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The Dandelion Chandelier Luxury Travel Calendar highlights cool local festivals and select luxury hotel and resort openings around the world in January 2018. For the rest of the Luxury Calendar, click here. For other Travel coverage, click here.

Where will January take you? There are so many magical options this month. The weather is perfect in the tropics and the southern hemisphere. North America and Europe sport iconic winter landscapes perfect for snow sports of all kinds. This year, the upcoming Winter Olympics will pull a great deal of the world’s focus toward South Korea, so expect to see lots of commentary about travel and entertainment options in or around Pyeongchang. We’re totally in the mood for a destination spa, given the consequences of our holiday fun last month. And there’s a chic new hotel in our hometown, Detroit — hello, MLK Jr weekend. Plus plenty of other stylish new hotels and resorts to visit (or at least dream about). Here’s a list of some of the ones we’re keen to visit, and some of the special seasonal festivals underway around the world. And don’t forget to check out our list of 5 of the best luxury travel destinations in the month of January. Adventure awaits!

If you’re a curious explorer who wants to join in the local festivals and celebrations happening around the world each month, there are some unusual and colorful ones in January:

Literary types (or those who love a good street party) should head to the UK for the annual celebration of Burns Night, which commemorates the birthday of the Scottish poet – January 25.

In the weeks before Ash Wednesday, Venice welcomes the Carnevale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice). Socialites disguised in 18th-century costumes spend evenings at elite and elaborate Carnival balls that begin on January 27.

The Jaisalmer Desert Festival is an annual event organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation – there is no religious aspect, just lots of merriment, such as the mustache, turban tying, Miss Moomal and Mr. Desert competitions. Nomads also trek across the desert to sell woven goods and silver jewelry at the bazaar – January 29-31.

The UK’s biggest light festival, Lumiere London, returns this year with more than 40 spectacular installations dotted around the city, all free and open to the public – January 18-21.

In Tibetan, lo means “year” and sar means “new;” the winter festival of Losar marks the Tibetan new year, a very significant time for Buddhists. During this colorful event, a crowd gathers at Kathmandu’s ancient Boudhanath Stupa to sing, dance, and joyfully throw barley flour (tsampa) to ring in the new year – January 18.

Nara, the capital of Nara Prefecture in Japan, hosts an annual winter festival called the yamayaki. Its a controlled burn convened by two Buddhist temples and a Shinto shrine on Mount Wakakusa on the fourth Saturday of every January. For roughly an hour, the slopes blaze, and the mountain becomes like a torch that can be seen across the entire city. There’s also an extensive fireworks display, and a festival that involves an interfaith demonstration and a parade featuring a giant rice-cracker tossing competition – January 27.

For those seeking a slightly more refined kind of luxury when they travel, here are some recent and upcoming luxury hotel and resort openings to pique your interest:

The eagerly-awaited new Aman resort, Amanyangyun in Shanghai, is opening this month. The property features a relocated and reassembled a camphor forest and historic village from Fuzhou, China. The 25-acre retreat will have 24 suites and 13 multi-bedroom villas featuring spacious courtyards, with five restaurants and bars that highlight Chinese, Japanese, and Italian cuisine — Jan 8

The fantastically popular NoMad expands from New York to Los Angeles with a swanky new hotel downtown at the corner of Seventh and Olive.

The new Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood, California is now taking reservations; located in the Design District, it sports white oak floors, a neutral color palette, and art installations in its 105 guestrooms and suites.

The Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid is now open; the 159-room hotel is located in the heart of Madrid along the vibrant Gran Via – its restaurant and bar, Hielo y Carbon, offers handcrafted signature cocktails and locally inspired fare along with an authentic mix of crudos and grilled dishes and the property features one of the most spectacular rooftop terraces in Madrid.

A new “tropical grand mansion” in Anguilla, the Quintessence “Q” Hotel Anguilla, is scheduled to open on January 1. The boutique Q Hotel is the first new property to open on the idyllic Caribbean island in the British West Indies since the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma. It will offer just nine individual suites, villas and penthouses—equipped with Hastens beds, and serviced by 24/7 personal butler. The mansion is available for a full buyout (accommodating 22 guests). Overseen by Chef Dominique Thevenet, the hotel’s Julians restaurant will serve Caribbean cuisine with a French twist. Guests can also participate in wine tastings in the wine cellar.

It’s time to check out Detroit as a luxury destination. This month will see the “soft” opening of The Siren Hotel. Designed by development firm ASH NYC, the iconic 1926 Wurlitzer building will emerge from a hip remodel. Expect guest rooms with cream-painted walls, maroon door-frames and dark wooden floors. Among its restaurants and bars is a tasting counter helmed by the James Beard-nominated Garrett Lipar with just eight seats. There’s also Candy Bar, a new cocktail bar by the local mixologist Dorothy Elizabeth. It even includes a flower shop called Pot & Box.

Freehand New York is opening in the Flatiron District in mid-January in the former George Washington Hotel; Chef Matt Griffin will head up Simon & The Whale, the new property’s standalone restaurant.

In Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, the historic resort Cristallo has just reopened. Now part of the Luxury Collection, and family-owned since 1901, the property has hosted the Winter Olympics, Hollywood film crews, and celebrities like Frank Sinatra.

San Antonio, Texas is celebrating its tricentennial this year, and the stylish Hotel Emma, designed by Roman and Williams, is the perfect place to stay.  Acclaimed chef Jason Dady has a new restaurant called Range, which serves steaks from Texan farms, Gulf Coast seafood, and wild game from Texas Hill Country.

Just in time for the World Economic Forum, Hard Rock Hotels has announced the opening of its first hotel in continental Europe, Hard Rock Hotel Davos in the Swiss Alps. The hotel is located in the heart of the city in the historic Alexander House, built in 1882.

The new Cosi Hotel on Samui Island is now officially open and welcoming independent, tech-savvy travelers; the format is a new offering from Centara Hotels and Resorts designed to address the key hospitality desires of modern guests.

The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour has opened its doors, making it the first newly-constructed international luxury hotel to open in Sydney’s central business district this millennium.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, part of AccorHotels, has announced the opening of the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech in Morocco, which is nestled in a grove of palm, olive and orange trees in the shadow of the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains.

There are two new Bulgari hotels to check out: the Bulgari Resort & Residences Dubai is already open, and the Bulgari Hotel Shanghai (which will feature contemporary, spacious rooms and guest amenities such as Maserati transportation) opens early this year.

On January 18, the first W Hotel in Jordan will open its doors in the new downtown Abdali district of Amman; the W Amman is “a vibrant urban sanctuary styled in contemporary luxury, nestled in Amman’s financial district amid traditional markets and ancient ruins.”

If you’re heading to the Rockies for snowy fun, check out the Hotel Talisa, Vail’s newest luxury ski-in, ski-out resort; the 285-room Luxury Collection hotel, formerly the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, has just reopened after a $60 million renovation.

Ventana Big Sur, an iconic 5-star resort overlooking the Pacific coastline and located just off Highway 1, has reopened as the first Alila Hotels & Resorts property in North America after a multimillion-dollar, resort-wide renovation. You can go glamping, or stay in one of the resorts guestrooms, which are designed to be the height of “rustic luxury.”

Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand’s Queenstown now features the newly-opened lakeside QT Queenstown. The 69-room design boutique hotel has a bar with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide stunning views of the area’s Southern Alps. Offerings are designed to connect with the surrounding landscape: you can paraglide in full view of the snowy mountains, boat across the rapids and heli-ski.

The Line is scheduled to open its latest property in the Adams Morgan neighborhood in Washington DC this month; the boutique hotel is housed in a neoclassical church, and will have three restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop, a live broadcast podcast network, and a rooftop with views of the Washington Monument.

See other January 2018 Events:

Food & Drink

Planes, Yachts & Autos

Fitness & Sports

Fashion & Design


The Arts

Pamela Thomas-Graham

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. She serves on the boards of several tech companies, and was previously a senior executive in finance, media and fashion, and a partner at McKinsey & Co.