Are You Suffering From Stuffocation?
By Lauren Godfrey
A buzzword coined by author James Wallman explores the reality that we’re drowning in ‘stuff’ and instead crave experiences. Check-out our handy travel guide, put together by our expert personal travel managers, to help you nail that next birthday, anniversary and any other special occasion… no gift wrap needed.
FOR THE… SHOPAHOLIC
New York City
Ideal for: Her 30th and Valentine’s Day
The obvious choice is, of course, New York City. With daily direct flights and a plethora of restaurants, quirky bars, department stores and five-star hotels, this city never disappoints. But what about closer to home? “For a bit of retail therapy hop across the Channel to Paris,” says Ryan Collins, personal travel manager. “Triangle d’Or is where you’ll find a wealth of Paris’ Haute Couture boutiques and some of the finest fashion houses in the world from Dior and Chanel to Prada and Valentino. Plus, the Eurostar will take you to the centre of the city from London St. Pancras in just over two hours.
Hotel Barriére Le Majestic
“Alternatively, Cannes in the south of France is fantastic for shopping, and you get the added bonus of enjoying yacht trips and afternoons spent on the beach. If you visit, I highly recommend staying at Hotel Barriére Le Majestic.” For high-end shops head to La Croisette while Rue d’Antibes is your one-stop for high street finds.
FOR THE… ADVENTURER
Ideal for: His 40th and your wedding anniversary
Adventure travel is on the rise, but for those who are not yet sold on the idea of an energetic holiday, fear not as these suggestions come with a side order of relaxation. “South Africa ticks a lot of boxes for both adventurous and leisurely travellers,” says Gemma Saunders, personal travel and business development manager. “For an adrenaline rush, try shark diving or bungee jumping in Cape Town, while the active can climb Lion’s Head. Oh, and you can’t visit this part of the world without embarking on a safari. Choose a lodge that has a fabulous spa and tranquil infinity pool to help you unwind – it’s called balance.”
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia
Fancy something a little closer to home? The pearl of the Adriatic, or Croatia as it is more commonly known, could be just the ticket. “Plitvice Lakes National Park is beautiful,” Gemma adds. “You can hike around the park, take a dip in the lakes and watch the world go by.” Accessible from Split, it’s ideal for a long weekend of part or a multi-stop itinerary.
FOR THE… LUXE-SEEKER
Viceroy Los Cabos
Ideal for: Christmas getaways and New Year celebrations
Swap your Christmas tree for swaying palms with a trip to Los Cabos, the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. “If you visit this part of the world you have to stay at Viceroy Los Cabos,” says Dean Jeffries, personal travel manager. “The hotel looks incredible. It’s recently had a complete renovation and boasts a spa, four restaurants and lounges, a rooftop bar and a private beach.”
Alternatively, the Maldives will more than satisfy. Choose between speedboat and seaplane transfers from Malé airport before enjoying a new way of holidaying on one of the many private island hotels. Overwater villas, private pools complete with slides that go direct into the ocean, butler service and a diamond standard is to be expected in this corner of the Indian Ocean. “What better way to celebrate the beginning of a new year than in absolute paradise?” Dean concludes.
FOR THE… ECO-WARRIOR
Cas Gasi Ibiza
Ideal for: Honeymoons and engagements
Hotels have taken huge strides in preserving their natural surroundings and reducing their footprint on the world. No longer confined to the Asian resorts of Bali or the hippy town of Tulum in Mexico, eco-conscious hotels are in abundance across all continents. “Cas Gasi Ibiza is a great sustainable hotel that’s not too far to travel to,” says Claire Baker, personal travel manager. “Set in Ibiza’s hills, it’s passionate about organic farming and promotes sustainable use of the estate’s resources. The hotel uses solar energy and boasts a sand-filtered well that provides fresh water – its initiatives pledge to support the earth’s natural balance.
Campi Ya Kanzi
“Another option is to visit Kenya’s Campi Ya Kanzi, an eco-lodge set within the African bush in the most unique setting,” Claire adds. Nestled within its surround, here you can enjoy elephant safaris, yoga and meditation safaris and also horseback riding. It’s the perfect way to celebrate an engagement or marriage.
FOR THE… ROMANTIC
Ideal for: Babymoons and wedding anniversaries
Finding a spot for one last getaway before baby comes can be tricky. Short haul flights are advised and if you’re up for a little more travelling while you’re there then the Amalfi Coast is sure to provide the perfect backdrop to your final trip child-free. “Fly into Naples and drive down to Sorrento or Positano to start your trip,” advises Charley Curwood, personal travel executive. “Make your way along the coast, over to Amalfi and then hire a yacht to visit the isle of Capri. It’s a lot of travelling, but the journey time between towns is reasonable, and it’s certainly worth it for the picturesque views.”
If you’re further along in your pregnancy or are instead celebrating a wedding anniversary, Greece’s quaint island of Santorini is ideal. “OMMA Santorini is a great base for couples,” Charley says. “Try to book a room with a private pool and sea view and be sure to visit the spa at least once during your stay.”
FOR THE… FOODIE
Ideal for: Non-milestone birthdays
Tapas in Barcelona, pad thai in Bangkok, sushi in Tokyo… great food tops the list for many as the main reason to experience a new country – and it certainly beats a meal at your local steakhouse to mark turning another year older. “I’m definitely a foodie and love to discover new restaurants, ones which you’d never find unless a local points you in the right direction” says Louise Silverman, personal travel manager. “Florence is great for this, and you can’t beat dining at Natalinos. It’s a small family-run restaurant with just five things on the menu which change daily. No two meals here will ever be the same.”
Just a few hours flight, Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region, is ideal for a romantic weekend to celebrate a loved ones’ birthday. “If you’re visiting Florence, stay at Brunelleschi Hotel. The staff are excellent, and you can’t beat the location,” Louise adds. With suites complete with private Jacuzzis and two on-site restaurants, as well as a vegan option, it’s a quintessentially Italian hotel that has a trophy cabinet of awards to prove it.
FOR THE... HOME BIRD
Ideal for: Apologies and those ‘just because’ gifts
Who said that travel needs to involve a trip to the airport? Staycations are growing in popularity with families and couples opting to spend more time in the UK throughout the year. A recent study by VisitBritain concluded that 59 million were booked in 2018, a 6% increase from 2016, and the trend is on the up. From the rugged landscape of the Lake District and the beautiful Cotswolds to the busy cities of Liverpool and Edinburgh, there’s a spot in the UK suitable for every traveller… and occasion.
“Personally, I love to book a private cottage with my wife, somewhere where we can holiday and take our dog,” explains David Ox, managing director. “There are some lovely cottages in Cornwall that are animal friendly. We’re also fans of dog-friendly spa breaks, it’s a great way to unwind after a long week or to celebrate a special occasion.”
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Lauren Godfrey is a Marketing Manager