(Recently published in Vogue Magazine)
When researching an upcoming trip, many of us are turning to social media for inspiration and intel. In fact, Pinterest reports that it has experienced a 37 percent increase in travel-related searches since last year. With all that quantifiable action, it’s no wonder the virtual bulletin board has accrued some pretty interesting insights. Recently, the network teamed up with another travel force, Airbnb, to determine which destinations are currently trending across both sites. While some of the results come as no surprise (who doesn’t want to go to Bora Bora?), some are a bit more unexpected.
Below, a look at the findings with options for places to stay, should you decide to forgo the Airbnb.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh is famous for its world-class scuba diving and picturesque, palm-studded beaches. And, despite recent warnings of terrorist actions, visitors continue to flock to the northern Africa region on the Red Sea.
Where to Stay: Sharm El Sheikh is filled with decadent, sprawling resorts. The Four Seasons, which features a romantic, Arabian village–inspired design set among lush gardens along the shore, is one such option.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Europeans have long been flocking to this beachy, sun-drenched Spanish island. Recently, though, Tenerife has experienced a bit of a renaissance as posh hotels, cool boutiques, and stylish restaurants (including some with Michelin stars) have been replacing the more mainstream tourist options.
Where to Stay: Check out the off-the-beaten-path San Roque, an understated boutique hotel within walking distance of authentic restaurants serving tapas and local seafood, in the northern port village of Garachico.
Located in Les Trois Vallées—the world’s largest lift-linked ski region—this storybook Alpine ski village boasts over 170 lifts and a super-diverse terrain; no wonder it’s a popular winter sports destination for everyone from experts to newbies. Off the slopes, there is plenty to do, including hot-air balloon rides and indoor surfing.
Where to Stay: The recently renovated Hôtel des 3 Valléesis housed in a classic chalet but decorated with chic furnishings from the likes of Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé.
It’s not just the legendary Loch Ness Monster that visitors to the Scottish Highlands are hoping to peep—it’s the area’s cinematic landscapes, romantic old castles, and famed whiskey distilleries, too.
Where to Stay: Near the remote town of Dornoch, The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle is something out of a fairy tale. It’s also known as the “most exclusive” hotel in the world—in fact, non-members are only allowed to visit the property once. For a less intense experience, stay at the romantic Ardanaiseig, an elegant stone country house nestled on the shore of Loch Awe.
Last year, 1.7 million tourists descend on Iceland’s capital, eager to take in the city’s colorful buildings, cosmopolitan culture, and cooler-than-cool nightlife scene. In fact, so many visitor’s have been flocking to the country’s attractions—the Blue Lagoon, the Gullfoss waterfall, Vatnajökull National Park—that the government has considered limiting the amount of visitors in order to preserve these natural wonders.
Where to Stay: Insiders say, if you’re looking for stunning design and a super-hip vibe, then 101 Hotel is the place to be.
Fun fact: Kyoto has the second most Michelin stars of any city in the world. It also has more than 1,000 temples and shrines and, thanks to its hauntingly beautiful mix of ancient architecture and dense bamboo forests, is often described as Japan’s most mesmerizing city.
Where to Stay: Ugenta, a 200-year-old ryokan inn with just two guest rooms, is nestled in the wooded mountains outside Kyoto.
Bora Bora, Polynesia
Over-the-water huts, crystalline water, palm fronds swaying to the twinkle of ukulele music: When it comes to romantic, far-flung tropical destinations, Bora Bora occupies an undying space in almost every nomad’s imagination.
Where to Stay: Until the much-anticipated Coqui Coqui Bora Bora opens later this year, there are plenty of stellar options—like the St. Regis and the Four Seasons—each of which are sure to meet every expectation of paradise you have.
New York City
The Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps . . . call it what you will, but the U.S.’s biggest city is always reinventing itself and remains a top tourist destination, thanks to its nonstop cultural offerings, enticing dining options, diverse neighborhoods, and high-octane energy.
Where to Stay: In Manhattan, the recently opened 11 Howard has a conscientious outlook (among them: a portion of proceeds from bookings go to charity) that belies its sleek mid-century modern decor and prime location above Le Coucou. Across the bridge, the brand-new (and jaw-droopingly gorgeous) 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge takes the eco-luxury trend one step further with reclaimed furnishings and energy that’s 100 percent wind-powered.
Perhaps the most well-known island in the Cyclades, Santorini’s picturesque blue-and-white villages and salty Aegean Sea breezes make it a favorite among travelers looking for the quintessential Greek Island vacation.
Where to Stay: At Kapari Natural Resort, the serene, white-walled rooms are carved into a cliff, while the icy blue main pool has a stunning view of the Aegean.
Spain’s second biggest city draws a creative-minded crowdwith its infamous street art, ever-growing culinary scene, iconic Modernist architecture, and mild weather—all within view of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
Where to Stay: El Palauet, an intimate boutique hotel housed in an Art Nouveau building, has just six high-design suites and is within walking distance of most of the sights.