Last week we announced our partnership with Black Tomato. Today we’re showing what it can do: get you to the destinations everyone’s going to be talking about next. (P.S. to those who haven’t booked holiday trips yet: Look. how. easy.)
Here are the top ten for 2010.
Colombia is the perfect cocktail of sea (Caribbean), mountains (Andes), and rain forest (Amazon). In Cartagena, check into Sofitel Santa Clara, then wander cobbled streets to gaze at brightly colored buildings, watch spectacular sunsets from Cafe del Mar on the harbor, and have dinner at Club de Pesca (order mahimahi). End your visit snorkeling crystal blue waters while recuperating in a stunning ecohab in the cliffs above the Parque Nacional Tayrona beaches. Details.
Safaris always deliver, especially in Botswana, where the flood plains of the Okavango Delta are home to elephants, lions, wildebeest, giraffes, and buttloads of wild cats. Bond with the beasts from a different perspective on HMS Zib, a spanking-new houseboat that cruises the river. At Zarafa Camp, you can sleep in a four-poster bed, relax in a free-standing copper tub, and snooze by roaring open-stone fires. Details.
If you want to turn a classic on its head, set your compass to the land Down Under, which has so much more than the well-publicized East Coast. Western Australia has laid-back charm, beautiful beaches, and rugged landscapes. Start at The Richardson Hotel in Perth, then head up the coast to Ningaloo Reef to swim with whale sharks, surf alongside dolphins, and take in mesmerizing sunsets at wine tastings. From the ecotents at Sal Salis, it’s a quick kayak ride to the reef’s fish, turtles, and manta rays. Details.
Since Turkey is outside the euro, your budget will stretch further. European Capital of Culture Istanbul will be throbbing next year and, when combined with Bodrum and Cappadocia, mixes ancient and modern. In Istanbul, stay at Tomtom Suites in the historic Pera area for incredible views of the rooftops and harbor. Or across the water on the Asian side at Sumahan for huge suites with funky fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Bosphorus. Look out Côte d’Azur: Bodrum’s up-and-coming beach hotspots Cesme (your hotel: 7800) and Türkbükü (book Maçakizi) have sugar white sand and emerald waters and are the coolest place to top up your tan in style. In Cappadocia, take a balloon ride tour of the stunning lunar landscapes and ancient caves, then recover from it all at Anatolian Houses. Details.
The got-there-first bragging rights are yours for the taking.
For more information and help booking trips, go to blacktomato.co.uk.
Photos: Courtesy of Black Tomato; Courtesy of Ningaloo Reef