From pared-back hotels, to itineraries including personal therapy and SLOW food menus to doing absolutely nothing, this year’s travel trends mean ethical travellers are in for a treat, discovers Karen Pasquali Jones
Like everything else, travel trends are constantly evolving and while sustainable and eco-tourism has been top of our agenda for a while now, that’s no longer enough. Ethical travellers want to make the most of their precious time off in myriad ways – here are our top tourism trends to watch out for this year…
The Art of Doing Nothing
While many of us rush to cram as much as possible into every moment of our vacation, others are looking for some good old-fashioned R and R. Stressed out, adrenaline depleted and utterly exhausted, there is an increasing number of travellers who desire to do nothing more than lie on a sun lounger, take a few photos for Instagram, eat delicious food, have a massage, avoid answering emails and drink sundowners poolside – at least for the beginning of their holiday.
Hurawalhi Island Resort captures paradise in a way like no other in the Maldives. With the largest all-glass undersea restaurant in the world, stunning over-sea villas and stretches of pure white sand, there is nowhere better to come and do…nothing. For total relaxation, the resort has recently added sound-healing to its already fabulous wellbeing offering at the Duniye Spa, one of the oldest and most natural forms of healing.
The resort is powered by solar energy – there are 4,102.5 m2 of solar panels, which is approximately the size of 26 volleyball courts in Hurawalhi – water is desalinated and bottled in glass, not plastic, and the food is biodynamic and organic. There is also a marine biology centre to study the coral reef and varied marine life.
Rates at Hurawalhi Island Resort start from £350 per night for a Beach Villa on a bed and breakfast basis. www.hurawalhi.com
The Rise of EY ZHN
Hygge -a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment – dominated travel trends in 2017, with Danish fanatics rushing out to buy cashmere socks to wear (fake) fireside over a Scandi novel on a Friday evening. But with a new year, comes a new lifestyle trend; and 2018 is all about EY ZHN which means ‘a life characterised by quality and completeness’ or simply ‘well-being’ in ancient Greek.
Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort is a stylish and modern all-inclusive haven with a Thalassotherapy spa. Setting a new standard in healthy travel, the resort boasts a variety of wellness focused experiences and options including a healthy, Mediterranean menu, Nordic walking, cycling and yoga. Majestically placed at the base of the stunning Mt Olympus, this resort offers unparalleled luxury, exceptional views and nature at the finger-tips.
Rates start from £429 for a Junior Sea View room on a bed and breakfast basis, based on sharing. Book online at: www.miraggio.gr
The Pared-Back Hotel
Today’s discerning traveller is looking for a new definition of luxury. Gone is old-school opulence, the overblown, fussy and formal. Now it’s all about a pared-back, unpretentious approach with a strong focus on hyper-locality, relaxation and style. Less is definitely more.
At Nobu Hotels, nothing is a carbon copy – each hotel mirrors the personality of that given location. With five hotels launching in 2018, each of the five new hotels will exemplify the spirit of what Nobu has come to stand for – a place to relax and savour an experience, in an atmosphere charged with a sense of being a part of something rather extraordinary.
Rates start at €295 (Approx. £262) per night, based on double occupancy.
The Edible Resort
2018 means farm-to-table, micro-gardens, beehives, thriving allotments and protected cropping as travellers seek fresh food and sustainable living. At Es Saadi Marrakech Resort, wellness is incorporated into their home- grown gastronomy. The resort’s light-filled and spacious ‘Lagon & Jardin’ restaurant, overlooking the lagoon pool of the Palace, serve a specific SLOW (Sustainable, Local, Organic and Wellness) food menu. Described as the anti-fast-food, the SLOW food movement has gone about celebrating locally sourced organic foods and encourages farming of plants and seeds characteristic of the local ecosystem.
Junior suites start from £270 per night. Ksars start from £550 per night. Villas start at £800 a night. Buffet breakfast, Wi-Fi and Airport transfers included. www.essaadi.com/en
The Culinary Tour
The modern traveller wants a culturally immersive experience – and embracing the local culture rather than simply dropping by is one of 2018’s travel trends. This includes experiencing the cuisine that locals eat on a regular basis. Hotel Arts Barcelona have introduced a new wine label at two Michelin starred Enoteca Paco Pérez, inviting guests to visit the vineyard and learn about the method, craft and heritage of the winery. Back at Hotel Arts Barcelona diners will be able to select K22 Bonesvalls to be paired with their dishes in the fine-dining establishment, Enoteca Paco Pérez, located within the heart of Hotel Arts Barcelona.
Room rates start from €295 (approx. £268) per room per night. For more information visit www.hotelartsbarcelona.com/en
Experiential was one of 2017’s major travel trends and this year it continues unabated. Yet 2018 takes it even further, welcoming in Transformational Travel. No longer just content to merely experience whale watching or paragliding – travellers now want to transform themselves on holiday. At both Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa and Aleenta Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand, Mastermind 2.0 takes well-being retreats to the next level. The programme encompasses Cue Exposure Therapy whereby Stikker identifies physical, emotional and psychological responses by underlining behavioural patterns, which are as unique to everyone as fingerprints.
This truly unique experience costs £20,000 per week, per person – bookings can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. https://www.aleenta.com/phuket
The In-Room Dining Revolution
We spend eight hours a day with work colleagues, only to get home and cater to our family’s every whim so holidays mean one thing: privacy. Guest rooms are now more spacious, offering room to dine and today’s travellers demand the flexibility to have avocado on toast at midnight or vegan curry for breakfast. Goal posts have changed as resorts and hotels start to offer Michelin-star standard cuisines served within the comfort of your room. The demand for exceptional food in room, 24 hours a day is one of the travel trends that will increase exponentially in 2018.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain dishes up Michelin-starred flavours from all corners of the globe directly to the spacious privacy of rooms or villas. Guests can mix and match an international selection without having to step away from the comfort of their room. This includes everything from a decadent Arabic or Bahraini breakfasts complete with local breads and fresh coffee, to Italian favourites including penne with fresh mozzarella.
Rooms start from £338 per room per night. For more information visit http://www.ritzcarlton.com