2. Europe--Berlin, Germany
While the dollar has some ground to gain against the euro, it goes rather far in Berlin. The city used to wear the dreary faade of Communism, but times have changed, and travelers now rave about its inventive architecture, creative cuisine, progressive art scene, and non-stop nightlife. Where to hide away: Hotel Concorde Berlin, a contemporary beauty with an ideal location just off the fashionable shopping district of Kurfuerstendamm, and Brandenburger Hof Berlin, a trendy and rather enchanting villa-like hotel.
Turkey, the site of two wonders of the ancient world, is a country of fascinating contrasts. It's a place where antiquity is juxtaposed with the modern, the familiar exists with the exotic, and sun-swept beaches are less than an hour away from snow-capped mountains. Where to hide away: Museum Hotel, a boutique hotel in Cappadocia, and Pera Palas, a historic hotel in Istanbul with a notable sense of intrigue--it's reputedly where Agatha Christy wrote much of Murder on the Orient Express.
4. The Caribbean--Grenada
This unspoiled island has always been one of our favorite vintage-Caribbean destinations, with romantic seclusion as well as excellent beaches, gorgeous mountain scenery, and one of the prettiest little harbors in the world. Grenada (pronounced gre-NAY-da) is heading toward more development, so it's advisable to visit soon; increases in airlift from the U.S. should make it easier to visit. Where to hide away: Laluna, a refined-yet-relaxed resort blending Balinese architecture and Italian cuisine in a secluded Caribbean beachfront setting, and Mount Cinnamon, a colorful and oh-so-stylish villa resort.
5. Mexico--Riviera Nayarit
Riviera Nayarit (pronounced Nah-yah-REET) is the new moniker of one of Mexico's lesser-known states, but, with its gorgeous Pacific coastline, tempting beaches, wildlife preserves, good air access, and easy-to-get-to location just north of Puerto Vallarta, it won't be "lesser-known" for long. This corridor is already earning a reputation for fantastic cuisine and myriad sporting attractions. Where to hide away: Hotel des Artistes, a chic boutique condo-hotel on a protected beach in Punta de Mita, and Garza Canela Hotel, a nothing-fancy family-run hotel with spacious accommodations close to San Blas' beautiful, long, restaurant-lined beach, and with Delfines, a surprising gourmet restaurant of its own.
6. Central America--Panama
While the tourists beat a path to Guatemala and Costa Rica, the savviest travelers escape the masses in Panama. Nearly free from the overdevelopment that afflicts many Central American hot spots, Panama is a collection of natural beauties: Beaches, rain forests, and even a volcano. As with all finds, word is getting out, and lots of construction is planned, so 2010 is the year to visit. Where to hide away: Islas Secas Resort, an eco-resort ensconced within a clutch of 16 islands known for their numerous beaches and perfect barrel waves, and Panamonte Inn & Spa, a historic country inn in Boquete that's home to an intimate, hands-on cooking school.
7. South America--Brazil
Recently awarded the honor of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro will soon undergo a transformation. The city's excitement and flair (think throbbing samba block parties) should be experienced now, before it becomes too popular. Where to hide away: Copacabana Palace Hotel, the perfect place to live life to its fullest in Rio de Janeiro, in an unselfconscious playground known for sunbathing, samba music, and seeing and being seen, and Hotel Fasano, a decadent yet discreet hotel in Rio.
Roughly the size of Italy, Vietnam offers diversity in geography, sights, and shopping. Here, travelers enjoy miles of sandy beaches, hauntingly beautiful rural landscapes, quaint villages, and cuisine that reflects a multiplicity of cultural influences--and which is receiving rave reviews from jet-setting foodies. Where to stay: Hotel Continental, a historic, colonial-style hotel dating back to the 1880s that has a very convenient location in Saigon, and L'AnMien Beach Resort, a pampering, ultra-luxe retreat on Mui Ne Beach.
9. United States--Las Vegas, Nevada
"Sin City" is certainly not an expected haunt for the hideaway-seeking traveler--what with its big crowds and even bigger hotels--but it does have its soulful surprises. Take dining. Vegas used to be known for its uninspired all-you-can-eat buffets, the city is now a tempting spot for foodies, with chefs like Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, and Tom Collichio setting up shop here. Where to hide away: Tourism is down and deals abound; we recommend The Venetian, for its central location, and J.W. Marriot for its more residential setting in the suburb of Summerlin, surrounded by a golf course.
Cruising has become even more popular during the recession and we expect bargains to still be had in the year ahead, enticing more people, and a younger clientele, to trade up to the premium and luxury lines. Itineraries have also expanded, especially for the smaller luxury ships, opening up new ports and destinations in virtually every corner of the globe. And, Americans have finally discovered that river cruising is a great way to experience classic inland locations within Europe and other top destinations. To get the best deals this year, book early. How to cruise: It's vital to find the line, ship, and itinerary that's a perfect fit for your travel expectations and budget. A few of our favorite lines include:
- Celebrity Cruises, for its approachable sophistication and elbow room;
- Azamara Club Cruises, for its small-ship advantages and "shore immersion" options;
- Holland America Line, for its unique blend of history, tradition, and modern flair;
- Oceania Cruises, for its excellent crew and elegant-yet-unpretentious atmosphere;
- Silversea Cruises, for its romantic flair and 100%-inclusive food-and-beverage policy;
- Crystal Cruises, for its small-ship experience and big-ship amenities; and
- Viking River Cruises, for its relaxed, casual, river cruising atmosphere with choices all around Europe as well as in China and Egypt.
"Some of Hideaways International's Top 10 Destinations for 2010 may be familiar, others may be new to you," says Mike. "But each one offers a special something worth experiencing this year."
About Mike Thiel
Mike Thiel founded Hideaways International in 1979 and, over the last three decades, has become a sought-after guest on radio and television news and talk shows across the country.
To arrange an interview with Mike Thiel, contact Gail Richard at 603-430-4433, ext. 112, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Hideaways International
Hideaways International, Inc., which operates the Hideaways Aficionado® Club, has been seeking the best-of-kind and the out-of-the-ordinary for its savvy, discerning, and well-traveled members for more than three decades. Members, who hail from around the world, range from notable celebrities, musicians, publishers, authors, captains of industry, and politicians to ordinary folks with extraordinary taste. All are part of this lively community with a passion for travel away from the madding crowds.
For more information, visit www.Hideaways.com or contact Gail Richard at 603-430-4433, ext. 112, or email@example.com.