With January being the time to reflect on the previous year and make New Year’s resolutions, I have been busy thinking about 2014 and what lays ahead.
Resolutions are often a distant memory by the end of the month, so instead I compile a list of my annual aims, fundamentally fuelled by what I have enjoyed the previous year.
With this in mind, travel is my major focus of 2014 and I have pulled together my annual bucket list to feed my new found wanderlust.
The thrill of bright lights, dazzling energy and high octane glamour have long since been on my agenda for a lively girls trip, but my eagerness to visit Las Vegas in 2014 was heightened as soon as I heard that Britney was taking up residency at Planet Hollywood.
Whilst a few days of pool parties and nightclubs are a great way to kick off a holiday, some relaxation and exploration at a neighbouring ranch would be the ideal Vegas recovery, and the perfect opportunity to extend my stay in the county.
Opening in June this year, Mustang Monument is an eco-resort set against the stunning mountainous Nevada backdrop. Created as a reserve for the native wild horses, the resort offers a unique opportunity to see the beautiful animals in their natural habitat, whilst also enjoying an authentic western experience with a few added luxuries.
Guests are accommodated in plush tipis with king size beds, the finest trimmings and a butler on hand to cater to all their needs, whilst days are filled with an abundance of activities from hiking and archery through to spa treatments and native American beading.
Mustang Monument is another once- in-a-lifetime experience to be added to the bucket list. It’s ethos and social conscious make it one of my ultimate must-do’s of the year.
Dubai is the destination that always has me longing for winter sun as soon as the temperatures drop in the UK, and this dreary January is no exception.
The vision of lazing in the glorious sunshine in a glamorous kaftan and oversized sunglasses is one thing, but for that something a little bit different the Atlantis is at the top of my hotlist.
The deal was first sealed when I caught sight of the phenomenal underwater suites on a friend’s Instagram account, where I couldn’t take my eyes off the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the world-renowned aquarium. With three floors of relaxation space, a butler on call, and bed and bathtub that look directly into the lagoon, a stay here is definitely to be desired.
As well as the remarkable accommodation, the resort also boasts an action packed waterpark full of ‘world first’ rides and a plethora of fine dining restaurants, making Atlantis at the Palm nothing short of extravagant and one of my must-visit destinations for 2014.
The longer I live in London, the more I realise what a special place it is. I have yet to find another city that combines culture, style, history and creativity in the same way that London does and almost every day I discover something new and amazing about it.
For me, one of the most iconic establishments in town is Claridges hotel. Quintessentially British with its elegant and glamorous art deco interior, I can think of no place I would rather spend a relaxing staycation in the capital. I have been lucky enough to frequent the hotel for breakfast, afternoon tea and post dinner cocktails in the gorgeous Fumoir bar; however I have yet to spend the night inside one of its celebrated suites.
I would spend my dream weekend in the Brook Penthouse, luxuriating in its refined comfort, being brought room service by my dedicated butler and spying on the sophisticated streets of Mayfair from its overlooking terrace (in my pyjamas). I may make it downstairs to partake in afternoon tea, however I fear the all-seducing luxury of the suite may prove too tempting to ever want to venture out from.
One night in Claridges would be a 2014 experience that I would struggle to rival.
Whilst not officially classified as one of the seven wonders, the Great Wall of China is on many a person’s bucket list and mine is no exception. Having not done any travel in Asia so far, this is one area that I am keen to explore, and the city of Beijing with its iconic historical structure is definitely on my must-see list.
As well as discovering the Forbidden City on foot, the St Regis hotel, Beijing offers guests more than just a room for the night, with the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a private dinner at the Mashen Temple on the Great Wall itself.
Including a private tour of the attraction after hours, as well as a gourmet dinner, this breath taking and unique opportunity wins a worthy place on my must visits of 2014.
No travel bucket list is complete without a trip to paradise and the turquoise waters and tranquil atmosphere of the Maldives would be my utopia. The newest resort is Velaa Private Island, boasting an intimate complex of private residences, many of which are built over water for the added wow factor. The jewel in the crown is the romantic pool villa which can only be reached by boat and provides the ultimate in seclusion and privacy.
Although lounging on a sun-drenched island is a dream come true, I tend to get bored quite quickly, however Velaa has everything I could wish for in terms of activities, from a wide range of water sports and golf, through to a Clarins spa, champagne bar and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
I couldn’t think of a better way to round off my year of travel than a luxurious retreat to Velaa Island.