“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.”
― Stephen King
Here’s a trend that will keep you up at night. When it comes to experiential travel, the real adventure can often begin after dark. Pinterest predicts the night will bring the most unforgettable experiences for travelers this year.
So, if you have ever dreamed of seeing a perfectly clear night sky or wondered what it feels like to hit the slopes after sundown – we’ve put together a list of top night travel experiences.
Starry Eyed by Land & Sea
Looking for a beautiful sunset and some of the best stargazing in the world? Take a trip to Zion National Park in Utah. The cliffs glow orange from the late day sun, then transition into a beautiful night sky filled with thousands of glittering stars. The Park protects this resource for future generations by keeping artificial light out, ensuring you get the clearest view possible. You may even get your first look at the Milky Way. Book your stay at Holiday Inn Express Springdale – National Park Area, located approximately a mile from the park’s South entrance.
The Maldives is the perfect place for stargazers of a different kind. Home to the “Sea of Stars,” an incredible phenomenon that occurs in the reefs of the Maldives (most visible from June to December). Bioluminescent phytoplankton combined with the movement of the waves cause the water to glow, making it appear as if the water is full of stars. The best place to view this is Vaadhoo Island in the Raa Atoll. InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort is located on the Raa Atoll and the perfect place to stay for your marine adventures.
Under the Sea … At Night
Curious what happens below the waves at night? This one is for the real thrill-seekers, you will want to add night diving in Cozumel to your bucket list. The surface may look calm, but as the sun goes down, a party is starting below the surface. You can see basket stars, octopus and squid, king crabs and lobsters and bioluminescent creatures. InterContinental Presidente Cozumel Resort offers access to a five-star PADI Scuba Du center, which can organize boat excursions for certified scuba divers looking to push boundaries with a night dive.
Fresh Powder, Floodlit Slopes
Night skiing has become popular over the past few years. Experimental Chalet in Verbier, Switzerland is a skier’s paradise. The hotel is available to book through IHG as part of its partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith. Verbier is the largest village in Les 4 Vallées and boasts more than 400 kilometers of runs, so there’s something for all levels. In the summer, those runs are turned over for mountain biking, hiking, or rock-climbing so you can get your adrenaline rush at any time of the year.
The City of Lights shines brightest at night. One of the most famous nighttime cultural exploration events, the “White Night” or “Nuit Blanche,” takes place in every October in Paris. During White Night public transportation runs all night, museums and tourist attractions are open late, and many street shows are held after hours in venues throughout the city. Crowne Plaza Paris – République is in the vibrant Marais district and offers easy access to five metro lines. It’s the perfect place to book your stay for White Night. The hotel has its own notable history as the original building was constructed in 1866 and has one of the largest inner courtyards of any hotel in Paris.
Dark Mofo is another can’t miss night festival. It takes place in Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia and celebrates the darkness of the southern winter solstice. Featuring musical acts, large scale light installations and a winter feast, it reflects the Tasmanian Gothic aesthetic in art and literature. It’s wacky, weird and unlike any other night festival in the world. Crowne Plaza Hobart is in the heart of Tasmania and the ideal place to sleep in after an unforgettable night at Dark Mofo.
Dining Under the Stars
Luckily, the kitchen doesn’t close for these nighttime hot spots. Let’s start with one of the food capitals of Europe – London. This diverse city can satisfy any craving, with everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to classic pub fare to a variety of international dishes. We recommend going on a twilight food and cocktail tour in Soho to experience the eateries shaping the city’s food culinary culture. Kimpton Fitzroy London is steps away from the tube and features its own culinary and cocktail delights including Fitz’s and Galvin Bar & Grill.
Looking to satisfy your street food cravings? Look no further than one of the street food capitals of the world – Bangkok. There is no lack of night markets in this energetic city, but the Ratchada Train Market may take the top spot. Known for offering some of the best Thai street food in the city from pork skewers to som tum and everything in between. Exploring the market is also one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Thai culture. Holiday Inn Bangkok is in the heart of the city and close to public transportation, giving you easy access to get a taste of local cuisine.
Creatures of the Night
While we may pull an all-nighter on occasion, some animals are always at their busiest while we slumber. You can see what these nocturnal creatures are up to during a nighttime safari. Australia is well-known for its diverse wildlife and Melbourne is the perfect place to go for a night safari. There are so many great options to choose from including the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and the Werribee Zoo Night Safari. These are highly interactive, giving you an up-close look at some of your favorite animals you usually only see on wildlife documentaries like penguins, zebras, giraffes and more. voco Melbourne Central is a truly original property in the middle of the city with stunning views and modern charm. It even has a rooftop plunge pool, perfect for relaxing before your nighttime safari.
Wildlife may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Singapore, but give it a chance – especially after sun goes down. The Night Safari in Singapore is an open-air zoo that is home to more than 2,500 nocturnal animals. During your drive through the safari on a guided tram, you’ll be able to see the nightly bedtime routines of leopards, lions and more. Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, voted the World’s Best Airport Hotel for the seventh time in 2022 by Skytrax, is a property you have to experience during your visit.
Looking to stay closer to the center of the city? Regent Singapore is only 30 minutes from Singapore Changi Airport, and a 15-minute walk away from Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. You will be immediately struck by the sun-filled atrium in this tropical sanctuary, capturing the essence of Singapore as a “City in a Garden.”
From moonlit tours, the Northern Lights and guided city tours, you’ll find that travel is a 24-hour adventure, and there are just as many experiences to be had at night as there are during the day.
With 17 brands and more than 6,000 properties to choose from around the world and IHG’s reimagined loyalty program, IHG One Rewards, that gives members richer benefits and faster ways to earn on each stay, start planning that those nighttime adventures you’ve always wanted to take with IHG Hotels & Resorts today.