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Travel Bucket List 2015

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Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime dream destination? Your holiday escape is on the horizon, says Jo Linehan.

Live like a Queen…In the Desert

Arizona is arguably the most visually arresting destination in the world; desert one hour, mountain waterfalls the next, all on an incomprehensible scale. Just on the border, in a protected valley, is where you’ll find Amangiri, simply one of the most beautiful hotels anywhere. The resort blends seamlessly into a stark, desolate terrain, a five-star sanctuary built around a main swimming pool, with 16 suites of pure luxury.

It’s the ultimate reprieve from real life, and the best way to experience the Wild West, no question. From approx €1,188 ($1,462.74) per room per night, amanresorts.com/amangiri.

Go Star Gazing…From a Glacier

Who can say they’ve seen the Northern Lights from the Sólheimajökull glacier, or while whizzing along in a guided super jeep safari on top of Langjökull? For a postcard- pretty view, stay at the ION hotel, close to Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), in the epicentre of the land of fire and ice. Experience everything from a unique lava spa and local cuisine at the Silfra Restaurant, then dive, hike and kayak your way around Iceland, all against the backdrop of a simply spectacular sky. From approx €219 per room per night, ioniceland.is.

Sip Tea Like a Lady…In Ballyfin

The simple delights of afternoon tea are elevated to a whole new level when served by your personal butler in the surrounds of the Gold Drawing Room in Ballyfin, Co Laois. Along with freshly prepared pastries, satiate your sartorial thirst with the stunning décor, priceless antiques, and exquisitely fitted furnishings. Afterwards, take a stroll around the breathtaking grounds, drink in the view, and you’ll leave satisfied, inspired and dreaming of a return visit, ballyfin.com.

Watch Spring Bloom…In Japan

As the only major Japanese city that survived WWII intact, you’ll never find a more astounding place than Kyoto. Armed with the awesome guidebook Old Kyoto by Diane Durston, you’ll find ancient temples and quiet teahouses straddling mountain streams. There’s only one time to go – cherry blossom season (March to April), visitjapan.jp.

 

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