Organise a four night long haul incentive for 60 couples. The trip had to embrace local culture, include group and optional activities and have down time for couples. With Barbados, India and Mauritius as previous event destinations, this trip had high expectations and therefore needed that real Wow!
After an overnight flight and very early arrival into Hanoi, the guests were welcomed to the stunning Intercontinental hotel where a delicious Champagne breakfast was served. Situated alongside West Lake, this property offers an oasis of tranquillity amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. After time to freshen up and change, the group needed energising so what better way to start the day than with a mass Tai-Chi experience within the serenity of the botanical gardens with a grand master leading the way. The limbs were stretched, and the blood started flowing as everyone enjoyed this unique and cultural activity. And then it was straight into the craziness of central Hanoi on a rickshaw for a sample tour of this fabulous and exciting city. Of course, there had to be a kerbside stop for the famous egg coffee from Hanoi’s oldest coffee shop. A double espresso topped with indulgent, sweet egg custard. It’s so good! This wonderful morning ended at Wild Rice for a Vietnamese lunch and a very welcome cold Hanoi beer! In the evening, dinner was a Vietnamese fine dining experience at Club L’Oriental. The food was plated to perfection, the tastes were sublime, and the chillies were hot, seriously hot! If you have only got one day in Hanoi, then what a day this was.
After a short internal flight, the group arrived in Da Nang, a beautiful coastal area best known for its expansive sandy beaches and lush greenery. Arriving at The Furama Hotel & Resort, the guests were welcomed by a parade of smiles from local Vietnamese students in traditional dress followed by delightful dragon fruit cocktails around the courtyard, Champagne and delectable canapes before checking in and exploring the hotel facilities. Champagne and delectable canapes before checking in and exploring the hotel facilities. As the sun set, the group enjoyed their pre-dinner drinks on the terrace overlooking the beach with live traditional Vietnamese music accompanied by the sound of crashing waves in the background. In an open sided space, the guests enjoyed their dinner and fine wines with the smell of the sea air and the sounds of the swaying palm trees for company.
Guests had their second day in Da Nang to explore at their own leisure, or of course take part in an exciting optional activity. Some guests relaxed on the beach with a beer, some guests ventured out on My Son ‘Beautiful Mountain’ tour which displays incredible temples from the 7th century, and others investigated what the local markets had to offer. So far, this trip had been jam packed with fabulous experiences so to have some time to slow down and unwind worked perfectly in the planning. In the evening, the group were taken to the beautiful, colourful and vibrant Hoi An for an unforgettable and bespoke street party. As guests arrived, they were greeted with drums, lion dancing, acrobats and all-round excitement. With hundreds of colourful lanterns swinging from trees and the glistening river as the backdrop, this was truly a memory that will last forever. As a finishing touch, everyone was invited to release a lantern into the river and say a private prayer. This Hoi An tradition is not only spectacular to watch as the river is alight with floating candles but it is also a personal moment to savour. What a night!
Day four began with the whole group using that staple of Vietnamese transport – the bike – to cycle through the local farms and villages of Hoi An. The gusts got to meet the local farmers, see traditional farming methods in action, and of course, have a go. After navigating the narrow paths around the prawn farms, the group arrived at a local village kindergarten which we like to support. With a suitcase full of toys and games at the ready, the guests were invited to meet the children and give out the presents. It is a special and memorable experience and one that is appreciated by everyone involved. Unfortunately, the tour had to come to an end, but what a better way to do so than sailing across the river to an exclusive lunch at Brother’s Café, a magical riverside restaurant serving local cuisine. With some time to wonder around the streets, guests soaked in the local atmosphere and explored the gift shops before heading back to their resort. The final night beach BBQ was the perfect end to this extraordinary incentive trip. Under the moonlit sky, the group enjoyed a glass of Champagne before taking their seats and enjoying live cooking stations, a fabulous buffet and endless drinks. The sounds of the sea and the rustling palm trees were the background to conversation and laughter that went on late into the night.