I find planning travel almost as fun as the journey itself. I’m that person on holiday thinking about the next holiday – a perpetual, miserable life of “jam tomorrow”. That’s why I like to plan out most of the year before it’s even begun, only to constantly change my mind in a state of boredom and utter confusion. It’s like being in Memento, minus all the laughs they had along the way.
Our travel has become more family-focused; I’m not keen on solo travelling (except Africa), and a property must have a kids club or there will be great vengeance and furious anger. That means we’re focusing on more mainstream locations, which is not the ideal situation, but certainly better than the alternative: fabricating reviews whilst sat at home.
Here’s the outline of our travels this year.
I often write down our travel plans, and rarely do I hit a perfect score at predicting my future, often scoring slightly lower than a psychic on life support. But Botswana is definitely happening, as I’ve already paid for the accommodation and flights. Although I did the same for another trip last September and then still didn’t go, maybe I’ll surprise myself again with how stupid I am. This is my third time in Botswana, and I’m using it to try Jao and, therefore completing Wilderness’ bingo card of premier camps whilst also returning to Mombo as previously I saw as much wildlife as you’d see in a pet cemetery. Next up, I’m going to the Great Plains camps Dubai Plains and Sitatunga Private Island. Let’s see how they compare.
I’m still yet to sit down and properly suss this one out, even though it’s barely six weeks away. All I know is that I don’t want to be in England in February cos avoiding playing ‘spot the sunbeam’ with my kids is all the motivation I need. I would love to try Hacienda de San Antonio and Cuixmala, but the lack of kids’ clubs means they’ll probably have to wait. Instead, I’ll probably seek out the real boutique properties, the types no one has ever heard of, like Four Seasons Tamarindo, Four Seasons Punta Mita and One&Only Mandarin, and just because that’s not enough Four Seasons, maybe the newly opened one at Cabo San Lucas.
When: Before I die of old age
Both The Emory and Mandarin Oriental Mayfair were meant to top an illustrious 2023 for London, but alas, as with so many hotel openings, they were pushed back and back and delayed more than our trains. Now set to open in early(ish) 2024, it will mean the capital has The Peninsula, Raffles, The Emory and Mandarin Oriental Mayfair competing against the well-established players. Good for us consumers, not so good for my wallet.
St. Barths and Anguilla
This is probably the most extensive trip of the year, where I’ll be hoping between so many properties, it’ll be like speed dating or a heist movie – just get in and out. Although most properties have a minimum three night stay, so more like a geriatric heist movie. Eden Rock, Cheval Blanc, Le Barthelemy, Cap Juluca and the now unbranded and promiscuous Malliouhana, which started single, flirted with Auberge, decided it didn’t like commitment and went back to flying solo. It’s the Taylor Swift of hotels – always changing partners. Yes, I am culturally relevant, thank you very much.
South Africa and Madagascar
It’s hard to avoid Europe when it’s just so darn close. One&Only Aesthesis, One&Only Kea Island and Danai should keep us occupied.
Kenya and Rwanda
A return to one of my favourite properties in the world, Arijiju, followed by one of my favourite activities in the world, gorilla trekking. It’s for my Dad’s 70th, but is it really a treat for someone when you’re more keen than they are?
Christmas is still open, as is most of Summer. The Seychelles is a perfect time to visit in Summer, but going hinges on when Cheval Blanc Seychelles opens. I’m also keen on Passalacqua and Villa D in Marrakech, but I would likely need to go solo as “please sit and stare at this lake/piece of sand” isn’t a language fully understood by my kids. Hotel du Cap Eden Roc would also be nice to finally experience after hearing so many great things.
What are your plans, and where would you like us to review?
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