The Best Places to Celebrate Life’s Milestones


Congrats! Now get out of here, you.

Life’s milestones are an excuse to take a few extra days off and flee the neighbourhood. After all, if you’re going to celebrate the occasion, why not go big (and far)? We’ve compiled the destinations that deliver on every front – dedicated butler, an all-glass undersea restaurant, or a seat at Nobu in Ibiza pique your interest? We thought so.

Best for… Birthdays

Celebrate a milestone birthday with flair at Hotel Arts in Barcelona, high above the Spanish city famous for its art and architecture. Curated by world-renowned Catalonia designer Jaime Tresserra, the hotel features 28 penthouses, each with a dedicated multilingual butler, and fresh flowers arranged by celebrity florist Donna Stain. Did we mention guests get complimentary use of a MINI Cooper Cabrio to explore the colourful city that Picasso and Salvador Dali called home?

Best for… New Year’s Eve

Make a note for 2018. The Nobu Hotel in Ibiza – owed by the iconic Japanese restaurant company – is a destination in constant celebration, especially on the 31st day of December. Designed to be the ultimate playground for grown-ups, it offers four restaurants – including Nobu – as well as multiple bars, two swimming pools and a spa to recover from the night before. The owners aimed to create “a place to go and be seen”, mixing high-energy socialising with relaxation. It’s an ideal base from which to explore the notorious European party island.

Best for… Graduation

You’ve graduated! Now what? Before joining the workforce, celebrate reaching the end of your education – without taking an entire year off to do it. G Adventure’s Yolo tours are fast-paced and affordable trips designed for young travellers, with destinations including Europe, the Middle East, South America and Africa. Ranging from a couple of days to a couple of months, the trips are designed to be thrifty.

Best for…Honeymoons

An adults-only escape you’ll never forget, the newly opened Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives may blow your wedding budget – but it’s worth it. The 90-villa resort is home to the largest all-glass undersea restaurant in the world, located 5.8 metres below the surface, where manta rays and sharks swim by while you’re eating. The resort also offers diving, snorkelling and visits to a marine biology centre where you can learn about local conservation. On Dream Island, Hurawalhi’s ocean neighbour, you can also renew your vows.

Best for… Promotions

Before starting a new role, take time out to celebrate and recalibrate with a private, personalised wellness retreat that’s just for you (and whoever you want to share it with). With Luxe Wellness, you choose one of their Australian locations, tell them your tastes, then they’ll create a bespoke retreat for you and your invitees. From isolated mountain escapes to North Sydney retreats closer to the city, revamp your wellness with yoga, holistic healing and mindfulness training before you take the next step up the career ladder.

Best for…Proposals

Dream of proposing under the stars? The Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Night Reserve in New Zealand is one of only eight areas in the world where light pollution is controlled to enhance star-gazing. Plus, in an area of 4300 square kilometres, you’ll have no problem finding a secluded spot to pop the question. Situated on the country’s South Island, there’s a range of accommodation nearby, from farm stays to private cottages. It’s also a popular spot for weddings if you get the answer you’re hoping for.

Best for… Anniversaries

Whisk your loved one away on a mini-break they’ll never see coming – because the accommodation isn’t always there. Australian travel start-up Wanderlings has a fleet of glamped-up Airstream trailers and vintage caravans that they tow to your chosen beachside location and style for a weekend
of romance. With dinner cooked over a campfire (cooking isn’t allowed inside the trailers), wrap yourselves in blankets and eat under the moonlight. At the end of the weekend, they just tow your love-nest away again.

Best for…Babymoons

A favourite getaway for Australian celebrity mums-to-be, The Landing (so called because it was the place of arrival for New Zealand’s first European settlers), in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands – the perfect place to find peace during your pregnancy – is a 55-minute helicopter flight from Auckland. With four sea-view properties, set between farmland and a vineyard, you can explore the 404 hectares (1000 acres) of beaches, eco reserves and wildlife sanctuary – or just unwind in your luxury accommodation. There is also land for sale if you fall in love with coastal life.

Best for… Retirement

According to travel insiders, ‘voluntourism’ is growing increasingly popular with retirees, who want to use their free time to explore – and do good in the process. Help to build a school to empower communities in India, Kenya or Ecuador or get involved in a range of feel-good projects. Recently, Projects Abroad has seen a steep rise in applications from retired volunteers, particularly those signing up to teach children in underprivileged countries (teaching experience not essential).

Photography by Priscilla Du Preez

Amy Molloy



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