To recognise the increasing importance of reward and recognition programmes, incentive specialist Penguins has created a new industry resource, Incentive Insights.
The first edition features insights on a variety of subjects, including why you need to up your reward and recognition game, how to make your incentive sustainable and top tips for a perfect incentive.
The Penguins team also share the hot destinations for 2023. Whether you want to keep it local and visit amazing hidden gems or you want to venture off the beaten track, here are their top hot spots for incentive adventures…
It’s safe to say that Montenegro has had a resurgence in recent years. With luxury properties such as One&Only Portonovi, Aman Sveti Stefan, Regent Porto Montenegro, The Chedi Lustica Bay, and Forza Terra Boutique Hotel & Spa setting up shop here, there’s a whole myriad of hotels for you and your team to choose from.
Montenegro itself is a real Adriatic jewel. Stunningly beautiful every which way you look, the European country is drivable within a day. You can literally be climbing a mountain one moment and then an hour later enjoying some sun by the sea. There are five national parks to explore, from the Lovcen massif that overlooks the Bay of Kotor to the sparkling lakes and plunging canyons of Durmitor, with kayaking, hikes, and much more to see and do.
Eat like a local by perusing the many municipalities that make up Montenegro’s coastline, visit the tomb of Petar II Petrovic Njegos for a splash of history, or book your team in for a spa treatment at the hotel you’re staying at, you might as well take advantage of the gorgeous properties at your disposal!
Best Time To Go: May – October
Top Tip: The quickest and most cost- effective way to get about Montenegro is to hit the water in your own speed boats with the opportunity to take in the sheer beauty of this country at the same time.
You wake up in a lavish hotel, walk over to your balcony and relish the stunning ocean views. You prepare yourself for a trip of exploring traditional castles and mosques, embarking on a desert safari, or catching a glimpse of dolphins, and more. After all, you deserve it after meeting your targets or working exceptionally hard.
That’s exactly what you get with Oman. Located in the UAE, it really is a melting pot of Arabian culture bursting with things to do. The average flight time from London is just over seven hours so while it’s longer than some of the other destinations on this list, Oman is worth it just for the sandboarding and desert safari experiences alone!
Hotel-wise you have a lot of choices too. Kempinksi Hotel Muscat boasts a brilliant location along with a concierge service to assist with incentive activities, while The Chedi Muscat (pictured) is perfect for beach-side relaxing thanks to its private stretch of sands. If sustainability is top of your list, Six Senses Zighy Bay is ideal with 80% of its organic and glass waste being recycled or up-cycled on-site, or if you’re after something truly unforgettable then book your team into one of the many desert camp offerings Oman has.
Best Time To Go: April
Top Tip: You can privatise a beach in Oman for free, simply by claiming the area for the day with your belongings. Create a unique experience with a BBQ set up in your own private cove.
Ah, the magical land of Cappadocia in Turkey. Well-known for its hot air balloon festival that normally happens every year for four days in July, immersing you and your team in stunning views of this fairy-tale-like destination.
Located in Central Anatolia, the region of Cappadocia has a lot of gorgeous rock formations and hiking trails such as Pigeon Valley making it a must for those that like to get their walking shoes on. For something a little different, embark on a sunset tour of Lake Tuz. Just over an hour away by car from Cappadocia, the shocking pink waters are ready to be relished.
All this hiking has us tired. Luckily, there’s quite an array of hotels to choose from that you and your team are sure to love. If you’re at Cappadocia during the hot air balloon festival, then you want to pick a property in the Göreme area such as Sultan Cave Suites, Artemis Cave Suites, and Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel (are you sensing a theme here?), and you’ll have some of the best places in the house to see the festivities. Alternatively, the area of Uçhisar has some equally fantastic views along with Cappadocia Cave Hotel if you want something similar but away from the hustle and bustle.
Best Time To Go: July – August
Top Tip: With direct flights limited, a twin centre incentive programme with Istanbul allows your team to explore the best of Turkey.
You don’t have to go far to have an unforgettable incentive trip. The UK has plenty of different options depending on what you are looking for, how far you want to travel, and what activities you want to get up to. Whether you want to explore the UK on the luxury Belmond Pullman Train, gain access after-hours to the Tower of London or enjoy the best of British in a country retreat, the limits are endless when it comes to our home country.
Scotland is a beacon of delight when it comes to incentives too. Blend your own company scotch, enjoy a private dinner in one of the many restaurants in Edinburgh, tee off at one of Scotland’s 587 golf courses, or hike through the stunning Highland scenery, the choice is yours. Why not go one step further and enjoy a ride on the Scottish Pullman? With four packages available, you’re able to enjoy seal watching, visit country estates and try your hand at gin making.
As well as phenomenal experiences, the UK is home to plenty of hotels and venues ideal for incentive trips. Whether you want to rent out your own retreat at Wilderness in Kent, enjoy the cosmopolitan vibes of Pan Pacific London in the capital, or get historical at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, there’s bound to be an option that’s perfect for you and your team.
Best Time To Go: Anytime
Top Tip: With no jet lag or time difference, a UK incentive programme can maximise the experience and limit the out of office time.
Exquisite frozen scenes of icy glaciers and the chance to catch a glimpse of unique wildlife makes Antarctica a truly wonderful place for an incentive. If you’re after a once in a lifetime experience with your team, you’ve hit the jackpot here.
Venturing through the untouched nirvana, you’ll feel like you’re in another world complete with soaring seabirds and stunning marine life for good measure. Take the whole team aboard a private boat from Chile or Argentina, and once you’re in the waters, it’s easy to unwind and take in the indescribable scenes that so few have seen before.
Private boats to Antarctica are intimate, ideal for smaller group and boast private dining and ocean-view suites. Experiences include dolphin watching, exploring the snowy islands and making friends with our favourite bird… penguins!
Best Time To Go: November to March
Top Tip: The winter months are ideal for visiting Antarctica as the wildlife is the busiest and you can take advantage of 24-hours of daylight.
This article features in the inaugural issue of Incentive Insights by Penguins. You can download Incentive Insights here