luxury travel sri lanka

Book these destinations now to avoid disappointment

Baby, it’s cold outside. But not for long.

Look up. Look outside. Sleet beats against the window. You’re still finding bits of Christmas wrapping paper behind the sofa. Dirty boots tread mush and leaves into pristine hallways.  That’s right – winter is staying put with the muscular contempt of a raging bull.

But we love it. We love the festivity; the soul-enriching food; the meet-ups with sorely-missed family; the New Year promises. But it also makes us want to book a holiday.  That’s why we’ve hand-picked each of the seven destinations below to suit a variety of New Year moods; from mad-cap adrenaline in Iceland to shamanic rituals in Peru. More importantly, you should be booking these destinations now in order to avoid disappointment down the line, whether because the best hotels book up fast or because tickets for events such as Wimbledon can swiftly disappear.

So, in a nutshell: don’t leave your 2020 travels up to chance. Book now, and get the best of what Black Tomato have to offer.

The Bright Lights of Iceland

Mood, mist and volcanic excess in the land of the Northern Lights

While some among us seek an escape from the cold, others embrace it with charming defiance. For those, we recommend Iceland. Not only is it the original kingdom of volcanic might, cavernous ice, and farm-to-table dining, but the period in the run-up to March is prime season for glimpsing the Northern Lights. Early bookers can guarantee their place at key hotels including the much-Instagrammed The Retreat at Blue Lagoon or the mist-bound, moodily brilliant Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon. 


The Greek kingdom of Minos

Many of the political exiles who were sent to these islands actually chose to stay. We can’t think of a better endorsement.

Taking in the best of contemporary and ancient Greece, this eight-night itinerary is focused around the trifecta of three complementary islands: Santorini; Folegandros; and Sifnos. In a phrase: blue domes; craggy hilltops; and resplendent monasteries. Rather than giving you the big speech, however, we’ll drop an anecdote from Grecian history: that the island of Folegandros, named after the son of King Minos, was used as a place to exile political prisoners (so remote was it). Many of them decided to stay. That – we feel – is the only review you’ll need. However, these tiny islands don’t support large numbers of travellers, so you’ll need to book now to avoid missing out.



California Dreaming

It’s just like the song, but without winter.

Fuel up and drive out. From the iconic red span of the Golden Gate bridge to Yosemite National Park, America’s West Coast has a healthy reputation for big nature, boisterous cities, and dramatic scenery. Between hiking the inspiring quietude of the High Sierras to feeding your appetite in LA’s ChinaTown (the oldest in the US), this heart-happy road trip has been perfectly calibrated for families. To ensure availability at the many gracious stops along the way – including San Fran’s glamorous Hotel Zetta and fulfilling Calistoga Ranch in the Nap Valley – you’ll need to book soon and book quickly.



From Pumamarca to Pachamama in Peru

This unparalleled South American journey is led by chefs and shamans. Literally.

When you arrive at the banks of Peru’s Urubamba River, you’ll be greeted by a local shaman. Together you’ll give thanks to Pachamama, or Mother Earth. This Pago a la Tierra ceremony sets the scene for the succeeding nights and days – from the culture of Cusco to the unbound mirror of lake Titicaca. In recent years, travellers have taken note of this South American behemoth’s central charm; that it is not all about the flying, mist-shrouded heights of Machu Picchu (though this remains unmissable) – that there is a vast, diverse, and ever-changing culture to explore beyond it. Early bookers will guarantee access to our tight-knit team of exceptional, experienced local guides.



Lochs, tennis and tradition in the United Kingdom

London calling.

Come summertime, Britain shuffles off its winter coat and gets ready for a season of fetes, festivals and ceremonies. From the hushed and squeaking courts of Wimbledon to the hoof-pounding thrill of Royal Ascot, there’s really no better time to travel. The best tickets for these events get snapped up quickly, however. So if you want to guarantee your place for Center Court during the finals, you’ll want to book early and decisively. What’s more, the Gothic castles and stately manors of Scotland – the ancestral homelands for many of our travellers – can be plucked up quickly, so hot is the demand. It’s your serve.



Walk with the Bedouin of Morocco

From the souks of Marrakech to the snowy peaks of the High Atlas Mountains.

The Bedouin have plied the souks, cities and sands of Morocco for hundreds of years. On this exotic expedition – having completed this route many times, ‘expedition’ is definitely appropriate – you’ll experience the literal highs and lows of a landscape shaped by millennia of colonialism, trade and culture – including an adventurous camel-crossing of the Saharan sands with your Bedouin guides. It is an experience not to be missed; though places need to be booked now to ensure you get the best rooms at some of our favourite hotels – not least the stunning Kasbah Tamadot.


Unlock the secrets of Sri Lanka

It’s tea time.

Dense mist, set on fire by the rising sun: the rolling tea plantations of Sri Lanka – a lozenge-shaped island in the Indian Ocean – offer a scintillating window onto this ancient and largely unexplored country. Our expert tour guides have been chosen to highlight the best elements of its traditional culture; from the ancient Buddhist cave temples of Dambulla to the botanical gardens and java trees of Kandy. The island’s best accommodation is boutique, meaning rooms can book up quickly. If you want to guarantee a no holds-barred immersion into this historic nation, then we recommend booking as soon as possible.