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December 22, 2008

2009 Travel Wish List

Ondine
Ondine looks on to 2009 

by Ondine Cohane

In my last post I wrote about some of my favorite things of 2008; now it's time for my 2009 wish list. This is not supposed to be definitive, but it is, as I look onto a snowy Times Square, a sampling of where I might go if I had unlimited time and more sizable funds.

This season always brings travel daydreams and brainstorms because of my annual "It List" for Concierge.com. Foremost on my mind: Rajasthan and Beirut. Le Gray and the Four Seasons Beirut are two new anticipated properties opening in Lebanon's capital this spring; I love the idea that you can ski or go to the beach within an hour of the city. (I have two very stylish friends from Lebanon whose travel judgment I trust implicitly, and they say that there are few more cosmopolitan places than Beirut.) As for Rajasthan, I just really want to get to India. There are a number of new hotels in this region of the country, and I would especially like to support tourism there after the recent tragedies.

Colombia also looms large in my imagination this year, especially Cartagena and its nearby beaches. In case, like many people, you only think only think cocaine when Colombia comes up, the reality is that Cartagena is an incredibly sophisticated city as David Ebershoff reported in Condé Nast Traveler last year. And the beaches are supposed to be sublime. Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of my favorites and his authorized biography is coming out in April, to boot; I love the thought of reading about him as I explore his homeland.  Buenos Aires and Uruguay are also prominent on my list of "I-must-get-there-soon" spots, though it sounds like Argentina might be heading towards yet another financial crash.

In Europe, I'm thinking Corsica. A number of my family members and friends recently went to the island and they came back with stories of its rugged beauty and gorgeous beaches--not to mention its wonderful, simple cuisine. Take a look at Colette Rassant's piece in the New York Times. Hot pumpkin beignet? Yes please!  I also want to eat my way over the Pyrenees, take a road trip through Devon and Dorset, go surfing in Biarritz (again), and check out the beaches in Formentera, Ibiza's lesser known sister.

Next up: My forecast for some of the most anticipated hotels of 2009 and the destinations that look to have great bang for the buck next year. In the meantime, happy holidays and safe travels!

Further reading:
* The Best of 2008
* 10 Perfect Days in Northern India
* Colombia: Soon to be a premier green destination
* Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide

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