Demand for experiential travel is growing apace and is an integral part of any luxury holiday. We understand that you don’t want to just look, you want to feel, experience and be part of the action, rather than simply watching it.
The world is getting smaller, with destinations now more accessible than ever before for the growing number of travellers, so to find a destination less frequented involves a skill of carving out a sense of individuality and exploration.
We are excited about the following destinations for 2018:
A number of boutique hotels are continually being introduced to Sri Lanka’s coastline, tea plantations, cultural triangle and national parks. Sri Lanka is the perfect honeymoon destination or an ideal twin-centre with the Maldives for the ultimate in luxury.
Wix Squared has some exceptional guides to get under the skin of the country, from a local surf champion in Hikkaduwa, a professor of botany to bring Kandy’s Botanical Gardens to life, the local artist who invites you to his studio in Kandy to discuss philosophy, music and art, to an eccentric British novelist, travel writer and poet. The level of investment from hotels this year reflects the rise in popularity of the country, with still more boutique properties to come, such as Sigiriya Resort and Pekoe House.
With the recent opening of the Yves St Laurent Museum and with a Wix Squared director being based in the country, the company has developed unusual experiences to see the sites on different modes of transport, with specialist guides and private access. Having had a bad year in 2016, Morocco’s 2017 has broken all records and 2018 is already seeing a steep improvement.
The Oberoi Marrakech is also due to open in September and new flights between Marrakech and Fez, which were introduced last year, have really opened up the country. Plus, the Casablanca—Tangier high-speed rail line is under construction and due to launch June 2018.
We can arrange for our guests to hear a survivor’s harrowing stories of the Khmer Rouge at one extreme and guide you through the incredible ancient temples of Angkor at the other, whilst avoiding the crowds in each destination. Travel the Mekong by private sampan or luxury vessel, kayak or take a private boat through the stilted villages of Kompong Khleang and the floating villages of Kompong Phluk on the edge of Tonle Sap.
Our skill is to avoid the tourists at Bayon, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat and discover the more remote, quieter ruins to appreciate this incredible architecture in peace, surrounded by dense jungle and bamboo forests.
You can also explore the rugged coastline of former French colonial destination of Kep and enjoy mouth-watering freshly-caught fish and crab accompanied by Kampot pepper which you can handpick in the surrounding area. Luxury properties due to open in 2018 include Alila Koh Russey, Six Senses Krabey Island and Shinta Mani Wild, a ‘six star’ tented camp midway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville designed by Bill Bensley.
The long-awaited Bhutanese Six Senses Lodges are due to open in 2018 in Paro, Punakha, Bumthang, Thimpu and Gangte. These will add to the choice of luxury hotels, including the Amankora lodges, COMO hotels, Taj Tashi and Gangte Goenpa Lodge. We suggest combining a number of these hotels with local hotels and one of our excellent accompanying guides to get a true flavour of Bhutan. The option to explore the country by helicopter has recently been introduced, think, heli-camping and heli-cycling to take you even further off the beaten track.
A perfect way to enjoy a Bhutanese journey is to tie in your visit with a colourful festival or trek into the wilderness, surrounded by alpine forests and snow-capped mountains. We can introduce you to professional archers to teach their national sport or experienced cyclists and local Lamas to offer a spiritual blessing.
Muscat’s new airport is now complete and the recent introduction of an e-visa makes this country even more accessible. Furthermore the Al Bustan will reopen later this year after a 1 year renovation and the Kempinski Muscat adds further competition to the growing luxury hotel scene.
For the more adventurous, Wix Squared can arrange trips to southern Oman, accessed from Salalah, in a private mobile tented camp to incorporate adventures in Mirbat and Rub’ al Khali. If you wish to stay a little more on the beaten track we have some fantastic guides in and around Muscat and can easily arrange day trips into the Wahiba Sands and Hajar Mountains or charter a boat around the Daymaniyat Islands.
Japan is preparing for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics by expanding it’s rail network and improving the Shinkansen (bullet train). It has also introduced luxury sleeper trains including the Twilight Express Mizukaze predominately on Honshu and the Train Suite Shiki-Shima operating between Tokyo and Hokkaido. We urge you to travel now, before the masses arrive for these sporting events.
The train network in other parts of Japan is just as slick where we can arrange for your luggage to be sent ahead and a bento box for your reserved seating.
New ryokans are springing up around the country allowing access to more remote areas and we have some incredible specialists on the ground to take you behind the scenes in Tokyo and Kyoto.