The word “luxury” has been overused to the point of becoming a terrible cliché in the travel world.

To my mind, a true luxury experience is much more about human connection, personalization, and authentic expression of place than it is about thread count, hand-holding, or high-end shampoos.

While attending the International Luxury Travel Market conference in Cannes this year, I asked professionals at leading high-end hotel groups to reveal their picks for the hottest destinations of 2016. Their responses ran the gamut, from grand cities and idyllic islands to tiny villages and natural escapes.

If you’re looking to indulge yourself in 2016, here are eight places to add to your list:

> Paris, France

According to Filip Boyen, CEO of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which has 520 boutique properties across 80 countries, Paris has been the most searched destination on his company’s website over the past six months.

“The French people are moving forward [in the wake of the November 2015 terrorist attacks] and are ready to give a warm welcome to those who wish to visit their city,” added Philippe Leboeuf of the Mandarin Oriental in Paris.

Leboeuf also mentioned revamped cultural offerings as a reason to visit the French capital now, such as Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton, which finally opened its doors in late 2014, the newly renovated (and expanded) Musée Picasso, and the Jean Nouvel-designed symphonic concert hall Philarmonie de Paris, which made its debut last winter.

Bali

Bali has long been at the top of many travel wish lists, but Boyen noted that travelers have been increasingly interested in visiting the more remote parts of the island, such as Amed in the far east and Lovina in north-central Bali. Near Lovina, Boyen was quick to point out a rejuvenating spa resort in his own network called Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali that (Read more...)

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