essential escapes

It’s hard to believe but essential escapes is 16 years old. We are enormously proud to be standing strong with an exceptional team, that between them has over 60 years of travel experience.

A little history for you. It all started with an idea to create the UK’s first dedicated luxury spa tour operator. Founder Emma Barnett Spitzer had previously worked for a travel publisher and was responsible for launching their first ever Spa Directory in 1999. The company then launched a leading marketing alliance for luxury hotels and resorts and Emma then spent a further two years travelling round the world checking out the best spas to come back and promote to the UK market. Starting to feel sorry for her yet for having such a tough job?

Fast forward to 2002, the spa market was growing, and Essential Escapes was born. Deborah, co-founder and sister, had swapped her career as a solicitor in favour of a life in luxury travel (we know crazy right?) and together, they quickly grew the business, all whilst getting married and having some children.

In 2007, now with the first-hand experience of travelling with small children of their own, the sisters launched their award-winning family brand tots too 11 years on and their children, and those of their loyal families are getting older with kids who’s thirst for something more than a kids club is growing as quickly as they are. It was time to think about the next step and this is where the adventure side of Essential Escapes started to develop.

Not content with running a business and raising 4 young children, Emma decided to go and enter MasterChef UK in 2015 where she ended up in the final three. With a new minor celebrity status under the belt and a debut cookbook launched in April 2017, the focus shifted towards bringing the two strands of food and travel together and this is where the culinary arm of Essential Escapes begins.

Our bespoke portfolio covers three key pillars: Wellness, Culinary and Adventure offering a selection of handmade, exclusive one of a kind experiences from around the world. Whether it’s cooking with a local in their kitchen in India, chanting with Buddhist monks in Japan, or eating your way to better health in Spain, you won’t find these expertly crafted journeys through any other operator. Whilst Emma eats her way around various continents, Deborah is off exploring the adventure side and calling it “research”

So what is it “About Us” that makes us stand out from the rest? Quite simply it’s our unique service and attention to detail. The proof is in the pudding as they say so pick up a spoon and have a taste of what we have to offer.