The Hot List
We're kicking off the year with our travel long-list for 2022 – those destinations that get our hearts racing and our travel bug reinvigorated
Anyone else feeling a strong urge to get away? Us too! So we thought we’d share our own hot list with you – those places that should be top of your travel list as soon as you can get away…
Bhutan is a country close to our hearts for lots of reasons, not least for being an entirely carbon negative global diversity hotspot – and for putting the population’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) at the very top of its priorities. This March sees more reasons to visit: the opening for the first time in 60 years of the restored Trans-Bhutan Trail, a 400km route that spans the entire country. With its origins in the ancient Silk Road and thousand-year old pilgrimage routes, visitors can trek the breadth of Bhutan, bringing economic benefits to remote communities – and having an incredible adventure in the Himalayas while they’re at it.
Zambia is something of a below-the-radar destination, not as flashy or well-known as its safari neighbours. Which is all the more reason to go in our book, and now a new camp in the largest and oldest national park in the country is another reason to visit as soon as we can.
Set in the Busanga Plains of Kafue National Park, the new Chisa Busanga Camp is located on a small, tree-lined island, with rooms in beautiful birds-nest-like structure, inspired by local weaver birds. There are e-bikes and walking safaris, hot-air balloon trips and silent game drives, thanks to electric Land Cruisers, which glide visitors around the park to spot big game and birds galore.
Next up in our 2022 #mundihotlist is the Norwegian capital, known for its laid-back, outdoorsy lifestyle, thick forests and green living. June will see things hotting up with the new National Museum, which is bringing together artistic treasures from three former museums under one very cool waterfront roof. While you’re in town, don’t miss the recently revamped @munchmuseet.no, dedicated to the artist’s weird and wonderful works, as well as new spaces for headline exhibitions from the likes of @traceyeminstudio. And then, after all that culture, head to the forests for a soul-stirring hike in the wilderness.
From K-Pop and K-Beauty to Academy Award-winning film Parasite and @netflix’s madly successful Squid Games, anything and everything from Korea seems to create a buzz – and this year is set to be its buzziest yet, with travellers returning to discover more of this Confucian country. There’s culture and heritage, for starters, with 327 designated national treasures, like the Geunjeongjeon Hall in Gyeongbokgung Palace, in Seoul. Stay at a hanok, a traditional Korean wooden house from the Joseon era and a cool alternative to a luxury hotel (although for full-blown luxury, the new @josunpalace is a good bet, too). There’s also the food, with lots and lots of options, but if you want to feel like a local, try the spicy dishes on offer in any of the numerous markets and food alleys, Myeongdong Night Market in Seoul or Gukje market in Busan. Feeling adventurous? A climb up Hallasan on Jeju island, the tallest mountain in Korea at 1,950m, should tick the challenge box.
PARIS TO VIENNA SLEEPER
Trains: the low-carbon way to travel, but also much more romantic than schlepping there by plane. And now a new Nightjet sleeper service will connect Paris to Vienna, whizzing you there in just over 12 hours. Opt for a private couchette as you journey through Strasbourg, Munich and Salzburg and arrive well-rested and ready to hit the ground running. And next year will see a new fleet of swanky trains, so watch this space.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Covering a whopping 2.2 million acres, there’s a lot to love (and discover) about Yellowstone. This year marks its 150th birthday, and the big hitters today are much what they’ve always been: gushing geysers, dramatic canyons, crystal-clear rivers and forests busy with bison, bears, wolves and elk. Get up close and personal with the wilderness without giving up a shred of comfort in the @undercanvasofficial site, with safari tents, firepits, free morning yoga and an on-site experience coordinator to get your adventure off with a swing.
We always love a jaunt to our favourite Scottish city, and this year will see two new exciting reasons to visit. First up is Gleneagles Townhouse, a city centre outpost of the ravishingly gorgeous Gleneagles hotel. Opening on St Andrew’s Square, expect grand rooms, a happening restaurant and a beautiful rooftop terrace. Then there’s 100 Princes Street, the latest bolthole from our favourite hotel group Red Carnation Hotels. The location can’t be beat, right on Princess Street, and neither can the brand’s gracious old-school service, while the building is being carefully restored and filled with a mix of custom-made furniture in signature tartans and local art. We’ll drink a dram to that this Burns Night.