As a proud affiliate of Virtuoso member agency, Lake Shore Travel, we pride ourselves on being an “in-the-know” travel advisory. Drawing inspiration and insight from our Partners & fellow industry insiders during the 2019 Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, we hand-selected our top picks for next year’s hot spots, “wow-factor” experiences, and experiences where your visit can lend a helping hand.
Here's our go-to list of 2019 travel trends, to inspire you and fulfill your wanderlust dreams in the New Year:
1 Ouarzazate, Morocco
Morocco secured the number three spot as a “ hot destination” on the Virtuoso Hot 10, a list of countries that have seen the largest growth in year-over-year bookings among U.S. travelers and are trending for fall and holiday travel. Known as the gateway to the Sahara, Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco’s beautiful Atlas Mountains and home to the impressive fortified village of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the exotic architecture and fascinating culture of the Berber society that has been in place here for thousands of years as you head to the ancient Kasbah to watch the spectacular sunsets and enjoy traditional foods.
- Stay: Dar Ahlam Hotel, a renovated 19th-century Kasbah whose name means 'House of Dreams.'
- Explore: Ouarzazate’s history and landscape is suitably dramatic for a destination which today plays host to the Atlas Film Studios. Quad bike through the region or wander the souks and shops set for fire dancers, storytellers and acrobats.
- Best Time to Visit: March, April, May, October and November as the months have the perfect temperature for exploring the region.
Dar Ahlam Hotel - Ouarzazate, Morocco
2 The Caribbean: Revitalized & Ready
The Caribbean is also back and better than ever following massive rebuilding efforts from hurricanes Maria and Irma last year. Hotels like the just-reopened Five-Star Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico and Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France received top-to-bottom updates, while others like Anguilla’s Cap Juluca (which debuted in November under new management by Belmond) will effectively be brand new. For travelers who want to aid in the area’s recovery, Tiago Sarmento, general manager of Anguilla’s Belmond Cap Juluca said, “The best help is to come back.”
Travellers will also find new reasons to visit islands unaffected by the storms, such as St. Kitts. With its first luxury resort—the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, now open on the island’s Southeast Peninsula—and increased nonstop flights from Charlotte, New York, Newark, Atlanta, and Miami, St. Kitts is poised for a stellar 2019 and ready for you.
Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico
3 Family-sized Adventure
Families are refreshing their bucket-lists for 2019 and adventures - luxury style tops almost every one. Instead of the all-inclusive beach getaways, families and multi-generational groups are seizing the thrill of experiences that offer bragging rights for parents and their offspring about where they have been and what they've done as part of the scene. “It’s not uncommon for the entire family to participate in the travel planning process to discuss their ideal trip,” says Privy & May Travel Destination Designer Christie Massie. Get the inside scope on some of our top family adventures and let 2019 be your families’ break out travel year.
2019 Adventure-worthy Family Experiences:
- Heli-skiing in Iceland | Style: Ultralux splurge
- EcoTour in the Galapagos | Try: Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Experience for a unique perspective of the island
- Delve into the Grand Canyon | Do: Rafting on blue-green waters of Havasu Canyon to Havasu Creek & Falls
- African safari in Tanzania | Stay: Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon
4 MAXIMIZE THE LONG WEEKEND
Over half of global travellers (53 per cent) report that they plan to take more weekend trips in 2019, which will mean big business for local economies. 2019 will be the year of 'bite sized travel' - squeezing in more curated travel itineraries into shorter time frames. It’s no secret that travellers value experiences. In 2019 we will see travellers expanding their horizons to immerse themselves in off-the-beaten path journeys, wine & food festivals, & tranquil escapes within easy access of their home base. So go ahead, call up your friends and seize a weekend for your 2019 reconnect! You desire it.
5 IMMERSED IN WELLNESS
There is an all-new obsession with healthy-living that treats the mind, body, and soul. A number of different hotels that offer various yoga packages, but there is a huge trend in luxury travel that really has people immersing themselves into wellness in a whole new and intense way.
Here are our emerging “travel to feel well” trends for 2019:
- Digital Detox | Stay: Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali, a five-star establishment located on 90 hectares of cliff-top land perched above Jimbaran Bay, has enforced a ban on electronic devices in its River Pool area. Unplug and reconnect with your inner self.
- Momcations | Discover: “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) with the healing thermal mineral springs at Costa Rica’s Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa in Arenal’s largest and most beautiful private, rainforest reserve.
- Tough and transformative wellness | Try: The fitness program’s endorphin-pumping activities like hiking and kayaking, as tools for transformative self-improvement at COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali.
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa. La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Start planning your journey with guidance from our 2019 travel trends. Contact Privy & May Travel to get started.