If Instagram is any barometer, “hot” travel destinations are trending (and fading) faster than ever before. I’m predicting that new hotel openings, restaurants, and even movies will be influencing the travel scene this year, and you can read my detailed forecast below. The who-can-get-there-first game continues at high speed, and we’re all in. Scroll down for the hottest new travel destinations of 2019, and we’ll see you out there.
I always pay attention to the newest Soho House locations, since they tend to pop up in places that are currently buzzing with creative energy. Last year they opened their first house in India, overlooking the Juhu Beach in Mumbai. That (combined with the fact that colorful India is one of the most Instagrammable places in the world) puts Mumbai on our list for 2019.
The success of Crazy Rich Asians has brought Singapore into the limelight as a big destination for 2019. In addition to being an architectural wonderland, Singapore is the only place in the world where you can find a Michelin starred street food vendor (just like in the movie!)
2018 put Sante Fe back on the map with the reopening of the classic motor court inn El Rey. Now the owners have officially opened, La Reina, the hotel’s mezcal and tequlia bar with a dusty Americana vibe. These new hipster hotspots, along with the continued presence of art collective Meow Wolf, have me predicting that Santa Fe will continue to be a rising star in 2019.
The Orient Express
Okay, so this one’s more of a moving target than it is an actual “destination.” The first Orient Express ran the rails in 1882, and now the iconic train has enticed a new generation of travelers by being hands down the most Instagrammable mode of travel in the world. Besides, who wouldn’t want to view the snowy Swiss Alps from three elegant dining cars, or a champagne bar complete with resident pianist? #smooth
Six Senses Hotels are synonymous with a certain type of barefoot luxury — think James Bond in a gorgeous remote location. That’s why their newest property in the Negev Desert (slated to open this summer) is putting Shaharut, Israel on our map for 2019.
My favorite fashion designer of the past few years is hands down Ulla Johnson, who has built her brand by collaborating with artisans across the world engaged in traditional handicraft. I follow all of her travels on instagram, and her frequent trips to Peru have me itching to visit Macha Picchu. The Explora hotel group (famous for incredible properties throughout South America) has a resort in the Sacred Valley that looks just about perfect.
Once a glamorous destination for jet set stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Puerto Vallarta fell into all-inclusive tackiness for decades. What most people don’t know is that the historic center (what’s known as “Old Town” Puerto Vallarta) is a secret holdout of cool. With a dreamy minimalist design, the new Hotel Amapa (opening later this year) hopes to bring some of the buzz back to PV.
A classic destination that isn’t known for constant change, Aspen has some exciting new developments happening right now. Our favorite Austin oyster bar, Clark’s, now has a sister spot in Aspen, and be on the lookout for a new W Hotel property set to open sometime this summer.
The couple who helped put Tulum on the map with Coqui Coqui have now set up shop in Bora Bora. They’ve already opened a Coqui Coqui perfumeria there, and we’re expecting a full-blown hotel from them sometime in the next year. French Polynesia, here we come.
It’s already being called “the Montauk of Uruguay”, and we’re dying to visit the chic bohemian surf spot that lies about 2.5 hours west of Montevideo. Once a modest fishing village, this South American hotspot is now a magnet for yogis and foodies alike. Oh, and fans of Chef’s Table will undoubtedly be excited by this: Francis Mallmann’s Restaurant Garzon is just 15 miles inland.