Building the perfect anniversary or honeymoon can be a delicate and gargantuan undertaking when clients want to pull out all the stops. But with a small army of romance and travel experts on your side, and with a company that believes that travel is the finest way to celebrate life’s significant moments, such a request can prove exhilarating and satisfying at just the right times.
“Three years ago, we launched Abercrombie & Kent’s Celebrations, a portfolio of spectacular settings to herald new beginnings, salute happy endings, mark successful accomplishments or reunite old friends,” says Sarah Davy, romantic travel concierge and senior consultant for private travel for Abercrombie & Kent USA. “Based on guest interest, we expanded on offerings geared specifically toward the honeymooners and anniversary journeys.”
These trips are built “from scratch,” she explains, by working with travel agents and their clients to understand their needs and likes: who they are, what they’re looking for, where they like to travel, when they would like to go. “So we’ll create the frame of the house. What gradually emerges is a personality. Every booking has its own personality—every booking has to tell us some story. No two trips are ever going to be the same.”
After they hone in on a destination and the people involved, they’ll go to work behind the scenes putting together all the elements that clients have requested or that the team thinks they would like. Abercrombie & Kent’s biggest tool, according to Davy, is the more than 60 offices around the world, from which they draw so much homegrown knowledge and experience.
And even though they can create romance pretty much anywhere around the world, Africa has been a long-time favorite among travelers. “Whether you’re talking about East Africa or Southern Africa, an African honeymoon is absolutely the best way to start one’s life together, I would think. There are lots of romantic moments that are possible in Africa.” These include private bush dinners, hot-air balloon rides, decked-out picnics with china and crystal, bush walks with just your guide to keep an eye out. “You are just on your own in the universe at that point… it’s like Through the Looking Glass.”
Among her top choices is Sanctuary Baines’ Camp in Botswana, which will roll a beautiful four-poster bed out on the deck of guests’ deluxe accommodations so guests can sleep outside. “You’ve never seen stars like you’ve seen in Africa. I sat on the terrace and probably saw at least five shooting stars,” says Davy. Another incredible moment: couples returning from a night drive during the summer months can be surprised with a “star bath” on a free-standing zinc bathtub, surrounded by lanterns and canvas screens for privacy.
Because so many of its clients are well traveled and have already seen and done a lot, they do look for a little more adventure. “So that does take us back to Africa again and again. It takes us to India…we can turn India into the most incredible honeymoon or anniversary that you can imagine, with cascades of rose petals falling on you as you enter a building, and private boats and even fireworks done just for the couple.” This takes place in Udaipur, with turbaned rowers maneuvering the city’s Maharaja’s private barge as the couple enjoys a multi-course dinner, then sit back on cozy cushions as fireworks are set off to celebrate their love.