Sign Up for Our Monthly Asia Newsletter
After more than 1.5 years of planning and development, luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) has finally pulled back the curtain on a brand-new portfolio of tours: the Wellness-Inspired Luxury Small Group Journeys, which will debut in India, Southeast Asia, Kenya and Peru this fall.
Choosing India and Southeast Asia for this portfolio was a no-brainer for the company, according to Stefanie Schmudde, vice president of product development and operations for A&K, who has spearheaded much of the development of the operator’s wellness-inspired journeys.
“India and Southeast Asia are both traditional wellness destinations, with a wealth of spiritual activities and luxury accommodations made for wellness,” she said. “And Machu Picchu is one of the most spiritually significant sites you can visit in the Americas.”
The fourth destination, Kenya, may not be the first to come to mind when you think about wellness, but Schmudde explains that a safari is “by nature a spiritual experience.”
“It’s organic and raw, and it has a strong focus on wildlife and conservation,” she said. “Just as a safari is all about getting back to basics, we wanted to go back to the root of A&K in Kenya, where we were founded in 1962 by Geoffrey Kent.”
A&K will include many of its signature hallmarks to each of the itineraries, including small group sizes of no more than 18 guests; hotel-to-hotel luggage transfer (called “Traveling Bell Boy”); hotel Wi-Fi access; laundry once per journey (named “Traveller’s Valet”); private airport transfers; expedited airport services; and gratuities throughout the trip. However, the new wellness-inspired journeys are also launching with a few exclusive amenities that set them apart from the rest of the operator’s small-group category.
For example, accommodations booked for the itineraries are more luxe than ever, Schmudde notes.
“These boutique accommodations have been selected specifically with wellness in mind, and many are properties that we’ve only used for our Tailor Made private travel itineraries — properties including Aman’s Amanbagh property in India’s rural Rajasthan, and Rosewood Luang Prabang in Laos,” she said.
Additionally, the new wellness-inspired journeys are designed to provide clients with a slower pace, with an average of three nights in most locations and more time built in for leisure. The itineraries are also focused around holistic and wellness experiences, as well as excursions that are as inspiring as they are meaningful.
“In Peru, we have a day planned that touches on all aspects of wellness,” Schmudde said. “High in the Andes — a location more than 12,000 feet in altitude — there is a secluded lagoon where guests will be able to kayak, followed by a gourmet organic lunch on the banks of the lagoon. A village shaman will come to present a Pachamama ceremony — a traditional ‘payment to the Earth’ to give thanks for food — which is one of Peru’s oldest and most sacred rituals.”
Other highlights include early morning hikes in Peru’s Sacred Valley; cycling through Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and taking sundowners in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.
Additionally, on every wellness-inspired journey from A&K, clients will have the opportunity to visit sites of the company’s philanthropy-supported initiatives. These include the Cambodia Clean Water Project, which has brought clean water to tens of thousands of residents in the Siem Reap area over the past decade, and the Hansraj Children’s Home, a school for girls and young women in Udaipur, India.
This fall, Abercrombie & Kent will release four new Wellness-Inspired Luxury Small-Group Journeys. They include:- Wellness India: Ancient Traditions & Inspiring Icons; Oct. 5-17 and Nov. 9-21, 2019; from $9,995- Wellness Southeast Asia: Timeless Rituals of Indochina (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam); Oct. 9-21 and Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, 2019; from $8,995
- Wellness Kenya: Cultures & Wildlife; Oct. 20-28 and Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, 2019; from $10,995
- Wellness Peru: Spirit of the Incas: Nov. 4-13 and Dec. 3-12, 2019; from $7,395
The DetailsAbercrombie & Kentwww.abercrombiekent.com