This gorgeous island holds 2 of the most luxurious resorts The elegant Wakaya Club, having been purchased by the Bronfman family, emerges from a multimillion-dollar face lift. Not to be outdone, Laucala Island, the world’s most expensive hotel (built by the owner of Red Bull), just reopened after an eight-month redo (following monsoon damage). As usual, Laucala offers the ultimate in activities, including a private submarine.
2. The Maldives
This South Asian beauty is one of my favorite destinations. With more access from all across the globe and the strong dollar, sexy resorts like the One & Only Reethi Rah, sport addict’s dreamland, Velaa Private Island, and LVMH’s uber-chic Cheval Blanc will be joined by the new St. Regis, which is sure to be a magnet. This might be just the year for your Maldives bucket-list adventure.
3. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is one of the trendiest destinations in the Mediterranean, with its burgeoning food scene and night life that goes until dawn. Game-changing recent hotels have seriously upped the luxury quotient, such as the design-forward Norman and the fabulous Ritz-Carlton Herzilyalocated in the sandy suburbs of the city. More hot news in Israel: this year the W Jaffa becomes the first W Hotel in the country. Located in the old town of Jaffa, it is the only luxury beachfront hotel within walking distance to the neighborhood's fabulous art galleries, acclaimed restaurants, and buzzing bars and clubs.
With St. Patty's day around the corner, this is good news for those who feel lucky. With a newly upgraded luxe quotient, Ireland will literally steal the upscale spotlight from classic destinations like France this year. Savvy travelers love that Ireland still feels a bit off the grid but now offers a host of fabulous golf courses along with major hotel renovations like Ashford Castle. Furthermore, the uber-luxe Belmond Grand Hibernian train is the first of its kind on the island. All aboard.
I absolutely love Hawaii! Everything is organic, fresh, and time just stands still. On Oahu, there's a new Four Seasons Oahu stirring up excitement, and on little Lana'i, the truly spectacular Four Seasons Lanaishows what a thoughtful--and multimillion-dollar--overhaul can do. It's a wow from beginning to end, and Larry Ellison's Pacific passion project is drawing the world’s elite to rediscover the magic of these islands.
6. Northern California
If wine is your idea of de-stressing (as it is mine), then wine country is a great destination! The north coast's wine country is abuzz for 2017. Land lovers rejoice at the opening of the eco-friendly Los Alcobas Napa, with the modern-art-filled, rustic-contemporary take on its Mexico City concept. Chef Kyle Connaughton, the former R&D chef of the Fat Duck in London opens the 11-room foodie haven, Single Thread Farms, in Healdsburg. For those wanting to work off all the food and wine, the famous Ranch at Malibu boot camp will be opening up a new fitness retreat in Sonoma. To each his own in this rich region of bountiful California!
7. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston will be hotter than ever this year with a host of new, luxury boutique hotels including the Dewberry and the Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort in picturesque Mt. Pleasant Village. Add this to the picture-perfect old city with its breathtaking architecture and sophisticated food and music scene, and the Holy City continues to hold its own against major destinations worldwide.
8. Cape Town, South Africa
This coastal South African city is one of the most complete dream destinations in the world -- with one of the best food scenes, fabulous night life, beautiful beaches, cutting-edge art, and a buzzing commercial scene all within minutes of incredible wildlife and scenic mountains for hiking. What’s best is that the soon-to-be-opened Silo Hotel will be inside the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa with dramatic views of the waterfront and Table Mountain, whimsically eclectic interiors, sexy rooftop infinity pool and bar, and inside access to the city’s hottest museum. Beauty and brains!
There cannot be a list of top 10 beaches without mentioning Bermuda. Zika-free and more fantastic than ever, Bermuda is the quintessential quick escape.This year the newly redone Fairmont Hamilton Princess & Beach Club hosts the 35th America’s Cup in June 2017, with the whole island prepping its wares for the season. Come early, come often, for the biggest island party of the year.
This oft-overlooked European destination heats up following a growth year in 2016 as more and more travelers seek off-the-grid experiences in the region. Incredible value and great new hotels opening up the coastal regions and wine lands make Portugal the next big thing. The newly redone Six Senses Douro Valley is a WOW to those looking for an alternative wine destination, while the authentic new Barrocal gives guests an opportunity to live on a working farm in the countryside, halfway between Seville and Lisbon. Get to Portugal in 2017, before the world follows your lead.