1. Yucatan, Mexico
The ongoing fascination with this part of the world looks set to continue well into 2015. This year, consider the Yucatán Peninsula in the South East of the country. Boasting breathtaking Maya ruins, some of the most heavenly stretches of beach you’ll ever see and vibrant culture by the bucket load, this is a great destination for those looking to camp out for a few weeks in a place that has it all. Don’t leave without exploring the rainbow-coloured coral reefs and visiting Merida market, for a taste bud-tingling insight into the phenomenal local cuisine.
2. Santorini, Greece
Note – the above image of Santorini IS real. It’s actually that dreamy. The crescent-shaped island is the perfect location for a luxury holiday, with its blue-domed roofs, black-sand beaches and wondrous sunsets over a giant sea-filled Caldera. Visit Fira, the insanely picturesque cliff top town and book at least one night in Grace Santorini, for impeccable Cycladic interiors and a plunge pool looking out over the Aegean Sea. Heaven, in a nutshell.
3. Panama, Central America
Ever since we featured the Ace Hotel’s brilliant American Trade Hotel situated in the heart of the city, we have been increasingly fascinated by Panama. Razor-sharp gentrification aside, this tropical country is resplendent with natural wonders so adventure is inevitable. Explore the dizzying cloud forests of Chiriquí, soak up the Caribbean vibes on the Northern shores and surf gigantic Pacific swells in the South. This is the destination for intrepid adventurers.
4. Montenegro, Southeastern Europe
While nearby Croatia has been buzzing for a few years now, our attention is firmly on Montenegro for 2015. A turbulent history has left a fascinating mish-mash culture fusing Roman, Catholic and Muslim influences. Nature lovers will rejoice over the gloriously unspoiled landscape; beautiful lakes, calm seas and the spectacular black mountains are bound to coax even the most unfit of visitors on a gentle hike. If you’re on a more generous budget, a stay at the Aman Sveti Stefan is a must. The entire island of Sveti Stefan, a former fishing village in the 14th Century, has been given over to this magical, peaceful hotel. A UNESCO heritage site in its entirety, every room, suite and cottage is to die for. Ultimately, if you’re craving leisurely exploration by day and slow summer evenings spent sipping local wine, Montenegro is the place.
5. Pilsen, Czech Republic
Culture vultures should head to Pilsen, the capital of West Bohemia. Nominated as the official capital of culture for 2015, a yearlong schedule of over 600 concerts, exhibitions, artistic interventions and theatre productions is set to revive the city unlike ever before. A dizzying climb to the top of the 13th-century Gothic church, St Bartholomew, will provide a welcome break from the arts…as well as a few pints of the outstanding beer. Pilsen is infamous for developing the very first lager back in the mid-19th century. These days, the city is known for making some of the best beer in the world – apparently something to do with the water. Hardcore enthusiasts can take a tour of thePilsner Urquell Brewery to see where the magic happens. All in all, this city is fast emerging as a favourite for stag weekends and guy time.