A lot is riding on 2021 (namely, our travel dreams).
We’ve been as patient as patient can be and now our lengthy lists of escapades, near and far, needs some action. From UK staycations to long- and short-haul adventures, these are the spots we’re itching to stay at in the new year.
Sheena Bhattessa, Founder at Citizen Femme
UK: I love a leisurely drive and making the most of the UK has been a great thing to come out of 2020. While it would be an insurmountable task to catalogue all that this little country has to offer, I do want to take advantage of weekends exploring cities closer to home. Wholesome local produce and countryside fare in the likes of Somerset or the New Forest are high on my list. A stay at The Pig – rural shabby chic, part comfy, part glamorous – is also very much on the agenda.
SHORT HAUL: Croatia. It’s been on my radar for a while and 2021 is about biting the bullet. The city in Zagreb, the coast in Istria, and the Riviera in Dubrovnik. A surprising destination with more than 1,200 islands and islets, it’s perfect for a sailing trip. Boasting waterfalls, vineyards, and forests, not to mention towns packed with history and things to do, there’s something (and somewhere) for everyone.
LONG HAUL: There are two hotels I will travel long haul for. Aman Kyoto is one, and the newly opened Hotel the Mitsui Kyoto is the second. Tradition, ceremony, serenity, design, wellbeing, artistry and gastronomy. Bliss. By week two, you will find me in Hotel the Mitsui Kyoto’s onsen – the only property in Kyoto city centre with its own natural spring water source. A deep dive into an entirely new culture.
Olivia Bennett, Fashion and Beauty Editor at Citizen Femme
UK: A weekend trip to the Cotswolds is always on my to-do list. From chocolate-box villages to country pubs and bracing walks, it’s the perfect place to retreat from London. I’ve been wanting to visit Thyme for a long time (no-pun intended) and with their newly revamped spa opening in the new year, I can’t wait to check-in. Pretty as a picture, the old stone manor house stands at the centre of the quaint village of Southrop. Days will be spent on restorative walks, chased by a trip to The Swan (the on-site pub) for grown-up pub grub.
SHORT HAUL: I’m seeking la dolce vita with a trip to Venice – it’s top of my list for a European getaway. I’m hoping to visit Il Palazzo Experimental, which opened in 2019. Sitting pretty, overlooking the Giudecca Canal is the oh-so stylish and playful palazzo. While there, I’ll be on the hunt for Murano glassware (which will be stowed in my carry on when heading home) – shopping will be fuelled by endless plates of pasta and glasses of Soave.
LONG HAUL: I missed my annual trip to South East Asia this year. For me, going totally off-grid for a couple of weeks is paradise, so for 2021 I’m planning an adventure to Vietnam. It’s a destination that’s been on my list for a while. I’ll be travelling to a few places, taking in the bustle of the night markets in Ho Chi Min City, gorging on street food and getting my city-break fix. Next, I’ll be soaking up the French Colonial architecture and sandy beaches of Hoi An. Anantara Hoi An Resort in particular, showcases this perfectly, situated in tropical gardens engulfed by the scent of Frangipani trees. I will be rounding off my days sunbathing with a cocktail watching the sunset over The Bồn River. Bliss!
Gilly Hopper, Editor at Citizen Femme
UK: Top of my wish list (where UK staycations are concerned) is Gleneagles. Not because I’ve been watching Succession on loop in preparation for season three, no. Gleneagles is somewhere long imprinted in my mind. A weekend in the Scottish Highlands will never feel quite as glamorous as a Friday-through-Sunday spent in the lavish confines of Gleneagles. Of the sprawling estate, I’m keenest to dine at Andrew Fairlie – the only restaurant in Scotland with two Michelin stars. My order: the smoked lobster. (Chased with a Scotch whisky. Naturally.)
SHORT HAUL: Popping over to Portugal for a few days at La Casa, Quinta de Corte is high-up on my travel agenda for 2021. Just a two-hour drive from Porto, I’ll be heading here for a recharge after an all-systems-go weekend in the city. Venturing to Portugal’s Douro Valley – the UNESCO-listed wine region that produces all the world’s port – La Casa, Quinta de Corte is a weary travellers’ delight. The estate’s eight bedrooms are simplicity personified: with terracotta floors, whitewashed walls, and craftwork playing a key role. Peak elegant rural hideout if you ask me.
LONG HAUL: Take me to a hilltop paradise. One in particular: Flamingo Estate in Los Angeles. “The flamingo-pink Spanish house at the top of the hill” – as referenced by locals, was created in the 1940s, by a pair of handsome, determined entrepreneurs who had just arrived to California. A hedonistic enclave, over the next decades, the Flamingo Estate became the headquarters for a pioneering erotic film company, a creative retreat for photographers and artists, a pirate-radio station, a publishing company, a political fundraiser, and an unlikely centre for cultural self-examination and expanding notions of art. So quite the past – and present. In recent years, it has been renovated by Chandelier Creative, and today the property is a veritable Garden of Eden. While visits to the public aren’t available – it’s provided the spark of inspiration for my next LA adventure (which will no doubt feature a lot of house tours and farm-to-table dining).