Since launching in 2010 Holiday Architects has set out to really listen to our clients – we get to know you, we get to know your travel needs and we design the perfect holiday to match. By operating in this manner, and avoiding the standard off-the-shelf packages offered by many other travel companies, we’ve become one of the fastest-growing and most-trusted tour operators in the UK. Underpinning all of this is the expertise of our team: each committed to servicing their specialist destination, backed up with a dedicated country website packed full of unique hotels, quirky excursions and engaging holiday suggestions. Every one of our team has visited their destination many times (often even lived there), has many years’ experience in the travel industry and is carefully chosen to fit with our friendly and helpful team culture. This means when discussing your travel plans, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re not only speaking to a genuine expert but a real person who cares about you and your holiday.
We believe we are better than anyone else at listening to your travel aspirations and turning them into perfectly designed holidays, but of course that is not always easy to substantiate, which is why we were extremely proud in 2019 to be named Wanderlust magazine’s ‘Top Tour Operator of the Year’, for the second year running, gaining a 100% satisfaction rating from their readers. Competition at these awards is fierce, so winning brings us a great deal of pleasure and pride as it means we have lots of very happy clients!
Don’t just take our word for it though; you can read more about our clients’ experience of Holiday Architects by visiting our Trustpilot page found here.
Covid-19 & Travel
It’s undeniable that the travel industry was hit incredibly hard by Covid-19. But, we’re a resilient bunch and are so excited to be back doing what we do best – designing tailor-made holidays for you, our wonderful clients. As we navigate this new normal, we understand that planning a holiday may raise more questions and worries than it has done in the past. And that’s why we’re here and arguably more valuable than ever before. When you pick up the phone and book a holiday with us, you book with the confidence of knowing a real live human is on the end of the phone at all times, ready to help answer any questions or solve any problems that may arise.
Tailor-made travel starts with a blank sheet of paper and a conversation with one of our experts, and finishes with a holiday that’s been designed specifically for you. Nothing is set, nothing is off-the-peg, or off limits. You depart when you want, see what you want, stay where you want (guided by the advice and first-hand knowledge of our specialists during the design process). It used to be that tailor-made travel was a relatively expensive way to go on holiday, but this isn’t the case anymore: and we’ll make sure we stick to whatever budget you give us for the trip.
How We Work
Everything we do is designed specifically for you, and that design process starts with an initial conversation. We like to have that conversation to get to know you and understand the key things you want to get out of the holiday and we find the best way to do that is a friendly chat over the phone (or email if you prefer), where we take the time to really listen to what it is you want from your trip. We’ve travelled to our specialist destination many times, so we’ll also provide plenty of inspiration and ideas that we feel may best suit you. It’s because of our knowledge and experience that we are also able to offer honest advice about a destination, as we’ve most likely stayed in that certain hotel or gone on a particular quirky excursion ourselves; this will ensure you are able to make the right choices for your trip.
Next, your dedicated specialist will carefully design you an itinerary, with a price, and send that to you within 48hrs. This is very much a first draft and we can revise as necessary until we’ve got it exactly right for you. This is where we differ from our competitors as you’re not just going to get a standard itinerary, but something which is designed to your requirements with care. We take huge pride in our clients having the best possible holiday. Upon booking, you can rest easy, as your money is 100% protected either by our ATOL bonding or through our Trust My Travel membership. Things don’t end there though, as our dedicated team is here on the phone and on the ground; to provide you with great service and peace of mind throughout your trip, so you can focus on your next discovery.
Helen first visited New Zealand in 1998 as a three-month stop on her post-university travels. She instantly fell in love with the laid-back way of life and incredible scenery and planned to go back as soon as she could. In 2005 her dream came true as she headed down under for a two year stay, travelling the length and breadth of the country in between periods of work. She was fortunate enough to have some incredible experiences whilst there: sailing amongst a large pod of dolphins in Fiordland National Park, kayaking with seals in Kaikoura and leaping out of an aeroplane over Lake Taupo. She has revisited New Zealand in a work capacity a few times since, meeting the wonderful hosts and keeping up to date with the ever-evolving array of things to see and do there.
Holly began exploring the world at a young age with her parents and has been bitten by the travel bug ever since. After finishing her degree in Tourism and leisure Management she set off on her journey with a 3 year stop in Germany, 2 years in Thailand and a following year travelling around the globe visiting many wonderful places including India, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the USA to name a few.
Holly first visited New Zealand as part of a year long round the world journey. She instantly fell in love with the relaxed Kiwi life, incredible landscapes and amazing produce on offer there. Since her first trip Holly has returned to New Zealand numerous times in order to learn everything there is to learn about the wonderful country and the accommodation and excursions on offer there. Although she finds it hard to pick a favourite place the sweeping mountain back drop and gorgeous coastal views of Kaikoura hold a special place in her heart, especially after swimming with pods of wild dolphins there!
Behind the scenes, Helen and Holly are (ably?) assisted by the two company founders, Damien and Andrew. Both of them had an expat upbringing in the dim and distant past, so it’s almost inevitable they’ve ended up establishing a travel company. Damien is heavily involved in the marketing side of the business, whilst Andrew takes care of day-to-day things, like making the coffee.