The Dunn Thing

Seriously Special celebrations

Issue 6 - 2017
By Andrew Dunn, founder of Scott Dunn · Illustration Heather Gatley

“My sister’s birthday dinner was in the Medina, overlooking Marrakech, watching acrobats, listening to Berber drummers, and followed by horse-drawn carriages back to the riad”

Issue 6 - 2017
By Andrew Dunn, founder of Scott Dunn · Illustration Heather Gatley

“My sister’s birthday dinner was in the Medina, overlooking Marrakech, watching acrobats, listening to Berber drummers, and followed by horse-drawn carriages back to the riad”

You only need witness the excitable, garrulous groups mustering at airports across the country to realise that weddings, birthdays, celebrations and anniversaries are a huge inspiration for group trips. It’s about sharing experiences you’ll never forget, with people you care about, far from everyday life, often in multigenerational groups, with friends and significant others.

At Scott Dunn we’ve seen a rise in luxury celebration travel, which is why we recently brought out our first Seriously Special collection. For travel is the perfect way to celebrate. Obviously we’ve long seen couples going away to celebrate an anniversary, but the variety of trips and reasons for celebration have become ever more imaginative. Whatever the occasion – a business sold, a child about to fly the nest, a parent’s landmark birthday – there’s a holiday for it.

Yes, having a party at home is wonderful. But often it’s no fun as you’re too busy hosting it, and sorting out logistics. Which is why I believe that to create something special you should go on holiday. To take a recent example, we took over a riad in Marrakech for three days to celebrate my sister Pippa’s 50th birthday. My team at Scott Dunn organised amazing experiences throughout. We had the birthday dinner in the Medina, on a roof overlooking Marrakech, watching acrobats and listening to Berber drummers. This was followed by h0rse-drawn carriages back to the riad. The next day some of us went quad-biking at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, while others took part in a fantastic treasure hunt through the souks. My sister loved every minute.

A classic option is to hire a big villa, which has the advantage of allowing people to hive off and do their own thing. And Scott Dunn can take care of the itinerary, ensuring there’s something for everyone – perhaps a boat trip, a bucket-list excursion or an adventure.

Sometimes we get great challenges. One group asked us to create a walking itinerary from the Austrian Alps to Venice. And why not? I’ve personally done a 50th birthday in Venice and it’s brilliant, while a group walk is a great idea. We’ve organised a cricket match in the Alps, cocktails on the Great Wall of China and black-tie dinners in the Mediterranean. Almost anything’s possible.

There are occasions for corporate groups too. We took one party of 10 TV producers to the Alps to ski with national champions and discover the thrill of freeriding, culminating with a champagne cocktail party and gourmet dinner, and on another occasion organised a group of 14 from an advertising agency to stay in two of our luxury villas in Mallorca, complete with a private 40ft yacht excursion, private use of the Pollença golf course, a volleyball match on the beach and a seafood barbecue with flamenco.

Our experience means we can craft the perfect corporate trip, the most special birthday celebration, the finest upmarket stag or hen do; indeed, anything else that involves creating the most special of special occasions, whether for 10 people, 40 or 100. It’s the ultimate travel treat – and we all deserve significant experiences on our significant occasions.

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