Tis the season for travel, and we here at The Zoe Report are always looking for new, exciting places to venture off to. Thankfully travel website Tablet—founded in 2000 by new-media veterans Laurent Vernhes and Michael Davis—features the world’s most extraordinary hotels and makes the booking process easy as 1, 2, start packing. Tablet is all about glamorous travel, so who better to ask for a few off-the-beaten-path suggestions of places to add to our must-visit list ASAP. Here, Tablet Hotels cofounder and CEO Laurent Vernhes’ picks for 8 exotic destinations to know about now. Warning: Clicking through may cause the desire to book a plane ticket.
Explora Rapa Nui, Easter Island, Chile
"Rapa Nui—colloquially, Easter Island—is deliciously inconvenient, a hefty five-hour flight from the closest airports in Santiago and Tahiti. Explora Rapa Nui is well worth the trek though, melding raw architectural materials with a hyper-contemporary, open-plan layout against some truly outstanding views. Take the tour: Rumor has it the island hosts a few sites of modest archaeological interest."
Wakaya Club & Spa, Wakaya Private Island, Fiji
"This is also just about as far-flung as they come—it’s the bottled-water magnate’s private island. We could stop there, but we won’t. Even the humblest bure (the Fijan word for a wood-and-straw hut) here boasts enough square footage to keep a healthy game of hide-and-seek going for hours. Luxuriate in the Wakaya Club & Spa's open-air rock-garden showers, sip your complimentary champagne contemplatively and see how long it takes you to forget how to email."
Uma Paro, Paro, Bhutan
"Get your visa squared away, and you’re golden, as it’s unlikely anyone would think to find you in the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. You’re in for a positively serene retreat. The Uma Paro spa is the main attraction, weaving spiritual wellness programs into a full suite of gym, pool and sauna facilities. There is nothing quite like foot to footpath though—don’t scrimp on the guided mountain excursions."
Storfjord Hotel, Ålesund, Norway
"Talk about a perfect compromise: This secluded luxury bolt-hole—impregnably situated amidst thousands of acres of protected forest—is somehow just 40 minutes by car from Ålesund. Storfjord Hotel is your picture-book Norwegian fantasy, blending ruggedness and refinement within traditional whole-timber construction. A nightly four-course dinner should fortify you enough to get even more lost (please don’t) in the surrounding mountains and fjords."
Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
"Utah gets a questionable rap, it’s true, but if any chain can match the region’s wild, alien appeal with an equal dose of minimalist charm, it’s Aman Resorts. Clean, modern lines etched impeccably against the Southwest’s thousand-yard stare. At Amangiri, you’re in for a spirit journey."
The Majlis Resort, Lamu, Kenya
"Go ahead, brag about your upcoming stay at a seaside resort—no one will ever guess you’re sojourning in Kenya. In addition to aesthetic cues from Swahili, Arab and Indian cultures, The Majlis Resort avails itself of one Julian Schnabel’s talents: fostering an inimitable beach-swank vibe between three luxe villas. Seafood, cocktails on the terrace and blessed solitude—check, check and check."
Evason Ma'In, Madaba, Jordan
"Onward to Jordan! This Six Senses joint sets the benchmark for therapeutic escapes, nestled creekside at the bottom of a canyon replete with hot-spring waterfalls. Set your gaze on the Dead Sea while spa attendants soothe away your frets with seafloor mud-and-mineral water treatments. At Evason Ma'In, you’ll feel as if you have all the time in the world to take in the timelessness."
Ananda In The Himalayas, Rishikesh, India
"Ananda In The Himalayas is another Himalayan haymaker, this time overlooking the Ganges Valley and the town of Rishikesh—the world’s yoga capital (and inspiration for the Beatles’ White Album, which as written here in spring 1968). And indeed yoga figures large in the appeal: in an outdoor pavilion, a grove of trees or the hotel’s lavish interiors."