Best Places to Travel in 2016

Tanzania, Zanzibar, Stone Town, The amphitheatre seen from the House of Wonders.
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Nic I'Anson

The 50 biggest, buzziest destinations to visit this year include France’s new culture hub, a revived Hawaiian hideaway, and Mexico’s next great arts city.

22. Zanzibar

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Zanzibar’s allure is hardly a secret. For centuries, waves of Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, and Chinese traders have left their cultural marks on the archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. But it’s only recently that the gleaming beaches have received an influx of attention from big-name hotel brands, giving new reasons to visit the Spice Islands. First came the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, which arrived with a splash in an erstwhile 19th-century Omani mansion overlooking the water in Stone Town, on the island of Unguja. In November, a pair of Czech owners opened the 17-bungalow Tulia Zanzibar on ethereal Pongwe Beach, on the island’s eastern coast; on the northern tip, the former Essque Zalu is in the midst of transforming into a Per Aquum resort later this year. And on neighboring Pemba Island, the secluded Aiyana debuted in June with 30 airy villas bedecked in traditional art and elaborately carved woodwork. And given the isles’ past, the local cuisine is complex, too. The night market at Forodhani Gardens offers a delicious history lesson in the form of seafood kebabs, urojo soup, sugar-cane juice, chapati with Nutella, and the famous Zanzibar “pizza”—essentially a crêpe stuffed with eggs, meat, and more. —Sarah Khan

Tanzania, Zanzibar, Stone Town, The amphitheatre seen from the House of Wonders.

Best Places to Travel in 2016

22. Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s allure is hardly a secret. For centuries, waves of Swahili, Portuguese, Omani, and Chinese traders have left their cultural marks on the archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. But it’s only recently that the gleaming beaches have received an influx of attention from big-name hotel brands, giving new reasons to visit the Spice Islands. First came the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, which arrived with a splash in an erstwhile 19th-century Omani mansion overlooking the water in Stone Town, on the island of Unguja. In November, a pair of Czech owners opened the 17-bungalow Tulia Zanzibar on ethereal Pongwe Beach, on the island’s eastern coast; on the northern tip, the former Essque Zalu is in the midst of transforming into a Per Aquum resort later this year. And on neighboring Pemba Island, the secluded Aiyana debuted in June with 30 airy villas bedecked in traditional art and elaborately carved woodwork. And given the isles’ past, the local cuisine is complex, too. The night market at Forodhani Gardens offers a delicious history lesson in the form of seafood kebabs, urojo soup, sugar-cane juice, chapati with Nutella, and the famous Zanzibar “pizza”—essentially a crêpe stuffed with eggs, meat, and more. —Sarah Khan

Nic I'Anson
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