It’s summer and the sweltering temperatures mean that you must get out of the city. But where do you go for that perfect vacation? We tell you 6 places that must definitely be on your list to travel to this season.
What better way to get away from the city than by receding into the hills and becoming one with nature. Leave the North’s overcrowded hill stations behind and venture east to the Meghalaya capital, where you can experience the typical Khasi way of life. Trek in the mountains, have your fill of local dishes or simply walk along the region’s famed root bridges—you’ll definitely come back rejuvenated.
Stay at: Ri Kynjai, a resort overlooking Umiam Lake. Here you’ll feel like you’re living like the locals in traditional Khasi thatch huts.
Do you really need a reason to visit this historic city? Due to its unique positioning in both Europe and Asia, you can get the best of both continents here—whether it’s food, nightlife, culture or people. Springtime in Istanbul means brilliant weather, friendly locals and a host of events that you can attend. Hardcore shoppers should stay on till June, when the Istanbul Shopping Festival takes place.
Stay at: Çiragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, where you will be treated like royalty—literally. Once the home of Ottoman kings, the luxury hotel comes with an infinity pool, a spa, a shopping arcade and four dining venues.
3. Rio de Janeiro
Come June and the whole world will descend on to Rio, thanks to the FIFA World Cup. So here’s your chance to experience Brazil’s liveliest city without the overbearing crowds. Bum around on Ipanema beach with a caipiroska in hand, party it up with the city’s rich and famous in a Leblon nightclub or climb up the mountain to see Christ the Redeemer—you won’t lack for things to do.
Stay at: La Maison, which terms itself a hotel-as-home. Not only will you be treated as friends by the managers, but you will also get stunning views of Christ from the living room.
4. Cape Town
As if you needed any more prodding to visit this vibrant city, Cape Town has been elected the World Design Capital 2014, which means that it will showcase more than 450 cool innovation projects this year. Go on safari at Kruger National Park or simply relax in the city and experience its rocking nightlife. Still not completely convinced Cape Town is also on the Guardian’s list of holiday hot spots to go to in 2014, so it comes with an expert stamp of approval.
Stay at: Taj Cape Town, where you’ll find a slice of home in a foreign city. Plus, with the Taj’s legendary hospitality, you’re bound to find your stay super enjoyable.
Our neighbour has much to offer in terms of diversity, but we suggest venturing beyond the Beijings and Shaghais to this laid-back province, where you’ll get a taste of typical Chinese countryside. Rolling hills, rice terraces, idyllic villages, unheard-of customs—there’s all this and more here. We’re sure you’ll find this quaint region every bit as charming as we did.
Stay at: Zen Garden Hotel, which is set in a serene location with local artworks, traditional beds and a large communal area.
6. Las Vegas
Sin City might be popular all year-round but you’ll particularly love to visit it this summer. Why? Because there’s a lot more happening beyond the casinos and people are finally starting to realise this. (How else would you find per-person gaming revenue having dropped by 30% since 2006?) Besides the Michelin-star restaurants, adventure sports and myriad concerts, this year will see the opening of High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. Off-Strip activities have also flourished, with plenty of hip new bars, restaurants and cafés springing up. Oh, and did we mention that both Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga are performing in Vegas this year? Pack your bags—fast.
Stay at: Bellagio to get the quintessential Vegas experience. Besides, it’s a fool-proof way of ensuring you don’t end up missing the dancing fountains.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your summer holiday now.