5 destinations you should visit when you’re ready to vacation again
Is your suitcase gathering dust in the closet? Have you, like us, been dreaming of that next big trip? In 2022, reignite your love of travel with Fortune’s picks for an unforgettable first foray back into the world.
Stunning hotels! New museums! And, you know … it’s Paris.
“It’s the economy, stupid,” goes the political proverb. There’s a parallel proverb that applies when one is looking for reasons to visit the City of Light: “It’s Paris, stupid.” Never mind the illustrious Ritz Bar, reopened in September as a celestial hideaway with zodiac-inspired cocktails and constellations cast on the ceiling, or that luxe hotel Le Bristol has transformed quarantine hobbies into physical ateliers, the newest of which is a cheese cave, home to fromages like Calvados-washed Camembert. Forget that you can basically sleep at Versailles now—Airelles Le Grand Contrôle opened in June, cosseting guests with 14 lavish rooms and exclusive access to the palace—and in the Louvre’s historic post office, reborn in October as Hôtel Madame Rêve with 82 urbane, amber rooms and a tree-topped boardwalk on the roof. Overlook all you’ve missed while France was closed to Americans: the Tadao Ando–designed Bourse de Commerce, a new stage for François Pinault’s modern art collection; the reopening of the iconic Samaritaine department store after a 16-year hibernation; pandemic-born restaurants like 29-year-old Mory Sacko’s MoSuke; and more. It’s Paris. You don’t need a reason to go. Just go.
Rugged luxury and surprising style on the western frontier.
Carefully planted within a whispering pine forest to maximize views of Montana’s Blackfoot River Valley—and minimize views of other guests—the dozen Scandinavian-style “hauses” making up the Green O come complete with stargazing decks, all-season hot tubs, and wood-burning fireplaces. Paired with elegant live-fire cooking and on-site activities like dogsledding and fly-fishing, this six-month-old sanctuary is reason enough to make Missoula a must-visit destination. But don’t miss the city itself, with new hotels like the boutique Wren; one of the best music scenes in the country; and enough indie brewers, including the new OddPitch and community-conscious Imagine Nation, to fill your glass with a different milkshake IPA, barrel-aged saison, or fruited gose every day for a year.
Beaches, bivalves, and Bidens.
Before chef Tyler Akin transformed the century-old Green Room at the Hotel du Pont, the gilded dowager of downtown Wilmington, into the chic Le Cavalier, “power breakfast” could have referred to motorized chairs scooting around the fusty, drape-cloaked dining room. Now, with the national spotlight on Delaware—after its biggest champion was elected president—Le Cav has become the epicenter for political goings-on, as well as emblematic of the new energy radiating from the First State. Delaware being diminutive means you can be shopping (tax-free!) for natural Gamays at Insta-cool Girard Craft & Cork and feasting on Antimo DiMeo’s shiso-ed gnocchi at genre-bending ristorante Bardea, then be down the shore for Dogfish Head’s s’mores-inspired Camp Amp milk stouts around the firepit at the brewery’s own converted motel.
San Miguel de Allende
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement.
There are easier places to get to than Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende—and thank goodness. You’ll need something to keep houseguests away when you eventually join the expats that make up 10% of the population of this enchanted pueblo. Try it on for size at the Rosewood’s splendid bougainvillea-covered residences or just outside town at Viñedo San Miguel, where the haciendas surround Malbec vineyards and a new, gorgeously stark, concrete-and-wood winery. Days are leisurely—a little jugo verde and chilaquiles in the gardens at Rustica; a wander through the galleries of Fábrica La Aurora, housed in the bones of an old muslin factory—and nights glimmer. After octopus aguachile with passion fruit and poblano at chef Marco Cruz’s intimate Nómada Cocina de Interpretación, get yourself to the nearest rooftop to watch the sunset bathe La Parroquia, San Miguel’s iconic pink sandstone cathedral.
One hotel does not a destination make. Except when it comes to Reschio.
Castello di Reschio wouldn’t even exist, let alone be Europe’s most noteworthy new hotel of the last year, were it not for the count who missed his horses. Conte Antonio Bolza was five when his wealthy family fled communist Hungary and lost everything. He eventually made his own fortune in publishing, “But my father had a strong urge to create a family center and look after nature,” says his son, Count Benedikt Bolza—that’s two counts, if you’re counting. “For the wish to have horses and land again, he sold his firms and bought this estate in 1994.” This estate is Reschio, a collection of stone structures scattered like dice across 3,700 acres of wavy Umbrian woodland. Some are still ruins with wild fig trees poking through the long-gone roofs. Many have undergone stone-by-stone restoration by Benedikt, a noted architect and designer, and his wife, Donna Nencia Bolza, while living in the formerly crumbling castle with their five children like characters in a Shirley Jackson novel. “There are so many Disney World developments where people create fake towns with stone façades and bell towers without bells, and we couldn’t be further from that.” Magical spaces fill the 900-year-old castello, which welcomed its first hotel guests in June. See the exquisite Palm Court, encasing guests in a wrought iron-framed glass cage like Negroni-pollinating hummingbirds. See the spa’s luxuriously appointed Private Room, formerly a cave where ice blocks cleaved from the frozen lake kept haunches of game chilled for papal feasts. But the family favorite are stables, sheltering 40 purebred Andalusian horses. You’ll find Count Antonio riding most mornings.
A version of this article appears in the December 2021/January 2022 issue of Fortune with the headline, “It’s time to pack your bags.”
Update, Dec. 29, 2021: This article has been updated with the addition of Umbria as a fifth destination.
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