Dec 19

Digital Detoxes to Celebrity Chefs, Experience Next Year’s Biggest Travel Trends

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Digital detoxes, farm-to-fork cuisine and opulent spa treatments are just a few of the travel trends predicted to attract holidaymakers in 2014. With travellers demanding more than ever from their well-earned holidays, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.’s luxury hotels, trains and cruises offer a range of on-trend experiences and packages to cater to the 21st-century traveller’s every whim.

travel trends

Holidays are no longer seen as an excuse to over-indulge, with an increasing number of travellers looking to maintain their exercise regime during a ‘Fitness Fusion’ break. Guests at Napasai on Koh Samui, Thailand can discover the ancient art of Muay Thai in the hotel’s authentic Thai boxing ring; La Residencé Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, Laos has introduced archery lessons in its UNESCO World Heritage garden; and golf enthusiasts can improve their swing during a golf tour on The Royal Scotsman, the UK’s only luxury sleeper train. Athletic types can discover local sites during a jogging tour with a personal trainer at Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy or take on even tougher fitness challenges such as the Angkor Wat Half Marathon at La Residencé d’Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the Madrid Marathon at Hotel Ritz Madrid in Spain.

Given that many people now sleep next to their mobile phones, it’s unsurprising they crave a ‘Digital Detox’ to escape the demands of modern technology while on holiday. Luxury river cruisers Orcaella and Road to Mandalay in remote Myanmar offer the ultimate switch-off experience, with no Wi-Fi or phone reception to distract guests from the spectacular backdrop of golden temples and remote villages. Limited internet access on board the barges of Afloat in France also encourages quality family time, as children abandon their iPads to help the crew navigate through scenic Burgundy.

The public’s passion for ‘Celebrity Chefs’ shows no signs of waning in 2014 and travellers can now engage with their favourite culinary masterminds on holiday. Next year, some of the UK’s most celebrated chefs including Marcus Wareing, James Martin, Tom Kerridge and Raymond Blanc are set to create pop-up dinners on board luxury UK day train the British Pullman, while Ken Hom will front a new Pan Asian restaurant at the iconic Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

Travellers are increasingly eager to broaden their skillset on holiday with ‘Brain-Boosting Experiences’ led by experts. Next November, acclaimed author Alexander McCall Smith will lead an intimate six-day safari through the setting of his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series at Eagle Island Camp, Savute Elephant Camp and Khwai River Lodge in Botswana, Southern Africa. Guests at Jimbaran Puri Bali in Jimbaran Bay, Bali can create their own scent during a perfume making workshop, while drink connoisseurs can meet winemakers during Afloat in France’s week-long Grands Crus Cruise and take a four-night whisky tour on board The Royal Scotsman, partnered with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Back in the UK, budding chefs can spend a day in the Michelin starred kitchen at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.

People have never been more conscious of what they eat, with an increasing focus on locally produced, ‘Farm to Fork’ cuisine that extends to their holiday. Guests at Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa can experience the trend first hand during an urban foraging experience, collecting culinary treats from the local landscape which are then prepared by the hotel chefs. In another nod to sustainable produce, El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California produces branded cheese using milk from the hotel’s own cow, Ellie, and prepares restaurant dishes using ingredients from an on-site organic garden.

Spas are getting even more creative with their treatments, with a focus on opulent and unusual ‘Treasure Treatments’ in 2014. Charleston Place in South Carolina, USA offers an exclusive 24-carat gold facial, guests at Reid’s Palace on Madeira, Portugal can indulge in a luxurious body treatment using caviar and the spa menu at La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca includes a purifying treatment containing diamond dust.

Once-in-a-lifetime experiences are more popular than ever as travellers strive to make the most of their time away with ‘YOLO’ (‘you only live once’) and ‘FOMO’ (‘fear of missing out’) activities. Guests at La Residencé d’Angkor can capture the ultimate Kodak moment during an open-sided helicopter ride over Cambodia’s world-famous Angkor temple complex. Hotel das Cataratas in Iguassu, Brazil, offers a thrilling flight over the spectacular Iguassu Falls and luxury sleeper train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, evokes the golden age of travel during an unforgettable journey from Venice to Istanbul, passing through Bulgaria, Bucharest, Budapest and Vienna.

Further details or to book, please call the UK Reservations team on 0845 077 2222 or visit www.orient-express.com.