With 2022 right around the corner, here are a number of top destinations and properties for travelers to check out when planning their adventures in the New Year:
Rwanda Offers Gorilla Trekking and the Singita Community Culinary School
Singita Kwitonda lodge is set on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, where more than a third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas find refuge and the unrivalled position puts gorilla trekking experiences within easy reach. Each of the eight suites feature a private terrace with heated plunge pools, outdoor fireplaces, and expansive views of the picturesque landscapes. Not far from Volcanoes National Park, the opening of the third and latest addition to the internally accredited Singita Community Culinary School offers a rigorous, Singita-crafted professional cookery course to local communities. Guests can visit Singita Community Culinary School and local students to observe the culinary classes as well as contribute to donations.
Rwanda will be the place to visit in 2022. The recent opening of Ellen’s Campus and Singita Community Culinary School carry strong sustainable and local impact on the surrounding communities. Ellen’s Campus will be the first permanent headquarters of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund where gorilla science, responsible tourism and the needs of the local population are top priority.
In 2022, Singita Community Culinary School will have the first class of ten students graduate in June. Visiting the school in 2022 will support the local institution and students receiving the World Chef Certificate as well as contribute to the development of the next generation of talented young chefs in remote areas. While staying in Rwanda, guests can support this project by funding scholarships for communities.
The Galapagos Islands Offer Unrivaled Wildlife Opportunities, Adventure and a New Sustainable Yacht
The Galapagos Islands are a remote destination 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, perfect for travelers looking to stay away from large crowds as global travel resumes. The islands are known for their crystal clear waters, year-round warm temperatures and the vast number of endemic species studied by Charles Darwin. Since there weren’t any travelers there for the better part of 2020, the wildlife had time to rest and some even migrated to other islands. Many visitor sites look the way they did 20 years ago with animals nesting in the trails.
Quasar Expeditions’ new yacht the M/Y Conservation is due out in Q3/Q4 of 2022. The yacht will be the first Galapagos ship with a comprehensive sustainability plan – encompassing everything from design to daily operations. Exclusively for 18 passengers, the yacht will be entirely eco-friendly. Pioneering features include renewable energy components, biodegradable amenities, a carbon neutral footprint, and a crew of environmentally-conscious hospitality specialists. The Conservation will also host scientists, conservationists, and volunteers on board to conduct archipelago research and monitor the impacts of introduced species and increased tourism.
Le Grand Mazarin Joins a Number of Luxury Hotel Openings in Paris
A place of life with multiple influences and a place to meet and share that’s both joyful and flamboyant, Le Grand Mazarin is a jewel box of elegance and sophistication that channels a mixture of styles with a touch of humour. With 61 uniquely decorated rooms and suites, a spectacular restaurant and bar, and a swimming pool, Maisons Pariente has created a festive, unexpected and privileged experience that’s an ode to the City of Light. Through this new adventure, Maisons Pariente is bringing the brand's fundamentals to Paris: a unique hotel story in affinity with an exceptional location and a simple yet sincere hotel that creates rare and unforgettable emotions. Opening September 2022.
Travel to Cerrado, Brazil While You Still Can with Niarra Travel
Start-up premium travel company, Niarra Travel, arranges sustainable travel itineraries that support environment protection, conservation, local culture and communities. Their destination for 2022 is the Cerrado, Brazil’s vast, tropical savanna ecoregion covering 20% of the country. Home to 5% of the planet’s plants and animals, including the maned wolf, jaguar and over 10,000 species of plants, it’s the world’s most biodiverse savanna. However, the Cerrado is one of the most threatened areas in Brazil, with very little of its biodiversity protection provided. Already, there is less than 50 percent of the original Cerrado area so the time to visit is now.
Niarra Travel carefully selects partners whose tourism drives wildlife conservation, habitat restoration and creates a shared value for local communities, while also creating transformative travel experiences with a purpose. Pousada Trijuncao, an ecolodge oasis amid the Cerrado is integrated with nature without sacrificing comfort and luxury. The flooring of all the balconies and rooms the property is made from recycled wood, and the decor was largely handcrafted by local artisans from the region, utilizing materials collected sustainably in the Cerrado, such as bark and branches, dead trees and fallen leaves and fruits.
Lake Maggiore is a Quieter Italian-Inspired Vacation Alternative to Lake Como
Lake Como has been known as the lavish lake destination in Italy. Stars like George Clooney call it home after all, but Lake Maggiore, on the border of Italy and Switzerland, is giving it a run for its money. With celebrities such as Donatella Versace moving in recently, the under-the-radar lake is poised to become the go-to spot. Lake Maggiore is the quieter alternative for travelers looking for an Italian-inspired getaway away from the crowds. Its shores are dotted with picturesque resorts, elegant villas and small towns with exquisite restaurants and boutiques.
Hidden at the top of the lake on the northern Swiss shore of Ascona sits Hotel Eden Roc. The resort has a prime waterfront spot with a private yachting marina. It is walking distance from Ascona’s main piazza and a few minutes away from the Brissago Islands and Terreni alla Maggia, the northernmost rice field in the world. The hotel also features a 21,528 square-foot spa, a veritable Garden of Eden and four exceptional restaurants including Michelin-starred La Brezza, which just unveiled new vegan tasting menus, putting a plant-based spin on its traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
Hokkaido’s Snowy Niseko Village is Home to the First Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan, Fifth Across the Globe
On the starkly snowy Japanese island of Hokkaido rests Niseko Village, a prime winter destination. Resting at the foot of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Village is a haven for ski lovers who appreciate secluded luxury and culture. The winter wonderland boasts extensive ski trails, hot springs, an amazing culinary scene, and its very own Snow School. Adventure seekers can spend the day whisking through fresh white powder snow by skiing and snowboarding or enjoying the company of reindeer while sledding.
Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan and the fifth across the globe, opened in December 2020 and is a must-visit once US travel restrictions ease. The property offers majestic, panoramic views of Mount Yotei, 43 rooms and seven suites, two distinctive restaurants, a fitness center, an exclusive team of Higashiyama Reservists, and a world-class spa and traditional Japanese onsen. It also acts as a gateway to Niseko’s mountains, providing access to 2,191 acres of skiable terrain, 70 runs, 29 lifts and gondolas, and extensive backcountry skiing.
Chilean Patagonia Offers Rich History and Culture
For most travelers, a trip to Patagonia equals Torres del Paine National Park and that’s all they see by staying at a hotel in the park. However, there is so much more to the area beyond its natural beauty and exploring its many trails. Vibrant local communities outside the park’s boundaries offer insights into their traditions and culture. Venturing out of the park gives travelers the opportunity to connect with Patagonia and learn about what makes it so special.
Set on the Fjord of Last Hope in Puerto Bories, outside of Puerto Natales, The Singular Patagonia allows guests to experience all that true Chilean Patagonia has to offer. From expeditions to nearby walking tours of historic Puerto Natales and visiting local farms, there are plenty of activities park for travelers. Restored and resurrected by fourth-generation family members of the original pioneers who settled the area and built the sheep farming industry more than 100 years ago, the Singular Patagonia pays homage to the building’s and founders’ historical importance in the development of local culture, economy and heritage.
Taste the Kalahari At Tswalu’s Klein Jan
After three years of research into the culinary traditions and ingredients of the cultures that call the Kalahari home, South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, recently opened Klein JAN at South Africa’s Tswalu Kalahari. Every aspect of Klein JAN has been carefully designed and curated, including the chairs made from repurposed French oak wine barrels. A glass wall opens up in fine weather, creating a fully immersive dining experience in the undulating plains of the Kalahari that the Tswalu team strives to conserve.
This new restaurant that travelers must visit in 2022 also features a subterranean root cellar, located 13 feet below the ochre sands of the Kalahari. To access the cellar, guests step back in time at the 100-year-old Boscia House before opening a door in the side of an original plaasdam (farm dam) and descending a helical staircase infused with the unmistakable scent of petrichor. The 65-foot, temperature and humidity-controlled root cellar stores all the ingredients and produce used at Klein JAN, not dissimilar to storage solutions prior to modern-day refrigeration.
Connect Bhutan’s Past, Present and Future with The Trans Bhutan Trail
The Trans Bhutan Trail (TBT), a 250-mile historic pilgrimage trail traversing Bhutan, is set to re-open in March 2022. Offering the opportunity to explore Bhutan’s rich culture and heritage and see the country in an authentic and sustainable way, now fully cleared trail crosses through nine dzongkhags (districts), 28 gewogs (local governments), two municipalities and one national park. In 2018, the vision of His Majesty, supported by the Bhutan Canada Foundation, led an initiative to restore the Trail to make it accessible again for locals, pilgrims and travelers.
Explore Madrid with The Principal Madrid
Located in the heart of the Spanish capital Madrid, The Principal Madrid is much more than a stylish boutique hotel. The 1917 building integrates historic architectural details with cutting edge contemporary design, avant-garde haute cuisine and the stunning Terraza with what may be the best views in the city. Situated on Gran Vía, the property is steps away from all Madrid has to offer. Renowned historical and cultural attractions like Puerta del Sol and Círculo de Bellas Artes, restaurants, shopping and nightlife are just foot steps away from the hotel front door. The exclusive Wellbeing Area at Principal Madrid offers a number of unique massages and treatments with products by the exclusive Natura Bissé, including the diamond experience facial ritual and the masaje bespoke.
NIZUC Resort & SpaNo celebrity vacation is complete without lavish amenities, and NIZUC Resort & Spa has them all. Built on the ancient base of Mayan astronomers, this wellness oasis immediately puts guests at ease from the moment they walk in the door, offering an opulent getaway to relax the mind, body, and soul. Located just a short distance from the resort’s exclusive beaches and main pool area, guests can stay in stunning villas that feature a bedroom suite amongst a private tropical garden with an infinity pool and waterfall. NIZUC offers guests a variety of experiences and amenities including a 30,000 square foot ESPA spa, private dining on the beach or ocean pier, a Dom Perignon Wine Cellar Experience, and much more. If these niceties seem fit for a queen, that’s because they are. This year NIZUC hosted the 51 beauty queens in the running for the Miss USA 2021 pageant and served as a picture-perfect backdrop for swimsuit photo sessions and promotional videos that were broadcast during the grand finale. Miss Universe 2021 Andrea Meza even joined the contestants as well to take in the breathtaking scenery and magical energy of the resort. Rates at NIZUC Resort & Spa start at $700 per night.