Guide To Celebrating Milestones

Greetings passionate travelers – get ready to drool!  Do you have a special celebration in the coming years whether it be a milestone birthday, anniversary, graduation, honeymoon, family reunion, or even a marking the return to travel celebration on your calendar? 

As you know, I write these newsletters myself each week, but this time I’m making an exception for a very good reason.  As a member of the Virtuoso Celebration Community of advisors, I LOVE this Virtuoso article which is chock full of amazing travel inspiration!  It was produced with support from our community and is a fantastic resource for when we’re all celebrating somewhere extra-special again and making lifelong memories in the process.  The travel suppliers listed are part of the Virtuoso network and just one of the numerous vetted options for each experience. 

If you’d like more options and information for any destination or experience on this list, reach out to me and I’ll give you the scoop and details on the Virtuoso perks!  Read on for the mouth-watering list – part one is this week and part two comes next week…

38 Reasons to Celebrate Around the World, By Elaine Glusa and produced with support from Virtuoso Celebration Travel partners.

Seek Adventure

1. Spy Big Five on an epic African adventure. Picnic amid herds at Ngorongoro Crater and trek to see rare mountain gorillas on a ten-day tour of Tanzania and Rwanda with Giltedge Africa. 

2. From falconry to clay-shooting, master an estate sport. Play Irish lord at the 104-room Adare Manor, home to 840 wild and manicured acres spanning woodland walks and a Tom Fazio golf course.

3. Island-hop like a local in Greece. Leave the mayhem to Mykonos and follow the experts of Original Senses – Greece to the Small Cyclades – dozens of dreamy islands and rock islets – on a sun-soaked seven-day sail.

4. Canter on the beach and swim with your steed. Saddle up at the Equestrian Center – also offering pony rides for kids – at the 210-room Half Moon, Jamaica for its signature turf and surf ride.

5. Conquer FOMO in Costa Rica. Do it all – zip-lining, birdwatching, cooking lessons, horseback riding, and spying sea turtles laying eggs – at the 54-room Hotel Punta Islita.

6. Dive with 40-foot whale sharks. Swim alongside vegetarian mammoths among off-the-beaten-path adventures, such as four-wheel drives to the Baja’s best swimming hole, offered by Mexico’s 115-room Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Take the Family

7. Pick your pool from an aquatic array. In Hawaii, ride the lazy river, shower in a waterfall, plunge down a 150-foot waterslide, or enjoy the hush of the adult pool at the 604-room Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa.

8. Spy an anemone. Let one of the naturalists at the 582-room Terranea Resort (located on 102 eco-acres just south of Los Angeles) introduce you to sea stars on a tidepool tour or falcons on a coastal hike.

9. Fast track slip-and-slide access. Travel Impressions’ six-day getaway to The Reef Atlantis in the Bahamas includes expedited airport transfers for express access to the eight-slide Aquaventure waterpark.

10. Camp out at the beach. Order up a Pacific-perfect day at the 249-room Fairmont Gran Del Mar San Diego where porters deliver chairs, umbrellas, towels, water, and you to the beach edging the 400-acre resort.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Indulge Your Interests

11. Dwell inside a natural aquarium. Only the 151-room Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the Indian Ocean can claim overwater villas and an underwater villa, as well as a subsurface restaurant.

12. Find your craic in Ireland. From peat-fire-warmed castles to pubs resounding with trad music, I can point you to where the craic – or bonhomie, fun, and lively conversation – is best in Ireland.

13. Dine lagoon-side like a locavore. Among delectables of the 90-room St. Regis Bora Bora Resort – including deck-service breakfast – savor uravena and other local fish from celeb chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

14. Graze gourmet Australia. Follow your nose from the café-filled laneways of Melbourne to Barossa Valley shiraz wineries and Kangaroo Island’s sheep’s milk cheeses with Swain Destinations’ 13-day gastronomic tour Down Under.

15. Strike a pose for a professional photographer. Free yourself from your phone and allow one of the 500-plus pro shooters with Flytographer to document your escape in Australia, Iceland, Maui, and beyond.

Royal Davui Island Resort, Fiji

Pursue Privacy

16. Fulfill a childhood dream: Live in a tree house. Experience indoor/outdoor living in one of the 32 suites at Ladera Resort on Saint Lucia, where no fourth wall comes between you and Piton Mountains views.

17. Comb a dozen beaches on your own Maldives island. Stand-up paddleboard, dive with sea turtles, or anchor in isolated coves during a stay at the 128-room One&Only Reethi Rah.

18. Get VIP treatment. Entrust your five-day Mexican getaway to Classic Vacations, where a vacay at the 39-acre, 122-room Montage Los Cabos gets you the fourth night free, breakfast credits, and airport transfers.

19. Say “I do” in a seventeenth-century chapel. Plan to elope in the hideaway Grenadines at the 39-room, 1,200-acre Mandarin Oriental, Canouan, home to an Anglican church relocated from England and rebuilt stone by stone.

20. Honeymoon on a pair of Indonesian islands. Make the marriage launch indelible with a ten-day trip to Bali and remoter Sumba Island, including flower-strewn beds and couples massages with Tahiti Legends.

21. Play castaway like a grown-up. Romance meets adventure – think snorkeling, kayaking, drinking kava – in Fiji’s Beqa Lagoon where just 16 vales, or homes, populate the adults-only Royal Davui Island Resort.

One&Only Mandarina, Mexico

Seek Balance

22. Have it all on Mexico’s new riviera. Zipline, surf, stand-up paddleboard, or just chill with a view from one of 104 oceanfront villas and jungle shrouded treehouses at One&Only Mandarina, opening in November.

23. Take a me day. Hit the barre or HIIT classes at Santa Monica’s acclaimed indoor/outdoor gym, then reward yourself with a choreographed Flow massage at the 302-room Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows.

24. Steep in the healing power of the ocean. Whether swimming from your overwater villa or following ancient Polynesian rituals in the seawater-focused spa, dive into wellness at the 84-suite InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa. 

One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai

Escape to the City

25. Roll the dice in Monte Carlo. I can create a dream itinerary that places travelers directly among the jet-set at the Belle Epoque casinos, on the mega-yachts, and in the picturesque Mediterranean quarters of Monaco.

26. Revel in Barcelona’s best urban resort. Dwell in the heart of the modernist Golden Square district at the 120-room Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, with an elegant rooftop pool and Michelin-two-starred Moments restaurant.

27. Lodge like Coco. Pay homage to Coco Chanel, Elizabeth Taylor, and Karl Lagerfeld at Fifth Avenue’s chic 189-room The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York, which periodically stages intimate concerts with Broadway stars.

28. Tee up a luxe Bedouin break in Dubai. Check into the wish-granting 452-room One&Only Royal Mirage to play in the footsteps of pros at the Emirates Golf Club, then ride a camel over the dunes at sunset. 

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona – Outdoor ice skating in the desert!

Get Festive

29. Meet Santa in Arizona. Enjoy all the holiday cheer (including light shows and a skating rink that pops up between Thanksgiving and New Year’s) and no North Pole conditions at the 750-room Fairmont Scottsdale Princess  (note – I was there last holiday season – you will love it!).

30. Take a trendy hotel for a spin at sea. Take an outdoor boxing class, get a tattoo, or have brunch with a drag queen aboard Virgin Voyages’ 2,700-passenger Scarlet Lady, slated to offer six-day sailings to the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas this November.

31. Tie the knot to a natural surf soundtrack. The lush lawns of the 483-acre, 139-room St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, designed with tropical weddings in mind, run right up to the secluded two-mile beach.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Think Epic 

32. Kick your South American bucket list. Combine two travel life goals – a cruise in the biodiverse Galápagos Islands aboard the 64-passenger Celebrity Xpedition and a trip to Machu Picchu.

33. Book a stay with a sense of place. One Aman resort is unlike the other 33 in this anti-cookie-cutter collection that spans palaces in Venice, a fishing village in Montenegro, and a palm oasis in Morocco. Find US Aman properties in Utah (the famous Amangiri) and Jackson Hole.  Simply WOW. 

34. Transit the Panama Canal in a ship custom-built for the locks. Wonder at the engineering feat abbreviating the trip between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans aboard the 1,970-passenger Coral Princess on a 16-day Princess Cruises sailing.

35. Beachcomb Asia in a five-nation vacation. Sail 15 days aboard Seabourn’s 604-passenger Seabourn Ovation between Hong Kong and Singapore, visiting the dramatic islets of Halong Bay, Vietnam, and beaches in Cambodia and Thailand en route. 

Learn to Scuba Dive!

Challenge Yourself

36. Up your Instagram game. Massive redwood forests and dramatic coastal cliffs beg framing at the 160-acre, 59-room Ventana Big Sur. Trust its resident photographer to share property secrets and tech skills during photo-hike workshops.

37. Learn to dive. Explore kaleidoscopic reefs from the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin – welcoming beginners with certification courses – over eight-day sailings in Tahiti and the Society Islands with Paul Gauguin Cruises.

38. Ride the barrel of the famous One Eye wave. Hang ten – or just hang out in a tranquil lagoon – with a surf instructor at the 172-room St. Regis Mauritius Resort.

So what do you think – are you inspired?  Are you ready to start brainstorming on your next celebration for when travel returns?  These types of trips require advance planning so you really can’t start the process too soon – let’s talk!

💎 Hidden Gem Tip & Freebie alert:  if you’re interested in an amazing, highly curated luxury travel magazine in print form that you can’t buy yourself (or gift to someone as it’s only available through Virtuoso travel advisors), email me.  Virtuoso Life is an incredible resource!  Here’s a link to the digital version for September entitled, 2021 Travel Planner:  Where To Go Next

Wishing you and your family continued good health,


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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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