Winter Escapes – Ash Zaman on 2UE: Talking Lifestyle – 8/6/2017
Tim Webster speaks to Ash Zaman from Travel Insurance Direct to answer all of your travel insurance questions and ...KEEP READING
In a bid to discover the world’s most popular hotels of 2020, we used three data points from 2019 based on popularity to serve as predictions for the future.
We started with TripAdvisor’s list of top-ranked hotels. Then we looked at the amount of Instagram hashtags each hotel has. Finally, we compared how many people search the hotel’s name online each month. We figured that anyone leaving a rave review, uploading photos or googling it must mean the hotel is well-loved and sought-after.
Add these three things together and you have a list of the 10 most popular hotels of 2020. Here they are:
One look at this hotel and it’s easy to see why it’s at the top of our list. Accessed only by a chandelier-lit, private tunnel, the Resort at Pedregal immediately sets the tone for an unforgettable trip.
The hotel is set into the side of a dramatic cliffside and features water fountains dotted around paved pathways that interconnect the outdoor pool (which overlooks the beach), restaurant, spa and courts as well as colourful décor that reminds you of its Mexican surroundings. Inside your room you’ll find an infinity pool attached to the balcony with a view of the ocean as far as the eye can see.
Despite being number 7 on TripAdvisor’s list, The Resort at Pedregal has the largest search volume and has more hashtags than any other hotel on this list.
It’s an 18-22-hour flight from Sydney to San Jose del Cabo, usually with a stopover in either LA, Houston or San Francisco. Once you’ve arrived at the airport, a private shuttle from the hotel will pick you up and drive you the 47 minutes to the resort.
While it may seem that many of the facilities and activities are geared towards couples, the hotel has a kids’ club and meeting rooms for business guests.
If you’re looking for travel inspiration, Costa Rica has appeared on Lonely Planet’s list of Best in Travel 2020, mainly due to the dedication from the country’s locals in protecting the biodiversity of its wildlife and landscape – it’s even set to become one of the first carbon-neutral countries.
For a hotel that matches this ethos, turn to the Tulemar Bungalows and Villas. This wild resort is set within 33 acres of rainforest, with a private beach, national park and sloth institute on its doorstep. Most of the bungalows, villas and private houses have been built in an octagonal shape to create a panoramic view of the lush fauna, flora and wildlife that surrounds it.
Despite being self-contained, the resort doesn’t scrimp on luxury experiences. Choose from four swimming pools, three restaurants as well as adventurous activities, such as canyoning, horse-back riding, fishing and jungle trekking. At the beach, you can hire a boogie boards, kayaks and beach toys or page your own beach butler to deliver drinks to your umbrella-shaded sunbed.
This hotel appeared first on TripAdvisor’s own list, and with 4,000 hashtags and nearly 10k searches per month we’re not surprised.
Flights from Sydney to San Jose are from 17-22 hours. From there, you can either catch a smaller plane to Manual Antonio or Quepos or drive the three hours – either by rental car or shuttle bus – to the resort.
With such a wide variety of things to do and accommodation styles, the doors to Tulemar are open to everybody. Solo travellers and backpackers can enjoy budget-friendly prices, while the casas sleep up to 10 guests – perfect for a big group getaway. Online reviews reveal that kids love learning about the wildlife, so it’s ideal for families, too.
The La Siesta Classic Ma May hotel is embedded in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the historical area of Vietnam’s capital city. Here, the atmosphere bustles with a whirlwind of scooters and winding alleyways packed with traditional craftspeople, merchants and vendors.
The La Siesta Classic Ma May Hotel features 75 guestrooms and suites, a movie room, restaurant, spa and gym. It’s easy to see influences from Vietnam’s French and Chinese occupation as well as quintessential Vietnamese charm across its décor.
The hotel’s search volume more than makes up for this its 250 hashtags. But with the new Moonlight sky bar opened in November 2019, with its mini replica of the Long Bien Bridge, we expect its Insta fame to rise quickly. In the meantime, the monthly searches prove that the hotel’s service, location and facilities are in high demand.
You can get direct flights from Sydney to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Int’l Airport, which will get you there in just under 10 hours. When you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi to the hotel, which takes around 50 minutes, or the hotel provides private transfers on request.
The La Siesta comprises split-level suites, connecting rooms, a family suite and single/double and king-sized rooms, so whether you’re heading to Hanoi for a honeymoon, family holiday or getaway with friends you’ll find a suitable room at this resort.
What makes the Belvedere special is its history. Born out of one woman’s dream of a lakeside retreat in 1880, the Belvedere’s management has since been passed through five generations of mothers and daughters.
Every inch of this stunning hotel is authentic, from the Italian-made furnishings to the fresh herbs that are picked from the garden and served at dinner. There’s a lush spa and even a library too. Outdoors, the hotel is engulfed in secluded private gardens laden with colourful flowers and olive trees. You can take a seat or swim in the heated pool that overlooks Lake Como and the Alps. Frequent ferries from the hotel let you easily sail between the little towns nearby.
The Hotel Belvedere appears second on TripAdvisor’s list of best hotels in the world and with over 6,000 average monthly searches this is one sought-after place to visit.
Whether you’re flying into Orio Al Serio or Lugano, you’ll most likely have to make two stopovers and then drive either the 30 or 14 miles respectively to reach the hotel itself.
Family is inbuilt into this hotel’s foundations, meaning couples with kids will be warmly welcomed, along with larger groups, couples and solo travellers.
Step back in time with a visit to Viroth’s Hotel – a 50s inspired resort in the centre of Old Town Siem Reap, next to the entertainment and market area. While the vintage influences can be seen throughout the architecture and décor, the old-time novelty is extended to airport transfers, as guests can opt to be picked up in a vintage limousine.
Every time guests enter this boutique hotel they’re greeted with a cold towel and a drink of the day. With just 35 guest rooms, guests can expect a peaceful stay, bolstered by the verdant vertical gardens and the calm pool area.
Of course, a visit to Cambodia wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Angkor Wat. Only a 20-minute drive away, the hotel will happily book one of its 12 itineraries for you.
Guests across its 1,500 hashtags love the pool, the array of a la carte food and the classic cars.
The average flight time from Sydney to Siem Reap International is 11 hours and 35 mins and the hotel is roughly a 20-minute drive from the airport.
As a maximum of three guests are allowed in most of Viroth’s rooms and suites, we wouldn’t recommend this hotel for large families who want to stay in one room together or for families with younger children as cots are not provided. However, large parties and families with children can split their stay into multiple rooms. The relaxing atmosphere, spa treatments and intimate setting is ideal for couples and honeymooners.
Erosion across thousands of years has formed the jagged shapes and rock towers of Urgup, creating an otherworldly and fairy tale-like landscape. The soft rock of this topography enabled humans to carve the cavernous infrastructure you can see today. Underground houses, churches, stables and storage make up this unique town with a fascinating history.
You might never have considered a stay in a cave until you see the Kayakapi Premium Caves. Built into the hillside across several floors you’ll find rooms, suites, villas and even mansions. While you’ll discover a guest spa and pool, some rooms have their own private pool, Turkish bath and hammam spa. Old meets new within the rooms as against the traditional Turkish décor and stone walls you’ll find amenities like a TV, coffee machine, iPod dock and floor heating.
Hardly a morning passes in Cappadocia where the dusty orange skyline isn’t filled with floating hot air balloons. As well as offering ample opportunities from terraces and balconies to view this spectacle, the hotel can also book balloon tours for you.
The standard trip to Urgup involves two stops, with the whole journey taking a minimum of 24 hours. You’ll stop in either Kuala Lumpar, Bangkok or Singapore and then Istanbul before flying to Kayseri Erkilet Airport. From there, it’s about a 1-hour drive to the Kayakapi Premium Caves. You can do this by bus, shuttle, taxi or hire car.
The hotel openly promises to make sure single travellers, couples, families and groups of friends alike will have special moments here. This is proven through their facilities with babysitting, an adult pool and special packages for honeymooners all available.
Mixing old-world charm with contemporary elements of cool, Charleston is the trendy Southern belle of America. Charismatic streets are lined with classic Georgian architecture, boutique shops and eateries that dish up local food influenced by the region’s French, Caribbean and West African past.
Awarded countless ‘Top hotel’ awards, the French Quarter Inn epitomises the charm that Charleston holds. From the Champagne reception, to the seven-pillow menu and warm cookies in the evening, every service is made to make sure you feel the hospitality this area is famed for.
Most rooms are built with a seating area, fireplace and terrace that overlooks the historic buildings. Guests will find a well-stocked buffet breakfast and can take private massages or yoga classes in their room.
The online reviews particularly mention the hotel’s location, surrounded by many of the must-try restaurants and attractions that make up Charleston’s bucket lists.
A flight from Sydney to New Orleans airport can include one or two stops, taking a minimum of 19 hours. Once in Charleston, a taxi only takes 20 minutes. You can also take a shuttle bus along with other passengers, which will drop you off at your desired location or hotel.
With large suites and plenty to do, there’s no reason why the Inn wouldn’t welcome and accommodate families with children, young and old, as well as solo travellers and couples.
Within the once capital of the Inca Empire, the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas was originally a 17th-century convent built on Inca foundations with some of the original stonework still intact. Inside you’ll find touches of its heritage everywhere, from the colonial frescos to the indigenous flowers and a guest lounge within a restored chapel.
Every service is geared to make your stay as comfortable as possible in the most luxury way. From the oxygen-enhanced rooms and coca tea to help you adjust to high altitude to the complimentary butler who will help you unpack your luggage, arrange laundry and shoeshine and supply you with your choice of handmade soap crafted using local ingredients.
This ethos extends to their range of activities, from the morning yoga and heated pool to the restaurant that mixes Peruvian influences with modern touches and evening salsa lessons. Bar staff will teach you how to mix a pisco sour, while the reception staff can book your tours for you, including the main reason everyone visits, Machu Pichu. Guests often opt to catch a train to this ancient, awe-inspiring site on the opulent Belmond Hiram Bingham train.
You can find flights with either one, two or three stopovers – usually in Santiago, Lima and Dallas – with the whole journey taking anything between 18 and 43 hours. The distance from Cusco airport to the hotel is only 4km, which you can easily travel by taxi or bus.
Solo travellers and backpackers who want to splash out before they trek the Inca trail would love this slice of respite, while couples will find amenities ideal for intimacy like a romantic meal at the restaurant or a couple’s massage.
Some rooms can sleep up to four, which is perfect for families or small groups. Better still, one child under five can stay for free. Older children are welcome, but there will be additional charges and room bookings.
The hotel has traditional Cusco costumes for the children to dress up in, children’s TV on the channels and kids can also take home a complimentary toy of the hotel’s mascot, Misky.
If your idea of heaven is fresh air, mountains, meadows and cabin-like accommodation, you’ll relish a stay at this Austrian escape. Open since 1930, this hotel has been run by the same family for four generations. Upon entering this cosy place tucked in the Zillertal Valley you can immediately get a sense of the family feel. From the comfy lounge with a crackling fire where guests can play chess to the alpine-style rooms that each have their own distinct style.
For food and drink, guests can enjoy hearty breakfast and lunch buffets and a decadent dinner in the restaurant. One of the hotel owners is a trained sommelier and will happily take your taste buds on a tour around the wine-tasting room or advise on a wine accompaniment for a meal. For relaxation, there’s a spa with six saunas and an indoor pool, a yoga room and an outdoor infinity pool that overlooks the village of Tux. Kids can enjoy a games lounge with consoles and table football, a reading area with puzzles and almost too many outdoor activities to count.
In summer, guests come to hike and golf. In winter, it’s all about skiing and tobogganing. The owners love to be surrounded by nature and will happily show you around the area or tell you about the best places to go. There’s even a daily newsletter with up-to-date recommendations based on events and the weather.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder this pleasant wintery wonderland won the 2019 Travellers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor.
Flights from Sydney to Innsbruck take between 26 and 34 hours with two stopovers. From the airport to the hotel you can either take a free bus, which takes three hours, or a taxi, which takes just over an hour.
Most of the rooms are made to sleep two people, however their family suites sleep up to five people and they have single rooms for solo travellers, too.
The hotel offers babysitting and has a kids’ club, so parents can enjoy some quality time together.
At the Southern tip of Taiwan is this Middle Eastern-themed boutique hotel. Made to look like an ancient imperial palace – with carved arches, flowing drapes and colourful lamps – staff wear Moroccan-style clothing and every guest is made to feel like royalty. Rooms are named after precious jewels, flowers and the beauty of Morocco with colour schemes reflecting so.
Close to the Hengchun peninsula, guests not only admire the splendour of the rooms and unique perks such as mermaid diving and Arabian costume rental, but the location is ideal for exploring Kenting’s historical old town and beaches.
This is by far the easiest place to travel to from Australia, with non-stop flights from Sydney to Taoyuan International Airport taking just over nine hours. Once you’ve arrived, you can get the high-speed rail and then a bus, an airport shuttle via the hotel or a taxi.
Rooms are spacious with some of the suites containing two bedrooms with king-sized beds, so families and small groups will fit comfortably. There are plenty of activities geared towards children, with many reviews regaling how impressed their little ones were at how magical the hotel looks and feels
Tim Webster speaks to Ash Zaman from Travel Insurance Direct to answer all of your travel insurance questions and ...KEEP READING