July’s Fuji Rock Fest, set at the base of Mount Fuji and hailed as one of the world’s best music festivals, hasn’t released its lineup for 2019 yet but last year closed out an epic weekend with everyone from N.E.R.D. to Bob Dylan. This year marks Summer Sonic’s 20th festival, and while we haven’t heard the lineup in Tokyo or Osaka yet we’re sure the headliners will be major.
There are a couple of hotels we’re excited about that are slated to open this year. Aonoza opens in May and will have 25 lakefront suites dotted along Lake Shikotsu in Hokkaido. And the Ace Hotel brand is opening a spot in Kyoto later in the year too.
Film buffs, you’ll want to check the calendar for the Ambulante Film Festival. Early February sets the stage for contemporary arts festival ZONA MACO. And for music fans, Viva Latino and Corona Capital could be your jam. Stay in one of the suites with a terrace overlooking the courtyard pool at Hotel Carlota to be in the middle of all the urban action.
We’re thinking the best time to go this year will be somewhere around July 2nd, when a total solar eclipse will occur for 2 minutes and 18 seconds above Chile’s Elqui Valley. Stay in one of ten beautiful private adobe suites at Awasi Atacama and you’ll have access to your own 4WD and private guide so you can go out exploring the wild landscape any time you want. Or, head to the new Casa Molle Villa if you’re really into delicious food and wine being a big part of your vacation.
Jazz Fest takes place from April 25th to May 5th this year and you’ll want to get right on top of the planning as soon as possible. For accommodations, check out the brand new Hotel Peter & Paul. For .25-cent martinis at lunchtime, throw on your flossiest threads and head to Commander’s Palace.
If you’re looking for a cool place to stay, Casa Habita, a 37-room boutique hotel in the cool Lafayette District that seamlessly blends early Art Deco architecture with a modern, collected aesthetic. As for when to go, you’ll get the best weather between October and December, and January through May are the best for snagging good travel deals.
Regardless of what type of holiday you choose, we’d advise to steer clear of busy Christmas, Easter and Vietnamese New Year (February), as well as October’s typhoon season in central Vietnam. Otherwise, early December is bliss.
There are 700 islands in The Bahamas, so it’s hard to say which one is the best for you, but sorting out which resorts appeals to you most is usually the easiest way to plan a trip to the area. There’s Rosewood Baha Mar if you’re looking for a private villa on a stretch of white sandy beach in Nassau. There’s Musha Cay, where you can take your evening bath outside overlooking the islands of Copperfield Bay. Or, there’s The Cove on Eleuthera, where you can opt for a daily massage before heading out for a paddle on the turquoise water.
Not only it is safe, but there are also plentiful opportunities to explore towering sand dunes, incredible mountain ranges, vast deserts and warm Arabian Sea waters that are filled with dolphins and turtles. If you’re looking for a glamorous place to crash, Six Senses Zighy Bay is a beautiful resort and spa set just along the Musandam Peninsula that feels like a true escape from the ordinary. Or, if you’re wanting to be more in the scene with other travelers, the beachside Kempinski Hotel Muscat is Oman's newest five-star hotel.
Petra is one of the most visited archaeological sites in the world. The Hilton, Fairmont, St. Regis, W, and Hyatt hotel chains have all opened hotels in Jordan in the last three years, but most are a few hours from the rosy red sandstone city. You’ll likely want to stay at nearby Petra Guesthouse so you don’t have far to travel after long days of walking the ruins. Spring and fall offer the best weather for sightseeing, while summer can be unbearably hot.
New Year’s Eve celebrations here are epic, with fireworks above Cour Vendome and the General de Gaulle docks. But if you’re looking for a spectacular local event to attend, check out the weeklong regattas in March and April that draw big sailing crowds and 80+ boats. If you’re after a glamorous, see-and-be-seen spot to stay, check out Eden Rock St. Barth’s. Or, if you’re more into a secluded oasis, check out the 14 private villas at Hotel Le Toiny.
April to June and September are probably the best months for a visit that avoids peak travel time and still sits within the dry season (read: best surf and diving conditions). There are countless affordable accommodation options in Bali that’ll have even the budget traveler living like a king. But for those who appreciate ultra luxury and seclusion, you really can’t go wrong at COMO UMA Canggu, Amandari, Bulgari Resort Bali, The Slow in Canggu, The Mulia, or the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
From visiting the Louvre to wandering Notre Dame, there are a ton of sights to see citywide. If you’re into contemporary art, don’t miss the Musee D’Orsay. If you’re into food, don’t miss nine-time Michelin starred chef Alain Ducasse’s OTT dining experience at Plaza Athénée. If you’re into shopping, don’t miss the boutiques of The Marais. If you’re into luxury resorts, don’t miss Hôtel Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme, one-time home of Coco Chanel.
Snorkeling and diving are likely to be at the top of your to-do list here, but don’t forget to pay a visit to Haleaka National Park and see the 10,023 foot dormant volcano that towers above the island. The drive to the summit takes about two hours and you’ll want to plan a few stops along the way to dip into waterfalls and hiking trails. Not sure where to stay? Check out The Plantation House, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Hotel Wailea or Four Seasons Resort Lanai.
If you’re more of a sunshine bound adventurer, summertime in Norway stuns with grassy scenes and loads of wildflowers. In this case, you’ll want to book in with Manshausen Island Resort, where you can stay in one of four sea cabins and enjoy those long summer days out on the water.
Of course, there’s more to Berlin than art and design, as history buffs and night owls can attest. A visit to the Berlin Wall or tour of the Brandenburg Gate provide a glimpse of Berlin’s past, while Museum Island is a treasure trove of artifacts that date as far back as 6,000 years ago. The city seems to never sleep, with countless club options that extend well into every night. Summer is Berlin’s busiest tourism season, as the weather is at its best. For a slightly off-peak visit, check dates in late spring and early fall instead.
The city’s long been home to glamorous old hotels, but the new design hotels are what we’re most excited about, including Hotel Vilòn (former palace and home to royalty), Elizabeth Unique Hotel (with walls adorned by a local art gallery), and H’All Tailor Suite (set above Michelin-starred Ristorante all’Oro).
Munich is also home to a thriving art scene, with the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art, Museum Brandhorst and Alte Pinakothek showcasing international collections and galleries like Weltraum, Barbara Gross Galerie and Galerie Jo van de Loo bringing in the locals. As for where to rest your head, the Louis Hotel’s Japanese style proves a peaceful stay in the heart of Old Town. Platzl Hotel is another fab find, located right in the heart of the city.
If you make it in the summertime, you’ll also be privy to a number of festivals that celebrate everything from local music to art, the sea and matchmaking. Bulmers Forbidden Fruit Festival in June is a big one for seeing headliners like Skepta, Mura Masa or First Aid Kit. For fans of the Electric Picnic Festival in Laois, you’ll have to scrounge hard to get access to the sold out event this year and the lineup hasn’t even been announced yet (last year was Kendrick Lamar, Massive Attack, NERD, CHVRCHES, and St. Vincent, just to name a few).
As for when to go, the Savannah Music Festival takes place March 28 through April 13 and includes acts that range from brass bands to bluegrass to a gypsy violinist. Springtime is really the best time to see the city in its fully bloomed glory, just before the summer heats up. And if you’re into St. Patty’s Day parades, Savannah hosts one of the largest.
For a paradisiacal stay on one of the islands, we recommend making your way to &Beyond on Benguerra Island, where you’ll be surrounded by a protected marine conservation and some of the best diving sites in the world. If you’re lucky, you might find yourself swimming with manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, hawksbill turtles, or even the elusive dugongs of Africa.
All that, and a visit to the city’s Chinatown is a walk through culinary paradise, especially when you can’t quite make it all the way to Hong Kong. Regarding when to go, our only advice is to skip the sticky weather of July, August and September, when temps are high and hurricanes can interrupt your plans.