We gave eight DMCs in eight of our favourite destinations the same brief and challenged them to come up with an enticing proposition to showcase the best of what’s on offer.
Our trusty partners were tasked with devising a short incentive programme for 20 couples. Our imaginary group were looking for a couple of activities to take part in, as well as some exciting new options for drinks and dinner.
In the first of two parts we’re taking a look at the proposals for Sicily, the Algarve, Paris and the Côte d’Azur, where the amazing ideas are thanks to Studio ITER, TA DMC Portugal, Ikebana and Raising Stones.
Here’s what they proposed, but which is your favourite?
#1 Sicily & Club Med Cefalù, by Studio ITER
The crystal-clear waters around Sicily have to be seen to be believed, so Studio ITER propose a morning of sailing out to the nearby volcanic Aeolian islands. With all that sea air, stomachs will be rumbling so once back on dry land it’s time to hit the kitchens in the old town of Cefalù where they’ll learn how to make Arancino, a typical Sicilian street food of fried rice. Afterwards, the sportier members of the group can jump on quad bikes for an excursion out to the spectacular Madonie Nature Reserve whilst those who wish to relax can hit the spa at the Club Med or sign up for inclusive sporting activities such as SUP or kayaking. Topped off with an evening of fine dining in the resort’s Palazzo Gourmet Lounge.
Studio ITER are represented in the UK by STAR Your World
#2 The Algarve & Club Med da Balaia, by TA DMC Portugal
The Algarve is also famous for its beautiful beaches, so TA DMC Portugal recommend a morning of exploring its dramatic coastline on board catamarans. There’s an open bar service, so this is a really fun morning where the group can relax and get to know one another. After a quick pit-stop for lunch at the Club Med, our group will head out in jeeps for a half day of exploring the countryside and some local specialities. Did you know Cliff Richard owns a vineyard in the Algarve? Well, he does, and that’s where our group are heading next to taste a selection of Cliff’s white, red and rosé wines. By now, this well-oiled day is beginning to feel like we’re all going on a summer holiday, and what better way to wrap up the day than sundowners by the beach followed by a seafood dinner by the water’s edge.
TA DMC Portugal are represented in the UK by STAR Your World
#3 Paris & Maison Astor Paris, by Ikebana
It’s hard to ignore France’s world-beating cuisine when you visit Paris, so the team from Ikebana propose a very foodie itinerary. And rather than just learning how to cook, our group will have to hit the markets first to buy all the ingredients they need to prepare their own lunch. Hopefully it will be délicieux, but in case they can’t handle the heat of the kitchen, Ikebana will have no problem getting our group a table for dinner at the world-famous Buddha Bar, or other top restaurants such as Manko or Maison Blanche. This proposal is action packed (would you expect anything less in one of the world’s most exciting cities?), with our group taking part in urban street art, learning how to fashion hats and also escaping the city out to the famous Palace of Versailles, without which a trip to Paris is pretty incomplete.
Ikebana are represented in the UK by DMC Advantage
#4 Côte d’Azur & Hôtel la Pérouse, by Raising Stones
A morning exploring the winding streets of the old town is a must when visiting Nice. Handily, Hôtel La Pérouse is right next door so there’s just enough time to drop your bags before heading out en ville aboard Segways. After a hearty lunch of Socca (washed down with some delicious Côtes de Provence, for sure), it’s time to head back to the Promenade des Anglais where our group will find a fleet of iconic Citroën 2CV cars waiting for them. Hopefully they can handle driving on the wrong side of the road, because they’ll be heading out along the coast and up into the mountains behind Nice. This trip includes a couple of stops to play pétanque (boules), and create their own perfume at the world capital of perfumeries that is the town of Grasse. A bit of free time back at the hotel before dinner at Le Plongeoir, a truly unique restaurant that’s located on a pillar of rock in the sea, and at the base of a vintage diving board. Has to be seen!
For more information about Raising Stones, visit www.raising-stones-events.com