Our travel experts — from travel writers around the globe to T+L's A-List travel advisors to our own editors — offer their recommendations. Then, we take a look at what places are now at the forefront of the global conversation, whether for new hotels and museums or major international events. In any given year, the cities and countries we recommend as the best places to travel in the world have a lot going on. And of course, we think about those travel destinations that are perennial favorites to determine which ones are reinventing themselves, ensuring there’s always something new to explore.
Often overlooked in favor of more-developed, splashier neighbors like Hvar or Brač, Šolta’s under-the-radar nature has proved a boon: The stony islet has become synonymous with pristine nature (pebbly beaches, turquoise waters, lush greenery), medieval villages, winemaking (try the indigenous Dobričić variety), and family-run olive oil purveyors like Olynthia, a fourth-generation producer. After watching the sun set at Maslinica bay, check out the island’s peppering of stylish beach clubs, seaside bars, and open-air restaurants — then drop your bags at the Heritage Hotel Martinis-Marchi, built inside an 18th-century Venetian fort-castle and ideally situated for those who want to explore Šolta’s ancient villages and crystal-clear bays. —Kate Springer
As Bali goes increasingly upmarket, it now offers visitors access to a buzzing food scene in Ubud, its cultural capital, as well as an island-wide luxury-hotel boom. The Ubud Food Festival, which is in its fourth year, showcases the diverse flavors of the Indonesian archipelago in dozens of events, including cook-offs, demos, talks, food tours, and events in new restaurants. Notable newcomers on the town’s food scene include Spice, a casual Asian-fusion restaurant from Chris Salans, formerly Bouley Bakery’s chef de cuisine and head chef at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon; Room4Dessert from Will Goldfarb, whose now-closed avant-garde New York eatery of the same name won him a James Beard nomination; and Moksa, a vegan café, bakery, and organic farm with its own grocery. Heading up the wave of new high-end hotels is luxury Japanese chain Hoshino Resorts, which unveiled Hoshinoya Bali, 30 thatched-roof villas in the rain forest outside Ubud. Capella Ubud will launch 22 ultra-luxury tents, each with an outdoor saltwater Jacuzzi pool, in early 2018. And Jumeirah Bali plans to debut 123 villas surrounded by tropical gardens in upscale Jimbaran in mid 2018. A two-year overhaul at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay means its villas will now have bigger bedrooms and better ocean views, while at Four Seasons Sayan in the Ubud rain forest, guests are being offered a new activity: being rocked to sleep in a silk hammock in a bamboo hut by an former Buddhist nun, the resort’s wellness mentor. —Sharon McDonnell
The capital may be set on banks of the Potomac, but it’s never had a reputation as a great waterfront city. That could all be about to change, thanks to the $2.5 billion, 24-acre District Wharf, which opened in October just south of the National Mall. The shiny new InterContinental Washington D.C.-The Wharf offers access to the development’s new parks, music venues, 50-plus shops, and 20 restaurants — which include projects from area chefs like Fabio Trabocchi, Mike Isabella, and wunderkind Kwame Onwuachi. This is also set to be a banner year for culture: the Freer and Sackler galleries, sister museums that champion Asian art, recently reopened after a 20-month renovation, the National Gallery of Art will host the first-ever show dedicated to Cézanne’s portraits from March to July, and the Kennedy Center continues its inaugural season of hip-hop programming curated by Q-Tip. —Brooke Porter Katz
In 2009, jetBlue announced that it was looking for a new headquarters location, and was considering moving either within the New York City metropolitan area or to the Orlando, Florida area. In April 2009, Helen Marshall, the president of the Borough of Queens, said that the City of New York was trying to keep JetBlue in the city; in January 2010, the CEO of JetBlue, Dave Barger, and Governor of Florida Charlie Crist met in Tallahassee, Florida to discuss a possible move to Orlando. A decision was expected by March 2010, although a move would not happen until 2012, when its lease in the Forest Hills Tower expired.
The Moroccan city has attracted an artistic crowd since the 1960s, when everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Mick Jagger fell for its vibrant sensory landscape. Now the city’s cultural scene is being reinvigorated, thanks to two landmark happenings in the world of art and design. First came last October’s launch of the YSL Museum — a striking geometric building next to the Jardin Majorelle, which Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, bought and restored in the 1980s. Then, in February, the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair will debut at the storied hotel La Mamounia. Marrakesh has had an art biennial since 2005 — the next is slated for 2020 — and the city is home to a number of well-regarded galleries. But the arrival of 1:54, which has editions in London and New York and draws names like Billie Zangewa and William Kentridge, is set to position the city as a hub for African art. There’s also hotel news. Oberoi is poised to open its third African property here, a lakeside resort surrounded by citrus orchards. And Royal Mansour has added a 6,450-square-foot pool flanked by seven air-conditioned cabanas. —Flora Stubbs
A century ago, Shanghai was China’s star city, a cosmopolitan center of art, technology, and finance. Today, it’s reclaiming that mantle, parlaying the economic boom that began in the 1990s into a world-class array of cultural and culinary attractions. On the West Bund riverfront, Tank Shanghai will transform disused oil tanks into a sprawling arts complex with a gallery, an education center, and parks when it’s completed later this year. Farther north, the Norman Foster and Thomas Heatherwick–designed Fosun Foundation, with its façade of shifting bronze cylinders, began hosting performances and art shows last fall. The North Bund is being redeveloped with a park linking it to a new lifestyle development that’s anchored by the city’s first W Hotel. In the residential Minhang district, Cordis debuted in May, and Amanyangyun will open nearby after relocating Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, as well as 10,000 ancient camphor trees, from Jiangxi province. More luxury stays are still to come in 2018, including the Middle House, the Bulgari, and the Edition. —Samantha Culp
A picture-perfect trio of islands lapped by turquoise waters, the Maltese archipelago has all the charm of nearby Sicily with far fewer tourists. Valletta, the tiny nation’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, feels like something plucked straight from Westeros. The historic walled city dates back to 1565, and has a vibe that’s Mediterranean with a North African twist. This underrated destination is finally stepping into the global limelight as a 2018 European Capital of Culture. To celebrate the occasion, the city has planned more than 140 projects and 400 events throughout the year. The festivities begin on January 20, with contemporary dance, a choral symphony, and acrobatic performances across the city’s four main squares. Should you miss the grand opening, swing by in February for Carnival, or in June for the Malta International Arts Festival and the Valletta Film Festival. —Diana Hubbell
Also in 2010, JetBlue entered into interline booking agreements with South African Airways and American Airlines to facilitate luggage transfers between airlines for passengers with connecting flights on a different carrier. The agreement with American included JetBlue's 18 destinations not served by American and American's 12 international flights out of New York–JFK and Boston Logan. In addition, American gave JetBlue 8 round trips slots out of Washington National in D.C. and 2 out of Westchester, New York. In return, JetBlue gave American 6 round trips out of New York–JFK. The agreement with American Airlines has since ended according to JetBlue's website.