Selection of friends and family travel destinations
For so many of us, quality time with family and friends has been limited over the last 18 months. Below, we suggest three incredible friends and family travel destinations that we can tailor for all ages and interests, which are perfect for gathering family and friends to spend treasured time together and create long-lasting memories:
1. SET SAIL IN INDONESIA
Set sail in Indonesia onboard the incredible Aqua Blu with your friends and family. With its history, unparalleled comfort and equipment, this world-class long-range explorer yacht is a reason in itself to go. It goes faster and further, enabling you to see more of one of the most beautiful friends and family travel destinations on the journey of a lifetime.
We will advise on the best route for you to take depending on seasonality and your interests. However, whichever route you decide on, you will encounter amazing scenery and awe-inspiring nature. The Coral Triangle is one of the most beautiful, remote and biodiverse places on earth, harbouring phenomenal marine life and dramatic reefs that make for some incredible scuba-diving and snorkelling. The boat is equipped with plenty of non-motorised watersports equipment and toys for children of all ages, and has many comfortable areas to relax and sunbathe. The incredible team onboard will look after your every need, serving you exquisite food and your favourite drinks throughout the journey.
We will arrange for you to visit unspoilt islands and remote villages, and learn about Indonesia’s wide range of distinctive island cultures, having the opportunity to witness local crafts and awe-inspiring, age-old traditions such as kora-kora war canoe races. You will gain an insight into the lives of people living in places that are truly off the beaten track and only accessible by boat.
If you, your family and friends would like to extend your trip in Indonesia and visit other parts of the country, there are so many options that we would be delighted to discuss with you.
Highlights: Cocktails and canapés and delicious picnic lunches on the deserted beaches of little-visited islands; local dance and music performances on colonial fort battlements; and snorkelling with whale sharks, dolphins or manta rays.
Best time to go: Although seven- and 12-night voyages are possible, we suggest a 14-night trip in this diverse, year-round destination. While this might seem like a lot, the boat is so luxurious and spacious that you won’t want to leave. Depending on where you are travelling from, these islands are wonderfully remote, so it is worth spending as much time as possible here.
2. GATHER TOGETHER IN MARRAKECH
We can craft an incredible holiday in Morocco and beyond for you and your family and friends. Otherwise known as the Red City, it is wonderfully vibrant and surrounded by the Agafay Desert and Atlas Mountains.
We can design some incredible experiences and suggest trekking through stunning scenery and visiting Berber villages in the Atlas Mountains, followed by an incredible picnic with magnificent views of snow-capped peaks. We also recommend a shopping expedition in the bustling Medina with a personal shopper or a treasure hunt in the souks if you’re travelling with children. We can also arrange for you to be escorted through the cobbled streets to a starlit dinner, accompanied by musicians, magicians, snake charmers, fire eaters or dancers.
Take over a private house, riad or hotel in or near Marrakech. We can advise on the best place to stay, such as Sir Richard Branson’s beautiful Kasbah Tamadot, just 45 minutes away in the High Atlas Mountains, the stunning Amanjena hotel, and Ezzahra, a collection of three private villas in the Palmeraie district. We also have the inside track on the city’s best restaurants and can secure you the best tables.
Highlights: Heading into the Atlas Mountains for a fabulous picnic with magnificent views of snow-capped mountains; exploring the vibrant souks of the Medina with a personal shopper; and enjoying a magical private dinner or a party in a historic riad.
Best time to go: The best months to travel to Morocco are from April to June and in September and October.
3. RETREAT TO MEXICO’S PACIFIC REGION
We recommend combining Hacienda de San Antonio, an amazing, historic retreat set on the 5,000-acre Rancho Jabalí, with Cuixmala, which runs alongside 5km of pristine Pacific coastline. The two retreats are very different in style and setting and, together, make a wonderful and varied trip, taking in volcanoes, verdant hills and amazing beaches. Each one has 25 suites, sleeping up to 50 in total, and plenty of space for hosting any size group.
At Hacienda de San Antonio, we suggest spending your days exploring the remote foothills of Volcán de Colima on foot, mountain-bike or horseback, playing tennis, birdwatching or going on nature walks. There are some exciting adrenaline-pumping expeditions for the more adventurous, such as quad-biking or hot-air ballooning over the spectacular landscape. You can enjoy a cultural taste of Mexico here – for example, we can arrange visits to nearby organic farms and for you to learn about coffee roasting, cheese making and cooking.
We can arrange some very special experiences here, such as a scrumptious picnic in the dramatic surroundings; cocktails and dinner on the Mirador Terrace or in the charming central courtyard; or for larger groups, dinner, live music and dancing in the Club Room, with its atmospheric volcanic stone columns.
After a few days in the mountains, fly onwards to Cuixmala on the coast. This extraordinary eco-retreat is set up high on a hill on Mexico’s west coast, surrounded by jungle and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It is part of a 30,000-acre nature reserve, so you might be lucky enough to spot zebra, eland and some of the 270 species of bird. There are 26 horses in residence, so you can explore the jungle on horseback and even ride along the golden sands, a wonderful experience.
At Cuixmala, we can organise amazing set-ups on the beach, including anything from a Moroccan tent to a technicolour dancefloor. During the day, we can also arrange fantastic lunches or dinners on one of the three private beaches or lovely picnics in the biodynamic farm. Another great spot for an evening is in one of the main palapas (‘traditional Mexican shelters roofed with palm leaves’), overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For those looking to end their trip with a bang, spectacular firework displays over the ocean make an incredible grand finale to any celebration.
Highlights: Hot-air ballooning over the stunning Volcán de Colima and dinner and dancing on the Mirador Terrace at the historic Hacienda de San Antonio; wildlife spotting, picnics and beach parties at Cuixmala.
Best time to go: The best time to travel to Mexico’s Pacific coast is in its dry season – from November to June.
For those looking to celebrate on a larger scale to mark a birthday, anniversary or special occasion, we can create fabulous parties in any one of our destinations for up to 150 guests. Here are two celebrations that we have created taken from our portfolio to inspire you.
50th birthday in Brazil, five nights, 30 guests
“We could see the fireworks from Rio Carnival’s Winners’ Parade above the sambadrome that night. After dinner, to our total surprise, each of us was presented with a costume and taken down the hill so that we could take part and dance in the carnival procession – wow!”– Client based in Canada
60th birthday in Rajasthan, three nights, 75 guests
“Our guests came across a fleet of personalised tuk-tuks, accompanied by a team of ‘Stigs’ in white helmets wearing white kurta pyjamas giving them a distinctly Indian twist. Their role – to prepare guests for a rickshaw rally through the desert on a carefully constructed racetrack full of hidden tricks and challenges. It is safe to say that the dust in Rajasthan was left very much unsettled.” – Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, Director