A European Summer on the Horizon?

By Christina Tsangaris

After a year in freeze-frame, travel over the past 12 months has taken a backseat. When it is safe to do so, and the corridors reopen, elated travellers expect to take to the skies. By spring, over 30 million people will have been vaccinated with one dose and with this glimmer of hope, many are starting to dream about travel once more.

Staycation bookings are expected to boom for summer 2021 as travel firms across the UK see enquires soar. Somewhat bucking the current trend, is the exclusive travel and lifestyle management company Knightsbridge Circle who has seen 20 per cent of its members already enquiring about, or confirming, European travel this summer rather than limiting themselves to staycations.

Founder of Knightsbridge Circle Stuart McNeill is optimistic too and encouraged by the flexibility that many of his hospitality partners are offering come May, he expects to be arranging travel to destinations across Europe once again. He comments, “The travel and hospitality industries have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, they are in urgent need of support. All of our partners have a ‘Book with Confidence1policy, so members have peace of mind when making plans with us.”

Knightsbridge Circle was the first UK agency to conduct at home rapid results testing, enabling members to reduce quarantine time to only five days, using the latest Test to Release scheme when returning from countries on the quarantine list. “Our aim is to make travel as simple as possiblesays Stuart, not only by taking care of logistics but also by making Covid-19 testing easier, easily accessible and hassle-free. Now more than ever, the affluent are looking for round the clock support to navigate these difficult times. By offering 24/7 access to Personal Managers, we are able to offer our members one point of contact who can cater to all of their needs, saving them time and stress.

This personal approach has proved popular, since the pandemic began last year, Knightsbridge Circle has retained 100 per cent of all members and reports a 15 per cent growth in new members. After receiving an overwhelming number of new client enquiries in London, attentions have now turned to the launch of their Monaco, Miami and Dubai offices. As we wait to hear whether European holiday hotspots will open up to the UK, Knightsbridge Circle share their predictions for summer 2021.

Athens Riviera, Greece

Greece has already suggested their borders will be open to tourists who have received an injection, when international travel resumes again. After years of travellers passing through Athens en route to the world-renowned Greek Islands, the Athens Riviera is now establishing itself as Europe’s newest nexus for innovative food and culture. Astir Palace Hotel offers a beach holiday, destination spa and city break in Athens rolled into one glamorous and authentic experience – a firm favourite for Knightsbridge Circle members.

Sardinia, Italy

The island of Sardinia is one of Italy's most glamorous places to spend a summer, in high season there is not an empty hotel room to be found. Recommended by Knightsbridge Circle this hidden tranquil hideaway of Petra Segreta in Sardinia’s unspoilt countryside is conveniently located only 20 minutes from Porto Cervo so guests can enjoy peace and quiet as well as the town’s sophisticated nightlife.

Ibiza, Spain

After enjoying a few days in Ibiza last summer, the Knightsbridge Circle team felt a special ambience in the air. As the super clubs remained closed, Ibiza attracted a diverse crowd and plenty of domestic tourists. Located on a clifftop with stunning sunsets, Knightsbridge Circle recommends 7Pines Kempinski. The resort also has a yacht which is perfect for day trips to Formentera.

Saint Tropez, France

A quintessential celebrity hideout, St Tropez was one of Knightsbridge Circle’s top destinations for summer 2020 and the team expects a repeat of last season for 2021. Not one to miss, Cheval Blanc is a luxury boutique hotel with exceptional service, located on a small private beach. The hotel boasts a three Michelin-starred restaurant, which offers “the best lunch of the year” according to Knightsbridge Circle’s team.

By Christina Tsangaris