Destination Spotlight: Hilton Head
January 06, 2015
Certain destinations are synonymous with their biggest attractions. It’s nearly impossible to think about Orlando without conjuring images of Disney World. A visit to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower is unimaginable. And when one thinks about Hilton Head Island, the resort community in South Carolina, golf is the first word to spring to mind. In the past, we’ve written about the amazing opportunities for golfers at Hilton Head
. The town has one of the highest concentrations of course available in the world, with difficulty ranging from professional-level to links appropriate for amateur hackers.
But Mitch-Stuart, Inc.’s charity auction travel packages to Hilton Head are about more than just putters and drivers. The city has plenty for the non-golfer, whether it’s natural beauty, culture or fine dining. Whether it’s waiting for a family member to finish up a round, or looking for a refueling stop after 18 holes, Hilton Head Island has a lot to offer.
For instance, not all sand in Hilton Head belongs to a formidable golf course hazard. Coligny Beach is a lovely oceanside walk, with public access and nearby shopping and dining, while the Mitchellville Freedom Park features hiking and a look at the interesting history of Hilton Head Island. There’s a beach for every type of vacationer on the island, and they each can make for a great post-golf relaxation spot, an easy way to forget about that hooked drive or terrible three-putt.
In addition, Hilton Head has a lively arts scene, especially for a city of less than 40,000 residents (according to the last Census report). Touring Broadway musicals come to the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; shows like “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” and “Gypsy” are on their way to the ACC in the first half of 2015. The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra is also highly rated, and features Maestro John Morris Russell, a Conductor Designate of the world-renowned Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. For a less-formal cultural experience, the annual Hilton Head Island Arts Festival and Craft Marketplace allows visitors to both see beautiful works and take home a memento of the trip.
After a day on the golf course, frolicking on the beach or checking out the local art scene, travelers can have their pick of the island’s restaurants, spanning the world of cuisine. An eatery like A Lowcounty Backyard Restaurant replicates family cookouts convincingly, while Alexander’s Seafood is a white tablecloth experience with a wine list in the triple digits and a surf-and-turf-inspired menu. And throughout the year, Hilton Head plays host to a tremendous number of food festivals, like the Seafood Festival (held March 1-7 this year), the Wine and Food Festival (March 9 through 14) and the Beer, Bacon and Music Festival in May.
Ready to send a lucky auction winner to Hilton Head? Reach out to one of our representatives today!
Destination Spotlight: Bali
October 14, 2014
Many of the trips in the Mitch-Stuart catalog take donors on “dream vacations,” to the types of destinations that occupy the covers of travel magazines and the forefront of our travel thoughts. Sending contributors to New York City, Las Vegas or even Europe can fulfill wishes while also bringing in sizeable donations.
For some travelers, though, the “expected” may not be enough. Maybe they are seasoned travelers who have been all over the country. Perhaps they’re looking for a trip that can set them apart, one that’ll get the attention of everyone to whom the bidder tells the story. Or maybe the donor is shopping for a younger family member, one who may be more interested in a trip that doubles as an adventure.
If that’s the case, it may be time to talk about Bali.
An island in Indonesia, Bali has become a hot destination for travelers over the last few years. Prestigious travel magazine Travel and Leisure gave Bali its “Best Island” award in 2010, and it is regularly singled out for its stunning beaches in different guides. Being used as a setting in 2010’s “Eat Pray Love” film adaptation certainly hasn’t hurt its reputation, either.
Of course, as someone taking advantage of one of Mitch-Stuart’s charity auction travel packages, though, it’s about the “wow” factor. So what is it about Bali that can get an audience to gasp?
The culture: Art galleries like the Agung Rai Museum of Art in Ubud and the more abstract art-minded Randelli Gallery in Seminyak feature tremendous collections of both local and international works, and Balinese music has an interesting diversity, from traditional gong compositions to jegog, played on large bamboo instruments. But a cultural tour of Bali has to include checking out a barong dance performance. A traditional, sacred ritual, the dance centers on the mythical Barong, a lion-like beast and represents all that is good, in battle against the evil Rangda.
The outdoors: Snorkeling and diving? Check out Pulau Menjangan, a neighboring island accessible from Bali that features a nearly-unparalleled (in the region) coral reef. Hiking? Get to the village of Munduk, where waterfalls and lakes are only a short walk (or long walk, if you’d like) away. Want to run away from lava in slow motion like in an action movie? Don’t do that! But you can climb to the top of one of the island’s volcanos and pretend. There are plenty of ways for visitors to interact with nature in fun, active manners.
It’s beauty: It’s easy to describe almost anywhere in the world as “beautiful”; if one searches a country long enough, the land is sure to yield a stunning vista or two. But just look at the photos to the side, here. Between the lush green grasslands and the aqua blue Pacific Ocean drifting up on shore, postcard-worthy views are everywhere.
Want to hear more? Reach out to your Mitch-Stuart, Inc. representative today!
Destination Spotlight: The Caribbean
September 10, 2014
The average high temperature in Aruba peaks at 91 degrees in September, and falls all the way to … 80 degrees in January. In Bermuda, the highs run from 70 in the winter to 86 in the summer. Consistency is the norm for Caribbean weather, where any time of year is beach time.
No matter what style of vacation your donors seek, though, they can find it in the Caribbean. A consistent favorite for both travelers and auction organizers, travel packages for non-profit auctions that involve islands like the Bahamas, St. Croix and St. Thomas can fetch big money and really impress gala attendees. When a potential auction bidder sees the words “Caribbean vacation” on display, he or she may be thinking about several different types of trips.
Postcards sent home from Caribbean sojourns, of course, tend to emphasize beautiful beaches – and with good reason. The sands of Aruba, the Bahamas, St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands, among others, are all welcoming to beachgoers of all ages and stripes. For those who want to interact with the environment rather than pull up a chair and relax, there’s plenty of opportunities for everything from swimming with the dolphins to sailing or paddleboarding across the tops of the waves.
There’s more to island life than beaches, though. Head to Bermuda, for instance, for an adventure that includes art galleries and horseback rides. Tour the Cruzan Rum factory on St. Croix, or hike through the island’s rain forest. Pull out the credit card on St. Thomas for what many describe as the “duty-free shopping capital of the world.” Hit the hot spots of Aruba, with restaurants and bars in the resorts that line the beach. Not every Caribbean expedition requires sunscreen and bathing suits.
For the island-goers interested in sampling the entire region, the Caribbean Sea has, at any individual moment, one of the highest concentrations of cruise ships in the world. Make stops at all of the above islands and more, with excursions for beach lounging, shopping and exploring. Along the way, enjoy the luxuries of cruise travel, from expansive staterooms to all-you-can-eat meals and on-board entertainment. It’s like a Whitman’s Sampler of some of the most gorgeous travel destinations on the globe.
Choose Your Own (Travel) Adventure
September 03, 2014
All of the choices available in the Mitch-Stuart, Inc. charity auction package catalog
can make it hard to pick just one to offer. Do you send your donors to New York? How about Las Vegas? Or maybe to Paris, or London, or any of practically countless other options?
But for those hearty few who want even more choices, even more destinations, there is a cornucopia of options available with a “Choose Your Destination” package. Whether it’s the perfect match for your non-profit auction’s theme, a sentimental choice for a subset of your donors or any other reason, Mitch-Stuart, Inc. can set you up with options around the world.
How can you best take advantage of the opportunity to build your own travel package?
Think Thematically: If your gala or charity auction event has a theme, there’s a destination somewhere that would make a perfect match. Popular themes like “casino night” may conjure obvious trip partners, but a more subtle through-line for an evening could require a more tailored adventure.
Don’t Forget the Hotel: While many planners focus on the city (or country) of the destination, the hotel itself can be a major draw for donors, too. Hotel chains like the Fairmont and Swissotel have worldwide reputations for luxury, meaning that a trip to Peru or Ecuador can be both about exploring a country and reveling in five-star service and amenities. Machu Picchu and mani-pedis in the same package? Why not? Or how about a visit to the world famous Pikes Place Fish Market in Seattle, followed by a tremendous dinner at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s in-house restaurant, the AAA Four Diamond-earning The Georgian?
Travel for the Cause: Are there major events involving your charity on a yearly basis? A conference open to the public to discuss the issue for which you advocate? With the larger number of options available via the “Choose Your Destination” category – our “The Journey of a Lifetime!” trip can send a donor to a Hyatt anywhere from Seattle to Boston and San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale – it’s easy to send a supporter to a destination or conference that deepens his or her connection to your cause.
For more ideas, or to get the lowdown on the (literally) hundreds of choose-your-destination options available, contact your Mitch-Stuart, Inc. representative today!
Destination Spotlight: Monaco and the French Riviera
June 24, 2014
There are countless reasons to head to Europe for a summer vacation. Comedian Eddie Izzard once described the continent as “where the history comes from.” Some of the biggest events in the world, both cultural and sporting, take place in Europe. Of course, there are those who visit for its spectacular outdoors settings, be it skiing in the winter or gorgeous beaches in the summer.
Mitch-Stuart, Inc., loves to send non-profit donors across the Atlantic Ocean via one of our charity auction travel packages, and one of our favorite destinations on the continent is Monaco. The tine principality is the second smallest country in the world (on The Vatican takes up less space), but it fits more fun into its .78 square-mile area than one could possibly imagine. Best of all, it can act as a home base to visit the entire French Riviera, stretching from Toulon to the Italian border.
Within Monaco itself, visitors can find plenty of activities and diversions, but the gambling of Monte Carlo may be the best known. However, anywhere that gambling takes hold, other high-end services follow closely behind, and the dining, shopping and spas of Monaco are world-class. Gamblers have to have something to do when they step away from the tables, after all. It can seem like every restaurant, from the dinner-and-a-view of Le Grill de L’Hotel de Paris to the open kitchen at superstar chef Joel Robuchon’s eponymous eatery, is featured in travel magazines and on cooking television shows.
In addition to the everyday opulence of Monaco, two major events draw thousands to the south of France every year, for very different reasons. The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the world’s most famous car races, having been run 72 times since 1929 and being one of the three races to make up motorsport’s “triple crown” (alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans). It is often preceded on the social calendar by the Cannes Film Festival, one of the world’s biggest – and most important – film festivals. Winners of the top prize at Cannes, the Palme d’Or, include “Pulp Fiction,” “Sex, Lies and Videotape” and “Apocalypse Now,” among other cineaste favorites.
Of course, even stripped of all of those attractions, the French Riviera would still be a major travel destination, thanks to its location. The Spanish coast (including Barcelona and dance-music island haven Ibiza) and Italian cities like Genoa and Livorno are all within close proximity to the Riviera, making the French locale a perfect home base for a southern European adventure. Beaches like Paloma attract jetsetters from around the world, and Saint Tropez is synonymous with luxurious resort living; it turns out being located on the some of the world’s most naturally-beautiful coastline has its advantages.
Destination Spotlight: Hawaii
June 18, 2014
Spring officially turns to summer on Saturday morning, and travelers around America will head to warm-weather destinations like Miami (June average high temperature in Miami: 87 degrees) New Orleans (average high: 90) or even Las Vegas (average high: 100). But sun worshippers don’t have to spend their vacations sweating.
With average highs in the low 80s, even at the peak of summer, Hawaii is a beautiful, temperate place to send donors and their families. It’s also a place of surprising diversity, with activities for everyone to be had somewhere throughout the island chain. At Mitch-Stuart, we offer a variety of charity auction travel packages that can give your donors once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, represented by four different Hawaiian islands.
From 36 holes of championship golf to snow-capped mountains, the “big island” of Hawaii hosts nearly all climates, and therefore nearly all sorts of adventures. But there are more esoteric activities on the island as well; Kona coffee can only be produced on the big island, and many of the farms that grow the beans have tours and tasting rooms to visit. Also worth seeing: Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Maui has a mixture of urban and rural areas, offering a little bit of everything for the traveler. Those looking to commune with nature can head to Haleakala National Park and watch a spectacular sunrise or sunset from the summit of the dormant Haleakala volcano or hike through the Haleakala Crater, which sinks more than 2,500 feet into the island floor. City slickers, meanwhile, can walk through Lahaina, the former capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii, and check out the restaurants and nightlife of Front Street.
Travelers looking for a more city-like vacation experience would do well to head to Oahu. The island, informally known as “The Gathering Place,” is home to Hawaii’s capital, Honolulu, and about 75 percent of the state’s population. It’s also home to one of Hawaii’s best-known tourist destinations, Waikiki Beach, where white sand is reserved for both sunbathers and surfers and where nightlife reigns just steps from the ocean.
Nicknamed “The Garden Isle” for its verdant fields and forests, Kauai may be one of the lesser-known outposts, but its beauty makes it worth a visit. The island is the home of the Princeville at Hanalei, one of the world’s great golf clubs; its Prince course is one of the best on any of the Hawaiian islands. For those who like their outdoors time sans crooked sticks and golf carts, boating adventures along the Na Pali Coast are very popular.
Keeping the Torch Lit
February 18, 2014
The 2014 Winter Olympics is days away from finishing, with the elaborate Closing Ceremony planned for February 23. Once the big show leaves town, though, Sochi will still have all of the infrastructure improvements, added attractions and other bells and whistles that come along with hosting an event the size of the Olympiad.
(It will also still have an uncomfortable number of stray dogs and some mangled bathroom doors.)
While going to the actual Olympics can certainly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there are still remnants of the Olympic experience left behind in host cities and countries. Give your donors the chance to take advantage of all the perks of the Games without all of the hassles of an overstuffed host city by offering a trip to one of these former homes of the Winter or Summer Olympics.
Vancouver may have been the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, but nearby Whistler was the home of many of the skiing events, thanks to the presence of Whistler Blackcomb. The resort, the largest in North America, already had its own Olympic history: It was conceived for Vancouver’s bid for the 1968 Winter Olympics, then constructed anyway when the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games to Grenoble, France. Almost 50 years after those games, Blackcomb finally got to host its own Olympic races, including the alpine skiing series. But even if your donors are not the adrenaline junkie types, they can drive the Sea-to-Sky Highway, considered by many to be one of the world’s most beautiful road trips, or take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that links the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.
When the IOC brought the Games to London in 2012, it knew that the Olympics would be held in a modern city well-equipped to host the world. But the competition still needed a central home, a place that would live, breathe and pulse the spirit throughout those 16 summer days. With that in mind, what is now known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park was created. Visitors to the park will be able to get a bird’s-eye view starting in April, when the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower with two platforms that, combined, overlook the enormity of the space.
It’s all well and good to see the Olympic sights, but experience is the key word when visiting Albertville, France, the host of the 1992 Winter Olympiad. At the La Plagne Bob Experience, visitors can take off down the same bobsled run used during the Games more than 20 years ago. Whether it’s with friends sitting behind a professional “driver” in a bobsled going 120 kilometers per hour or riding solo in a luge/sled hybrid, your donors can experience a taste of the Olympic spirit. Cheering crowds, gold medals and sponsorships not included.
WOW your Valentine!
January 28, 2014
This Valentine’s Day, get some romantic planning advice from the experts at Mitch-Stuart, Inc. They know the world’s top destinations
and have provided some options for sweeping your loved one off to parts unknown. As part of their planning for 2014 auctions, raffles and other fundraising events using travel packages and experiences, they’ve got the goods on what’s great this Valentine’s Day.
Consider a trip to Sonoma’s wine country. Set in the idyllic, world famous wine growing region abundant with local products, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa features a signature Michelin award-winning restaurant, a treasured golf course set on 177 acres of rolling terrain, and one of the top spas in the country. For hundreds of years, ancient thermal mineral waters have graced the site of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Today, the resort is proud to be one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water.
Guests will savor the fruits of the wine country on a personalized five-hour tour of the Sonoma Valley in a chauffeured luxury Sedan. Whether you are first-time visitors or veteran wine tasters, you'll enjoy an enlightening, fun-filled day in this picturesque region. The informative winery tour will be customized based on your individual wine preferences.
Find Love in the City of Light. Whisk your Valentine off to the Hotel Littre in quintessentially romantic Paris which is sure to bring a spark to your life, from the fashion, the culture, the architectural heritage, gourmet cuisine, and of course, the romance! Come explore the capital of France and discover the magic that has beckoned visitors for millennia. You’ll visit one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, on your half-day tour, and you’ll be blown away by the beauty of Paris at night on your Paris by Night tour - bonjour!
There is so much to see in Paris, from Place de la Bastille, a historical and modernly political square, to the trendy Right Bank district of La Marais, the artists’ studios of Montparnasse, to the high fashion districts of Faubourg Saint-Honore.
Treat her (or him!) like royalty. What could be more luxurious that a trip to Monte Carlo – The Fairmont Monte Carlo is a unique four-star luxury resort located in the very heart of Monaco. A principality known to everyone, Monaco is nestled between Italy and France on the Côte d'Azur, and when you ascend to the top of The Fairmont, you can see the majestic view of all three countries! Immerse yourself in the beauty and sophistication of this world-class destination with a stay at the Fairmont Monte Carlo.
The Riviera offers over 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. Although the fabulous climate is a primary attraction, visitors are also drawn to Monaco’s warm engaging colors, the variety of its surroundings, and the friendliness of the locals. From the deep blue of the Mediterranean to the dazzling white canyons of the inland countryside, this region never stops revealing surprises.
Pamper the People you Love. Embrace the warmth of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel or Isla Mujeres, Mexico for some well-deserved pampering, discover the freedom of an all-inclusive stay at Palace Resorts, where one price covers your hotel, mouthwatering dining options and snacks, top shelf drinks, non-motorized water sports, exuberant nightly entertainment, and so much more. Palace Resorts deliver a better class of all-inclusive in tantalizing destinations throughout Mexico. There is no comprising on your experience!
You’ll find luxurious touches and elegant appointments at every Palace Resort, ensuring that regardless of the destination, your vacation will be exceptional. Bask in the beauty of Cancun, which sits at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, where you are invited to explore the area’s natural reserves, archeological sights and attractions. A few miles south along the ancient Riviera Maya, are three more Palaces, including two offering some of the finest golf courses and spas in Mexico, dot the white sands of the coast. The islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres are home to more Caribbean Palaces and on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. With six all-inclusive Palace Resorts dotting the sands along gorgeous beaches, to choose from, one of them is certain to provide the perfect setting for your next vacation.
Be sure to check out the Mitch-Stuart Destinations of Excellence® Catalogue for more treasured trips
More Ways to Delight your Donors
November 19, 2013
Last month we shared with you some of the different and delightful travel experiences offered by the latest Mitch-Stuart Inc. Destinations of Excellence® Catalogue. The catalogue is so well-stocked with excellent adventures, it required a second look.
As you begin planning for your most successful 2014 auction, raffles and other fundraising event using travel packages and experiences, look no further than the catalogue but start right here to get some great ideas.
For the Family The experts at Mitch-Stuart, Inc. have combed the globe for family-friendly experiences which include fun-packed trips to the original Disneyland as well as Disney World; or if your tastes wander to the sunniest climes – consider Hawaii and the Fairmont Kea Lani, Cancun’s Palace Resorts or a water park package from one of 50 participating parks in North America! Still haven’t found your perfect trip? Your family can enjoy a historical and cultural vacation in a unique American city such as Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Boston or New Orleans. Make your kids’ (and your own) dreams come true with any one of the above or more listed in the catalogue.
For the Cold-Weather Athlete If skiing is the way to a donor’s heart, consider all the superb ski packages Mitch-Stuart has to offer - winter wonderlands Whistler, Aspen, Vail or Telluride await with luxury accommodations, often ski-in, ski-out and the most luxurious locations. There is virtually no ski resort unexplored by our experts with other fabulous packages including visits to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Vermont or Wyoming and international destinations like Mont Tremblant in Quebec. Each trip is tailored to skiers at any level. Mitch-Stuart ensures incomparable experiences on and off the slopes.
For the Warm-Weather Athlete Golf or tennis? Scuba or swimming? YES, please. When you work with Mitch-Stuart you can have it all. Resort packages to the best golf in the world include the links your donors are longing for: Pinehurst on your choice of 8 championship courses, Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Club & Lodge, AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess with two 18-hole championship courses, finally a stay at the Fairmont, and play at Old St. Andrews the most sought-after golf experience of them all!
For the World Traveler Mitch-Stuart, Inc. can send your donors to far-flung corners of the world with every detail catered to perfectly. International experiences include an exotic Indonesian escape in Bali, the exquisite beaches and cruises to the Caribbean, or fabulous jaunts to the exciting cities of Europe including a gourmet adventure in the heart of Italy and sophisticated artsy Amsterdam. In addition to these charming cities, Mitch-Stuart offers packages to London, Monte Carlo, Paris, Montreux and a safari to Africa. Your donors will want to bid on them all – and isn’t that the goal?
For the Gastronome According to social media experts, the most shared content today is FOOD! Photos of food and discussions of deliciousness fill Facebook feeds and occupy Instagram in huge volume. Your donors want to go gourmet and Mitch-Stuart, Inc. has the offerings! Gastronomic delights include South Beach Wine & Food Festival Southwestern and Mexican fare on trips to the gorgeous Sonoran desert, the epitome of nouvelle cuisine with your wine in Napa as well as epicurean excursions to restaurant towns like Chicago and New York. Get your passports ready for international culinary experiences such as cooking classes and wine tastings in Tuscany or Sorrento and days of dining in Paris.
With the ability to customize trips as well, the Mitch-Stuart Destinations of Excellence® trips and experiences may be the only source of auction and fundraising ideas you need to plan.
Package Travel: What’s New for Non-Profits
November 20, 2012
Are you racking up sleepless nights worrying about how to make your next fundraising auction
special? Rest easy and check out some new ideas for no-risk travel packages.
But, before you even start dreaming of the spectacular offerings you can present to your attendees, take a look at this event selection checklist:
Select packages that motivate all attendees and give your fundraising a big boost.
Use a wide variety of offerings, such as ski packages, golf trips, sporting events, cruises, getaways, family trips and much more.
Think big - an exotic destination could be your recipient's dream vacation and give your event that "WOW" factor.
Finally, ask yourself, has your crowd “been there, done that?” If so, you might want to consider some of these “experiences” offered by Mitch-Stuart. According to recent press
, the well-traveled don’t always want cookie cutter trips, they want meaningful, more “curated” travel.
This year, Mitch-Stuart, the leader in providing no-risk travel packages for fundraising events
presents this eye-popping array of new offerings guaranteed to move even the most jaded travelers.
Please read on and let us know of any wonderful package travel opportunities you’d like to see.
Go to the Primetime Emmys!
Go to Any Game in 50 Markets! (NFL, NHL, NBA or MLB Regular Season Game)
Top Gun Experience being a Fighter Pilot for a Day in a Military Aircraft
Explore Kenya's Breathtaking Landscape & Wildlife and a game drive from a hot air balloon
An America's Cup Yacht Experience
All-Access Ultimate NASCAR Fan Experience
Culinary experience – cook with the Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Florence
Scottish fairy-tale tours of castles and mansions
Join the foodies at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Of course, we’re always expanding our catalogue to include some of the travel industry’s most unique and exciting trips and packages. Be sure to visit our website, register
and check out the full catalogue.