Wondering where to travel for this spring? We love off-the-radar, undiscovered towns as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s okay to follow the masses. (Do you really think we’d tell you not to visit Paris?) Online booking app HotelTonight recently released the spring destinations trending among its more than 32 million users. The study monitored searches performed by its U.S. users for hotel bookings in international cities, specifically for stay dates between March 25-May 27.
Here are the 15 most popular spring destinations for 2019, ranging from the Caribbean to Europe—as well as our hotel recommendations for each city (including some fresh Hot List picks) and a few great reasons to visit in the next few months. Counting down…
Springtime in Dublin is, quite frankly, awesome. The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival serves up craft beers and cooking demos—and prawns cooked in every style imaginable—on the Howth peninsula from May 17 to 19. You can also take daily, all-day tours of some Game of Thrones filming locations around town, including a two-mile walk through Tollymore Forest and a stroll through Old Castle Ward (aka Winterfell). When you play the game of Dublin, you win or you…win.
Stay here: The Westbury, the epitome of friendly luxury with four-poster beds and plush armchairs for afternoon tea.
14. Playa del Carmen
Follow the spring break crowds as they descent on Playa del Carmen, then immediately head for one of the beach destination’s many upscale resorts (bonus: many are adults-only). While the gorgeous beaches here tend to draw crowds regardless of the season, you can find some extraordinary peace and quiet elsewhere—namely, under the water’s surface. Playa more than earns its reputation as one of the world’s top diving destinations with its colorful sea life and underwater caverns.
Stay here: Viceroy Riviera Maya, with both jungle and beach views, plus palapa villas with private pools and outdoor showers.
13. Mexico City
This sprawling, complex, always-changing metropolis has enough epic street food, vibrant galleries, sophisticated hotels, and grand public parks to fill a lifetime of spring breaks. This season, immerse yourself in local food culture with a morning cooking class at Casa Jacaranda. Then take part in the city’s annual pride march (one of the biggest in Latin America) on June 29, with costumes, after-parties, and 250,000 LGBTQ+ members and allies standing together.
Stay here: La Valise Hotel, a three-room urban escape with innovative interior design and personalized service.
Only an hour’s flight from New York City, Montreal is one of the best destinations in Canada. The city earns bragging rights with its cobblestoned colonial neighborhoods, hundreds of historic churches, one of the world’s best jazz scenes, and brag-worthy culinary scene (hello, poutine). This season, catch the Montreal Beer Fest from May 22-25; on rainy days, explore the Underground City’s network of interconnected shopping centers and performing arts venues.
Stay here: Hôtel William Gray, a stylish design hotel hidden on a narrow cobblestone street in Old Montreal.
With 300 days of sunshine and some of the world’s best beaches, it’s no surprise that people are seeking out the Bahamas this spring. The abundance of direct flights to Nassau makes this one of the quickest tropical getaways for U.S. travelers. Consider splurging on a charter flight from Fort Lauderdale to the Inagua Islands, the most southern island duo in the Bahamas, to get up close and personal with parrots, hummingbirds, and more than 80,000 shockingly pink flamingos.
Rome is as impressive on your first visit as it is on your 30th: that first glimpse of the Colosseum, those plates overflowing with cacio e pepe, that ancient allure that somehow never fades. This spring, try to emerge from your monument-checklist mode and check out some of the city’s hottest hotel openings—including Grand House, a new type of villa rental just launched by the Micangeli brothers. Then spend a few peaceful hours at Villa Doria Pamphilj, Rome’s largest public park featuring manicured gardens, stretches of forrest, pine groves, and bits of wild vegetation.
Stay here: Hotel Vilòn, a mansion-turned-boutique-hotel with light-filled rooms and a lovely private courtyard.
Tulum continues its reign as one of the coolest destinations on the planet. The Yucatán town has long been an Instagram darling, thanks to its Mayan ruins, jungle-lined cenotes, and white sand beaches. Add to that a seriously cool food scene that included a wildly popular pop up from Danish chef René Redzepi a few years back, and you have yourself an obvious pick for your next vacation.
Stay here: Casa Pueblo Tulum, a tropical, minimalist hub for wandering creatives and entrepreneurs.
Vancouver’s rugged natural beauty looks particularly lovely during the spring months. Pack your most comfortable pair of shoes and spend a day exploring the city’s 230-plus municipal local parks, from sprawling Stanley Park to impeccably manicured Queen Elizabeth Park. And if the idea of walking across a suspension bridge set 230 feet above a canyon doesn’t make you want to puke, take the free shuttle from downtown Vancouver to the Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park.
Stay here: Opus Hotel, an intimate, impeccably designed property in ultra-cool Yaletown.
7. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo is the ultimate playground of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, which means you probably will rub elbows with a few tequila-shooting “spring break!” tourists. But look past the undergrads and you’ll find a combination of sublime luxury and natural beauty. Take advantage of the “Baja Luxploration” program at The Resort at Pedregal, which offers a personalized day trip to swim with whale sharks and snorkel in Cabo Pulmo Marine Park (a favorite of Jacques Cousteau).
Stay here: Montage Los Cabos, 39 quiet acres of beachfront property overlooking the serene, swimmable waters of Santa Maria Bay.
Amsterdam isn’t all roaming packs of British stag parties and college-aged tourists. These days, it’s more about chic boutiques, innovative restaurants, and knock-your-socks-off art. If you are up for a party, however, visit at the end of April to take part in the city’s King’s Day celebrations. You’ll find live music and DJs at every turn, plus canals flooded with orange-clad boatloads of revelers. And need we remind you that springtime is prime tulip-viewing season?
Stay here: Pulitzer Amsterdam, a complex of 25 canal houses with tall windows overlooking the water.
Thanks to its sublime weather and affordable airfares, Cancun will never stop being a favorite among American travelers. But you should know that there’s more to the city than sipping cocktails with coeds—we’re talking some of the best beaches and all-inclusive resorts on the planet. (Note: Each year around spring break, headlines break about a State Department travel advisory for Mexico. While we advise following the guidelines, be sure to read the agency’s Mexico page for the most up-to-date information.)
Stay here: Nizuc Resort & Spa, complete with three colossal infinity pools and two private beaches.
There’s no festival season quite like Barcelona‘s festival season. Kicking off on May 30, Primavera Sound churns out a well-curated mix of DJs, electronic artists, and recognizable bands (you’ll see Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae, and Cardi B this year) for some 200,000 attendees. And ever true to form, the city is full of can’t-miss art exhibits this season, including the Meet Vincent van Gogh experience at Port Vell and Max Beckmann retrospective at Caixaforum. Oh, and those city beaches will still be there waiting to show off for you—we promise.
Stay here: Little Beach House Barcelona, a cool, romantic beach escape for a new angle on the Andalusian coast.
3. San Juan
Puerto Rico spent much of 2018 in post-Maria recovery mode, but the island is officially back in the travel game. The need to rebuild inspired many hotels to undertake indulgent renovations, plus a ton of new Airbnbs have popped up—everything from beach bungalows in the surf town of Rincon to chic lofts in San Juan’s graffiti-covered Santurce. When you’re not sleeping, spend your days hopping between cafés and lounging on some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Stay here: El San Juan Hotel, with freshly renovated oceanfront villas, pools, and notoriously lush landscaping.
Allow us to offer up a totally original, non-cliche opinion for a moment: Paris is alwaysa good idea. Book a trip in the next few months to experience the hyped Tutankhamun exhibition at La Grande Halle de la Villette, complete with 150 original artifacts surrounding the Pharaoh’s storied life. Don’t forget to spend time outdoors in one of the city’s many beautiful green spaces, from Jardins des Tuileries to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.
Stay here: Hôtel des Grands Boulevards, an artfully designed 18th-century townhouse right in the center of the city.
We’re always game for a last-minute trip to London—and this season is giving us even more reasons to visit. Head to Kensington’s Serpentine Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum for some stellar exhibits, then get your culinary fix at Albert Adrià’s newly launched Cakes & Bubbles at Café Royal on Regent Street (order the cheesecake).
Stay here: Belmond Cadogan Hotel, the first London opening from the group behind Le Cipriani in Venice.
Source: Conde Nast Traveler published 4/23/2019. Link to article