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  1. Wealth
January 27, 2020

OUT NOW: The Spear’s 500 Travel Guide 2020

By Alec Marsh

The 2020 Spear’s 500 Travel Guide is here, the definitive guide to HNW travel for a new decade writes Alec Marsh

The 2020 edition of the Spear’s 500 Travel Guide is here: from private islands to golf resorts, spa and wellness retreats to mountain and ski destinations – it’s the definitive guide to HNW travel over 239 pages.

Now in its fourth year, we’ve updated the competitive Top Tens across the six categories of hotels and resorts, covering City, Coast & Island, Town & Country, Spa & Wellness, Golf, and Mountain & Ski.

New entrants to the Top Ten in the City section include Raffles Singapore and The Dupont Circle in Washington, while the Cote d’Azur’s Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat and Jamaica’s Round Hill are among the new entrants in the Coast & Island section. The Royal Bled in Slovenia enters the Top Ten of the Golf section, the Hacienda AltaGracia in Costa Rica comes into the top cut of Ski Hotels and Resorts, and Caresse in Bodrum enters the top list of Spa & Wellness Hotels and Resorts

We’ve also reorganised the sections covering various categories of vacation and travel services providers into one new section – Travel Black Book – which we think is all the more vital and useful.

All of these lists have also been revised to better align with the exacting requirements of the Spear’s reader, and also feature our top recommended picks in each section too. There’s no shortage of choice and variety.

So what are we looking for, in a great hotel and resort? In a word, it’s a certain Spear’s-ness. That means we’re looking for establishments which stand out from the multitude of vanilla five-star offerings. These are likely to be hotels or resorts that offer a unique or distinctive sense of place and style. They may be brand new, or come with a century or more of history, but where an impeccable level of personalised service is always de rigeur. Where on earth should you go in 2020?

Click here to buy the Spear’s 500 Travel Guide 2020 

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This, of course, is where our Inspirations section comes into its own. For many, Japan will be near the top of the list this year. Having done a spectacular job of hosting the Rugby World Cup in November 2019, the country now looks forward to putting on the world’s biggest spectacle of sport in July and August – the Olympic Games.

The last time Tokyo held the games was in 1964, so if you needed an excuse to visit then this is undoubtedly it. Another country with an interesting date in the diary this year is India, which chalks up 70 years as a republic. In this edition, I take a memorable drive along the ancient Silk Road in western Rajasthan, ending up in the Thar Desert.

Another location to consider this year is Australia – which just got closer, thanks to direct flights from London to Perth. From March, Qantas is also due to offer London-Sydney direct flights, shaving hours off the existing journey. With this in mind, John Arlidge heads to Perth – to snorkel with manta rays on Australia’s West Coast. He has a whale-shark of a time.

There is much inspiration besides in this edition which includes articles from Stanley Johnson, Jason Cowley, Emily Hill, Christopher Silvester et al. The guide is completed with a special travel version of our Midas interview, with Andrea Scherz of the Gstaad Palace.

His tip on having a great vacation is worth following: ‘Plan arriving and leaving carefully, but once there don’t plan too much. Be inspired on the spot and live day to day.’

Great advice, I’m sure you’ll agree. Happy travels!

Alec Marsh is editor of Spear’s 

Click here to buy the Spear’s 500 Travel Guide 2020 

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