Vacation Craving: 3 Epic Travel Destinations for 2016

New cities = New opportunities.

New challenges = New growth.

New Year = New TRAVEL Destinations.

Yeah. You could say I’m pumped.

If you’ve been reading for years then you know by now that I like to work hard and live easy. Translation – I’m about as comfortable with a hotel key as I am with a key to my home.


And for a few years I’ve been test-driving the Amex SPG Credit Card that let’s me literally charge (almost) everything to my credit card. Which is a very good thing considering my card converts those dollars into Starpoints.

Starpoints, for those of you not yet in the know, can be used for hotels and flights around the world. The entire world.  It’s a 1 for 1 model – so $1 spent = 1 Starpoint earned. If that doesn’t get you excited – Starpoints can be used not just for you hotel, but redeemed for flights, and SPG Moments experiences (backstage access to the hottest concerts and meet and greets with your favourite celebrities).

Do the math; if you’re going to spend the money you may as well get rewarded for it.

Which is why I’m even more excited than usual to be writing this because my friends at American Express and Starwood just released their Top 5 Travel List for 2016, and when you’re insanely busy building your business sometimes it’s nice to just look at a list, see what inspires you, and quickly decide what your next epic travel destination should be. But in this case, there’s a small problem …

I can’t decide on just one. In fact, I’m stuck on THREE.

Here they are… wanna join?

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto is one of the oldest cities you can visit in Japan, once its capital city, Kyoto is full of history and provides a real “back-in-time” feel with its many Buddhist temples and old architecture. At the lush Suiran Luxury Collection Hotel you basically have the best of all worlds – both old and new. The hotel’s authentic ryokan-style facilities and services transport guests with old-world customs, while the top quality modern features remind you you’re in 2016. For the spa-mandatory-on-vacation set, you can unwind in traditional tranquil Japanese bath rituals at the private hot springs and spa.


Algarve, Portugal
The Algarve is all the inspiration you need to book your summer Europe trip. It basically offers everything you could want on vacation in one pristine, photo-worthy piece of paradise. From a famed golf course and tennis academy, to a pool you never want to leave, and golden beaches packed with water sports, the Sheraton Algarve, a Luxury Collection is the ultimate five-star European vacation destination (the type you brag to your friends about).


New Orleans, USA
You keep saying you need to check out New Orleans. Well now is your chance! Explore areas like the Jackson Square, New Orleans Museum of Art and learn about how the “Big Easy” became the “Big Easy”.  Also, while there check-out the brand new Le Méridien New Orleans. Located just steps away from the French Quarter, you’ll find a calming cabana-lined rooftop pool, a top quality fitness centre with a view, and both fine dining and fine pastries.  Now that’s what I call some southern hospitality.


In a world of incentives, I appreciate one that is actually usable.

For instance, when a new member signs up to get the Amex SPG Credit Card  they’ll receive a 20K welcome points. In other words, you’re getting $20K worth of points just for getting the card. Talk about a warm welcome. This is worth up to 5 free nights at SPG’s enormous hotel family including W Hotels, St. Regis, Westin, and The Luxury Collection.

If by now you don’t know why these are my 3 picks, watch this video, pack your bags, and start getting your vacation time on the calendar 😉

– Julian