TripAdvisor has just announced this year’s Travellers’ Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise—the places around the globe that have seen the biggest year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveller review ratings for accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, as well as an increase in booking interest. Some of these destinations will already be familiar to you, but many will not—so here’s an overview of the world’s top ten Destinations on the Rise, along with gorgeous hotels and exciting attractions that you can book in each place directly on TripAdvisor.
- Jodhpur, India
Known as the “Blue City” for the beautiful azure hue of its Old Town, Jodhpur is an oasis in the middle of India’s Rajasthani desert. This private guided tour of the city includes stops at the Mehrengarh Fort, from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the region, as well as Jaswant Thada—a beautiful marble memorial to a late maharaja—and the Umaid Bhawan Palace, now a grand, five-star hotel with a museum housing various royal items. If you’re able to pay top dollar, you can stay in splendour at Umaid Bhawan; or for quite a bit less, you can sleep at a different mansion once home to a maharaja: the charming Ratan Vilas, where family photos still grace the drawing room.
- Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi is a gem of Eastern Europe; its Old Town was frozen in time during the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, but the last decade has brought the comforts of modernity to this remote valley. Explore Old Tbilisi—including its 13th-century churches and 17th-century fortress—and the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta (one of the earliest homes of Christianity) on this full-day private tour. You’ll be stunned by the trendy and chic Rooms Hotel Tibilisi, its reclaimed-wood tables and artsy décor standing out amid all this history. The Mia Guesthouse is an excellent budget option, and the family that runs this B-and-B will happily act as your guides around town.
- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Las Palmas is the capital of the Canary Islands, a Spanish territory located just off the coast of Morocco. The vibe here is both European and African, the landscape both urban and beachy. The Reina Isabel Hotel gives you the best of each, with the city out the front entrance and the sand out the back; you have to pay more for a sea view, but our travellers say it’s worth it if you’ll be spending a fair amount of time in your room. Venture deeper into Gran Canaria Island by booking this full-day tour, which takes you to the charming village of Temor, the sophisticated city of Arucas, a banana farm, and a rum distillery.
- Eilat, Israel
A resort city on the Red Sea, Eliat draws raves for its beaches, its underwater flora and fauna, and its nightly party scene. If relaxation is your main goal, check into the Isrotel Lagoona, the city’s first all-inclusive resort: Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, popsicles by the pool, and cocktails and pastries in the lobby bar without taking out your wallet once. Novices can explore Eliat’s coral reef on this hour-long introductory scuba dive; Petra, a stunning archaeological site dating to 300 BC, is accessible on a day trip from Eliat into neighbouring Jordan.
- El Nido, Philippines
The city of El Nido is the jumping-off point for explorations of the Bacuit Archipelago, a fabulous maze of limestone cliffs, crystalline waters, and some of the world’s best beaches. Designed to look like a Filipino village, El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island is tucked inside a cove on Bacuit Bay; though it’s a luxurious place where you’ll feel pampered, the resort is committed to preserving the surrounding environment and supporting local communities. If you’re staying in or near El Nido—perhaps at the Cadlao Resort, where our travellers find that the Standard Bungalows are the best value—book a tour out to the archipelago, such as this one, which takes you to three of the region’s best lagoons.
- Baku, Azerbaijan
A mixture of east and west, old and new, Baku is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital of Azerbaijan, located on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The Hotel Badamadar is a five-star property with a spa and pool; the Excelsior Hotel offers luxury elements at three-star rates. This four-hour private tour will show you the city’s highlights, including Highland Park, National Flag Square, Seaside Park, Shirvanshahs’ Palace, and Maiden Tower.
- Kihei, Hawaii
On Maui’s South Shore, Kihei is a magnet for vacationers thanks to its warm, dry climate. The white-sand beaches are the main draw here, and the Maui Coast Hotel—where even the least expensive rooms have private lanais—has bikes and a free shuttle service to get you to the finest strips. Redline Rafting Co. can take you snorkeling among tropical fish in Molokini Crater and with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles in a spot known as “Turtle Town.”
- Jericoacoara, Brazil
Access to Jeri, as those in the know call it, is tough—over unpaved roads through a national park—but well worth it: Head to this small fishing village to watch life slow down, and to enjoy gorgeous beaches. Locally owned hotels are the norm here, not international chains, and the Blue Residence Hotel is a favourite among our travellers, who recommend requesting a room far from the pool if you’re sensitive to noise. Don’t miss sunset (or, if you want to avoid the crowds, sunrise) at Duna do Por do Sol, a towering sand dune where some say you can see a green flash as the sun drops below the horizon.
- Whistler, Canada
Though it’s skiing that has made this mountain town in British Columbia famous, there’s plenty to do here in summer as well, from hiking and ziplining to biking and whitewater rafting. The Nita Lake Lodge is a bit away from all the action, but there’s a free shuttle into Whistler, as well as tranquil lake views, a spa, and three restaurants. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which runs year-round connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, is the world’s longest and highest gondola; the thrilling ride itself is well worth the cost of admission, even if you don’t plan to ski or hike.
- San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
The more sophisticated cousin of party-hearty Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo is a town full of art galleries and beautiful colonial architecture just up the coast from bar-centric Cabo. It’s easy to come for a day or a meal, but if you want to spend the night, try Casa Natalia, a boutique, 16-room property in the historic downtown; two of the rooms are decorated by local artists. If you’re just visiting for a few hours, book this half-day tour so that you can stroll the Plaza Catedral, shop in the Organic Market, and look for birds at the San Jose Estuary.