Five Great Destinations Making a Comeback in 2020

Travel trends come and go, and with them some great destinations flutter in and out of the holidaymaker's spotlight. If you thought Malta was only good for retirees, that Marbella was all pool parties and champagne and that casino culture defined Las Vegas, be prepared to have your mind changed.

Five comeback destinations we can't wait to visit in 2020

Marbella

Spain

Reputation: Pool parties and champagne spray

Unsung hero: River canyons, historical farmland and stargazing

Travel inland from Marbella to get a taste of Spain before the tourists came. A two-hour drive will take you to the historical farming region of Andalucía, dotted with crumbling ruin, traditional ranches home to cattle, bulls and goats and untouched hills best explored on horseback. Alternatively, head to the Guadalmina River (about 30 minutes' drive) to visit the cavernous canyons and untouched wilderness that define the countryside. The sky comes alive by night; an evening stargazing will offer a meditative experience that's within easy reach of the hotel hotspots and yet feels worlds apart.

When to go: Travel between May and August to experience the clearest night skies.

Where to stay: Puente Romano combines the polished side of Marbella with more than 100 experiences for guests to enjoy, many of which celebrate the region's culture. Check in to one of its suites or villas before enjoying masterclasses in local cuisine as well as private sessions with sommeliers on days when staying put appeals.

Kiev

Ukraine

Reputation: Politically uncertain

Unsung hero: The underground nightlife and music culture

Those looking for a party destination that hasn't become oversaturated with tourists and teenagers at the end of exam season will find solace in Ukraine's gritty rave scene, underground clubs and hidden bars. By day an art space and lecture theatre, the former factory Closer continues to attract creatives after dark, when it transforms into a thriving club. Those in-the-know head here after drinking at one of the city's "secret" bars: Barman Dictat or Alchemist. Despite not having a dedicated physical space, club night Cxema has also become one of the most talked-about events in Ukraine. It was established after the 2014 economic crisis as a way of spotlighting local techno DJs and it takes place in urban public spots like skate parks and garages.

When to go: Check the schedule for Cxmea to time a trip with one of its events.

Where to stay: Stamped with the Design Hotels' mark of approval, 11 Mirrors is one of Kiev's coolest places to bed down. Dark walls, plush velvet furniture and abstract art will set an appropriately alternative tone for a weekend in the city.

Las Vegas

United States

Reputation: Casino culture

Unsung hero: The culinary scene

The culinary scene isn't the most talked-about reason to visit Las Vegas, but foodies might be surprised to know that it extends beyond the glamorous hotel restaurants that line the main strip. Journey 20 minutes by car to Desert Shores and enjoy a welcome respite in its calming rural setting. The lakes here are beautiful, so book a table with a view at Marche Bacchus. The French bistro has attracted locals for more than 20 years and serves up classic dishes such as pan-seared duck breast, charred octopus and beef tartare. Just half an hour's drive in the opposite direction will lead to the picturesque Old Town in Boulder City where those looking for authentic all-American diners and drive-thrus won't go unsatisfied. Fox Smokehouse BBQ is one of our favourites - order chilli-cheese fries, burgers and burritos followed up by larger-than-life sundaes for dessert.

When to go: Vegas is always in season.

Where to stay: Located in the heart of the strip and brimming with all the brightly-lit glamour of a classic Las Vegas hotel, The Cosmopolitan is OTT in the most playful way. It also has its own little hidden gem of a restaurant; the New York-style pizzeria known as Secret Pizza. Hidden down a hallway lined with iconic album covers on the third floor, it's standing room and buy-by-the-slice only, but room service and full pizza options are available for hotel guests.

Malta

Malta

Reputation: Retirement retreat

Unsung hero: The coastal hiking trails in Gozo

Just off the coast of Malta, accessible from the mainland by boat or plane, the lesser-known island of Gozo offers a rustic, back-to-basics experience that feels disconnected from its sister destination. Its Mediterranean position - south of Sicily and east of Tunisia - means the waters are crystal clear, the landscape is picturesque and the food is flavoured by diverse cultural influences. Long walks along the rocky, winding paths are the best way to explore the coastline. Trace the coast trek from Marsalforn to Mġarr; the 16km trek passes picturesque sandy beaches, the mythical Calypso's Cave (mentioned by Homer in The Odyssey) and tranquil rural valleys. Alternatively, make your way to Xlendi Bay to cool off in the waters that surround it.

When to go: May to September, with the months at either end being prime weather for walking.

Where to stay: The beauty of Gozo is that it's not yet a tourist hotspot and hotels are small, considered and limited in quantity. Thirtyseven Gozo offers a stylish boutique experience that will only enhance a stay on the island.

Tbilisi

Georgia

Reputation: Sombre after the Rose Revolution

Unsung hero: The fashion industry

The fashion industry's fascination with Tbilisi has steadily increased since Sofia Tchkonia founded Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2015 and native designer Demna Gvasalia shifted into the spotlight with his cult label, Vetements. It came at a poignant political time for Georgia and the event offered a platform for the city's young creatives to showcase their experimental approach to design. Today, names including Matériel, Anouki, Situationist and Mach & Mach are celebrated the world over, and their collections feel particularly contextual behind the doors of the city's coolest concept stores. IERI is the ultimate cheerleader for local talent - it exclusively stocks homegrown labels - while a mix of local and international labels can be found at Pierrot le Fou. Vintage shopping is somewhat unique in Tbilisi too, and the best place to hunt for one-of-a-kind clothing, trinkets, antiques and homewares is the open-air bazaar of Dry Bridge Market.

When to go: Fashion Week runs in May and October each year, so time a trip with the event to experience the city at its most stylish.

Where to stay: Once a Soviet-era publishing house, the historic building of Stamba Hotel has been updated with 70s-inspired interior design, transforming the space and rooms with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, opulent roll-top baths and tan-leather accents.

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