Virtuoso, a travel agency network specializing in experiential and luxury travel, released its “2018 Best of the Best” list of the world’s best hotels and experiences to expect in the new year.
Featuring 1,250 hotels, resorts, villas and private island retreats as well as 54 one-of-a-kind experiences, the list gives meeting planners insight into what’s trending in the experiential and luxury travel markets. Here’s a list of the four key factors to consider when planning group and incentive travel in the coming year.
The Cool Factor
Popular luxury brands expand their ever-so-cool offerings with new properties such as Pendry San Diego, Thompson Seattle, Andaz Scottsdale and The London EDITION, while other first-timers redefine cool. NUO Beijing, for instance, combines Ming Dynasty tradition with contemporary design.
Adventurous experiences remain top of mind in 2018. Virtuoso’s 2018 Luxe Report found South Africa, Iceland, New Zealand, Costa Rica and Antarctica to be the top five adventure destinations in the new year. With tree houses, waterfall hikes and safaris aplenty, these countries offer groups a wide range of team building adventures.
Virtuoso’s “Best of the Best” list also included a slew of properties in urban environments that engage attendees with art, architecture and culinary exploits. Properties such as The Langham London and Four Seasons New York Downtown put groups at the epicenters of these exciting destinations.
Alternatively, off-the-beaten path experiences far from any downtown are also in high demand, as glamping and other luxury-meets-outdoor retreats become more widely available. Paws Up ranch resort in Montana and Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in British Columbia are some of North America’s top glamping spots, while The Ultimate Travelling Camp in India and Minor Hotels’ tented camps in Kenya and Tanzania provide international options.