It’s that time again – a new year, filled with new adventures. If one of your resolutions is to travel more, and even if that is a bit later in the year, we have you covered.
So, why not take it up a notch and try somewhere unexpected?
Sometimes the road less travelled leads to a moment of a lifetime. Take a break from the usual vacation hot spots and give these off-the-grid destinations a go.
1. Taipei, Taiwan
Think sweeping vistas, incredible cuisine, and stunning architecture. It’s not just Taiwan’s traditional beef soup that’s rich in flavour, but the culture itself. Lose yourself at one of Taipei’s buzzing street markets or take a break from the city and take in marble-walled gorges and tropical forests.
Known throughout history as the “Beautiful Isle,” Taiwan deserves a spot on anyone’s bucket list with adventure around every corner – from the capital Taipei to Kaohsiung a bit more out of the way.
Where to Stay: Kimpton Da An from US$196 per night*
2. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Though Vietnam is a popular tourist destination, its secret island paradise of Phu Quoc is still untouched. Located off the coast of Cambodia and home to 28 islands ringed in unspoiled beaches, why not bask in sun overlooking powdery white sand and emerald waters? Or head under the waves and discover a magical world of marine life with hundreds of species of coral and exotic fish.
3. Tbilisi, Georgia
In addition to the U.S. state famous for peaches, Georgia is also the name of a country nestled between Asia and Europe and home to stunning mountains and black sea beaches. Better yet? It’s a destination that has yet to see a lot of foot traffic.
For those who are seeking something off-the-beaten-track, they’ll be greeted by legendary Georgian hospitality in a country that has been dubbed the birthplace of wine. There’s also UNESCO World Heritage Site monasteries, adventure sports galore, and a taste of local life in one of the world’s most stunning capitals.
Where to stay: Holiday Inn Tbilisi from US$101 per night*
4. Campos do Jordão, Brazil
High-altitude pine forests and German-inspired architecture usually conjure thoughts of the Alps – but can also be used to describe this quaint area of Brazil. Experience a taste of Europe in the heart of South America in Campos do Jordão, Brazil.
Not just a winter destination, but an all-year-round wonder – transforming the Mantiiqueira Mountains into a breath-taking tropical wonderland with emerald-green peaks, surrounded by lush forest. Need a deal sweetener? Due to the region’s low altitude, Campos do Jordão is known for its chocolate.
Where to stay: Six Senses Botanique from US$508 per night*
5. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Take in architectural wonders and UNESCO heritage sites alongside buzzing nightlife and a tantalizing foodie scene. Go from the stunning beaches of the Caribbean by day to the pulse of Latin music while you dance the night away across Santo Domingo’s numerous salsa clubs.
Santo Domingo is also famed for one of the world’s most beautiful beaches – Bahia de las Aguilas. A picturesque white sand beach framed by turquoise waters.
Where to stay: InterContinental Real Santo Domingo from US$312 per night*
6. Goa, India
Incredible India is home to many beautiful and exotic destinations, and the pocket-sized paradise Goa is no different. Located on the western coast, featuring a unique blend of Portuguese and Indian culture, travellers can swap “Hakuna Matata” for “susegad” – a relaxed laid-back attitude towards life.
Also, home of the five S’s – sun, sand, sea, seafood, and spirituality – Goa is a place to unwind body and soul.
Where to stay: Holiday Inn Resort Goa from US$227 per night*
7. Anchorage, United States
Alaska is the northwesternmost state in the United States and home to some of the most stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Famous for its abundance of mountains, glaciers and rivers, the spectacular northern lights can also be viewed in this winter wonderland.
After witnessing the wonder of the northern lights, you can see if you can spot puffins, whales, or even a caribou or two.
Where to stay: Staybridge Suites Anchorage from US$190 per night*
8. Balaclava, Mauritius
If you’re looking to go chase waterfalls, then Mauritius is the place for you – and even better, the waterfall is upside down. Along the island nation’s southwest coast, slit and sand run off the ocean floor creating an illusion that appears like an underwater waterfall.
Beaches, water sports, and friendly locals abound in this off-the-beaten-path destination. If music is your jam, the country’s own music genre called “sega” will certainly get you moving. Intrigued?
Where to stay: InterContinental Resort Mauritius from US$303 per night*
9. Chongqing, China
Chongqing is one of China’s larger, yet relatively unknown, cities. It’s starting to get its name on the map as a hot destination – and it’s not just because of the spicy Sichuan hotpot it’s known for. The city borders several mountain ranges, from the Daba Mountains in the north, the Wuling and Dalou Mountains in the south, to the Wu Mountains in the east.
Taking a stroll in the city you’ll be presented with ancient streets, eastern architecture, and even luxury shopping. Or dive into the countless local specialities – including meat cooked with rock candy and Chongqing’s famous noodles.
Where to stay: Regent Chongqing from US$220 per night*
10. Belgrade, Serbia
A true off-the-beaten-path destination, Serbia has many hidden nooks and crannies to discover. A place where traditional meets modern-day, rural households regularly open their doors to tourists wanting to experience the authentic. Kick back, relax and reconnect with nature and the simple things in life.
Or venture down the more adventurous path from rafting to mountaineering. Whether it be an adrenaline rush or a break from the hustle and bustle, Serbia is an untouched gem waiting to be seen.
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo Belgrade from US$109 per night*
* IHG Rewards members have access to our lowest rates. Room rates are subject to change depending on the dates. Please consult ihg.com or the hotel’s website for the most up-to-date pricing.