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Tell us the story of Hot Chilli Travel? Where did it all begin?
With a 25 year career background in Marketing and Events, I have always loved planning & organising, but most importantly, receiving the post event feedback was so important to me. Having taken a career break to bring up the children, my dream was to move into the travel industry and after a few conversations with a great friend who had a long career in travel, we decided that with our independent skills, we could bring everything together to set up a small independent agency that would tick all the boxes to provide exceptional personal, attentive service to our clients.
We love the company name, where did that come from?
Honestly, very randomly! I think a lot of brainstorming, quite a few gin and tonics and the desire to have something a little different, memorable and slightly unusual.
Is your personal love of travel the driving force behind the brand?
Since I was born, I was lucky to have travelled a lot with my parents. Travel has always been my passion for life, and to be able to talk about travel on a daily basis is a dream come true.
What is your company’s promise to clients?
We promise to be flexible, honest and upfront with our clients at all times.
We provide a personal travel expert who will listen to your brief, come up with all the ideas, own and manage the client’s trip from initial enquiry thorough to returning home. We promise to offer a wealth of knowledge through our contacts and partners, remaining accessible and available when you need us. One of the benefits of booking through a small, independent concierge is that we are not tied to any particular operators or hotels so can really research the best possible options to you at very competitive pricing with no compromise on service.
It must be great fun planning holidays, what are the highlights of running your own travel business?
The highlights are endless. I have met some amazing people in the travel industry and it is heart breaking to see it going though such hardship during the pandemic. The world will bounce back, and I am so excited to be able to start looking forward to 2021.
I love speaking to my clients and subsequently helping to provide them with memories that will last a lifetime.
What other services can you offer your clients to ensure they create wonderful memories?
We love a brief for ‘not your everyday request’.
Last year, we arranged for elves to knock on a family door and tell them Santa had gone missing and the children were needed to find him! We whisked the family away on a private jet to Lapland for 4 days which including snowmobiling, sledding and playing games to find Santa. The trip concluded with a private meet with Santa himself – memories to last a lifetime!
Do you have a favourite family destination and why?
I love Thailand for the family. Thailand is such a diverse country, and offers so many varied and memorable experiences to treasure. For families of wildlife enthusiasts, Majestic Asian Elephants can be seen up close in their natural rainforest environment. In Chang Mai, you can take the opportunity to try a night safari by open-air tram with a wealth of magnificent animal to spot. There is plenty of underwater life to be seen by the coastline, as well as water sports galore, and wherever you go, food is an absolute highlight. Even the fussiest eaters might be converted by the end of a family holiday here!
Where would you like to travel to next?
I would love to visit Iceland for stunning wilderness and adventure. You can be as busy or as relaxed as you like, from Artic Luxury camps on a glacier to hot springs, Icelandic waterfalls and super jeep safaris and the opportunity to see the stunning Northern Lights. This is most definitely on my bucket list.
What are your tips for travelling in summer 2021? Would you recommend booking early?
As the green shoots appear and we long for an end to what has been such a tough time for so many and for so many reasons, we know people are itching to get away and to see our beautiful world once again. For anyone looking to travel in 2021, I would certainly advise thinking about it now. Many people who were due to travel in 2020 have rescheduled to 2021. There are many incentives to book early with early booking discounts, room upgrades & board upgrades. Low deposits, flexibility to change plans and flexible balance due dates wherever possible all help with the planning too. I also believe that having something to look forward to helps our wellbeing and improves our ability to cope with today and the current climate.
How do you relax when you’re not running Hot Chilli Travel?
I love the gym, Pilates, trying new restaurants, and I can’t wait to get to a music festival next year! In the meantime, I will continue reading Conde Nast Traveller and dreaming about new destinations to explore!
What are the key trends for 2021?
– Wellness, a growing trend aiming to provide holidays that are designed to enrich the body, mind and soul.
– Residential style accommodation for post pandemic travels
– Many companies will be expanding work remotely options, so we anticipate greater interest in longer stays.
To start planning your luxury travel for 2021, please contact a member of our team.