Home THE JOURNEY Travel News Beach Trends 2018:

Beach Trends 2018:

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It’s almost 2018, which means it’s prime time to examine trends for the coming year, and it’s nearly high-season for beach and island getaways. Our team analyzed dozens of TURNER’s ocean-adjacent destinations and identified a number of themes/trends for the coming year, spanning a wide variety of highly desirable locations:

The trends we’re most excited about for the coming year:

Under The Sea

It’s been widely reported that solo travel, and female solo travel in particular, is on the rise. Not coincidentally, more women are getting PADI scuba certifications than ever before, a trend that has been building for the last few years. Underwater is having a moment:

  • Situated on the magnificent Playa San Francisco beach (which is rare for resorts in Cozumel) Allegro Cozumel offers it’s NEW Dive Concierge on property to offer guests personalized diving experiences from check-in to check-out at one of the world’s top destinations for scuba divers- the Palancar Reef.
  • Bermuda has more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The top places for divers to explore the island’s sunken treasures include: The Cristobal Colon, The Iristo, The North Carolina, The Hermes, The King George, The Mary Celestia and more.

Caribbean Food Movement 

Celebrity chefs are moving to the Caribbean and falling in love with the destinations, thus stepping up the Caribbean’s culinary game to become a destination to travel to for food and beverage instead of fun in the sun.

  • The newly debuted Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa located in Grand Cayman, heralded as the culinary capitol of the Caribbean, showcases Avecita- with only nine seats and one seating per night. The experience is built around the chef’s bar where guests overlook Chef Remy Lefebvre (who helmed former Michelin-starred Reno Restaurant). Guest are privy to a beautiful wood grill-show experience. The menu changes every night, so no two experiences are the same.
  • Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort located in the Dominican Republic goes beyond the typical all-inclusive mentality by offering guests 7 on property restaurants all with different cuisines, cigar bar and even a culinary festival celebrate each November.
  • Dine like a celebrity at the recently re-opened, El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, like its renowned guests Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson, Mario Moreno and more. Indulge in a 10 course meal curated by international Chef José Soto at El Jardín, a spectacular Spanish courtyard, where each course is present under the twilight sky.

Fitness on the Fly

Fitness-on-vacay has been growing for a few years; we’re now seeing a surge of interest in off-peak destinations seeing demand for activities that are perfect for the cooler temps and milder climates (not to mention easy availability and lower pricing).

  • Coastal dune lakes exist in a handful of places in the world: New Zealand, Madagascar, Australia, the Northwest US … and South Walton. Locals and visitors can take advantage of the area’s natural assets for exercise by stand up paddle-boarding on one of the 15 unique and spectacular coastal dune lakes.
  • Fly through the sky at Occidental Caribe Trapeze School. Located on the beautiful sandy stretch of Arena Golda Beach, considered to be one of the best in the Dominican Republic, the activities team will teach guests to use the trapeze and make sure to snap a picture of exhilarating workout.
  • Bermuda has emerged as an island built for adventurous travel with one of the island’s most unique, and least explored (and publicized) assets —  The Bermuda Rail Trail.  The rail started (1931) as one of the shortest railway routes ever built and the entire span of the railway was only 21.7 miles, and more than 10 percent of the line was elevated (featuring 33 separate structures of timber or steel) spanning the ocean.
  • It’s no longer all about what mountain you climbed but what volcano you hiked. Explore San Luis Obispo‘s famous Nine Sisters, or Morros, a stunning string of volcanic peaks that offer five hiking trails: Black Hill, Cerro Cabrillo, Bishop Peak, Cerro San Luis and Islay Hill.

Exclusive Experiences Come to Life…At Night

According to researchers night owls are ‘go-getters’, creatives and are more likely to indulge in extravagance, impulsiveness and novelty-seeking. To accommodate these night owls, more hotels/resorts are offering post-sunset activities to offer a whole other world that comes alive.

  • Discover a bustling underwater nightlife with Occidental Cozumel‘s night diving experience. The program is centered around the resort’s unparalleled proximity to Palancar Reef, considered one of the 5 best scuba diving destinations in the world, and opens the door to magical metamorphosis which makes colors not only appear more intensive but creatures more glowing and active.
  • Unwind under the stars at Royal Hideaway Playacar, an adult-only all-inclusive in Riviera Maya, with a spa treatment that begins outside (only after 6pm) on a sleep-approved massage table next to a beautiful spa pool lighted only by candlelight and relaxing music. A soothing foot ritual, followed by an exclusive 80 minute massage that includes a special blend of essential oils followed by a special curated tea for the perfect nightcap.
  • Trek into a tropical jungle after the sun goes down and groove to live music from local artists at Barceló San José. Listen to the tropical sounds come alive in the night amongst the mangrove, surrounded by a variety of species for an alternative way to connect with the culture.

Renovations & News

  • The grand dame of the Dominican Republic’s luxury hotel world has been given a new lease on life by the Barceló Hotel Group, with a two-year, $40 million renovation that includes state-of-the-art enhancements and renovations. Now under the Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts banner, El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, retains its old school Santo Domingo glamor, seamlessly blending past and present for guests to immerse themselves in. El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel — located in the heart of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), was once considered a hot spot for actors, celebrities and leaders visiting the Dominican capital. Following renovations undertaken this year, El Embajador has returned to its former glory as a landmark of luxury and exclusivity for Latin American Tourism in the 21st Century.
  • South Walton will soon be home to The Underwater Museum of Art, North America’s first underwater permanent sculpture park, thanks to a partnership between the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA). This will join two of South Walton’s most cherished resources – the arts and the sea – and will feature a permanent display of concrete, limestone and aluminum sculptures. The CAA has just put out a call to artists, locally and world-wide, inviting them to submit applications for proposed sculptures to populate the Underwater Museum of Art. Up to six works of sculpture will be selected for permanent display in the museum, located on the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico, just off the shore of South Walton’s Grayton Beach State Park. Chosen artists will receive a stipend per work chosen, plus bragging rights to be featured in North America’s first subaqueous museum.


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