This port city on Spain’s southeastern coast has been named the World Design Capital for 2022 thanks to its longstanding legacy of design and innovative public policy. With the distinction comes a year’s worth of public programming celebrating design and its ability to improve the lives of the city’s inhabitants. If you go, be sure to check out the Turia Gardens, one of Spain’s largest urban parks.
This under-the-radar island off the coast of Naples is joining Capri and Ischia as a must-visit destination next year thanks to its nomination as Italy’s 2022 Cultural Capital. It’s the first time an island has ever received the distinction, and the award comes with one million euros, which will be used for 44 projects involving 240 artists. All Street Napoli, a new tour company by Annie Ojile and Alexandra Lawrence—two Americans living in Italy—can organize day trips to the island from Naples.
Nine historic sites designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in western New York and western Pennsylvania have banded together to form the Great Wright Road Trip, starting in Buffalo. Five of the sites are in and around Buffalo, including the Martin House and Graycliff Estate, which completed a decades-long renovation just before the pandemic. A major expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for modern and contemporary art, and a $2 million renovation and expansion of the historic Colored Musicians Club provide two more reasons to go.
Galataport—a $1.7 billion development on the shores of the Bosphorus—is set to transform Istanbul’s waterfront neighborhood of Karaköy. In addition to a massive cruise port (part of which will be the world’s first underground cruise terminal), the development will include a new home for the Istanbul Modern Museum, designed by Renzo Piano, and will open the promenade to the public for the first time in around 200 years. In addition to the new buildings, many old warehouses are being transformed into shops, restaurants, and Peninsula Hotels will open a luxurious new property in three heritage buildings.
When Oslo’s National Museum moves into its new building near City Hall next year, it will become the largest cultural center in the Nordic countries. The museum will be able to display 5,000 works—twice as many as it could in the past—in the new collection exhibition and will have a massive new Light Hall at the top of the building, which will be dedicated to rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. The Norwegian capital is also getting an epic new hotel called Sommero in the headquarters of Oslo’s original electrical company.
If you haven’t been to the City of Lights in a while, there are plenty of new reasons to go. The highly anticipated Pinault Collection in the Bourse de Commerce finally opened, the Musée Carnavalet dedicated to the city’s history has undergone a major renovation, and there are fabulous new places to stay, like ultra-luxe Le Cheval Blanc inside the reborn Art Nouveau department store complex La Samaritaine, the just-opened Bulgari Hotel, and the soon-to-open property Le Grand Mazarin by Maisons Pariente. Add on a night at Airelles Le Grand Contrôle at Versailles for a stay fit for royalty.
Charleston, South Carolina
The Holy City will soon be home to the International African American Museum, which aims to grapple with the history of slavery in the U.S. and explore connections across the African diaspora. In particular, the African Ancestors Memorial Garden will provide a place for quiet contemplation on the original shoreline where many enslaved Africans first set foot in America. The city is also getting a beautifully designed hotel called The Pinch in two Victorian-era buildings.
Art and design lovers have a new reason to visit Zürich in 2022. A newly completed expansion by David Chipperfield has made the Kunsthaus Zürich the largest art museum in Switzerland. Known for its collection of French Impressionist works, the museum is placing a larger emphasis on modern and contemporary art, with the new Chipperfield building focused on art from 1960 to the present. It also houses a new design store, garden, and bar.
One of East Africa’s best safari destinations is getting an upgrade courtesy of two redesigned lodges and camps. Singita’s Sabora Tented Camp recently underwent a redesign, transforming its design from Hemingway-esque to streamlined and modern. And renowned operator AndBeyond is in the midst of rebuilding their Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge following a devastating flood. Expect spacious accommodations with plunge pools, a state-of-the-art gym, and a renewed emphasis on sustainability.
There’s never a bad time to visit Copenhagen, but 2022 will be especially good. Following a two-year renovation, the Design Museum Denmark will reopen with new exhibition spaces and a restoration of the iconic tiles in the basement floor. There will also be a new interactive museum of communication called Enigma located in the former Post & Telegraph Museum. Stay at Villa Copenhagen, which opened this year in the century-old Post & Telegraph Head Office, or one of the city’s upcoming hotels, like 25Hours Indre By, in a former university.
Hong Kong has long been one of Asia’s most dynamic cities, and now it’s got a new reason to go. After many delays, Hong Kong’s long-awaited M+ museum of visual culture has finally opened in an eye-catching building by Herzog & de Meuron on the waterfront of Kowloon. It’s part of the larger West Kowloon Cultural District, which includes the soon-to-open Hong Kong Palace Museum dedicated to Chinese art and culture.
British Virgin Islands
A slew of new and renovated resorts is upping the ante on the British Virgin Islands. The most luxurious is undoubtedly Moskito Island, Richard Branson’s new private island resort comprising 10 estates, 3 of which are available to rent. But that’s not all: The storied Bitter End Yacht Club has undergone a total rebuild, complete with a new nautical village; Saba Rock is back after a complete reconstruction; and Oil Nut Bay’s new Marina Village boasts luxurious villas to rent and purchase on Virgin Gorda.
The U.S.-Canada border finally reopened this summer, allowing Americans to once again visit our neighbors to the north, and, next year, Toronto will have even more exciting places to stay. There’s the just-opened eco-chic 1 Hotel Toronto designed by AD100 alum Rockwell Group, plus Canada’s first Ace Hotel, the W Toronto, and the renovated Park Hyatt Toronto.
If you haven’t been to the capital of this Mediterranean island nation near Sicily, which was crowned European Capital of Culture in 2018, you have plenty of reasons to go. First and foremost: the opening of the Malta International Contemporary Art Space (MICAS), an ambitious project involving AD100 designer Francis Sultana. The island is also home to exciting new hotels like Iniala Harbour House, which opened this year with 23 suites set in four Maltese houses, and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
José Ignacio, Uruguay
It’s not every day that a new skyspace by James Turrell comes along. In fact, when one does, it’s a pretty momentous occasion. So, Ta Khut, Turrell’s first freestanding skyspace in South America, is worth celebrating. It just debuted on the grounds of the new Posada Ayana boutique hotel in José Ignacio, a Hamptons-esque beach town frequented by elite Argentines and international travelers. There’s also a luxurious new hotel called Luz and a new restaurant called Chiringuito by famed chef Francis Mallmann, whose nearby Restaurant Garzón is also worth a visit.
Four words: Wes Anderson–designed train. That’s right, the filmmaker beloved for his quirky and exacting aesthetic recently teamed up with Belmond to design their British Pullman Train, which departs from London’s Victoria Station and takes voyagers on scenic day journeys through the countryside. Before (or after) the ride, spend a few days museum-hopping and check into one of the city’s posh new hotels, like the NoMad London designed by AD100 firm Roman and Williams, the Mayfair Townhouse, and the Londoner, designed by Yabu Pushelburg.
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has finally opened, meaning cinephiles have a new, must-visit museum to check out in L.A. Early next year, a new boutique hotel called Short Stories will open nearby, with a contemporary California aesthetic and a destination restaurant run by an acclaimed local chef. Other fabulous new hotels include Cara and Downtown L.A. Proper by AD100 alum Kelly Wearstler.
A dream destination at any time, the Maldives emerged as a COVID-safe haven this year, and its upswing is only continuing. This year saw the debut of the Fari Islands archipelago, home to the Fari Marina Village, Fari Beach club, a James Turell Skyspace, and three resorts. So far, Patina (the new brand by Capella Hotel Group) and the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands have opened. A Capella resort designed by André Fu and Kengo Kuma is coming up in 2023.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Last month, Cambodia finally announced a reopening of its borders to international travelers without quarantine as long as they have been fully vaccinated. Estimates put the country’s vaccination rate between 80–88%. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Angkor Wat and the other temples in the surrounding complex before the crowds return. Check into FCC Angkor by Avani, which opened shortly before the pandemic took hold with a retro tropical modernist design in the former headquarters of Siem Reap’s Foreign Correspondents Club
AlUla, Saudi Arabia
An ambitious master plan aimed at revitalizing this once-forgotten place in the northwestern desert of Saudi Arabia is beginning to bear fruit. The main reason to go is to discover Hegra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered the sister site to Petra, which was once the principal southern city of the ancient Nabateans. This year, AlUla’s storied Old Town was reopened to visitors after an extensive restoration with a new open-air market, four restaurants, and an entertainment area, while Habitas AlUla opened as the first of three luxury resorts coming to the area. With a focus on wellness, culture, and sustainability, the resort features an organic design inspired by the desert surroundings.
The pandemic delayed the long-awaited Expo 2020 Dubai, but it’s currently on until March 2022. There are 192 country pavilions, 200+ restaurants, and 60+ daily shows to take in, plus theme weeks addressing global challenges such as travel and connectivity, and health and wellness. Also this year, the world’s largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai, debuted with experiences like dinner or drinks with a private bartender.
The Mile-High City is in the midst of an art and design renaissance, and there’s never been a better time to go. Abandoned warehouses have been transformed into cultural spaces, and new hotels are popping up all over the city. This year, cult museum Meow Wolf opened the psychedelic Convergence Station, and the Clayton Members Club & Hotel opened with a stylish design by AvroKO and an elevated arts program by Nine Dot Arts. These are just the latest in a slew of openings, including the Ramble Hotel with dining and drinking establishments by the team behind New York’s famed Death & Co.