Top 10 travel destinations for 2017

By , December 12, 2016

Out with the old and in with the new! Forget that torturous new year’s resolutions list, the beginning of 2017 is all about locking in those travel plans. To help you out, we’ve analysed more than one billion searches on trivago to determine Australia’s top 10 most loved destinations around the world.

So if you want to start the new year the RIGHT way, take a look at the top 10 winners for 2017 and get packing!

1. Bali

With super cheap direct flights and a guaranteed island escape at the other end, it only seems natural that Bali topped the list for Aussie travel in 2017. With its myriad of palm-studded beaches, thriving nightlife, and endless offering of luxury hotels for a minimal price, Bali has become Australia’s favourite holiday playground for good reason. Spend your day frolicking with monkeys in Ubud, then catch one of the island’s famed sunsets in Jimbaran Bay – cocktail in hand obligatory!

Photo 1: Rice paddies in Bali | Photo by Yann Pinczon du Sel (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

While Ubud may be a honeymooner’s paradise, it seems that more and more Aussies are fleeting to the seaside town of Seminyak. If you’re looking for that perfect oasis in this popular destination, Mutiara Boutique Resort won’t disappoint. Nestled within a tropical garden, the resort offers a tasteful mix of 62 rooms, suites, and villas which are all decorated in an authentic Balinese style.

The luxe Jacuzzi room comes with a semi-open bathroom, a private terrace with pool access, and a bubbling Jacuzzi all for yourself! For an added touch of pampering, head to the Mutiara Spa and book yourself a treatment. Our pick? The energising warm stone massage!

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For more on Bali, check out our specialised hotel post for budget, luxury, and romantic accommodation.

2. Singapore

With Singapore practically on Australia’s doorstep, it comes as no surprise that this buzzing city placed number two on the 2017 list of top global destinations for Aussies. Rich in culture and abundant in quality food, this robust city has undergone a major facelift in more recent time, becoming a go-to destination rather than a pit stop to Europe. Affectionately referred to as a ‘City in a Garden’, you won’t want to be leaving this charming metropolis anytime soon!

After a day of sightseeing, shack up at one of the city’s boutique gems, Hotel Clover The Arts. Located in the foodie’s paradise of Singapore’s Chinatown, this hotel puts convenience at the heart of the guest experience. As the name suggests, rooms boast stunning artwork inspired by urban street art, minimalist line techniques, and even manga.

To provide a unique guest experience, all rooms are individually themed. As night falls, head to the rooftop terrace garden and catch a sunset over the Marina Bay with a beverage of choice. Quite simply a sanctuary in the middle of the city.

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Want to know more about Singapore? Here’s our post on the ultimate stopover.

3. Honolulu

For all those looking for an idyllic island escape of sun, sand, and waves, Hawaii is just a direct flight away. It’s easy to see why Honolulu has positioned at number three, thanks to its pan-Asian cuisine, palm-lined beaches, and even the USA’s only royal palace, Iolani Palace. Don’t believe us? Be the judge for yourself! The pulse of Honolulu is arguably the famed Waikiki beach, and fortunately for you, Aqua Oasis is just a short two blocks away.

If your idea of a Hawaiian escape is more about serenity than partying, you’ll be pleased to know Aqua Oasis truly is a hidden oasis in the middle of the city. Nestled within a lush garden of Hawaiian plants, Aqua Oasis boasts an open-air reception as well as super inviting hanging egg chairs to settle into for the afternoon.

Rooms and suites are modern in design, pairing wooden furnishings with hibiscus-printed throws in true local spirit. Whether you’re team Mariah or full Whitney, you can channel each diva with a night of Karaoke at in-house GS Studios Karaoke – ready to dance with somebody?

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If you want to learn a little more about which Hawaiian island best suits you, take a look here.

4. London

Whether you’re more of a hipster or a wannabe royal, London is guaranteed to charm you. Thanks to London’s world-class offering of shops, expansive parks, and thriving gastronomic scene, it’s little surprise that Aussies are still eager to get their patch of British soil – so much so that the capital has positioned at number four for 2017.

For an A-list kind of hotel experience, you can’t get much better than The Hoxton – Shoreditch. Perfectly placed in one of London’s hippest postcodes, The Hoxton will bewitch you with its modern aesthetic of industrial-chic furnishings and contemporary artwork.

Quality mattresses guarantee a dreamy slumber, while an inviting rainfall shower ensures you can start your morning the right way. Aspiring to the lexicon of ‘anti-hotel’, The Hoxton avoids things like expensive mini-bars, and instead does things a little differently – think a breakfast delivered directly to your room each morning in a brown paper bag.

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Want to know some of the other super cool places to stay in London? Take a look our our in-depth guide.

5. New York

New York, New York! It seems as though Frank Sinatra was right to dedicate an entire song to the Big Apple, since the thriving metropolis continues to be a hot destination for Aussies all year round. For 2017, New York came in as Australia’s fifth favourite destination. Whether you’re hoping to hang with the hipsters in Brooklyn, or you’d rather spend your afternoon strolling through Central Park with your respective other, New York will sure leave you with a satisfying flavour that won’t dilute any time soon.

While we’d all like to envisage a Sex and the City kind of experience in Manhattan, there’s no denying that Brooklyn’s where it’s at these days. Sip lattes with the cool crew at Five Leaves and honour the late Heath Ledger, then settle in for a night at NU Brooklyn.

Claiming to be the original boutique hotel in Brooklyn, this hip haunt offers super comfortable rooms fitted with blackout curtains, flat-screen TVs, and stunning wall murals hand-painted by local artists. To initiate an evening of frivolity, head for a drink at NU’s in-house bar and Restaurant, Misdemeanor, and sample the mix of cocktails and locally brewed beer.

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Are you more Manhattan than Brooklyn? If so, find out exactly where you should be staying here.

6. Las Vegas

Weird, wacky, and just a direct flight away from Australia’s east coast, it seems Australians are lapping up the perennial buzz of Las Vegas. Positioning at number six, Las Vegas is a hyper-world of casinos, super luxe hotels, and 24-hour fun. Try your luck on red at one of the roulette tables, then be prepared for the unexpected debauchery of Fremont Street, where you can witness erotic freak shows, costumed buskers, and oh so much more!

From all of Las Vegas’ heaving energy, it only seems natural that you’re going to need somewhere sumptuous to crash. Our pick? Caesars Palace of course! Kitsch meets classic, Caesar’s Palace is one of the city’s most renowned hotels thanks to its whopping 3348 guestrooms and 19 in-house restaurants.

In keeping with the hotel’s name, everything is decorated in Roman style – think colonnades, statues, and even an entrance which is reminiscent of Rome’s iconic Pantheon. Once you’re all pocker’ed out, recline on a indulgent double bed dressed in quality linen and fluffy pillows, and spend a night living ‘la dolce vita’. Thanks to the city’s focus on gambling, hotels are all moderately priced meaning you’re certain to get more bang for your buck.

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Ready to get your Vegas on? Here’s some other dazzling hotels from the city that never sleeps.

7. Hong Kong

Who ever thought so much could be packed into the one small place? Hong Kong is becoming one of the hottest destinations for 2017, and it’s easy to see why. Just a nine-hour direct flight away, you can feast on Hong Kong’s robust culinary offering of Cantonese, Sichuanese, Japanese, or French cuisine, then hit the shops of course! Thanks to the no sales tax in the city, this thriving metropolis is a shopaholic’s dream, with a plethora of boutiques, malls, and markets offering anything from top-notch designer items to one-of-a-kind vintage gems.

As night falls, stow your shopping bags and your sleepy head in Ovolo Southside. Already making a name for itself in Sydney and Melbourne, it comes as no surprise that Hong Kong’s very own Ovolo was going to be good. Set in a converted warehouse, Ovolo Southside was the 2014 winner of the World Luxury Hotels Awards, thanks to its minimalist-chic aesthetic and super cool bonuses including Apple TVs and free mini-bars.

Recharge tired muscles on a dreamy seven-layer bed, then refresh yourself in a rain shower in the morning. If you’re looking for some 360 kind of views of the Hong Kong skyline, head to in-house rooftop bar ABOVE and settle in for the night with a cocktail of choice.

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If you’re looking for something better for the family, here’s some of Hong Kong’s best themed family hotels.

8. Tokyo

Tokyo is most commonly associated with sky scrapers, neon-lit streetscapes, and a thriving tech scene. But there is so much more! Foodies will be comforted by the fact that Tokyo has more Michelin stars than any other city. If you’d rather keep things simple though, you can slurp some ramen or wolf down a hefty portion of sushi at one of the city’s many artisan restaurants. For those lucky enough to travel to Tokyo during the Cherry Blossom season from March to April, you’ll be able to witness the sheer beauty of pink and purple blooms fragrantly showering the city.

If you’re ready to treat yourself with a truly A-list kind of hotel experience, you can’t get much better than the super swish Shinjuku Granbell. Melding a contemporary style with opulent features, all rooms are individually furnished to offer guests a unique stay.

Charcoal walls and wooden flooring give way to bold patterned throws and colourful feature walls, while a super modern bathroom ensures you can get ready the right way. Any art aficionado will revel in the in-house Art Lounge which constantly showcases new and exciting exhibitions.

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Looking for something truly authentic in Tokyo? Have a look at our post on ryokans.

9. Phuket

It’s no news that Aussies have been flocking to Thailand’s idyllic island paradise, Phuket, for years. The pulse of Phuket is arguably lively Patong, and it’s for this reason that the beachside hub of fun has positioned in eighth place for 2017. From the neon-lit Bangla Road, work your way through the raucous mix of nightclubs, beer bars, and cabaret clubs, then recharge the following day on the palm-studded Patong Beach. For those looking to venture a little further out, tours of nearby Phi Phi Island can easily be arranged.

From all the possible dancing and sightseeing in Phuket, it only seems fair that your selected hotel should be a haven of relaxation. All this is possible at Amari Phuket. Picture floating in a glistening pool with a beer in hand, overlooking the stunning Phuket coastline.

Spend your afternoon getting recharged at the in-house spa, then retreat to your luxurious room dressed in wicker furnishings and a gentle palette of beige and chocolate. If you’re unsure of what to do whilst in Phuket, Destination Amari is more than happy to help plan an itinerary suited to singles, couples, families, and friends. Has travel ever been so easy?

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10. Dubai

While Aussies may more commonly associate Dubai with a stopover for a long-haul flight to Europe, the ultra-modern city is becoming a popular destination in itself. So much so that it’s made the top ten list for 2017. Whether you plan to spend a quick 48 hours or a whole week in Dubai, the city will charm you with its melding of rich tradition and futuristic modernity.  Spend your day perusing the endless offering of luxury shops, then dine like a king in one of the city’s world-class restaurants. For those seeking a touch more authenticity, you’ll be pleased to know Dubai also offers thriving traditional souqs where you can get your haggle on!

As far as hotels are concerned, we knew Dubai would deliver, and it certainly has with the Fairmont Palm Jumeirah. As the name would suggest, this super luxe five-star resort is situated in Dubai’s famous palm tree shaped man-made island, Palm Jumeirah.

Offering 381 guest rooms, you’re guaranteed to get over that jet lag thanks to the opulent mix of furnishings, dreamy bed linen, and Le Labo bathroom amenities. If you’re still not recovered, get pampered at the award-winning Willow Stream Spa and soothe cramped legs with an indulgent massage treatment and body peel.

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Unsure about how to best spend your time in Dubai? Check out our guide to a Dubai stopover.

Want to discover the favourite destinations a little closer to home? Here’s Australia’s top 10.