Martin Frankenberg: Brazil
“The top hotel room in Rio is Oceanfront Suite Deluxe #707 at Hotel Fasano [$4,100; Av. Vieira Souto 80; 55-21/3202-4000; fasano.com.br],” says Frankenberg, who is based in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and is the cofounder of Brazil travel specialist Matueté (matuete.com). “It has a large balcony and incredible views of both Ipanema beach [pictured] and the Dois Irmãos mountains.” His tip for the 2014 World Cup: “Rent a private apartment or villa. We’ve spent two years sourcing a portfolio of homes, most in Rio.”
Will Bolsover, Africa, the Americas and Asia
“One of the most unique experiences in the world right now is staying at Arctic Canada’s Wat’chee Expeditions lodge [from $4,995 a person for five nights; Manitoba; 866-357-6569; watchee.com] in March and watching the polar bear mothers and newborn cubs emerge from their dens,” says Bolsover, founder of wildlife tour operator Natural World Safaris (naturalworldsafaris.com), which works mostly in Africa and Asia. Next up for 2014: “Snorkeling with blue whales off Sri Lanka’s southwest coast,” says Bolsover. He’s organizing his first trip in February.
Max Lawrence, Morocco
According to Lawrence, founder of Lawrence of Morocco (lawrenceofmorocco.com), the most underrated destination in the country is “the Sahara’s Erg Chigaga dunes. Chopper in from Marrakech for a sundowner—to drive the same distance takes ten hours.” For shopping, “Mustapha Blaoui [$ Rue Bab Doukkala 142-4; 212-5/2438-5240] in the Marrakech medina is a one-stop shop for everything in the souk—but better quality.”
Rupert Smith, Mediterranean and Middle East
This year Smith—an ancient-history specialist in the Mediterranean regions of Italy, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Romania and the Middle East at the Evia School (theeviaschool.com)—has southwestern Turkey on his radar, specifically the “overgrown ruins of Olympos, where the mountains meet the sea to the west of Antalya.” For a more off-the-beaten-path destination, Smith recommends wandering Morgantina in Sicily, a former Sicel site that the Greeks took over before it finally became Roman, high in the hills near Piazza Armerina.
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