Best Places to Travel in 2015

room at La Semilla hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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Courtesy of Hotel La Semilla

The world is getting smaller, but the chances of having an extraordinary new experience are only increasing. Whether it's an emerging style hub in North Africa or a quiet stretch of sand in the Caribbean, this year's standout destinations are changing the travel map.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

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Playa del Carmen draws both luxury and boho travelers with choice reefs for snorkeling, lively restaurants, and an attractive location an hour south of Cancún and within reach of sites like Cozumel and Tulum. If your idea of a beach vacation involves sparkling infinity pools and over-the-top spa amenities, you can now choose between the Hyatt Playa del Carmen and Thompson Hotel, both coming to 5th Avenue. For a more intimate experience, survey the new crop of boutique hotels. La Semilla, for instance, describes the design of its guest rooms and loft kitchen as “rough luxe,” meaning a simple wear-and-tear style of vintage décor sourced from Mexican haciendas and flea markets. Just-opened Cacao offers provocative artwork along with a four-course tasting menu. Playa (as locals call it) has become an increasingly hot foodie destination, as evidenced by exciting new restaurants like the bright and airy La Fisheria, by Mexican chef Aquiles Chávez, and Plank, with its new brunch menu and flavorful wood-plank grilling technique. And in March 2015, the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival returns with four days of celebrity chefs and gourmet dinners.  —Laura Winfree, T+L’s Cancún Local Expert

room at La Semilla hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Best Places to Travel in 2015

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen draws both luxury and boho travelers with choice reefs for snorkeling, lively restaurants, and an attractive location an hour south of Cancún and within reach of sites like Cozumel and Tulum. If your idea of a beach vacation involves sparkling infinity pools and over-the-top spa amenities, you can now choose between the Hyatt Playa del Carmen and Thompson Hotel, both coming to 5th Avenue. For a more intimate experience, survey the new crop of boutique hotels. La Semilla, for instance, describes the design of its guest rooms and loft kitchen as “rough luxe,” meaning a simple wear-and-tear style of vintage décor sourced from Mexican haciendas and flea markets. Just-opened Cacao offers provocative artwork along with a four-course tasting menu. Playa (as locals call it) has become an increasingly hot foodie destination, as evidenced by exciting new restaurants like the bright and airy La Fisheria, by Mexican chef Aquiles Chávez, and Plank, with its new brunch menu and flavorful wood-plank grilling technique. And in March 2015, the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival returns with four days of celebrity chefs and gourmet dinners.  —Laura Winfree, T+L’s Cancún Local Expert

Courtesy of Hotel La Semilla
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