To many people, travelling isn’t just about going to different places, but also experiencing something new. Yet, when most travellers return with almost identical souvenirs and photos, how can you find something truly extraordinary?
1. Bali, Indonesia
With design-driven cafes, shops, and hotels everywhere you look, the much-loved Indonesian island is reinventing itself for a new generation of travelers. In Canggu, The Slow combines fashion and art in a modernist setting. Soori Bali, the latest from Yale-educated architect Soo K. Chan, taps into local culture. This fall, COMO has plans to open a hotel complete with a surf school on the island’s emerging south coast. And even one of the most classic spots, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, has been transformed after a two-year overhaul.
2. Devon, England
A number of new inns are transforming charming Devon into a serious foodie getaway. There’s Coombeshead Farm, a joint venture from April Bloomfield (of New York City’s Spotted Pig) and Tom Adams (of Pitt Cue in London). The Lympstone Manor is a seaside find from Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines. And The Pig at Combe sources food from its kitchen garden and local purveyors.
3. Milos, Greece
A lesser-known Cycladic Island, Milos offers the luxury of seclusion and an authentically local escape. There are stunning places to stay like Voronoi Corrals, a glamorous house on a stone cliff with its own olive grove, or Skinopi Lodge, where three stylishly simple and secluded stone villas modeled after the island’s traditional fisherman cottages sit on nine acres of property facing the sea.
4. San Juan Islands, Usa
Just a yacht, ferry, or water plane ride from Seattle, this archipelago might be the Pacific Northwest’s best kept secret. It’s a summer getaway where locals and the city’s top-tier techies unwind, yet it never feels too crowded. And with a recently established nature preserve plus new eco-friendly hotel suites at the Snug Harbor Resort, things are moving a tiny bit faster in the sleepy San Juans.
5. St. Bart’s
A lot of people don’t consider St. Bart’s in the summer, but it’s a great way to experience the island as an authentic place. Where to stay? The newly opened Villa Marie Saint-Barth is set on a hilltop with spectacular views of Flamands Beach. Owner Jocelyne Sibuet—who has been called the French Martha Stewart—has created a stylish enclave straight out of a design magazine. Another new find: Le Barthelemy, designed by Sybille de Margerie, known for her work on the Mandarin Oriental, Paris. Or consider Le Guanahani, which has never looked better after a $40-million overhaul. The colorful cottages now have a travel-inspired aesthetic.