Travel

7 Dream Destinations To Round Out Your Bucket List

Vacations of a Lifetime For Every Kind of Traveler

Many destinations in the world inspire awe, but only a select few have the ability to capture your imagination long before and after you travel there. No one knows this better than our globe-trotting travel editor, Marett Taylor, who began her storied career in the travel industry at the age of 16 helping her mom, Anne Kent Taylor, guide self help guru Norman Vincent Peale on a safari in Kenya. In her role as VP of Sales for her family-run company Abercrombie & Kent, she has flown all over the world, touring the best hotels and exploring the most captivating places on earth. For her first article for The Beautiful Edit, she has chosen to highlight a few of her favorite places from every continent around the world. So read on, jot down some notes, and prepare to be transported.

Provence

In June and July, the lavender fields bloom right up to the doors of the famous Senanque Abbey. Rent a sports car (or better yet, hire a driver so you can drink all the wine you want) and wind your way along the lavender roads into Gordes, a hillside town where you can wander the markets to find the perfect picnic for your journey. Drive on to the Cote D’Azur and visit little towns like St. Paul de Vence where you can dine amongst paintings by famous artists like Picasso or Chagall at the restaurant in the Hotel Colombe d’Or. After dinner, drink champagne while you watch the locals play boules in the town square as if no time has passed since the era when these famous artists came to stay and trade their paintings for lodging.

TBN dream destination hotels:

La Colombe D’Or in Saint Paul de Vence, La Bastide de Gordes in Gordes, Terre Blanche in Provence, La Mirande in Avignon, Grande Hotel du Cap- Ferrat, Four Seasons Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

photo courtesy of A & K

Seychelles

My grandfather lived in Kenya and had a wonderful section in his diary about searching for pirate treasures hidden in the Seychelles, so these islands have always occupied a special place in my mind. Today, some of the most gorgeous hotels in the world provide incredible honeymoon experiences here where guests can find themselves relaxing on private swathes of virgin white sand beaches. The service is discreet: honeymooners say that they’ve gone for a quick dip in the ocean and returned to their beach chairs to find fresh cocktails and new towels even though they never saw a soul.

TBN dream destination hotels:

North Island Seychelles, Four Seasons Seychelles, Banyan Tree Seychelles

Photo courtesy of Javier Echecopar

Patagonia

If the snow-capped mountains and aquamarine fjords of this sparsely populated region at the Southern end of South America don’t sweep you away, I don’t know what will. At the southernmost tip of the Americas, icebergs rupture with a dramatic roar from ancient, massive glaciers. After driving over a plateau with few visible signs of civilization, except perhaps a few gauchos riding by, arrive at Torres Del Paine National Park, where you will be awestruck by the mountains with jagged peaks rising above frosty mint green lakes. The trees are tilted sideways from the strong winds and it appears as though the landscape has been shifted on the earth’s axis. Bruce Chatwin captured the romance of Patagonia perfectly when he wrote, “I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.”

TBN dream destination hotels:

Explora Patagonia, Tierra Patagonia, The Singular Patagonia

Blue lagoon, Iceland. Photo courtesy of Greenland Travel

Iceland

Vikings, volcanic landscapes, glaciers and blue lagoons—these images conjur up the mystical world you will find in Iceland. Travel in the summer or the winter and be equally struck but the sheer otherworldly nature of this island country. Watch geysers erupting and pure glacial waters gush down the Gullfoss waterfall. Float in the blue lagoon and look for the northern lights (best between October and March) and you will never forget Iceland.

TBN dream destination hotels:

Tower Suites Reykjavik, Hotel Ranga, The Trophy Lodge, Hotel Borg

Great Ocean Road, Australia. Photo courtesy of Kathie Sikkes, A & K

Australia

In Australia, you will find rare species of birds and plants in Daintree Rainforest. Walk out and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef directly from your room on Lizard Island, take a surfing lesson on Bondi Beach or a back stage visit to the Opera house in Sydney. In this Land Down Under, golfers worry about avoiding kangaroo obstacles on the courses while art enthusiasts enjoy walks through the alleyways and cafes of Melbourne. Two of my favorite activities: make your own wine in Adelaide and enjoying sundowners at Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) while watching the colors change from orange to red to dark purple. This beautiful rock monolith is sacred to the aboriginal people of the region. Australia’s beautiful landscapes are just a small part of this country’s charm. After a few days here, you will discover that the fun-loving people who live here are just as much of a draw.

TBN dream destination hotels:

Longitude 181 at Ayers Rock, Southern Ocean Lodge, Qualia, Lizard Island

India; Agra; Taj Mahal. Photo courtesy of A & K

India

In a country that is home to one of the world’s great monuments built in honor of a man’s deep love for his wife—the Taj Mahal—you’ll find a place that touches your soul more deeply than you’d ever expect. On my first journey, I was pleasantly surprised to experience one of the most enriching spiritual catharsis of all my travels. The beauty and diversity found within the chaotic pace of cities like Delhi and Mumbai is palpable to anyone who visits and observes carefully. Places of worship hold food halls staffed by the rich who are cooking for the poor, the slums are organized carefully into sections of industry amidst complete poverty, there is a carefully choreographed sequence of moves in Bollywood dances—all of India has a rhythm that is entirely unique and appreciated by those who are welcomed warmly into their world. Weddings are lavish and last for many days with ongoing celebrations, hotels have flowers in every corner and service more gracious than virtually anywhere in the world. These luxuries stand in stark but welcome contrast to many aspects of life in India. It is a country of dizzying extremes and colors so rich that you come away vibrating from all it has to offer. You will find you return to your own world changed in special ways that are different for every traveler. 

TBN dream destination hotels:

Oberoi Agravilas (for view of Taj Mahal from room!), Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, Taj Rambagh Palace in Jaipur (stay in a Maharani or Maharaja’s room), Taj Lake Palace (for a similar ‘royal’ experience n a hotel  that appears as though it’s floating in the middle of a lake), Taj Mumbai (if you are an art lover), Oberoi Mumbai (they will embroider sheets with your name)

 

Gardner Bay, Galapagos. Photo courtesy of Barbara Walley

The Galapagos

This remote archipelago of volcanic islands may conjure up memories of school studies on Darwin and his theories on Natural Selection, but when you travel there, the most striking thing you’ll notice is how the local residents have absolutely no fear of you. Walk right up to birds and they won’t fly away, snorkel with sea lions swirling around you in the sea, and watch iguanas waddle up to your flip flops without a care in the world. As you sail from island to island, dolphins dance in the wake of your boat. The Galapagos Islands are a wonderland of animals unscathed by human interaction and you will feel privileged just to be a part of their world for a moment.

TBN dream destination hotels:

Pikaia Lodge, or charter a boat like the Stella Maris 

Abercrombie & Kent’s Private Tented Camps in the Desert. Photo A & K

Morocco

Few places in the world rival the dreamy mystique of Morocco. From the snake-charmers on Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh’s main square, to the spices and silks of the souks, you could spend a week just exploring two of my favorite cities—Marrakesh and Fes. The famous La Mamounia hotel and Yves Saint Laurent’s home and Jardin Majorelle are backdrops that feel like a movie set. Spend a few nights in the Atlas Mountains at Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot or ride camels over sand dunes to sleep in luxury Bedouin tents under the stars in the desert. Whatever you do in Morocco, you will be transported to a world of fantasy in a kaleidoscope of colors.

TBN dream hotels:

The Royal Mansour, La Mamounia, Villa des Orangers, Riad Fes, La Maison Arabe, Dar Ahlam, Kasbah Tamadot (for view of Atlas mountains), A & K private Tented Camp in desert

 

Marett Taylor

Marett Taylor

Travel Editor
Marett Taylor is the Vice President of Sales for Abercrombie & Kent, a luxury travel company founded by her grandparents and developed into a worldwide brand by her uncle, Geoffrey Kent. Born to a British Kenyan mother and American father, Marett was raised between Montana and Kenya. She is the third generation of women in her family to become a safari guide (and is certified by the Kenya Professional Safari Guides). Over the course of her career in the travel industry, she has traveled to more than 65 countries.