By Norah Bradford
The world is full of diverse destinations that are waiting to be explored. But with so many options, it can be hard to narrow down your bucket list. Our choices include sprawling European wonders, U.S. mountain towns and destinations that are sure to wow every traveler. As Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So, now is the time to sail away and catch the trade winds in your sails—and explore. You only live once, and there’s a world of things out there to discover.
Here are our five suggestions for 2018.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Why not take a modern-day flying carpet to Dubai and stay at one of the most iconic contemporary hotel establishments in 2018? The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah currently the world’s third-largest building—soars into the sky with its unique architectural design resembling the sail of an Arabian Dhow. Service, however, underpins the fantastic architecture of the Burj. Arrive by helicopter or Rolls-Royce to the 202-suite hotel with its host of personal butlers and celebrate being in one of the most vibrant new cities on the planet. Dining options range from British Chef Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara to Californian fusion cuisine at Scape or Al Iwan in the world’s tallest atrium. Alternatively, why not just go for the ultimate at Al Muntaha and dine 27 stories above the ground while taking in the Dubai cityscape finishing with cocktails at the new Gold on 27.
For more information on The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, visit jumeirah.com.
Escape to a world of renaissance beauty at Villa Mangiacane in Firenze, Italy. Former home to the influential Machiavelli family, it’s a gem nestled Chianti Classico region of the Arno Valley. Built over 500 years ago and located near the Dome of the Cathedral and Giotto’s Bell Tower, Villa Mangiacane’s 28 luxurious guestrooms and suites are elegantly designed in the Tuscan style, reflecting the serenity of the property’s surroundings. The villa’s nearly 600 acres of vineyard olive groves produce awarding winning wines and distinctive olive oils—all served on-site. After a full day exploring Tuscany, soothe the body and soul at the incredibly beautiful spa.
For more information on Villa Mangiacane, visit mangiacane.com.
Why not travel to one of the last wildernesses on Earth in a truly remote location? Antarctica is typically accessed in five-star expedition fashion by the vessels of Silversea. Cruises depart from the tip of Argentina at Ushuaia and cross the Drake Passage into the Antarctic Ocean and this alien world where travelers can follow in the footsteps of famed explorers such as Scott and Shackleton. Two expedition ships, the Silver Cloud Expedition and Silver Explorer deliver respectively some 200 and 144 intrepid guests to the ends of the Earth in five-star comfort with the skilled crew to ensure the most special of expeditions. While Antarctica is apparently the focus for such a voyage, more extensive itineraries encompass the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and wildlife including whales and penguins—though it will be the lucky travelers who will get to perform the Happy Feet dance.
For more information on Silversea Cruises to Antartica, visit silversea.com.
Now is the time to head to the Sunshine State and focus on the pleasures of Miami. The social calendar starts early with Art Basel Miami Beach this December. After the New Year, look for key events to experience and include the 2018 World Cup Sailing (January 21-28), Miami Yacht Show (February 2018), Miami Beach Antiques Show (February 9-12), South Beach Wine & Food Festival (February 21-25), and Music Week (March 20-25). Check in at the hip Hotel Croydon Miami Beach and be at the center of it all. The hotel has facilities including a rooftop sundeck, outdoor swimming pool and dining at The Tavern restaurant.
For more information on Hotel Croydon Miami Beach, visit hotelcroydonmiamibeach.com.
If either seeing the most remote corners of the Earth or contemporary cities do not pique your interest, how about indulging the senses at a luxury ranch in Wyoming and enjoy the American West. Surrounded by the most spectacular scenery, Red Reflet Ranch combines five-star accommodations, first-class cuisine, an enviable list of activities to pursue from horseback riding to fishing, shooting or even preparing gourmet food plus excellent amenities. There are many ways to arrive at the Ranch, not least by using their own 5,000-foot runway! The local town of Worland, Wyoming is accessible by air with a short transfer flight from Denver, Colorado. Owners Bob and Laurence Kaplan have sought to create a unique experience by ensuring that each staff member is an expert in their field to offer an excellent ranch experience to all guests. Dining is a treat for the senses as nearly everything served is grown or raised on the ranch and where guests can savor in-chalet or at the Mountain Cabin with its stunning views of the landscape.
For more information on Red Reflet Ranch, visit red-reflet-ranch.net.