One of my most memorable Chinese New Years was spent on Hong Kong’s harbour sharing a private junk with friends. The firework display was pretty impressive, after all, the Chinese did invent them.
Almost as impressive were the neon decorations on the surrounding skyscrapers. Curling dragons, kaleidoscopes of changing colours and elaborate good-luck patterns which lit up the mutli-storey buildings.
This time around, as we enter the year of the rabbit, I imagine there will be the odd giant-sized bunny adorning the tower blocks.
New Year’s Day was Thursday (February 3) but the celebrations will go on all month. Anyone born in the year of the rabbit can be assured that this is one of the noblest signs.
Rabbits often rise to positions of influence so we suspect they will encounter the odd luxury destination or two. They are also principled, honourable and keen to help others.
So this luxury year we predict a continued rise in charitable travel. We see a growing trend towards hotels and travel companies doing their bit for the surrounding communities and those with cash in their pocket taking time out to travel and help those who haven’t.
So what about the rest of us? Where does your Chinese zodiac sign suggest you go in the luxury travel year ahead?
Legend has it that all the animals in creation were summoned by Buddha one New Year’s Day.
Only 12 animals turned up, and to each Buddha gave a year which would bear its name. This is the kind of luxury traveller each animal is.
Rabbit: very sensitive. Principled, honourable, kind.
Birth years for the rabbit zodiac sign: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999
Ideal destination: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos
Rat: charming, determined and ambitious, intelligence, goal oriented.
Birth Years for the pig zodiac sign: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996
Ideal destination: New York here we come. Stay at The Peninsula, Crosby Street Hotel or any number of other new luxury destinations.
Ox: calm, patient, reliable and loyal. Often have a small but solid circle of friends.
Birth years for the ox zodiac sign: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997
Ideal destination: Bali or a private villa anywhere as long as it is with with just a few close friends
Tiger: warm and loving. Passionate about life, impetuous.
Birth years for the tiger zodiac sign: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998
Ideal destination: Somewhere with a passionate Latino vibe. Buenos Aires is a perfect city. For adventure try Guatemala or Mexico
Dragon: charismatic, colourful , brave, dislike routine, like attention.
Birth years for the dragon zodiac sign: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000
Ideal destination: A luxury adventure, climbing Everest, hiking in Nepal, a safari in Africa. Try staying at Royal Malewane or Londolozi luxury game lodges in South Africa
Snake: high principles, sophisticated and charming, thirsty for knowledge
Birth Years for the Snake Zodiac Sign: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001
Ideal destination: a grand cultural tour of Europe. Perhaps around the Loire chateaux or a cruise with a resident expert aboard such as to the Galapagos islands
Horse: confident, proud, witty, outgoing, attractive to the opposite sex
Birth Years for the Horse Zodiac Sign: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002
Ideal destination: Somewhere suitably showy. try Monaco or Las Vegas or a celebrity-style suite
Sheep: sensitive, creative, thoughtful, cultured Can be eccentric.
Birth Years for the Sheep Zodiac Sign: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003
Ideal destination: A sheep might enjoy some hotels with a twist such as the eccentric ; Mason Moschino, Italy, The Cullen, Melbourne or perhaps one of the ever burgeoning choice of fashion hotels.
Monkey: confident, popular, imaginative, free spirit
Birth Years for the Monkey Zodiac Sign: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
Ideal destination: A free-spirited sweep down a snow clad mountain in canada or the Us would be a good choice. Stay at Little Nell or the Viceroy in Aspen. In Canada try Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise or Rimrock Resort Hotel, Banff.
Rooster: brave, enthusiastic, intelligent, hardworking, demand the best
Birth Years for the Rooster Zodiac Sign: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005
Ideal destination: Five star hotels go down well especially in London or Paris. Try the new W London or The Ritz London. In Paris try Hotel Plaza Athenee or Hotel Meurice .
Dog: honest, loyal, optimistic, happy
Birth Years for the Dog Zodiac Sign: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006
Ideal destination: .A beach destination would suit this sunny character. Try Borocay, Philippines or stay at Soneva Fushi, Maldives or Nam Hai, Vetnam
Pig: kind and thoughtful, down to earth, friendly.
Birth years for the pig zodiac sign: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007
Ideal destination: Somewhere where they can get close to nature, perhaps Tasmania or the luxury lodges of New Zealand such as the new Matakauri Lodge or Kauri Cliffs
By Anne Paris