After a year of political unrest in the Arabic World, economic cataclysms in the old Europe and some devastating natural disasters in Asia, it’s tough to look at the planet with the same eyes again. So take a deep breath and prepare to enter a new world of possibilities for 2012. In times of uncertainty, it’s reassuring to listen to the experts and see how they measure this new world. According to some of the most influential travel publications, these are the hot holiday destinations for the new year:
Lonely Planet recommends…
Muscat (Oman) – From the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to the Omani Aquarium or the Bait al Zubair Museum, Oman’s capital offers any attraction any tourist mecca could hope for. Expect grand resorts and dynamic city life: where tradition meets modernity.
Orlando (USA) – If you thought that Orlando was all about gigantic tourist attractions like Disney World, think twice, there is more to Orlando that Mickey and friends. OK, the NBA All-Star Weekend (25 and 26 February) is not a particularly small gig, but its coolness is undeniable. Be ready for slum-dunk contests and music events all around the city. Hipsters, watch out for the Milk District in this exquisite hot holiday destination
Siem Reap (Cambodia) – It’s not like we are talking about Paris here, but this city has a vibrant nightlife, and the bars and hotels are flourishing like mushrooms after a rainy day. Still, what makes this city really special is the surroundings: natural marvels and ancient Buddhist temples. Visiting the Angkor Archeological Park at dawn is a must.
New York City (USA) – How original, I know. Don’t go crazy at ticking all the boxes of must-see attractions, like the Statue of Liberty and Times Square and go deep into a neighbourhood. Go to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, before its hipster universe implodes and becomes just posh and silly.
Conde Nast urges you to visit…
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (Kenya) – This wildlife sanctuary covering 62,000 acres in northern Kenya is home to the endangered black rhino and the Grevy’s zebra. It is most definitely hot and is certainly a destination. Of course Mr Lion and Mr Elephant will be there as well, so be careful while on family safaris.
Maldives (err…Maldives) – This is a mecca for newly weds but it’s also a fantastic place to enjoy once the honeymoon is over. Don’t be a cynic and bring your little ones to this paradise. The family-friendly resorts and direct flights also help.