An expert’s guide to your special occasion holiday
A night under the stars on a beach or a sunrise hot-air balloon ride; our experts know the most memorable experiences to mark your milestone event – because they've been there themselves or have planned them for their guests. Whatever you have in mind for your special occasion holiday, tell us where you'd like to go, and we'll match you up with an expert who knows the destination inside out.
Let us help you plan something special to look forward to if you've had to postpone a special event or have an upcoming reason to celebrate. We've picked a handful of our experts' favourite hotels and experiences that are perfect for celebrating your birthday, anniversary, engagement, or honeymoon.
Blow-out Birthday holidays
Although some of us may love celebrating a momentous birthday at home with family and friends, many would prefer to blow out our candles on an exotic holiday. If your idea of a happy birthday is sipping cocktails on a sun-kissed beach, being pampered in the spa and indulging in delicious cuisine, take a look at Bodyholiday, St Lucia. Here, you can do as much or as little as you like. There are a range of activities from fitness classes to watersports, as well as an out-of-this-world spa. The icing on the cake is definitely the included daily spa treatment.
For a birthday bash on the 'wilder' side, choose a safari holiday. You could take the whole family away on a wildlife-spotting adventure to Kenya, one of the best places in the world to spot the Big Five. Governors' Camp in the Maasai Mara has a private camp that can be reserved exclusively for your group. Spend quality time together out on epic game drives and catch up over sundowners in the cosy bar. If it’s just the two of you, the more intimate Little Governors’ Camp, which is just across the Mara River, is perfect for couples. Raise a glass while relaxing on the deck of your beautifully-furnished tent and keep a lookout for the resident wildlife – you can often spot elephants striding through the camp.
“For my 50th birthday I was lucky enough to spend a few nights at Governors’ Camp in the Maasai Mara, and the experience was incredible. The guide's knowledge was outstanding and I relished learning about the life cycles of the wildlife and the dynasties in the Mara. A highlight of my stay was an exquisite meal on the banks of the hippo-filled Mara River. The Maasai guides surprised us with singing and dancing around the campfire. The next morning, we rose early for a dawn flight in a hot-air balloon, which was a tremendous experience I'll never forget."
Andrew Fielding, Retail Sales Development Manager
We’ve been planning extraordinary romantic escapes ever since we first opened our doors over fifty years ago. And we’ve won plenty of awards for our expertise. Our Personal Travel Experts have personally visited the hotels we recommend and are ready to share their ideas and tailor make a honeymoon as unique as you are.
Mauritius is a destination that we love to recommend for our newlyweds. There are velvety white beaches, rugged mountains and jade-coloured lagoons, as well as a bedazzling choice of beach hotels. The five-star LUX* Le Morne has one of the most desirable spots on the island – it’s nestled in the shadow of Le Morne Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sink into a sun lounger on the beach and enjoy the VIP treatment as waiters bring you freshly cut coconuts or a refreshing face mist (they’ll even clean your sunglasses). And as honeymooners you’ll be invited to a fun cocktail making class and receive complimentary canapés and bubbly on your private terrace.
If you’re looking for a honeymoon that combines adventure and relaxation, a multi-centre getaway in Thailand may be right for you. For the perfect twin-centre stay, spend a few nights exploring vibrant Bangkok while staying at our favourite new city bolthole, five-star Sindhorn Midtown Bangkok, followed by blissful beach days at the chic Rocky's Boutique Resort on Koh Samui. For an extra layer of excitement, tag on a few nights stay at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, where you can get up close with elephants, as well as spending the night in your very own ‘jungle bubble’.
“My husband and I travelled with Kuoni on our honeymoon to Thailand. We had the most amazing trip visiting a trio of places: Bangkok, an elephant camp in Chiang Mai, and the tropical island of Koh Samui. The highlight of the trip was during our time at the elephant sanctuary. We loved learning about the gentle giants and interacting with them in their natural habitat. On our last evening, we had the most amazing dining experience over the river, sampling some of the best food we’ve ever tasted while watching a herd of elephants settle down in their camp for the night.”
Alex Killeen, Store Manager, Kuoni Manchester
Whether you’re celebrating a 5th or 50th wedding anniversary, booking in time together on a no-kids-allowed holiday is guaranteed to reignite the romance. If you don’t want to travel too far, we have a collection of hideaway hotels in Europe that are perfect for a couples-only getaway. In Mallorca, the adults-only Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa is designed in the style of a fairytale castle and is wonderfully romantic. Opt for a swim-up room for special extras such as personalised check-in, afternoon hors d’oeuvres and access to the private sundeck.
Fancy a more far-flung adventure to mark your wedding date? The tropical tear-drop shaped island of Sri Lanka is an alluring destination to explore. There are mist-covered mountains, picturesque tea plantations, wildlife-rich parks and some pretty breathtaking beaches. You can create your own unique itinerary, travel with your own private driver/guide and stay in boutique hotels away from the crowds. At Heritance Tea Factory, all of the rooms and suites have spectacular views over the surrounding tea plantations; you can also enjoy incredible dining experiences – we love the tea-themed menu in the restaurant.
“I planned a lovely itinerary in Sri Lanka for a couple celebrating their ruby wedding celebrations. They were due to arrive at the Heritance Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya for the day of their anniversary. As a surprise, we arranged a special ‘Dining on Wheels’ experience in the unusual railway carriage restaurant, where they enjoyed a Michelin-worthy menu alongside fine wines. They were delighted!”
Sharna McKay, Assistant Store Manager, Kuoni Metrocentre
This feature was updated on 1st April 2022. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flannagan.