So many of you have requested this article as I am planning for my own 40th birthday for next year. Never too early to start planning, right?
Every time I see my best friend she asks me if I have made a decision – because she knows its going to be big. On my 30th birthday I got food poisoning for days and my friends were throwing a huge party and we never rescheduled (I don’t know why). So my 40th is a way to make two milestone birthdays happen at once.
So let’s get to the planning! First things first – one thing that I keep going back and forth on is a guest list, and this has taken many forms.
On one hand, I want all my friends and family to go, and on the other, I just want to celebrate with friends separately. I have been struggling to navigate this and I probably won’t have answers until I make a final decision.
Another factor to consider is budgets and who is paying. I don’t expect anyone to pay for my trip. In fact, I have considered paying for the lodging myself because I know some of the places on my list will not be attainable for some guests and I don’t want money to be a reason someone cannot come.
I will go through each destination below and why I chose it.
40th Birthday Destinations
We all know I LOVE Bora Bora and there was no way this wouldn’t be a contender. Bora Bora is expensive but in early December when my birthday is, prices are a bit lower than say summer when I usually would visit.
You guys know I talk about the Four Seasons Bora Bora all the time and when I was there last fall (2021) I did stay in a 2 bedroom land villa and LOVED IT. The 3 bedroom estate does have three bedrooms and not everyone could stay with me, but guests could get their own rooms and stay overwater, which I assume most would do. I would use the estate villa as a home base as we have a massive private pool, I can have movies on the beach at night, a private beach, we can have a private chef come in, get Tahitian fire dancers, and throw a whole soiree.
With the Bora Bora One Villa – it is a 5 bedroom villa (sleeps up to 10) and we could all stay together. This property is massive and comes with a chef, private pool, and all the bells and whistles.
On a per night basis, Bora Bora One is less expensive and up to 10 people could stay together – but it doesn’t have all the amenities I would be after from the Four Seasons.
Neither place is out of the running – but they are both at the top of the list.
If you do pick Bora Bora for your own birthday, here are some amazing things to do:
I did a solo trip to Marrakech in 2017 and LOVED it. I stayed at the Four Seasons and a riad in the Medina. There are a lot of amazing experiences to have in Marrakech and I would love to return and share it with others.
My thought process here is – I would like to stay at the Mandarin Oriental. There are a couple rooms I am looking at: the 8 bedroom Penthouse and the 4 bedroom grand villa. With the 8 bedroom Penthouse, it is spread out over an entire floor and has multiple pools, views, bathrooms, and tons of space.
I would love nothing more than to share my love of Marrakech and to have everyone stay together. This trip is a little different – it is not a beach destination and it will not be hot. Averages are around 68 degrees in December during my birthday.
I think the weather is the only thing holding me back. However – when I went in 2017, I went the last week of November and it was very warm. So I am still thinking on this.
I would not go here if my birthday was in the summer as it will be extremely hot – but it is still a contender as I don’t think the weather will impact my birthday that much.
Turks and Caicos
I absolutely love Turks and Caicos and it is very close to the USA, which makes it much easier for guests to attend.
During the planning stages, I did narrow it down to three properties (I think!) that I am considering for this destination.
The first option is at Amanyara. They have multiple villas with multiple bedrooms, but the 6 bedroom beach sala villa stood out to me. This property has always appealed to me because of its seclusion and serenity.
The second option is Beaches Turks and Caicos in their Key West beachfront 4 bedroom butler villa residence with private pool. I have stayed in this resort (not this room) and I love it. A big perk about this resort is that it is all-inclusive. Truly all-inclusive and if you have kids coming, this is a family friendly resort and they have babysitters on staff for hire if you need them.
The last option I am considering is the Shore Club in their 6 bedroom Private Villa. This villa has a private pool, lots of space and you can still enjoy all the space at the rest of the resort.
Currently the only thing I am hung up on for Turks and Caicos is that I cannot make a decision between the three properties. I do believe all three options are great and serve different purposes – but I can’t seem to narrow it down.
If you do pick Turks and Caicos for your own birthday, here are some amazing things to do:
Oahu is one of my absolute favorite places to travel and I try and visit as often as possible. I have been very fortunate to take friends and loved ones with me here in the past and think it would be a great option for a big birthday.
For me, the one place that makes sense that I know and LOVE, is the Four Seasons Oahu. Now the resort has all sorts of rooms and we do not all need to be together. But – I am considering The Residence, which is a 3 bedroom room.
We would not all need to stay together and everyone could just use the big room for parties and hanging out. I would love to arrange specialty dinners outside and everyone can enjoy the property and do adventures and sightseeing off the property.
There are so many amazing things to do and experience in Oahu that I just know my guests would love it as much as I do. It is definitely a top contender.
If you do pick Oahu for your own birthday, here are some amazing things to do:
A lot of you requested places in the USA and I could not leave out the only luxury, adults-only, all-inclusive: The Bungalows Key Largo! I actually just stayed here and would stay here again if some of my friends did not have passports or wanted something easy and to not leave the country.
The property is nice and it really is all-inclusive. They never cut us off from drinks or food. The only drawback, and you may not see this as an issue, is that there is not a crystal clear beach. The Keys are rocky, but you can still get in the ocean.
The resort also has tours that go out to beautiful waters with sandbars and snorkeling. The Zen Pool was my favorite place on property and there are 10 cabanas (first come, first serve) and it is so lush around the pool. Plus a server will bring you food and drinks!
If you do go this route, I highly recommend renting shared vehicles at the Miami Airport (unless you are driving down) and everyone driving down together. It was just over an hour with no traffic from Miami.
If you do pick the Florida Keys for your own birthday, here are some amazing things to do:
I have been trying to plan a trip to Fiji for quite awhile now. While I was doing research, I discovered Six Senses Fiji and their 4 or 5 bedroom oceanfront residence’s and even more shocked by how affordable they are considering how many people each one can hold.
I actually wanted to visit this summer and this resort is sold out. I think once you take a peak at it – it will just *make sense* in the best way possible.
Even if you are not traveling with a group, the resort has smaller rooms. I am personally planning to have a few people at my birthday and so I want to be able to get a bigger space.
Amangiri has been a bucket list property for me for years. Every weekend I think to myself “I’ll just book it and go” and its sold out. This is a property you would need to plan in advance for and it is probably the most expensive on a per night basis.
Now Amangiri is not that big in terms of room selections but they are huge on privacy. This is a very popular place for celebrities to visit – so remain calm if you run into the Kardashians.
In terms of lodging, this could go many ways. On one hand, they do have a four bedroom home rental which can accommodate quit a few people.
However, I am a big fan of Camp Sarika! It is about a five minute drive from the main property but these glamorous tented pavilions come in 1 or 2 bedroom suites and offer fire pits and plunge pools among the view. The OUTSTANDING view.
One of the big things about staying here is that your meals are included each day. Factoring that into the overall price ..
Getting here could be a little tricky. Its not exactly close to any major airports. For me, I would fly into Phoenix and then catch a smaller plane to St George. Utah and then an easy drive to the resort (about 25ish minutes).
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