From Valentine’s Day breaks to landmark birthdays with the family, Abra Dunsby rounds up the trips to suggest to clients celebrating a special occasion.
A holiday is a perfect way for clients to celebrate a special occasion, whether they’re a couple, multigenerational family or even a solo traveller.
“I recently sold a 50th birthday to a solo traveller who wanted to go to the Body Holiday,” says Stacey Owens, store manager at Kuoni Peter Jones. “There’s a really sociable vibe with the staff and other solo guests, so clients can have as much or as little company as they choose.”
Not only is it important to think outside the box for special occasion breaks, it’s also handy to see them as a commission booster, with scope to add extra touches, such as airport lounge access or a luxury hotel transfer.
Malcolm Davies, product destination manager for Funway Holidays, recommends Secrets The Vine Cancun in Mexico for clients planning a wedding proposal.
As with all Secrets Resorts & Spas, the hotel offers a special “Pop the Question” engagement package, incorporating various elements, such as a rose petal and candle “path” decoration leading towards the proposal spot on the beach, a “Will you marry me…” message carved in the sand, a bouquet of roses and an engagement photo shoot. The package is complimentary when staying five nights in a Preferred Club Junior Suite Ocean View room or higher.
BOOK IT: Funway Holidays offers five nights at Secrets The Vine Cancun from £1,225pp based on two sharing, including flights, departing 12 September.
For sporty or active teenagers celebrating a big birthday with their family, Club Med’s La Pointe aux Canonniers in Mauritius is a popular option thanks to its watersports and land-based activities. Kids’ clubs cater to those aged up to 17, so they can make plenty of pals on holiday to celebrate their birthday with.
The recently renovated resort has added a new Tribe Offer for multigenerational families, applicable to those with 8 to 30 guests who are celebrating a special occasion together. Perks include their own transfer, personalised welcome and dedicated member of staff in resort, as well as guest room proximity and a dedicated dinner table at the main restaurant. The free service is available at 15 Club Med resorts.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £4,501 for a family of four staying seven nights, including flights.
Beverley Scarr, short-haul general manager at Premier Holidays, recommends Jersey as a short break for clients celebrating a landmark birthday thanks to its choice of heritage properties.
Scarr says: “I’d recommend the iconic 16th-century Elizabeth Castle. Clients can stay in a castle apartment, which sleeps six, so they can celebrate with immediate family or close friends. It’s a great location to escape Jersey’s hustle and bustle and ideal for budding historians, plus the sunsets from the castle are breathtaking.”
She suggests that agents pre-book a traditional afternoon tea package at the nearby Radisson Blu Waterfront, which has a scenic terrace overlooking Elizabeth Castle. The operator can also add on a day trip to St Malo in France, which has plenty of maritime heritage.
BOOK IT: Premier Holidays offers four nights in Jersey at Elizabeth Castle from £459pp based on four sharing, including flights.
It can be hard to find a villa that's happy to welcome stag or hen groups, so combining the groups on a mixed-sex "sten" is a good option.
The six-bedroom Villa Orsalia in Crete comes with a pool and expansive terraces across its three storeys, and is located near the pretty town of Rethymno. There are pristine beaches nearby, as well as nightlife spots for those who want to party.
BOOK IT: Seven nights starts from £499pp, based on 11 sharing, including flights and departing 4 June.
Couples seeking a romantic, R&R-filled Valentine’s Day should consider the all-inclusive, five-star Gran Hotel Atlantis Bahia Real in Fuerteventura, which offers a range of wellness activities. Its spa Bahia Vital looks out onto the beachfront and nearby Los Lobos Island, with a programme that includes beauty treatments, massages and a hydrotherapy circuit.
The hotel has a Valentine’s Day package, where couples can enjoy a themed black-tie evening at La Cupula restaurant, run by Michelin star-chef Carles Gaig. The dinner starts from £84, with roses and cards for two people.
BOOK IT: Sovereign offers a five-night stay from £638pp based on two sharing on a B&B basis, departing 16 May.
Logger’s Lodge in Swedish Lapland is ideal for couples seeking a remote, scenic location in which to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The eco-lodge comes with its own private sauna and outdoor hot tub, and is set three miles from its neighbours, allowing guests privacy and the chance to see the northern lights away from any light pollution. A private chef is also on hand, with dishes made from local, foraged ingredients.
BOOK IT: A three-day Logger’s Lodge Break starts from £2,740pp.
Amilla Fushi in the Maldives goes all out for Christmas, with big-name entertainers as part of its line-up – last year Rita Ora sang while Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw hit the decks.
This year, the resort has added the new SkyHouse with Bubble accommodation: luxurious treetop nests with their own transparent bubble balconies, complete with telescopes and offering incredible stargazing or sunset views of the canopy. The SkyHouses also come with their own living spaces and infinity pools, and have one or two-bedroom options.
BOOK IT: Prices start from £7,325pp based on two sharing a one-bedroom SkyHouse for seven nights half-board, with flights and seaplane transfers, based on 19 December departure.