Best Places to Travel in 2016

29 Dec

Source: MSN

MSN has officially released their travel list of “The Best Places to Travel in 2016” and here are few of those places highlighting the tropical Caribbean Islands. Read the list here for more.

Best Places to Travel in 2016: Canouan, Grenadines

Canouan, St.Vincent and the  Grenadines
Want to go where the billionaires go to get away from the millionaires? That’s how some locals describe Canouan, a tiny island within St. Vincent and the Grenadines. More than half of the island’s 2,500 residents are employed by resorts (notably, Canouan Resort and its sibling, the Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club); 11 rank among the world’s wealthiest individuals. One regular, Irish financier (and billionaire) Dermot Desmond, is catering to the gilded crowd by opening an 80-berth mega-yacht marina, rumored to be lined with several high-end restaurants, by early 2016. And then there’s a forthcoming resort (the name has yet to be decided), opening by mid-2016—it’ll have 32 show-stopping suites and villas that, at $2,000 per night and up, will instantly become the Caribbean’s most expensive, all with ocean views and $1,500 Pratesi linens. With eight restaurants, access to a pristine marine reserve, and a spa with treatment rooms in overwater bungalows, it’ll have the feel of a private island. But charter yacht service will also be available for day trips to the uninhabited Tobago Cays, if total seclusion is what you’re after.

Best Places to Travel in 2016: Placencia, Belize

Placencia, Belize
Belize is still great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. For years now, Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia, on a little-known peninsula on the country’s east coast. But the secret is on the verge of getting out, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within mere feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system. The project, which is just down the road from Turtle Inn, is not just ambitious for its five-star creature comforts (rooms will have terraces with daybeds, waterfront views, and soaring ceilings). It’s also a stage for chef Mara Jernigan, of the immensely popular Limilita pop-up restaurant in Placencia, who will be using indigenous ingredients to spotlight Belizean agriculture and fine dining. (She’ll even have a personal fleet of fishermen.) Also on property: a Mayan-inspired spa using locally harvested rainforest botanicals, a room (and sommelier) dedicated to rum, and chartered yachts for sundown cruises.

Best Places to Travel in 2016: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
The 2014 World Cup was merely a prelude to all that’s to come for Rio, which returns to the spotlight this year as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. More than 380,000 spectators are expected to descend upon the city in August, and in preparation, the city has embarked on a significant building spree, extending beyond Ipanema to areas once off the tourist radar. The newest hotels include the five-star Windsor Marapendi (from Brazil’s prolific Windsor chain) and the Grand Hyatt, in coastal Barra da Tijuca. Massive cultural centers, however, might be the biggest indicators of Rio’s new vision. The Museum of Image and Sound reopens this year in a staggering glass-front building overlooking Copacabana’s beach, with an exterior vertical walkway that echoes the iconic Roberto Burle Marx–designed sidewalk below. And a $2.5 billion project aims to revitalize the city’s port area, long a jumble of slums and abandoned warehouses. Among the notable additions: the Museu de Arte do Rio, a hypermodern exhibition space and neighboring school for contemporary art; a cable car that goes to Providência, the city’s most historic favela; and the long-awaited Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow), a mammoth 15,000-square-foot facility with interactive exhibits that explore the science behind outer space, human impact, and the future of life on Earth.

Best Places to Travel in 2016: Havana, Cuba

Since President Obama’s historic announcement that the United States would loosen travel restrictions to Cuba, Havana has become one of the most exciting destinations on our radar. It is now a real possibility that this year, anyone will be able to plan a trip there without signing up for a rigid people-to-people tour. Verizon now has coverage, and ferry operators have received the thumbs-up from the American government to start service (they are awaiting the okay from the Cuban side). American Airlines and JetBlue have nonstop charter flights to Havana from Los Angeles and New York City, respectively, and cruise lines including Carnival and Haimark will set sail to the island as well. Visiting the capital is like stepping into a vintage photograph: washed-out colonial façcades and cobblestone streets bustling with antique Fords and Chevys. But preparations for a major tourism boom have already begun: check out the new multimedia art space and bar, La Fábrica de Arte Cubano, or check in to one of 30-plus new hotels on the horizon, including Accor’s Pullman Cayo Coco. Master chef trio Massimo Bottura, Andoni Luis Aduriz, and Enrique Olvera have expressed their desire to open an upscale restaurant in Havana—a far cry from the ration-restricted fare of Cuba’s government-owned dining spots.

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