From ninja training to foraging for truffles: Tailor-made experiences for your next luxury holiday

Travel operator Scott Dunn plans bespoke travel itineraries for unforgettable vacations

Scott Dunn’s off-beat itinerary includes training to be a ninja in Japan. PHOTO: SCOTT DUNN

Experience the complexities of Japan’s rich cuisine through a gastronomic tour, take in the stunning view of the Himalayas like royalty or indulge in ultimate luxury on the sun-soaked islands of medieval Croatia in the glistening Adriatic sea.

Now that travel is back in full force, the possibilities are endless. Spring or summer are the perfect seasons to travel, with flowers in bloom, longer hours of daylight, and loads of activities to do. If you’re thinking of escaping Singapore, why not plan your 2023 trip with Scott Dunn?

The travel operator specialises in fully customised itineraries, hand-picked luxurious accommodations, and exclusively curated memorable experiences.

Here are some highlights to help you get inspired for your next trip.

Exclusive experiences for a most memorable getaway

With Scott Dunn, you get to escape the usual tourist spots and go on exclusive private experiences just for your own travel party, whether you are going with your family, friends or spouse.

The Limitless Cambodia tour takes you to key attractions in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap that are away from the crowds. Think of a private tour of Angkor Wat and cruising down the Mekong River on a hotel boat equipped with luxury suites with a private chef on board.

For those who want an idyllic getaway, head to Croatia and Montenegro, often overlooked destinations in Europe that offer rich histories and beautiful scenery. The romantic tour for two would combine city exploration, luxury hotel stays and excursions to lesser-known nearby islands with a personal guide.

Scott Dunn’s promise of an exclusive experience also extends to accommodation. Stay in high-end hotels, private resorts, boats, lodges or villas, some of which have formerly been royal residences.

The company’s highly specialised team of travel experts have in-depth knowledge of the best, as well as off-the-beaten-track spots, having personally travelled and explored the destinations they specialise in. With all their insider tips and first-hand experience, they will recommend the most appropriate experiences, activities and properties to stay in for your own trip.

If you have any specific requirements on what you want to see or do, a dedicated Scott Dunn travel expert will be on hand to craft an itinerary around that.

An exploration of the senses through fine food

Food enthusiasts can experience the rich cuisines of various countries through fine dining experiences and intimate sessions with top chefs, thanks to Scott Dunn’s established relationships with local partners who can take you to insider spots.

The Taste of Japan tour offers the elaborate experience of kaiseki dining in an upscale ryokan (traditional Japanese inn), a private sushi masterclass and a sake, whiskey and cocktail tour in Kyoto’s Gion district.

Sake enthusiasts can opt for the Saijo Sake Town tour that takes you to four to six local breweries. You can even get a behind-the-scenes look at these distilleries, made possible through the company’s ties with its partners.

There are also various food-focused experiences as part of many itineraries. Embark on a tour to pick highly-priced matsutake mushrooms in magical Bhutan where you’ll get to taste them as part of local dishes. Or forage for treasured truffle in the Istria forests in Croatia with an experienced truffle hunter before having a hearty lunch of local truffle delicacies.

Forage for truffles with the locals in Croatia. PHOTO: SCOTT DUNN

Cultural experiences to deep dive into

You can’t say that you have truly travelled without learning about another country’s local culture. Scott Dunn allows you to deep dive into foreign cultures through one-of-its-kind experiences. 

Get to know the sacred kingdom of Bhutan through tours that include a cultural jaunt of Thimphu’s thriving arts and crafts scene. With insider access to a paper-making factory and the weaving centre, you can also witness black-necked cranes migrate from Tibet to Bhutan and trips to various monasteries, including a hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on the side of a mountain.

Meanwhile, in Japan, visit temples around historic Kanazawa and try traditional Zazen meditation. You can even partake in a private photography tour to meet geishas, test your culinary skills with a cooking lesson in a traditional machiya townhouse, experience an authentic Kyoto-style tea ceremony, and even have a private training to be a ninja at a dojo.

Witness the Paro Tsechu in Bhutan, a popular religious festival featuring mask dances. PHOTO: SCOTT DUNN

For something more thrilling, dabble at quad biking in the countryside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Here, you get to visit the communities living in villages around the rice paddies on these easily manageable bikes.

Experience the raw beauty of nature in style

For those seeking epic visuals on their travels, New Zealand, known as the Land of the Long White Cloud, beckons. The Extraordinary New Zealand tour ferries you through the best of the North and South islands. There, you can relax by the sea on picturesque Waiheke island, wine and dine in the Hawkes Bay region; explore the famed Abel Tasman National Park; dive into adventure at Queenstown with a helicopter flight and walk on the Franz Josef glacier.

For the family-minded, consider the Family Fun in New Zealand tour that’s packed with exhilarating outdoor adventures for all ages. Sail around the stunning Bay of Islands in style on a luxury yacht, and stay overnight in a private villa. Indulge in water sports such as kayaking, parasailing and scuba diving or even skydiving. If you dare, swim with the dolphins off the Kaikoura coast or go trekking and take a 4WD safari or mountain biking in Rotorua.

Swim with the dolphins off the Kaikoura coast in New Zealand. PHOTO: SCOTT DUNN

Throughout it all, you’ll be entertained by delicious gourmet cuisine and reside in a variety of boutique properties and luxury lodges in private locations with some of the best views the country has to offer.

Regardless of where you go, expect your trips to have a high level of service. Your luxurious accommodations are carefully selected and vetted by the company’s specialists so that guests are matched to the best type of property for their preferences.

Visit this website to check out a wide variety of global itineraries and book your bespoke trip now.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.