As winter settles in for a good portion of the northern hemisphere, some folks may be dreaming of a tropical getaways – or any getaway for that matter. But where is the best place to go? Travel + Leisure’s Clara Sedlack stopped by “Power Lunch” to give her picks (and reasons for going) for 2007.
St. Lucia is set to be the next Caribbean hot spot, says Sedlack. Once the domain of the all-inclusive travel package, there are a number of boutique hotels opening on the island. March alone will see 1,500 new rooms. There’s a new Ritz Carlton and Discovery at Marigot Bay, both offering private beaches, European spas and fine dining. Also, St. Lucia is only a four-hour direct flight from New York on Air Jamaica--which also has direct flights from Miami and Atlanta.
Alexandria, Egypt, is making a comeback. Once the center of knowledge in the ancient world, Alexandria is “reclaiming its role as a cultural beacon,” says Sedlack. It has opened one of the largest libraries and cultural centers in the world, as well as a new national museum. The museum houses over 1,800 artifacts dating as far back as the pharaohs. The city is right on the Mediterranean, so vacationers can soak up the sun on beaches there as well.
Quito, Ecuador, is moving from quaint to chic. The South American city just finished a $41 million revitalization, Sedlack says. So expect to see beautiful colonial buildings, fashionable restaurants, boutiques and a museum. The Grand Hotel Plaza, a 16th century palace that sits right in the city’s center square, is the best place to stay while there. Take a gondola ride up the Pichincha volcano for great views of the city.
And if you’re looking for a Tuscany vacation but don’t want to spend the money or suffer the crowds, Travel + Leisure recommends a trip to Istria in northern Croatia. Istria has the same rolling hills, lush vineyards and olive groves as Tuscany. Visit medieval towns with Venetian architecture and enjoy pristine beaches. Foodies will love the black and white truffles and surprisingly great wine selection.