delicate structures and lured Bedouin locals away from their traditional ways. Years of regional unrest followed by the pandemic mean Petra is now crying out for crowds. Visitors will surely return to this gem, but there are opportunities to explore Jordan more sustainably. Other archaeological treasures, like the ruins of Jerash and Umm Qais deserve to be seen. There’s also the vast expanse of the Wadi Rum desert, best enjoyed with Bedouin guides who can share their knowledge of working in harmony with the epic landscape. A side trip for a salty float in the Dead Sea is also still worth it, not least to observe another delicate ecosystem under assault from modern life, this time rampant water extraction.
We’ve all had a bad year. Hell, we’ve all had a bad two years. Yet it’s hard not to feel a strong surge of empathy for South Africa. While many destinations at least benefited from summer COVID-19 lulls to revive traveLler numbers, South Africa’s November-March peak season has meant that most of its wouldbe visitors have been stuck at home, battling winter virus spikes. To cap it all, in gratitude for South African scientists quickly identifying and warning about the Omicron variant, much of the rest of the world cut off all travel contact, delivering a pointless blow to the country’s already beleaguered tourism industry. For those reasons alone, if it’s safe to visit in 2022, South Africa deserves to be near the top of anyone’s wish list. All those things that make it special; from beaches to big game safaris, wine to whale spotting, township tours to hiking trails; are all still there. And there are plenty of unexplored gems to experience if it does get busy: beach city Gqeberha, the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu Natal, the scenic Panorama and Garden Route driving trails.
As far as European cities go, it’s hard to beat the many charms of Madrid. The Spanish capital has it all: Beautiful old world architecture, blue chip museums, amazing food, lovely parks and gardens, great shopping, a wonderful locals’ vibe, and royal clout. Just as the iconic Ritz near El Retiro Park was recently converted to a Mandarin Oriental property, so too has Villa Magna, another aging grande dame in need of a refresh, courtesy of Rosewood – in October it officially reopened as the Rosewood Villa Magna. Located in the tony Salamanca neighbourhood, the hotel has 154 accommodations, all designed to evoke the feel of a contemporary Spanish villa, and a signature restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jesús Sánchez.
Palm Beach Florida
One could argue that Palm Beach is to Eastern Florida, as Cannes is the Riviera. It’s been the vacation home and haunt of Swans; with a capital S, for the better part of a hundred years. And with the recent infusion of New York hotspots such as Le Bilboquet and La Goulue in the last few years, it almost feels as though NYC has been transported to the sandy palm beaches. Known for its low-key ambiance and relaxed luxury, The Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa is the perfect place to hit pause. Not only is the property a hop, skip, and a jump from the go-to performing arts venues, but the neighbouring area is replete with fantastic shopping and dining should you need a pause from the hotel’s five-star spa and seven-acre private beach. It’s the kind of place that once you visit, you can’t help but make a plan to dash back for more.
Zanzibar is one of the most exotic, mystical and beautiful tourist destinations in the world. It is the perfect vacation spot for travelling nine months of the year. The breathtakingly beautiful location offers luxury, comfort, culture, history, relaxation, and knowledge! The beaches of Zanzibar offer remarkable scenic views, with crystal clear water, white sands, and swaying palm trees. At beaches such as Nungwi, Kiwengwa, Pongwe, and Paje Beach, visitors can relax in the Sun, take soothing walks on the beach, or enjoy experiences such as surfing, kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkelling. The coastal areas offer comfortable weather with a soothing ocean breeze. The culture and heritage of Zanzibar is rich and admirable. Its culture is a mix of African,Persian, Arab, Indian and European influences. A trip to Zanzibar allows tourists to interact with locals, learn their language, eat their delicious food, and observe their religion, literature, clothing, and lifestyle. For those who like to learn and gain knowledge, Zanzibar should be on their travel wish list!
One of the nature beach resorts that have created opportunities for families to have a healthy and fun filled summer holiday is La champagne Tropicana, Ikegun Village, Lagos few kilometres from the proposed Dangote Refinery and Lagos Free Trade one at Ibeju Lekki. Others include Casa Ilashe, La Manga Luxury Beach Villa, Sencillo Beach House, all in Ilashe Island, Lagos. However, La Campagne seems to be creating greater buzz in the leisure circle. It is an African themed beach, lagoon and forest resort located in Lagos, Nigeria. With over 65 acres of palm-fringed white sand beach, lagoon and mangrove forest providing ample opportunities for visitors to observe, at close quarters, a wide variety of tropical Flora and fauna that include palms, mangroves, various species of epiphytes, monkeys, squirrels, bats, and various species of birds such as kingfishers, sea hawks, egrets and ducks our resort is no doubt a nature lover’s paradise.
A summer vacation in Dubai is all about adventure, gastronomy and cultural celebrations. The skyline of Dubai is bursting with shopping festivals, indoor family entertainment, serene religious ambience and an array of exciting and unforgettable gastronomic experiences across the city. Dubai’s many malls are centrepieces of any UAE vacation, but in summer they come alive with the unmistakable bright colours of sales displays. While the midday heat might turn away some from Dubai’s pristine coastline, the early morning sees temperatures of little-over 30 degrees, just perfect for morning exercises. Additionally, the summer swelters remove the crowds lining the shorelines, making not only for blissful sunbathing, but for clearer traffic lanes in the jet ski-patrolled waters, cleaner seas for swimming, and even more potential if you take to the deep seas for fishing.