Our Editors Chose the 21 Best Places to Travel This Year

Updated 08/07/18

If you could travel to any destination, stay in any hotel, or eat in any restaurant, where would you go? This is the question we posed our editors to determine the winners of this year's MyDomaine Travel Awards. The paradox of choice is real when it comes to picking one of the countless beautiful destinations around the world so, of course, we had to set some parameters: focusing on under-the-radar destination or recent hotel and restaurant openings.

We weren't disappointed by our editors' travel picks this year. From African safari lodges and Kyoto-style sushi restaurants to "The Hamptons" of Medellín to spas in the heart of the Yucatan, we were positively inspired by the incredible discoveries our editors made this year. So get your travel miles ready—we bet you'll want to book a trip before reaching the end of this article.

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: Casa Cook Kos

"I've had my sights set on Greece recently, and if there's one hotel I'm dying to stay at it's Casa Cook. The picturesque resort is located on the island of Kos, known for sandy beaches. The décor—designed by Berlin agency Lambs and Lions—features chic concrete floors, midcentury furnishings, and rustic, beachy details. You can take yoga classes, enjoy the spa, or lounge by the pool, all with the ocean just within reach."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018
Courtesy of Casa Cook Kos

Best New Restaurant: Viale dei Romani

"Reminiscent of Cecconi's, this Italian restaurant in West Hollywood boasts Italian cuisine inside the gorgeous La Peer Hotel. Chef Casey Lane of The Tasting Kitchen is at the helm of this new hot spot, where you'll find beautiful décor and even more captivating dishes."

Best Under-the-Radar Travel Destination: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

"A stone's throw from tourist-ridden Big Sur lies the small beach town of Carmel-by-the-Sea (often referred to simply as Carmel). Its idyllic white-sand beaches will make you feel like you've traveled across the globe, yet the quaint town is undeniably Californian. Stay in a charming cottage and spend your days laying out on the sand, surfing the clear blue waters, perusing museums, or hiking through the mountains."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: Sweni Lodge

"I've been wanting to go on a South African safari for years, but from the moment I laid eyes on Sweni Lodge, I knew this place was different. Boasting immaculately designed rooms overlooking the Sweni River on the Kruger National Park, the lodge embraces a design sensibility that's part-Scandinavian, part-African, all in an eco-friendly atmosphere. The lodge offers anything from safaris to cooking classes, so you'd never get bored."

MyDomaine Travel Awards

Best New Restaurant: Divellec

"Once a Parisian institution opened in 1893 by a father-and-son duo, Divellec in Paris's 7th arrondissement was recently reborn under the watchful eye of Studio KO (of Chiltern Firehouse fame). It retains its authentic family brasserie flair but with a new energy: terrazzo floors, velvet banquettes, wickerwork walls, and plenty of greenery. The restaurant, once famous for its Michelin-starred seafood, retains an ocean-focused fare of carpaccios, crystalline ceviche, poached oysters, and golden caviar. I, for one, can't wait to try it."

Best Under-the-Radar Destination: San Pedro, Belize

"I traveled to the Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, and I was blown away by the beauty of the crystal-clear waters, the unspoiled beauty, the laid-back beach restaurants, and the rugged local town, where the main mode of transport is on golf carts. The sheer number of hotel developments happening in the town alone tells me this destination is about to blow up. The Belizean coast has the second greatest barrier reef in the world, so it was only a matter of time before luxury tourism caught on."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: NoMad Los Angeles

"With so many cool hotels cropping up in Downtown L.A. as of late, it's hard to stand out, but The NoMad Los Angeles steals the spotlight. The interiors are an exquisite mix of traditional, ornate Italian Art Deco and contemporary California design."

Best Under-the-Radar Destination: Savannah, Georgia

"Though not at all "undiscovered" or foreign, Savannah, Georgia, is at the top of my travel bucket list for 2018. I'm so fascinated by Southern Gothic lore, and there's just something about the Spanish moss–covered squares and rich history that pull me in. Also, any of these hidden gems."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018 — Best Hotels
Courtesy of Nomad Los Angeles

Best New Restaurant: OKOzushi

"I just tried this wonderful little spot by my apartment called OKOzushi. Serving preset Kyoto-style sushi platters with pickled veggies and fish broth, it's been getting rave reviews since it opened late this spring. I was hesitant to go because I'm a salt lover and they don't use soy sauce, but holy wow—each piece of sushi was flavorful yet clean and balanced. If you like incredibly unique, thoughtful, experience-oriented dining, definitely give this place a try. The minimalist décor and soothing, quiet atmosphere put me in a calm trance-like mood (it's the kind of place that makes you want to put your phone away and keep chatter to a minimum—though the food is way too photogenic to not snap a photo), making it even easier to be present and enjoy your food and company. Oh, and the staff was beyond kind."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

"While the Renaissance Hotels brand isn't new, the newly redesigned Paris Vendome Hotel in the city's historic 1st arrondissement is reflective of an innovative concept from Marriott. The goal is to make each Renaissance Hotel across the world a uniquely designed space that reflects the distinct personality of the surrounding neighborhood, restoring a sense of spontaneity and curiosity in traveling. The Paris Vendome, for example, was inspired by the many high-end fashion and jewelry boutiques lining the neighboring Rue Saint-Honoré. Interior designer Didier Gomez brought that vision to life in the redesign, contrasting 18th-century style with contemporary design throughout the hotel. It felt more like staying in a boutique hotel rather than a chain."

Best New Restaurant: Balagan

"A brand-new Balagan restaurant is attached to the lobby of the Renaissance Paris Vendome. The brainchild of two renowned Israeli chefs, Assaf Granit and Uri Navon, Balagan, which is Hebrew for "joyful bazar," offers inventive takes on Mediterranean classics like Jerusalem-style sea bass, a deconstructed kebab, and a tasty fatoush salad. Your surroundings are just as awe-inspiring as the food itself. Custom-curated by Parisian designer Dorothée Meilichzon, the restaurant features an emblematic blue-and-green color palette, sun-shaped mirrors designed by Alexandre Girard, and touches of sandstone, copper, and brass. The popular Paris restaurant is insanely delicious—10/10 would recommend."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018 — Best Destinations
Courtesy of Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel

Best Under-the-Radar Travel Destination: Anguilla 

"There's quite literally nothing going on in Anguilla, and therein lies its charm. If you're truly looking to go off the grid and relax in paradise, this tiny speck of an island between St. Kitts and the British Virgin Islands is your best bet. The best part is that it's just a three-hour flight from New York, though it feels like an entire lifetime away. As a self-proclaimed 'beach person,' the white sands, crystal-blue water, and limited cell reception proved to be the perfect antidote to my busy, overly articulated life in the U.S."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: Awasi Iguazú

"Boasting 14 villas with private plunge pools, outdoor showers, and a private guide equipped with a 4WD, this luxury hotel in Argentina is nestled on the banks of the River Iguazú, surrounded by the Atlantic Rainforest, and located just 20 minutes from the world's largest waterfalls."

Best New Restaurant: Bavel

"I've been meaning to make a reservation at Bavel, a new restaurant in downtown Los Angeles's Arts District, ever since it opened this spring. Here, the team behind Bestia, arguably the best Italian eatery in L.A., serves up Middle Eastern–inspired dishes, including spreads, flatbreads, shawarma, and much more."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018 — Best Restaurants
Courtesy of Awasi Iguazú

Best Under-the-Radar Travel Destination: Guatapé, Colombia

"Known as 'the Hamptons of Medellín,' this lake-filled resort destination is about a three-hour drive outside the city's center and home to the picturesque town of Pueblo de Zócalos. Known for its colorful architecture, cobblestone streets, and traditional Colombian cuisine, it's a must-visit spot as you explore the Instagram-worthy region of Antioquia."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: Proper Hotel San Francisco

"This boutique hotel chain has some serious design chops with celebrity interior maven Kelly Wearstler at the helm. Infusing her signature style of clashing prints, vivid colors, and varying textures, Wearstler has set a new stylish standard for hotel design. The lobby and lounge spaces have been all over Instagram, and for good reason. Who wouldn't want to enter into that world of European luxury? Sign me up."

Best New Restaurant: Petit Trois Le Valley

"After a two-year-wait, Petit Trois Le Valley is finally open and it's worth the wait, not just for the food but its décor too. The interior of this restaurant has all the flair and sophistication you'd expect from the celebrated Chef Ludo. Unlike the famous Petite Trois in West Hollywood, this restaurant has more seating and a family-friendly vibe. They even have a kids' menu. Be sure to order the French breadstick with the most delicious butter you've ever tasted. I'm still thinking about it."

Travel Awards 2018
Courtesy of Proper Hotel San Francisco

Favorite Under-the-Radar Travel Destination: Coba, Mexico

"I'm obsessed with Coqui Coqui Cobá Papholchac Residence and Spa located in the small village of Coba, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula. While the interior design is worth a visit alone, it's the rich historical location that makes it my go-to under-the-radar travel destination. Coqui Coqui is right in the heart of the ancient Mayan ruins, and the architecture blends seamlessly with the natural environment. In fact, it feels like you are on the doorstep of history. I've started seeing it pop up on Instagram, so I can't wait to go myself before it blows up."

MyDomaine Travel Awards 2018

Best New Hotel: Park Hyatt St. Kitts

"I've just returned from a trip to see the brand-new Park Hyatt St. Kitts, the first five-star resort on the island, and it totally exceeded expectation. Sitting on the southeast peninsula, every suite has incredible views of Nevis, a huge standalone tub and a rain shower, a private terrace or sundeck, and Le Labo amenities. The interior design is also beautiful—picture brushed-brass sconces flanking the beds, statement wicker chairs, and plush white linen furniture. There are a lot of new developments coming to St. Kitts, which is just a four-hour flight from New York—watch this space."

Hotel to Watch: Six Senses Bhutan

"This is one of my most anticipated hotel openings. Six Senses is opening no less than five luxury eco-friendly resorts in Bhutan, a southeast Asian nation on the edge of the Himalayas. Keep an eye out for Six Senses Punakha, located in a low-lying valley among rice fields. It’s due to open October 2018."

MyDomaine Travel Award Winners
Courtesy of Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Best New Restaurant: Legacy Records

"I've been dying to get to Legacy Records, a new upscale restaurant in Hudson Yards, New York. It’s from the team behind Pasquale Jones and Charlie Bird and serves up pasta, roasted dishes, and Italian-inspired cuisine, as well as cocktails from a PDT alum."

Best Under-the-Radar Travel Destination: Faroe Islands

"Travelers are starting to call this cluster of islands the new Iceland. Located between Norway and Iceland, the Danish archipelago boasts all the things Americans have come to love about buzzy Reykjavík and its surrounds—breathtaking waterfalls, rugged cliffs, quaint towns, and incredible wildlife—without the hoards of tourists. The catch: There are no direct flights from the U.S., so your best bet is to catch a one-hour connecting flight from Reykjavík or Edinburgh. Judging from what we've seen, it's well worth it."

Next up: the 5 chicest European cities to visit in 2018 (according to travel pros).

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