The best perk of this job is, without question, helping build memories.
One area we've seen blossom of late is the milestone birthday experience, where those memories are shared with a collective.
Whether it’s a family group across the generations sharing a deluxe villa for a 70th, a once in a lifetime experience with a loved one for a 60th, a week’s adventure with friends for a 50th or 40th or a short city break for a 30th party, we can organise it with you and ensure things run smoothly, especially if it’s a surprise.
Anything is possible but if you or someone close has a special birthday on the horizon here’s a few suggestions from our playbook that may inspire you.
Thirtieth birthday celebrations work well in exciting and interesting cities that offer great bars and restaurants for group celebrations. Weekend or short break destinations may include the more obvious Amsterdam, Prague or Madrid but we highly recommend the likes of Budapest , Riga or Slovenia’s gorgeous capital, Ljubljana.
Some destinations serve dual desires. Take Ibiza, for example. Pikes Hotel is always a great party option but if your group prefers tranquil beaches, spectacular sunsets, yoga, meditation, fine dining and a more rustic retreat then Ibiza can also offer something like the divine Cas Gasi. For spectacle, we can also recommend Richard Branson's Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
Also consider the villa experience, which works really well. An amazing, contemporary 6-bedroom option in the Algarve with fantastic golfing options is a top lads' experience for a short break.
Then again, perhaps a chalet in a European ski resort works if your gang have an alpine preference.
New York is always a winner, especially if your group of girlfriends are into a shop and bop. We have some wonderful hotel partners in the Big Apple like The Refinery, which serves as a great base from where to explore.
Music festivals are really popular options for a 40th birthday bash, combining the sun, sea and great sounds. In July, choose from Serbia’s Exit or Belgium's Tomorrowland or Nos Alive in Lisbon (their line-up includes The Weekend, The xx, Foo Fighters and Depeche Mode).
40th and 50th birthdays
If it's a 40th or a 50th birthday, we'll jokingly group these as the midlife crisis options. They all work.
If it’s fast and furious then think about going transatlantic. The country has plenty to consider with Daytona’s Bikes or hiring a Harley for Route 66. Sporting wise, the States offers the Kentucky Derby or the US Masters.
We have arranged many California road trips and Vegas extravaganzas, and an increasingly popular choice is the Ranch experience.
If combining a sporting experience with a beach or perhaps a casino appeals, then Formula One Grand Prix Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Monaco are brilliant ideas. Then again, there's always cricket in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean also ticks the totally chilled 40th or 50th option. A sublime spa in between sailing, sunning and the odd cocktail is worth considering and the “home of all right”, Jamaica, has some wonderful resorts for a range of delights including some incredible villa options for large family groups that can be better value than you might think.
Family experiences to celebrate a 40th or 50th are high in demand. Dependent on the time of year Iceland or an Arctic riverside retreat or Croatia are all good choices closer to home.
If you can plan the school holidays well then Costa Rica, Canada, Peru or even New Zealand can be sensational choices.
If wildlife is on your bucket list then breathtaking possibilities include leopards in Sri Lanka, tigers in India, elephants in Thailand or gorillas in Rwanda.
Then again you could simply combine them all in South Africa or Tanzania where, if your clan are fit enough, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is something to tick off the bucket list.
As, of course, is the roof of the world: Tibet. This one is for adventurers with a slightly more expansive budget, but it's one of the planet's most intriguing destinations.
If cultural enrichment or European romance is more to your taste then look no further than beautiful Italy or Provence where sensational options such as Castello di Casole and Terra Blanche are high on our list, along with Gastronomic Sicily or a truffle-hunting break.
Off the plate, try a visit to the opera in Verona or the masked ball at Venice Carnival, starting with a water taxi to the elegant Bauer Hotel then costume hire and fitting, plus entry to the ball, all organised by us. As one lovely client testifies, “The whole weekend was magical, crazy and everything I could have wished for my big birthday.”
60th and 70th birthdays
Our 60th and 70th celebrations are suitable for those with a little more time at their disposal, and perhaps those seeking a 'once in a lifetime' holiday.
Some of the world’s great train journeys are regular requests, with Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer (as travelled by our friend Roger) a popular choice.
The great Indian trains are a match (as proven last month) and let's never forget the fantastic Orient Express, which is a current hot pick travelling one-way to Venice and combining with a luxury hotel (then flight home).
The world is yours if a luxury cruise is your idea of marking a birthday in style. They include Round The World options on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, expedition cruises to Antarctica or the Arctic with Silversea, a cultural river cruise through Europe with Riviera or an exotic one with Uniworld in Asia.
There are many magnificent cruise adventures to be had or combined with memorable destinations - an Alaskan cruise with your Canadian adventure or the incredible North Star Cruise as part of an Australian trip are great examples. One tip: book early – such unique experiences are already heavily in demand for 2018.
Other fabulous tips combining a shorter cruise as part of an inspirational adventure are Cuba with the Star Flyer or the gorgeous Galapagos high in demand after being featured in the BBC's Planet Earth 2.
Escorted tours are always in vogue, as they take the sting out of planning, and offer expert guidance throughout. The Far East is an exquisite choice, with trips such as the panda sanctuary in Chengu with John Craven as part of a China itinerary.
Celebrity encouragement also came from Joanna Lumley, whose 2016 series made a lot of people vow to discover Japan.
We also nominate Myanmar (Burma) as a place to immerse yourself, with its mystical feel and incredible history.
Of course it doesn’t have to be long distance. The Italian lakes offer incredible hotel or group of villa options, such as Casta Diva on Lake Como. Alternatively, try Porto or even Vienna, which has the Spanish Riding School.
There aren’t many more scenic special locations for a group of friends than Ashford Castle on the west coast of Ireland.
We could continue.
But we won't.
This was just a flavour of what's possible.
We specialise in tailor making these adventures, using our worldwide network of contacts to make something you will never forget.