Two Australian destinations named in 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017 by Travel + Leisure

 Two Australian destinations feature in premier US travel magazine Travel + Leisure's list of 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017.

Recognised as one of the most remote cities in the world, T&L have lauded Perth for its dining scene, and have named the Waiting Room in the lobby of Australia's newest hotel Crown Towers as the swankiest in town. (Read Traveller's review here or check out the hotel in the gallery above)

Further up the list is Noosa Heads, one of the "unsung sirens of Australia's eastern coast". Here, you'll find Richard Branson's hideaway Makepeace Island, but you might have more chance scoring a booking at one of its new upscale resorts such as the new five-star Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort or seats at one of its new restaurants, in between exploring its vast natural wonders.

Sir Richard Branson relaxes at Makepeace Island, Noosa.

Sir Richard Branson relaxes at Makepeace Island, Noosa. Photo: Getty Images

If it's sun you're seeking, tiny Caribbean island Bermuda features highly in the list for 2017, famous for pink sand beaches and celebrity hideaways – Aussie tennis star Pat Rafter used the island to escape paparazzi at the height of his career. Funnily enough, the Queensland-born athlete-turned-businessman now resides in Noosa.

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda.

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda. Photo: Alamy

However, the top spot went to Angra dos Reis in Brazil. Wedged between Rio and Sao Paolo, this upmarket getaway is where local Brazilians go to escape the crowds, where big changes are slated for the coming year including striking hotels, as well as endeavours to improve the infrastructure on Ilha Grande – the pristine island retreat that used to house pirate lairs and a leper colony, now so popular they've had to impose a daily limit on the number of visitors.

Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: iStock

Over in Europe, Michelin-starred restaurants and locally roasted coffee await visitors to transformed Belfast in Northern Ireland, where you can take street art tours or sip cocktails in the trendy Cathedral Quarter or visit a unique graffiti-covered pizza bar that turns into a late-night club on top of an old 17th-century pub. Further afield, Belgrade in Serbia is given the nod for its growing craft beer scene, which you'll find plenty of in the bar-filled Savamala district where you can sip IPAs in a century-old former brewery.

The Dirty Onion pub in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

The Dirty Onion pub in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter. Photo: Alamy

Closer to home, the coast of Cambodia and its notoriously hard-to-reach islands have just been opened up by direct flights from Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam, and some new luxury hotels beckon such as Six Senses on Krabey Island and Alila on Koh Russey. There's also a Rosewood slated to open in the country's capital of Phnom Penh.

Hop across to neighbouring Laos with additional flights from places like Bangkok, where its two major cities are expecting five-star hotels, including a President by Akaryn in Vientiane, and a Rosewood in the Unesco-protected town of Luang Prabang.

Travel + Leisure compile their annual list by survey writers based around the world as well as talking to their travel specialists, while also taking into account the more exciting hotel and restaurant openings around the world. Food and drink was an important factor in their decision making for 2017 – understanding that people will travel a long way to try new and exciting cuisine.

You can see the full list here.

Ilha Grande, located one hour by boat from Angra dos Reis, Brazil.

Ilha Grande, one hour by boat from Angra dos Reis, Brazil. Photo: Alamy

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