World Mental Health Day 2021

1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems each year, and having a colleague in your corner can make all the difference. The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day every year on the 10th of October (this Sunday).

We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some information and resources available to you, and to let you know about what we have planned for next week.

Information and resources

There are lots of resources available on our SE World site, but here are a few we thought were particularly relevant:

Soon we’ll be launching a new global Employee Assistance Program that will give all our global employees access to 24/7 online support and six face-to-face counselling sessions. We will be sharing more details about this very soon.

On Monday 11th October at 11 am, we’ll be running a virtual yoga session. You’ll just need some comfy clothes for this calming breathwork and simple stretching session, which is suitable for everyone, from beginners to seasoned yogis. We’ve added this to your calendar

On Tuesday 12th October at 11 am, our meditation master Monica Auro will be running a session – we’ve added this to your calendar

Mindful colouring is proven to help us relax – so we’ll have a selection of colouring materials in the office for you to take a creative break throughout the week

Tea and talk: On Thursday 14th at 10 UK time, we’ll be meeting for 45 minutes to have a cuppa and a chat – we’ve added this to your calendar

Spending time outside can benefit both your mental and physical well-being. At 12.30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’ll be heading outside for a relaxing walk together – come along and take some time to clear your mind

Healthy breakfast: Look out for healthy breakfast options next week to help nourish your body and mind for the day ahead!

The kindness form is open!

This month, we’re trying something a little different! As well as our usual virtual messages, we’ll have physical kindness cards in the London office. Write your lovely message and pop it in the “kindness box” in the kitchen, then we’ll deliver it to your recipient (UK-based only). Please make sure that you put first and last names so we can get your message to the correct person!

Our new kindness cards were designed by the wonderful Warsan Abdullahi! If you’d like to help design some cards, please get in touch with wellbeing@secretescapes.com, or speak to Warsan!

Submit your kindness note here, or pick up a card in the office! 

Celebrating 10 years of Secret Escapes

2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of Secret Escapes. 

Since our launch in 2011 we have welcomed over 60 million members globally and delivered great value deals on dream escapes to some of the most incredible destinations around the world. While a lot has changed over the past decade, one thing still remains the same; we’re committed to delivering irresistible discounts on luxury travel to help our members discover corners of the world they might never have imagined. 

To celebrate, we’re looking back over our key milestones from the past ten years.  We’re incredibly proud of the company we have built, the people we have employed and the successes we’ve all contributed to along the way; from hiring our very first employee (Dan Evans, who is still part of the team), to reaching our 5 million member mark and acquiring the businesses that make up the Secret Escapes Group today.

We’ve been financially supported by some of the world’s greatest investors: legendary venture capital firms such as Index Ventures, global powerhouses like Temasek, no greater household name than Google and (among others) the UK’s greatest home-grown venture capital success story, Octopus Ventures. They have believed in us, celebrated success with us, stood by us in tough times, and have truly been an integral part of the Secret Escapes story.

2011

The big one! Day one. The Secret Escapes Group launched and our website went live in the UK with just 5 deals (they must have been good ones!).

2012

We launched our very first TV ad – the one everyone remembers to this day. Starring Camilla Arfwedson, whispering a slogan that has since become synonymous with our brand, “the worst kept secret in luxury travel”.

2013

We expanded into Europe and Scandinavia, with Secret Escapes launching sites in Germany, shortly followed by Sweden. In just two short years, we had reached over 5 million members in the UK, Germany and Sweden.

2014

We acquired two new brands, Travelist  (a flash deals brand in Poland) and Germany-based JustBook, a mobile-based specialist in business travel sector bookings.

We expanded even more with Secret Escapes launching in Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and later in the year, the US.

2015

We expanded to four new territories; Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

2016

We spread our wings in Asia, expanded to France and made more moves in Eastern Europe.

2017

We acquired 100% of Slevomat Group (Slevomat.cz, Zlavomat.sk and Skrz.cz), Central and Eastern Europe’s leading travel deals and experiences company.

2018

We acquired the assets of TravelBird and restarted the website as part of the Secret Escapes Group.

2019

We launched our iOS App in January 2019.

We acquired Empathy Marketing Limited, welcoming Ireland’s leading marketplace for premium hospitality and e-commerce into the Secret Escapes Group. 

We appointed Kate Swann, as Chair of the Secret Escapes board.

We sent 6 billion emails to our members this year alone!

2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic turned the world of travel upside down, but in the face of adversity, the Secret Escapes team rose to the challenge, helping over 100,000 members in a single month.  

When lockdowns eased, we inspired our members with a wide range of refundable deals – perfect for a ‘Staycation Summer’  to get around international travel restrictions. 

In November, we launched our Android app!

2021

We bounced back after the toughest 18 months faced by the travel industry, offering a wide range of domestic and international stays to our travel-hungry audience. 

The Secret Escapes Group sustained strong performance despite months of widespread uncertainty and changing guidance on where and when people could travel.

The future…

Looking back over the past ten years shows just how far we’ve come, but we certainly aren’t slowing down yet. 

As we return to the office, trialling our new, more flexible way of working, we’re excited to see our core values, ‘We are good people’ and ‘We make stuff happen’ continue to be at the centre of what we do. We look forward to sharing plenty more irresistible deals on luxury (albeit not-so secret any more) escapes with you in the years to come!

Your £500 referral trip: Jasmine in Bali

One of our core values at Secret Escapes is 'We're good people' and one of the ways that shows is in our employee referral scheme. If you successfully refer a candidate for a role, we reward our employees with £500 credit to put towards their next big trip! We caught up with Jasmine, our Senior ATL Manager who took her husband to Bali for a magical getaway!

Where did you go, which hotel(s) and for how long?

We decided to spend 10 nights in Bali, moving around to three different areas & staying in some amazing hotels. We chose Plataran Ubud & Spa in Ubud, Plataran Menjangan Resort and Spa in West Bali National Park, and finally Plataran Canggu Resort and Spa in Canggu.

Who did you take? Why did they deserve to go on this trip with you?

I went with my husband who definitely deserved to come and share the experience of Bali with me (and also to look after me as I was 5 months pregnant at the time!). 

Was this trip for a special occasion or simply using your well-deserved annual leave?

It was originally planned for my 30th birthday, but then also turned into a mini babymoon! 

How would you rate the hotel and any of the amenities? Did anything standout?

Everything was brilliant, the staff were very accommodating and lovely. The final hotel was very luxurious with our own villa and pool. 

What’s your favourite experience from this trip?

Getting to see how chaotic Bali is and visiting different areas of the island was great as they all had very different and unique appeals! 

Would you go back to this destination or hotel?

Yes! 

What’s one top secret tip you learned on this trip you could share with our employees and members? (e.g. local bar or restaurants, breathtaking viewpoint, popular beach, best swimming spot, local delicacies…)

If you want to relax in a beach bar one day, Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak has a really low spend cap for the main beds which I don’t think people always realise, so you can live in luxury for the day at the expense of a few drinks and a meal – plus, it’s a stunning spot to watch the sunset! 

I personally think it’s best not to drive and to instead get cabs everywhere because the roads were too crazy for us to attempt to be safe! And finally, we went at a really lovely time of year at the end of February when the Balinese were celebrating a festival and in the lead-up, the streets were being decorated and the day of the festival itself was very lovely! 

Where would you like to go next?

Greece!!