Less-traveled Summer Destinations Courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts

Less-traveled Summer Destinations Courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resorts

In light of the trend for avoiding locations overrun with tourists, here are suggestions for a few untypical summer destinations to try this year: Liverpool, Budapest, Chantilly, Ljubljana, Phu Quoc, and Edinburgh. All are surprisingly wonderful locations for a summer sojourn without too many crowds!

IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio offers a myriad of ways for travelers to fully immerse themselves in these destinations – whether a seasoned visitor or a complete newbie. For example, Experience Agents at Regent Hotels & Resorts can help guests plan and personalize their trip; ‘Memorable Rituals’ at Vignette Collection properties connect guests with the surrounding cultural landscape, interactive Concierge Galleries at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts go beyond the typical concierge desk to provide unrivaled insider knowledge, and the Stay Human Concierge at Kimpton properties tailors itineraries to guest preferences.

Liverpool, UK

Recently crowned the top-rated big city in the UK for a holiday, Liverpool is a historic gem that punches well above its weight for museums, galleries, and cultural sites as well as a thriving music and arts scene. The city comes into its own in summer, with buzzy outdoor terraces, live music, and festivals – and it’s the perfect time of year to stroll down the waterfront and enjoy the sandy beaches nearby.

Where To Stay: The Halyard Liverpool, Vignette Collection recently opened near the city’s famous docks as the brand’s first UK outpost. Vignette Collection is a curation of hand-picked, individual hotels that offer one-of-a-kind stays in destinations to remember.

Anchored in Liverpool’s maritime heritage with vibrant decor that reflects the artists and musicians that gave the city international renown, The Halyard Liverpool provides a true sense of place. Refined public spaces are influenced by the grandeur of 18th-century mercantile leaders, while guestroom design pays tribute to the Liverpudlian toy manufacturer, Meccano. Even the restaurant, Voyagers, is inspired by the diversity of travelers who brought new flavors and ingredients to the city over the years. Guests can kickstart their exploration with a ‘Memorable Ritual’ – a signature offering of Vignette Collection properties that connects guests to the surrounding cultural landscape. At The Halyard Liverpool, this is a shot of Champurrado (a velvety chocolate drink) in homage to the long-standing importation of chocolate into the surrounding warehouses, which can be infused with a tot of Liverpool Lost Dock Rum as a nod to the daily rations of sailors’ past.

Budapest, Hungary

Serving as an underrated foodie destination, Budapest offers an array of Hungarian gastronomic experiences, while also offering zen seekers the opportunity to find a haven within its renowned thermal baths, a quintessential experience. Travelers can bask in Budapest’s natural and architectural beauty, offering cool evenings in exchange for warm days, the city promises a memorable stay for every traveler.

Where To Stay: Visitors can be among the first few to experience the splendor of Verno House, Vignette Collection, an urban sanctuary overlooking Liberty Square. Embracing 19th-century Budapest, the hotel welcomes guests seeking a natural escape from modern-day city attributes. With a plethora of exploration at their fingertips, travelers can enjoy a variety of luxury amenities including the on-site Verno Spa, deluxe guest rooms, and fresh International cuisine at Flava Kitchen & More. The dedicated Vignette Collection concierge is eager to curate seamless experiences to better help simplify travel and provide guests with delightful experiences, not found elsewhere.

Chantilly, France

Just a short ride from Paris yet often overlooked, the fairytale town of Chantilly is a charming countryside escape replete with storybook châteaux, lakes, and forests. While the Château de Chantilly is a must-see with its landscaped formal gardens and an impressive art collection, other notable sights include 17th Century monuments, a horse museum, and the Chantilly Hippodrome – known for hosting the prestigious Prix du Jockey Club horse race.

Where To Stay: Opening its doors in July 2024, InterContinental Chantilly Chateau Mont-Royal, built in the early 20th century and showcasing Louis XVI-style architecture, will offer a memorable retreat in the heart of Chantilly Forest. Here, guests can experience nature’s warm embrace while indulging in timeless elegance within guest rooms bathed in natural forest light. Visitors seeking relaxation can step into serenity at the InterContinental spa and those craving a flavor-rich gastronomical journey can indulge in the property’s two onsite French restaurants. Aligning with the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand evolution, those staying on the property can rest assured that the property’s knowledgable “Insiders” will assist in curating the trip of their dreams.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

There is no better way to enjoy a warm afternoon than exploring the vibrant city of Ljubljana. Beyond its cobblestone streets, the pulse of the city is in its variety of festivals, cultural events, and outdoor activities. From its rich political and cultural heritage to its bustling restaurant scene, the area promises distinct experiences for every traveler. Whether choosing to explore by foot or on a leisurely boat ride, the city’s visitors can discover hidden gems at every turn, offering endless possibilities.

Where To Stay: Guests of InterContinental Ljubljana are treated to Michelin-worthy dining, panoramic views, and luxurious rooms. Serving as the tallest hotel in the city, the property is situated right in the heart of the historic Old Town, offering travelers a home base to explore the city.  Guests can enhance their stay with one of the concierge's custom city tours, offering insider tips on how to best discover the city’s hidden treasures. For an extra touch, those looking to celebrate special moments, intimate or large, can plan their very own ‘Incredible Occasion ( a part of the brand's evolution), where their dreams can become a reality thanks to on-site experts.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Home to some of the most spectacular beaches in Vietnam, Phu Quoc lures travelers seeking soft sandy beaches and strikingly clear waters. The idyllic island is half a UNESCO-protected National Park with densely forested jungles, mountain peaks and beautiful waterfalls, as well as farmland and fishing villages with exciting markets. It's part of a marine reserve too, with 21 islands dotted nearby, and sparkling reefs to snorkel. It's the ideal location to embrace the slower pace of 'island life' and enjoy the natural surroundings, free from strict itineraries. Summer months mean warm temperatures and more showers, but they pass quickly - with the bonus that flight access is more affordable in our summer.

Where To Stay: Without doubt the most luxurious resort on the island, Regent Phu Quoc is on the best beach on the island's west coast. Exceptional spa and wellness facilities mean the guest can combine treatments inspired by Vietnamese traditions with the latest in high-tech skin care, alongside working on fitness goals or simply de-stressing with a little pampering. Dining and drinking options here are creative, immersive, and varied - enjoy a Vietnamese take on the Speakeasy at Jade Bar or delicious Franco-Japanese fusion at Oku for example. With the majority of suites featuring private pools, Regent Phu Quoc offers guests privacy as well as thoughtful 'Personal Havens' - a Regent brand hallmark - for bespoke dining experiences or to simply hide away indulging their own tastes in literature, music, or mixology.

Edinburgh, UK

While the average temperature only hovers around 19°c / 66°f in its warmest months, Edinburgh’s unique charm has no sign of abating in summer. With sunset at 9 pm (thanks to its northerly latitude), visitors can enjoy long days of al-fresco activities such as dining at riverside pubs, cycling around Holyrood Park, and an array of gigs and festivals – including the renowned Fringe Festival in August. There are even beaches within walking distance from the town center that are perfect for a bracing dip.

Where To Stay: Situated on the edge of a lush private garden in the New Town, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel encapsulates traditional elegance with a modern Scottish flair – as evidenced by a classic Georgian exterior with a glass-topped central courtyard.

Guests can experience the very best of Edinburgh through Kimpton’s “Stay Human” concierge service (available at selected properties) which curates a personalized itinerary. At Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, offerings range from a foraging experience to a whisky tasting to a tour of the Royal Castles.