With every year that passes, travel-loving souls ask themselves “where shall I go next?”. Not only that, but “how can I experience travel in a fresh and unique way?”
Our hotels may be historic, but we still stay on top of travel trends. 2020 is a big one in the world of wanderlust – as the globe becomes more crowded and chaotic, more of us are craving adventures that mean something.
Let us inspire you with one-of-a-kind experiences that veer off the beaten path and leave you with memories that last a lifetime.
1. DNA-mapped journeys
By the start of 2019, 26 million people had taken a home DNA test, according to the MIT Technology Review. This curiosity has led to a rise in heritage trips, as travellers set their compasses to the places their ancestors once lived. With around 1.5m people fleeing Ireland during the 19th-century Great Irish Famine, many are now flocking to the Emerald Isle to research their roots. Our historic Irish properties are gloriously unique bases for anyone pursuing their Irish family tree. From castles to inns and even lighthouses, each stay tells a hundred stories.
2. Digital detoxes
Once that out-of-office is on, it’s time to log out entirely. Well, it is for the boom of travellers escaping to relaxed, tech-free surroundings to de-stress and reconnect with themselves. Many of our properties deliberately don’t have TVs, such as Hotel Union Oye – a 19th-century Norwegian fairytale home with four-poster beds and walnut-clad interiors. In the Netherlands, 13th-century Sterkenburg Castle delivers serenity in spades – and not a television in sight.
3. Off-season adventures
This 2020 travel trend skips the crowds and better suits travellers on a budget. But an often overlooked benefit is that it also shows you an entirely different side to a location’s personality. To ride this wanderlist wave, think about booking up an autumnal trip to Lisbon, making Hotel Lisboa Plaza your Portuguese paradise during your stay. Unlike tourist-heavy summer, fall is a milder, calmer and a more economic season to visit Lisbon.
4. Eco-friendly travel
Green tourism moves closer to the forefront of travellers’ minds, with the boom in climate activism sparked by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. Travellers are now looking for more responsible holiday options, turning to trains instead of planes and plumping for hotels running on environmentally friendly energy, such as the L´Unicorno in Italy. Its owners, Gabriella & Corrado Becchetti Binkert, have transformed the charming farmhouse into a luxurious space with exquisite cuisine and pristine bedrooms.
5. Destination: Croatia
With Croatia’s third-largest city Rijeka set to become European Capital of Culture 2020, it puts the country as a whole in the travel limelight. Those seeking out its rich history, golden coasts and thriving culture without the crowds should consider the luscious town of Lovran, which shares Rijeka’s beachy beauty, without the tourist hordes. Go one step further with your own private beach – the alluring Hotel Villa Astra has secluded sands, outdoor pool, and seven double rooms, all with sea views.
6. Home-from-home experiences
Blending the line between homes and hotels, the “hometel” concept will be high on the travel trends 2020 has in store. Travellers are craving hotels that offer a more exclusive experience and provide the ‘real-feel’ of living in another country. For example, Cotommatae 1810 lets guests experience life as a Greek local on Hydra Island. Book out all three suites for a private, one-of-a-kind stay with a large family or group of friends.
7. Wellness wanderlust
Fly-and-flop holidays are taking the back-burner in this new decade, as transformative tourism continues into the top travel trends 2020. Travellers want to feel the destinations they visit – get under its skin, fully connect and leave feeling enriched. Spa hotels that revive the mind, body and soul, while offering plenty of opportunities for fresh-air adventures such as hiking, fishing, golf and yoga, are more sought after than a simple beach break. The award-winning Park Hotel Kenmare – a 19th-century country house among Irelands’ heartstopping scenery – provides all of these healing perks and more.