8 Luxury Hot Spots to Visit Before They're Ruined by Climate Change
By Kyle Munzenrieder. Photos: Getty.
Sometimes it seems the world will never run out of haute travel hot spots. The international jet set is always finding some new far away beach or another to flock to, with their selfie sticks in tow, natch, quickly followed by our Instagram-induced jealousy).
But there's always so many considerations to take into account while planning a luxe getaway and choosing your preferred destination: the local culture, shopping opportunities, the hotels, the cuisine, the nightlife, access to spas and other amenities among others.
Oh, right, and climate. Every good tourist destination should have a nice, steady, vacation-worthy climate. Preferably warm (with the obvious exception of ski trips, of course), but not too warm, you know?
Oh, and, nowadays you also have to add sea levels into the mix. You definitely want a good sea level. One preferable below ground level. No one want to shop for the perfect Bottega Veneta leather flip flops only to have them soaked by local flooding. Such a pain.
Of course, with a new President of the United States in Donald J. Trump who just rolled back some of his predecessor's more prudent climate change policies and may or may not be mulling pulling out of the international Paris Climate Agreement, these are just things that travelers are going to have to keep in mind more and more. In fact, in some cases, you might want to pull our your passport before America pulls out of the climate agreement because some travel destination could be ruined forever over the next century.
1. Miami Beach
Ah, Miami Beach, a strip of sand known for its legendary nightlife, luxurious hotels and spas, and not to mention the yearly bacchanal that constitutes its iteration of the Art Basel fair. Its' a place that's inspired fashion types from Gianni Versace to Bruce Weber, and it's also in one of the earth's most major metropolitan areas vulnerable to sea level rise. Scientists have already noticed an unmistakable uptick in high tide levels and number of floods that hit the community a year, all of which can make living there at times unbearable. The city has already responded to its certainly wetter future by rebuilding streets and installing water pumps, but without international agreement on climate change there's only so much that can be done for New Yorkers' favorite place to slip off to for a sunny weekend.
Venice has a history that extends centuries into the past and in that time it's given us countless contributions to world culture, but it could all be gone in just a few decades. The city is already situated along a string of canals, and The Independent reports that some studies suggest that city could be completely flooded within 50 years. As the locals says, "Ciao, Bella!"
3. The Maldives
It was just last August when we declared The Maldives the "new favorite getaway of models and designers." Its beautiful white sand beaches and shockingly teal waters make it particularly Instagram-worthy, and private villas situated in luxury resorts are a must for the discerning traveler.But, the island nation is the lowest-lying nation on the entire planet, which would also make it the first nation to disappear completely should seal level rise become catastrophic. In fact, as McClatchy's D.C. bureau points out, some land has already been reclaimed by the Indian ocean.
4. Traditional French Wine Country
The Rhône Valley is where some of the world's best wines are harvested, which also makes it a charming place to tour. It's also a reminder that the effects of climate change aren't limited to just seas swallowing up beach-lands. Shifting temperatures are already messing with wine production and Der Spiegel reported in 2014 that local vinters have fought to raise awareness of the potential devastating effects of unchecked climate change could have on the French wine industry.
5. The Swiss Alps
Did you hear? There's a new top-of-the-line luxury spa resort that just opened in the Swiss Alps. In fact, there's been a whole lot of spas opening in the area. Want to know why? The area has traditionally been dependent on drawing skiers to its resorts with its legendary slopes, but the mountain range has a lower altitude than many others and is thus more vulnerable to warming temperatures. In fact, the number of days with conditions opportune for skiing has continued to dwindle in recent years as the temperature gets warmer, a problem that the European Union's European Environment Agency recognizes. Thus, local resorts have tried to make up for it by opening other attractions like spas.
6. The Seychelles
Located just off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are known as one of the world's foremost celebrity honeymoon destinations. George and Amal, Prince Will and Princess Kate, even Salma Hayek and Kering chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault spent their honeymoons there. Future celebrities may want to check it off their list though. NPR reports that the island nation is already sinking and droughts have led to problems with maintaining the supply of drinking water. Sorry, scions.
Did you know Bangkok is the world's most visited city? As a booming metropolis it offers everything from luxury hotels and world-class restaurants to lots of history and local color. It's also among Asia's most vulnerable cities to climate change thanks to its coastal location and low-laying geography. Temperatures have already risen and could reach oppressive levels, and flooding threatens much of the city.
Otherwise known as our current president's beloved "winter White House" (...or is it "Southern White House"), Mar-a-Lago has been graced with Trump's presence at least five times during his relatively brief time in office. It also doubles as an exclusive private club. Initiation fees are now an astounding $200,000. Of course, for that price you could get the chance to overhear sensitive diplomatic discussion. Alas, located as it is in the South Florida resort town of Palm Beach, Trump's jewel is as vulnerable to climate change as anywhere else in the region. A report from the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact estimates that sea level could rise by as much as two feet by 2060, leaving Mar-a-Lago and much of the region flooded. Here's hoping someone has alerted the president about how his newest executive order will affect his bottom line. He seems to respond when his own coffers are affected.
This story originally appeared on W.
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