We have scoured the internet, stalked Instagram influencers, and read every travel guide to bring you our carefully curated top 5 destinations you should visit in 2020. From hidden paradises to cultural hot spots, get ready to experience some serious #wanderlust.
2020 is going to be a big year for Japan with the Olympic Games coming to Tokyo. But in 2020, we think the place to be is the ancient city of Kyoto. Wander the historic temples and colourful shrines and discover the ancient geisha rituals in the cultural and historic heart of Japan. And no visit to Kyoto would be complete without trying the vast array of delicious silken tofu available on every menu.
Our top things to do in Kyoto:
- Visit the Gion district and immerse yourself in the traditional world of Geishas and Maiko. Visit Hanami-koji Street in the heart of Gion to spot beautiful Geishas moving between the traditional restaurants and wooden teahouses.
- Drink Sake. Do we need to say more? Kyoto has been brewing Sake since the 16thcentury and the Fushimi district is home to some of Japan’s most famous breweries.
- Get that perfect Instagram shot at Fushimi Inari Shrine. This breathtaking Shinto shrine is famous for its thousands of vermillion tori gates. Beyond it’s beauty, the shrine is also a perfect place to take a second for peaceful reflection.
Our hero piece for Kyoto:
Take a leaf out of the book of Japanese minimalism with this everyday necklace from Swarovski. Featuring a delicate curved bar of Swarovski crystals, this design pairs just as perfectly with a t-shirt and jeans, as it would a sparkling evening dress.
Swarovski Only Necklace – $119.00
Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey
Turkey is having a huge resurgence in tourism, with many heading to cities across the country for magical experiences. But we aren’t here to talk about hot air balloons in Cappadocia, or taking in the majesty of Istanbul’s many palaces. Instead, we are talking about one of Turkey’s hottest summer destinations – the Bodrum Peninsula. This idyllic peninsula is having a huge moment with many luxury hotel chains opening stunning resorts along the coastline. Recline in the sun and take in the sublime natural beauty of this hidden world, far away from the crowds.
Our top resort picks in the Bodrum Peninsula:
- Amanruya – No list of luxury resorts would be complete without the inclusion of an Aman resort. This ultra luxurious resort overlooks the Aegean Sea and has is the perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat-style resort.
- Mandarin Oriental Bodrum – Located in the secluded Paradise Bay, this resort is just that – Paradise. Featuring 2 private beaches, a world class spa, gourmet restaurants and a view that will take your breath away, this resort has all you could ever dream of.
- Caresse Resort & Spa – For those seeking a more up-beat resort in the Bodrum Peninsula, Caresse is the place for you. Sun worshipers have plenty of choices of pools to lounge by, as well as an outlet of the iconic Buddha Bar group, for those looking to recline on the beach and listen to some chilled beats.
Our hero piece for the Bodrum Peninsula:
Combining soft feminine frills with a summer-ready rose blush colour, this dress is the perfect holiday dress for a glamorous destination like the Bodrum Peninsula. Perfect with slides as you explore the local town by day, or paired with wedges for a fancy dinner overlooking the Aegean.
Seed Heritage Wrap Front Frill Dress – $139.95
St. Barth’s, Caribbean
This iconic Caribbean destination has been a mainstay in the itinerary of many well-heeled travellers for decades, however in 2017 it was almost entirely destroyed by two powerful storms. Fast-forward to 2020 and the island (as well as many others in the region) is nearly completely rebuilt thanks to the ongoing effort of locals. Book your tickets to St Barth’s to experience beaches so perfect you would think you are standing in a postcard. This volcanic island also features an encyclopaedia of animals to see both on and off the shore, including: turtles, dolphins, humpback whales and iguanas. For those wanting a relaxed holiday on the shore, expect to spot a celebrity or two as they escape the hustle and bustle of Hollywood in favour of the islands slow paced lifestyle.
Our top things to do in St. Barth’s:
- Celebrate the clash of cultures within the island’s amazing food scene. French gastronomy meets the spice of Creole cooking in some of the island’s coolest restaurants, as fresh seafood makes its way from the ocean to your plate each day.
- What would a trip to a Caribbean island be without a beach party? Nikki Beach Club in St Barth’s was the first and original beach club concepts. Combining good food, great music, and white sandy beaches, this is the perfect place to spend a fun afternoon. Leo DiCaprio is a regular here.
- Charter a yacht for an excursion. Explore the hidden bays and beaches of St Barth’s and surrounding islands from the comfort of your own private boat.
Our hero piece for St. Barth’s:
Channel the laid-back beach vibes of St Barth’s with the Astrid Straw Hobo Bag from Sportsgirl. This paper straw hobo bag exudes island vibes and is perfect for a day of shopping, or a day on the beach on any tropical island. The bag’s generous size makes it perfect for carrying all the island essentials.
Sportsgirl Astrid Straw Hobo Bag – $49.95
The city of Marrakech has been a mecca for souls seeking to inhale the smell of rich spices and feel the soft Berber carpets for generations. Aptly named The Red City because of the high terracotta-hued walls surrounding the old Medina, Marrakech now calls to a new breed of traveller looking to experience the city’s unique blend of history, tradition, culture and energy. Top fashion brands have also turned their focus to the city, with Christian Dior staging their Resort 2020 show at El Badi Palace, and Yves Saint Laurent recently opened a museum in the city dedicated to the namesake designer.
Our top things to do in Marrakech:
- A visit to the world-famous, bustling souks is an absolute must for those visiting Marrakech. An absolute treasure trove of spices, embroidered slippers, wooden instruments, kaftans, silverware, rugs, metal lamps, pottery and much more. If you want to see the best of the souks – book yourself a guide, or risk getting lost in the bustling maze of stalls.
- The Yves Saint Laurent Museum and Le Jardin Marjorelle offer an oasis of style and tranquillity within the bustling city. Learn about the influence Marrakech had on the great designer’s collections and see the handiwork of Parisian couture up close in the museum. Afterwards, enjoy a peaceful walk through the leafy gardens named after the vivid hue of blue adorning the walls.
- Stay in a traditional Riad. Whilst Marrakech is home to some world-class resorts, those seeking an affordable and authentic experience should check out the city’s many Riads. These traditional homes offer respite from the chaos of the Medina, and are often awash with bright coloured mosaic and lush plants.
Our hero piece for Marrakech:
Marrakech may be a city of many colours but we can’t go past this crisp white lace blouse from R.M. Williams for warm days in the Medina. The voluminous shape and lace insets make it the perfect blouse to keep cool, and the white colour provides the perfect blank canvas for colourful accessories. Pair yours with a local handmade embroidered basket to nail those perfect vacation vibes.
R.M. Williams Ellerslie Lace Blouse – $199.00
For those seeking an escape from city life, to a place where high mountains are coated in dense forest, where there are no traffic lights and where Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product – Bhutan should be at the top of your travel wish list for 2020. This small Asian country also has a strong focus on nature, with it being written into national law that at least 60% of the country must always be covered by forest. You can enjoy visits to ancient monasteries, partake in the country’s national sport – archery, or just take in the serene natural wonder of giant mountains reaching up high into the sky.
Our top things to do in Bhutan:
- A visit to the awe-inspiring Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a must for all visitors to Bhutan. This sacred monastery clings to the side of a cliff and requires around 2.5 hours of hiking to reach. However, the views along the hike and once you reach the monastery are unsurpassed.
- Shoot an arrow or two. In nearly every village you visit across Bhutan you will spot men in their brightly coloured clothing practicing their archery skills in the local archery fields. The Bhutanese are very passionate about their national sport, and watching a master archer is entertainment in itself.
- Stay at the Amankora lodges across the kingdom of Bhutan. 5 lodges from the Aman group stretch across the kingdom, offering unparalleled tastes of local culture at each. Organise a 12-day journey and enjoy a herb-infused hot stone bath in Paro, meditation in Punakha and an astrology reading in Bumthang.
Our hero piece for Bhutan:
A bag that is as cool as it is practical, the Fjallraven Kanken backpack is your best bet for conquering the mountains and valleys of Bhutan. Designed by specialist outdoor brand Fjallraven, this backpack has been rendered in an uber-cool abstract mountain print that is just as at home in the wilderness, as it is in the city.
Universal Store Fjallraven Kanken – $149.95