Today in my continuing feature on where’s hot for 2014, it’s the turn of:
While many will be clamouring to get tickets to Rio this year once the World Cup kicks off, our tip for non-football fans is to head north instead to the just-opened Butterfly House Bahia (www.butterflyhousebahia.com).
The boutique retreat, in the untapped region of the Maraú Peninsula, northern Brazil, has just eight thatched villas set in tropical gardens, a palm enshrouded swimming pool and gastro restaurant, deliciously called Anna Banana. Sprinkled with antique French ceramics, homespun Moroccan rugs and whimsical Indian objets d’art, each villa has its own distinct look, accentuated by an impressive collection of Brazilian modern art. And not a football in sight.
Meanwhile, opening its doors in Panama is a new Waldorf Astoria (wwww.waldorfastoriapanama.com), the first for the brand in Latin America. The hotel is found just steps away from Calle Uruguay, in the heart of the city’s entertainment area, and offers lavish rooms, four restaurants and a spa with a gold mosaic tiled swimming pool. Perfect for discovering a new city with a Latino beat.
Design aficionados with a penchant for wine should head to the new Endemico (www.designhotels.com/endemico) in the heart of Baja California, Mexico. Situated in the village of Valle de Guadalupe, just a 90-minute drive from San Diego, California. The region is also known as “el otro México” (the other Mexico), being neither a part of California, and unlike much of the rest of Mexico. The area is also known as Mexico’s premier wine growing region and, with its old fishing and mission towns, offers an interesting blend of modern and traditional Mexico. Owned by the innovative Grupo Habita brand, the rustic but chic hotel is made up of 20 stand-alone cabins, designed to blend into the natural surroundings. Traditional clay fireplaces, known locally as kivas, allow guests to sit under a blanket of stars and sip regional wines while being warmed by a roaring fire.
Read my full feature on travel trends for the year ahead in the January issue of The Mayfair Magazine. Out now.