Travel

Looking for luxe? Check out these hot travel destinations for 2018

Luxury tour operator Scott Dunn unveils its travel hotlist forecast

With more than 30 years of experience in tailoring bespoke holidays, leading luxury tour operator Scott Dunn has unveiled its travel hotlist forecast for next year.

The increasing demand for authentic experiences is reflected in this line-up, which shuns well-trodden destinations and veers off the beaten track to uncover hidden gems.

CAMBODIA

This hot destination offers more reasons to visit with the exciting new openings of luxury tented camp Shinta Mani Wild, resort Six Senses Krabey Island, Alila Villas Koh Russey, luxury tent resort The Beige in Siem Reap, hotels Rosewood Phnom Penh and Rosewood Siem Reap.

You can also try treasure hunts around Angkor Wat, ride a helicopter, have a private dinner in the jungle and more.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia ; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman; relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido; check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps; have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia; enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon; and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan (above). PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN

BHUTAN

Due to open in early 2018, Six Senses Bhutan is one of Asia's most anticipated openings.

Located in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang, guests will be able to embark on a Six Senses Journey between each lodge, exploring Bhutan in style.

Each will boast incredible views, especially the one in Punakha, which overlooks the Mo Chhu river, and the one in Gangtey, which has views of the Phobjikha Valley.

Architecturally, Six Senses has blended local styles with modern luxuries, and all lodges are inspired by the colourful country's reputation as the happiest place on earth.

Guests will have the option to visit all five lodges or a combination, with itineraries designed around the experiences unique to each location.

Equally exciting is the new Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary near Paro, which will provide respite for the mind and body, connecting its guests with the unique Buddhist spirituality of Bhutan.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman; relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido; check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps; have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia; enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon (above); and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan. PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN

ICELAND

The country's most popular tourist attraction, the Blue Lagoon, is set to open The Retreat at Blue Lagoon in April and become a new guest favourite with 62 rooms offering exclusive access to the man-made geothermal pool.

Iceland's phenomenal landscapes tempt visitors out into the wild to experience an array of outdoor activities, from a puffin safari to heli-skiing from summit to ocean on the Troll Peninsula at luxury Nordic retreat Deplar Farm.

Trollaskagi Camp, a new pop-up glamping camp from Amazing Escapes, will open from March to May overlooking Eyjaorour.

The camp boasts six luxury guests domes with double beds and wood stoves. Guests will be able to watch the Northern Lights from their beds and relax after a day outdoors in a Scandinavian hot tub or the fully stocked library dome.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman; relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido; check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps; have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia (above); enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon; and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan. PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN

BAWAH ISLAND

Undergoing its soft launch at the moment, the unique Bawah Island is located in Indonesia and offers a brand new private island experience for those looking for something more unique than Bali.

Accessible from Singapore by ferry and seaplane, Bawah is a group of six tropical islands that feature 35 beautifully designed suites and bungalows.

Surrounded by lagoons and coral reefs, as well as dense jungle canopy and mangroves, this eco-hideaway is an explorer's dream.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia ; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman (above); relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido; check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps; have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia; enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon; and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan. PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN

OMAN

Oman is a country that seems to escape the notice of all but the most intrepid of travellers until a few years ago.

It now welcomes visitors with its renowned Arabian hospitality, eager to share its lively culture, rolling sand dunes, bustling souks (traditional markets) and majestic mountains, making it a captivating destination for couples and families.

Check out the lesser-known region of Salalah in the south, where the Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara sits on a glorious stretch of white coastline, and with its fantastic children and teens club, it is a great option for families as a start or end to a trip through Oman.

There are also two exceptional glamping options to satisfy guests' desire to sleep under the stars in luxury. Canvas Club is the most glamorous, while Hud Hud Travels' authentic Bedouin-style tents continue to be a favourite.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman; relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido (above); check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps; have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia; enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon; and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan. PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN


NISEKO

This town in Hokkaido, Japan, boasts pristine snow on picturesque volcanic and alpine mountain ranges.

New for the 2017/18 ski season is the Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu's high-speed detachable quad chair lift, which will ease long waits at peak times, and three new additions to Scott Dunn's property portfolio.

Hakuchozan is a fully serviced luxury chalet perfect for large groups and families in the heart of Hirafu village.

Aspect Niseko is a collection of self-catered luxury apartments located on the slopes and Aya Niseko, a ski-in ski-out hotel offering luxury apartments, residences and penthouses.

Go on a treasure hunt around Angkor Wat in Cambodia; camp out in Hud Hud Travels’ Bedouin-style tents in Oman; relax at luxury chalet Hakuchozan in Hokkaido; check into Six Senses Residences Courchevel in the French Alps (above); have a private island experience in Bawah Island, Indonesia; enjoy Iceland’s stunning Blue Lagoon; and go on a tour of lodges in Bhutan. PHOTOS: SCOTT DUNN

COURCHEVEL

Courchevel in the French Alps has long been the ski resort of choice for the European It crowd and looks set to be the go-to destination for Asia-based travellers too.

The newly opened Scott Dunn at Six Senses Residences Courchevel will be home to a brand new on-site Scott Dunn Explorers children's club as well as the first Stargazers club.

TOURISM & TRAVEL