In the field with Evelyne Gaudin – Part 3 private island resorts and natural wonders – trending destinations when it comes to really getting away from it all
Since 1989, Evelyne Gaudin has been impassioned with travel – working in every aspect of the industry – in airlines, hotels, cruises, TO and advisory roles, with a desire to “always deliver the best experience”. In this feature, she reveals her top tips for private island resorts and natural wonders of the world.
On Private Island Resorts…
What we are primarily seeing in the US is that the Maldives has really taken over a lot of the romantic island destinations market share, in spite of the distance and the fact that it is expensive. Why? Because It’s new, it’s trendy, it’s beautiful, and the service is impeccable. The request have grown and continue to do so. A number of people like that because it gives them “bragging rights”. For the honeymoon market, which is a big market for private island resorts, the Maldives have definitely taken market share from a lot of other destinations. In the Maldives, we can find some absolutely exquisite resorts, surpassing anything we’ve seen in the past. They took the example of French Polynesia with the over-water bungalows, and they’ve taken it ten steps further. The Six Senses resort is one worth mentioning, but another favourite is the Gili Lankanfuschi, which is an absolute delight. These two have really taken over the high-end market.
PATAGONIAAND CHILE ARE OTHER FAVOURITES, AS PEOPLE INCREASINGLY SEEK PLACES “OFF THE BEATEN TRACK”
On Natural Wonders…
The Great Barrier Reef remains one of the top ones on people’s bucket lists, especially for people who like diving. But a destination that is really in demand is Antarctica. The Arctic and Iceland are also growing very fast. The hike in demand for Iceland is so great that prices have gone up 50% in one year. It’s extremely easy to get there, very friendly. Even though they don’t have 5-star properties, everyone wants to go to Iceland. Many want to see the aurora borealis, meaning they have to go in winter time. Alaska is less “hip”, so everyone wants to go to Iceland, and even Finland or the top end of Norway. New programmes a re being launched , including a new cruise that circumnavigates Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a big attraction. Then there’s snow-mobile treks, ice-trekking, ice-grotto visits and exploring, jeep safaris… the choice is amazing. People go there for the nature; they don’t go for museums, restaurants or luxury hotels.
Patagonia and Chile are other favourites, as people increasingly seek places “off the beaten track”. Patagonia is easy to get to, the beauty is out of this world, and it’s easy for trekking as the altitude is not a problem, as opposed to places like Nepal, which is extraordinary, but due to the altitude and remoteness, it’s not for everyone. Of course, a great choice can be to combine a visit to Patagonia, travelling down to Ushuaia, followed by a tour of Antarctica.