Luxury Travel Insider

Sarah Groen

Do you love travel? Are you always searching for the absolute best experiences?

Join us each week for an insightful chat with some of luxury travel’s most iconic people. We’ll interview travel experts like Robert Bowe who has been part of the guest experience at Ashford Castle for 33 years; Jamie Gaymer, the lead conservation manager at an ultra-luxe safari lodge; or the Owners and General Managers of some of the world’s top hotels like Amangiri, Canaves Oia, and Zannier Hotels.

Welcome to Luxury Travel Insider!
Trailer 3 min 32 sec

All Episodes

Today… we’re going skiing! And not just in Colorado, or Utah, or California - but all over the world from Chile, to Japan, to Italy and France. Our guests today are the brother and sister team, Rick Reichsfeld and Richelle Blanken. The duo grew up skiing competitively, both raced in college, and then Richelle even raced professionally. When Richelle left the national team - brother and sister teamed up to find a way to make a living from helping others experience the joy of skiing around the world. We discuss everything from their best tips for families to their favorite destinations, ski runs, and craziest après-ski parties. If you’re a ski lover, this is an episode you don’t want to miss!   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Nov 24

42 min 28 sec

I’m so excited today to be speaking with travel lover and true renaissance man - Bill Bensley. If you haven’t heard of Bill, you’ve CERTAINLY heard of some of the hotels he’s designed. World renowned projects like Capella Ubud, Four Seasons Tented Camp, Shinta Mani and more. Before any of these were notable on the world’s stage, before any of them were even built - Bill was there. Soaking in the curve of the land, the angle at which the moon shines, and the direction from which the wind blows. He takes his inspiration and genius from the natural world, melds his ideas with a story or fairy tale, and creates hotels that are the stuff of dreams. Bill and I chat about some of his favorite destinations, the heart and soul that goes into designing a hotel, his tips for mastering a new passion, and much much more.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Nov 17

43 min 17 sec

We’re taking you on a journey today to the inspirational country of Rwanda. While not often first on the list of most travelers, those who make it here are absolutely captivated by the people, who have rebuilt their lives and their country so authentically.  After a warm welcome, visitors to this nook of Africa will then be further blown away by likely the most impactful wildlife experience of their lives - sitting face to face with an endangered Mountain Gorilla.  And, luckily for these travelers, they can do it in style at One & Only’s two gorgeous properties - Gorilla’s Nest and Nyungwe House.  Today we have two very special guests, Craig Storkey who runs One & Only Rwanda, and Propser Uwingeli who is the Chief Park Warden of Volcanos National Park.  Prosper and Craig both share their love of Rwanda, how and why conservation is thriving in the country, and some incredible experiences with the amazing Great Apes.  I hope you enjoy this magical episode of Luxury Travel Insider.    Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Nov 10

53 min 37 sec

Today we find ourselves strolling along the coastlines of Taormina, the historical walkways of Palermo, and in the shadow of the gorgeous Mt. Etna. I’m so excited to be chatting with my friend, Barbara Iaccarino to dive into the fascinating island of Sicily. Any mention of Sicily conjures up mafiosos eating cannoli and stunning coastal vistas - but Barbara helps us go a bit deeper and to understand the melting pot of cultures that have influenced this region over thousands of years. We chat about everything from family adventures, to local handicrafts, to WWII, to the Sicilian Kiss!   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Nov 3

33 min 53 sec

I’m so excited today to be chatting with the CEO of a place that is near and dear to my heart, Canyon Ranch. Canyon Ranch is a pioneer in the wellness industry, a place where you can get away from the stress of everyday life and focus on what is most important. That focus is different for everyone who visits the ranch - whether you need a mental break from work, you’re focused on improving your health, or you’re interested in finding spirituality - Canyon Ranch will mold itself around you and help you find the way. It doesn’t hurt that their locations are set in the gorgeous desert of Tucson, amidst the Redwood trees of Woodside, and the iconic foliage of the Berkshires. Joining me today is Jeff Kuster, who came to lead the Canyon Ranch brand in a roundabout way. He was actually a guest in Tucson, there focused on himself and what he wanted to do next in his career. And the rest… is history. Jeff and I discuss how small changes can make a huge impact on your life, some of his favorite memories of past guests, and how wellness has evolved over the decades.    Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Oct 27

36 min 34 sec

Today we’re soaking up some island vibes in the British Virgin Islands. So, imagine yourself on the island of Virgin Gorda, with swaying palm trees in the background, a pain killer drink in hand, and some of the most stunning views in the Caribbean.  Now open your eyes and you’ll find yourself at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay.  Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that this isn’t just a shiny new resort taking up space on a pristine island. It was designed by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller and has a rich history including Queen Elizabeth and families who have visited every year since the early 1960s.  I chat with General Manager Andreas Pade about that history, little known facts, and what sets this destination apart from others.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Oct 20

31 min 4 sec

I’m so thrilled today to be speaking with travel Guru, Wendy Perrin. When I first met Wendy, I was totally fan-girling, and was even more surprised when I asked her to come on the show and she enthusiastically and quickly said.. Yes!  I’ve since found that this enthusiasm defines Wendy. From her desire to help promote travel, to excitement about learning new things, to helping people of all backgrounds and statures. If you haven’t heard of Wendy, she had an illustrious 25 year career at Conde Nast Traveler, is a published author, and runs WendyPerrin.com. She is renowned for her encyclopedic knowledge of travel and of course willingness to share.  Wendy and I talk about why travel is so important in this day and age, some upcoming trends to look out for, and share our favorite destinations, hotels, and splurge-worthy experiences.     Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Oct 13

50 min 40 sec

Today we’re visiting the most bio geographically diverse country in the European Union to explore dazzling waterfalls, UNESCO protected medieval villages, snow capped mountains, and sandy black sea beaches. But you may have never heard of these treasures as they are all hidden in plain sight, behind the large as life myth of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Romania is a country not of vampires and werewolves, but of resilient people living amongst some of the most spectacular natural beauty on the continent. Our guest today is one of these people - Raluca Spiac, who after a successful business career abroad, came home to rediscover her own country and share it with the world. We discuss everything from the Danube Delta, to Prince Charles, to slow travel, and more. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Oct 6

39 min 14 sec

Today you’ll come face to face with a polar bear, see a herd of twenty elephants passing by your picnic setup, and hear the wings flap of 500,000 monarch butterflies. The topic of today’s show is nature travel, and my guest is Ben Bressler, Founder and CEO of Natural Habitat Adventures - a company that achieves their mission of conservation through helping you explore the wilderness. Whether you’re in India tracking tigers, or just in your own backyard enjoying the wonders of a tiny hummingbird, there is an awe in observing the natural world that can teach us something precious about life. Ben and I chat about the first time he realized tourism could be a driving force for conservation, some incredible experiences he’s had in the wild, and how just being in nature and taking it all in can be one of the most powerful tools for sustainability.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Sep 29

46 min 36 sec

Imagine yourself floating in crystal clear, turquoise waters with fringes of palm trees rustling in the breeze, and not a soul in sight.  This may sound like a fantasy but it happens with regularity in the Maldives. This gorgeous chain of atolls sprawling across the Indian Ocean is one of the best places on the planet to disconnect and feel immersed in nature. And when you’ve had your fill of relaxing you can dive with whale sharks, surf some of the best breaks in the world, and dine in underwater restaurants.  Our guest today is Alex Chambers, my partner in the Maldives, who has lived in and traveled to the region regularly for the past 30 years. We discuss how the islands have changed since the tourism boom, sustainability, and some unimaginable luxury experiences.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Sep 22

42 min 45 sec

I’m excited to take you to one of my favorite countries today, the Sultanate of Oman. Located on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, this hidden gem boasts rugged mountain ranges bursting with roses, terraced orchards of pomegranates, vast sand dune deserts, and date palm fringed oases dotted with crystal clear limestone pools of water. One of the best ways to experience Oman is by camping and spending time with a local guide. So our guest today is Taimur Al-said, the owner of Hud Hud Travels. Taimur specializes in luxury camp set ups so that whether you’re a couple or a big family or a huge group of friends - you can have this experience in comfort. We discuss everything from the Sultan, to trying Omani food streetside, to the gorgeous natural beauty of the countryside.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Sep 15

31 min 43 sec

We’re shaking it up today with a panel of experts on one of my favorite countries, Thailand! Together we’ll explore the bustling capital of Bangkok, stunning national parks, and the culture of this fascinating country. Our guests today are: James Beard Award Winning Chef, Andy Ricker, who lives in Chiang Mai and is an expert in Northern Thai cuisine. Oh, and he showed Anthony Bourdain around the area in an episode of Parts Unknown. Next we have Ake Rittinapakorn, who is a scholar and expert in Southeast Asian arts, antiques, and textiles, and can get our clients access to a royal family private retreat. Finally, Belinda Shillcock, expert on all up and coming destinations in Thailand and the regional managing director for Abercrombie & Kent, overseeing all of Southeast Asia. What I love about this episode is hearing these three souls speak passionately about food, tourism, and arts - and use their respective mediums to dive deep into the heart of what Thailand is all about. I learned a lot about how to be a true traveler from this episode, and I hope you do too.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Sep 8

57 min 29 sec

Today we’re whisking you away on a captivating journey aboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express. With a history dating back to 1883, this train route has transported aristocrats and historic figures like Tolstoy, Trotsky, Marlene Dietrich, and Lawrence of Arabia. Many of the cars of the Venice Simplon are original cars from the 1920s and all are painstakingly restored to preserve the charm of the day. Our guest today is Pascal Deyrolle, who started as a cabin steward on the train 30 years ago and is today the General Manager in charge of all train operations. Pascal tells some great stories, and we discuss how the Venice Simplon transports you back in time, how the outside world will fade away, and how you can reconnect with what’s important. All aboard for this fascinating chat about Belmond’s Venice Simplon Orient Express.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Sep 1

37 min 24 sec

Today’s show is about Alaska and two of it’s top luxury lodges, Winterlake and Tutka Bay Lodge. But it’s also about so much more! Our guest is owner and chef, Kirsten Dixon and after our recording I was asking her to be my mentor! Alaska is a destination that captures the imaginations of people from all over the world. It’s pristine beauty and rugged wilderness have so much to teach us. Travel has always been near and dear to my heart because it helps us to feel small, to realize how wide the world is around us - and Alaska is the perfect place to experience this. Kirsten reminds us all to drink up the bright and shiny parts of life and shares her experiences of Alaska with us. We discuss everything from wildlife and helicopter adventures, to story telling with shots of vodka, to cooking with your heart and soul.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Aug 25

44 min 32 sec

Today we’re traveling the globe searching for unexpected experiences, off the grid lodges, and truly customized adventure activities. One of my favorite places to look for this unique combo is to my friends at Eleven Experience.  With Eleven you don’t have to sacrifice the comforts of luxury to experience some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes and unique cultures. With lodges in remote parts of Patagonia, New Zealand, Iceland, France, the Bahamas, and the US - they’ve got your adventure needs covered.  My guest today is Ian Wick, who runs the operations for Eleven. We chat about everything from the best powder skiing, to fly fishing in Patagonia, to geothermal heated pools in Iceland. But more importantly - we explore the idea that true luxury is customization, authentic experiences, and going where others do not.    Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn  

Aug 18

35 min 18 sec

Today we’re whisking you away to Scotland, the land of castles, whiskey, and tartan. But there’s more to experience here than just the typical stereotypes. Whether you’re coming for magnificent neolithic ruins, to cycle across the country, or to revel in some of the most authentic festivals you’ll find anywhere in the world - Scotland has something for everyone. Our guests today are Paul Easto and Stevie Christie - experts of course on Scotland, but also on active adventures around the country like kayaking, hiking, and cycling. We dive into so many insider tips in this episode, from the evolution of Scottish food, to the history of the Scottish Clan, to exploring the thousands of Scottish islands by kayak… and everything in between.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Aug 11

49 min 35 sec

Instead of diving into a gorgeous hotel or fabulous destination, we’re jumping headlong into the nuance of family travel with my partner, and one of the world’s top experts, Magali Dechelette. So often our clients think that kids need to be in their teens to enjoy Europe, or that family travel is just too difficult. So we’re here today to dispel that myth. Whether you’re doing a treasure hunt at the Louvre, making your own paella dinner in Madrid, or going through gladiator training outside of Rome - I promise, there IS a way to engage even your most Fortnite or Instagram obsessed child. Magali and I discuss her favorite destinations in Europe, some ungoogleable experiences, and how traveling with children can make the world a better place. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Aug 6

37 min 29 sec

Our guest today is Robin West, Vice President and GM of Seabourn Expeditions - one of the first ultra-luxury companies to dive into expedition cruising. Whether you find yourself in a state-of-the-art submarine, basking in the Northern Lights, enjoying a gourmet meal onboard, exploring the untouched coastlines of Greenland, or indulging in a world-class spa treatment - you’ll be unmistakably Seabourn. Robin and I discuss how Seabourn’s new expedition ships were custom made for this unique type of travel, some of his favorite wildlife moments, and how expedition travel can awaken your curiosity and increase your sense of meaning. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Aug 3

48 min 3 sec

With Canada re-opening its borders soon to tourism, I’m excited to welcome our first Canadian guest on the show. We’re headed into the countryside of Quebec today to chat with Jason Stafford of Manoir Hovey, one of the top hotels in all of Canada. Though it’s set in French Canada, Manoir Hovey was actually designed after George Washington’s estate by a businessman from Georgia in the year 1900. In wondering how this could be, I unraveled the fascinating history of the town of North Hatley, where British Loyalists fled to after 1776 and were followed by Southern land owners after the Civil War. This influx of 17th and 18th century Americans mixing with the local French population has created a melting pot experience unique in this world. Jason and I chat on everything from Montreal Bagels, to haunted grandfather clocks, to 5 star service and locally sourced food.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 30

30 min 3 sec

Today we travel to a very special corner of the world, called Ballyfin. Set amongst lush, green, rolling foothills, an hour outside of Dublin, Ballyfin drips with history, beauty, and charm. Over the last two hundred years this mansion has been a family home, hosted glamorous parties for nobility, and used as a boarding school before falling into disrepair. In the early 2000s the future of one of Ireland's finest houses was looking incredibly bleak. Enter, our guest today - Jim Reynolds, an archeologist and master gardener, turned hotelier. Given his unique skillset, Jim was asked to lead the painstaking 9-year renovation of the property and has been with Ballyfin every since. Today the estate boasts gorgeous gardens, stately guest rooms, lavish costume parties, and traditional activities like horseback riding, clay shooting, and falconry. Jim tells us all about the history, the charm of the Irish people, and what you might glean from a visit here. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 27

41 min 38 sec

We’re heading to Southern California today, to be whisked away from all our worries and unhealthy influences at Cal-a-Vie Health Spa. Cal-a-Vie is situated in a sun-dappled valley just north of San Diego. When arriving here you’ll be greeted by lavender fields, sunflowers, and vineyards and then treated to some of the best service and luxury accommodations in the industry. Though the property was rated Travel & Leisure’s #1 Destination Health Spa in North America - it’s more than just a spa. Here you can set and achieve health goals, reset mentally, and work with experts in exercise, mindfulness, and aesthetics. Our guest is Terri Havens, the owner of Cal-a-Vie and visionary behind it’s nurturing design and life changing programs. Terri tells us some incredible stories about the property and some very special past guests.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 23

36 min 21 sec

Today we’re journeying to the historic lands of Germany. What was once a country of independent principalities, is today a major European power. But those individualistic roots still shine through - in the art of winemaking outside Geisenheim, in the intricate porcelain craftsmanship of Saxony, and the friendly competition to make the best local variety of sausages.  Whether you’re coming to Germany for medieval castles, racecars, the underground hip hop of Berlin, or perhaps some Oktoberfest revelry - there’s a little something here for everyone.  Thomas and I touch on how German culture has evolved, some special experiences to be had on your next visit, and what you just might learn from traveling here.    Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 20

31 min 36 sec

I’m thrilled to take you back to New Zealand today, the home of the worlds most magnificent landscapes, the cuddliest kiwi birds, and heart-pumping adventure activities. Specifically we’re learning about some of the country’s top luxury lodges - Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers on the North Island and Matakauri near Queenstown. Whether you’re helicoptering to an alpine lake for a special picnic, exploring the Cliffs of Hawks Bay by can-am, or golfing one of the top 100 golf courses in the world - you will surely be wowed at every turn. Joining us is Jay Robertson, CEO of Robertson Lodges. We discuss everything from conservation, to fly fishing, to the local can-do culture.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 16

34 min 9 sec

Today we’re discussing the regions of Normandy and Brittany - a land that has hosted Vikings, Celts, and Roman Invaders. While Normandy is certainly steeped in the emotional remains of WWII - it is also a beautiful reminder of the freedom we all enjoy today. Digging a bit deeper here you can find delicate lace, superbly fresh mussels, ancient megalithic ruins and medieval works of art. If there’s one thing that rings true about the Bretons and the Normans - it’s that they continue to honor their cultures and remain the backbone of France. Our guest today is Adrienne O’Donoghue. While originally from Maryland, Adrienne met her French husband in college while helping with the harvest in Bordeaux. In addition to living in Normandy for 25 years, being married to the Mayor of Chambois, and raising four children there - Adrienne was a 19th century antiques dealer for 10 years! She now partners with luxury travel advisors like me to craft amazing itineraries for our mutual clients. Adrienne and I discuss the history of this special region, impressionist art, crepes, and how to just get lost in the countryside.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 13

37 min 21 sec

Today we’re discussing three gorgeous landscapes dotted across the country of Chile, with one of the owners of the iconic Tierra Hotels, Ellen Marie Guidera. Tierra Hotels are more truly lodges than hotels - with gorgeous architecture built to blend into the landscape, the friendliest local guides to make your stay unforgettable, and world class spas built to wow. Regardless of whether you’re set in Patagonia overlooking the mountain landscape, Chiloe exploring local villages on the lake, or in Atacama contemplating the universe - you’ll enter a Tierra state of mind. Ellen and I chat about what it means to be a family business, why Chile is such a fabulous destination, and why a lodge based vacation might just be your best trip yet.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 9

31 min 18 sec

I’m so excited to take you around the world to the fascinating destination of China. In a country so vast and so varied - you could presumably stay for months and still barely scratch the surface. So here to help us decode what a trip to China could look like, is Mei Zhang. Mei grew up in the western city of Dali in the Yunnan province. After graduating from Harvard Business School, and working at McKinsey, she decided to help travelers experience her homeland in a different way. In this episode, Mei paints pictures of gorgeous landscapes, dispels myths about China, and reminisces about her hometown of Dali. We also discuss up and coming fashion and art, Chinese TikTok, and technology. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 6

36 min 40 sec

We’re headed to the countryside today, deep in the heart of Vermont to chat with John Graham, the Managing Director of Twin Farms. Thinking of Vermont conjures up images of fall foliage glinting fiery orange, red, and gold. You might also smell sweet maple syrup or warm apple cider, and imagine yourself in an historic general store, covered bridge, or barn. At Twin Farms, one of the most talked about hotels in America, you can experience all this and much more. The 300 acres making up the farm was purchased in the 20s by Nobel Prize winning author, Sinclair Lewis as a wedding present for his journalist wife, Dorothy Thompson. Their story and the story of owners before and after - add to the charm of the experience. John and I discuss hidden secrets about the property, what Vermont is like in spring, and how this little farm in the middle of nowhere offers some of the most luxurious service on the continent.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jul 2

30 min 35 sec

Today we’re discussing the multi-faceted destination of Mexico. If you’re not reevaluating what you think you know about Mexico by the end of this episode we’ll have to have a chat! Whether you’re witnessing the miracle of the monarch butterfly migration, hiking the Copper Canyon, eating mole in Oaxaca, or swimming with whale sharks - you’ll be enchanted by the Mexican culture and all the diversity this country has to offer. A true luxury experience in Mexico isn’t just about glitzy hotels in the Baja - it’s about diving deeper and finding the unexpected. Our guest today is Zach Rabinor, an expert in crafting insider experiences in Mexico. We chat about his favorite surf spots, the breadth and depth of Mexican food, and some off the beaten path destinations to try for your next trip. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 29

36 min 18 sec

I’m thrilled to take you on a journey around the world to the countries of Zambia and Madagascar today. While most safari goers think first of South Africa or maybe Kenya - Zambia offers a wilder experience. One where you can dip your toes in the sand of the African bush, experience wildlife eye to eye, and immerse yourself in untouched wilderness. Then trading one wild place for another, you can fly to Madagascar to enjoy one of the most luxurious private islands in the world, while catching glimpses of lemurs, baobab trees, and chameleons. Joining us today is Bruce Simpson - CEO of Time + Tide in Zambia and Miavana in Madagascar. In his career Bruce has done everything from guiding in South Africa to managing a private island in the Seychelles. His journey from guide to CEO means that he has more stories to tell than we could cover on this show! We discuss sleeping under the stars, how Time + Tide gets its guests truly immersed in nature, and touching stories from everyday people.   Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 25

45 min 45 sec

Today we’re headed back to Costa Rica - but this time deep into the jungles of Turialba and the Osa Peninsula. Our guests today are Luz Caceres and Roberto Fernandez - owners of Pacuare Lodge and Lapa Rios. Both lodges offer incredible experiences like white water rafting to check-in, close up encounters with nature, and insights into indigenous culture and sustainability. Lapa Rios is set in the most biologically intense place on EARTH, and Pacuare is so deep in the jungle that Roberto had to transport tractors and logs there via white water raft to build the lodge. Everything about these places and the people is incredibly special. We discuss how Roberto’s vision became a reality, how the pair thinks about sustainability, and some crazy stories from the early days. I hope you enjoy this fun dive into the rainforests of Costa Rica. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 22

41 min 26 sec

I’m excited to welcome our guest today, Vincent Billiard, the General Manager of the fabulous Rosewood Hotel de Crillon in the beating heart of Paris.  With it’s official designation as a Palace Hotel - a marker of the finest service and luxury anywhere in the city, you’d think Hotel de Crillion could err on the extremely traditional side.  But it doesn’t. It has all the trappings of 5* service, along with an incredible history, contemporary design, and a sense of warmth designed to bring you in, and lull you into a Parisian state of mind.  The hotel has hosted the likes of Marie Antoinette, Neil Armstrong, Karl Lagerfeld, Woodrow Wilson, and Queen Elizabeth. While you sip your champagne, overlooking the twinkling Eiffel Tower - you can feel that you’re in the company of greatness.  Vincent and I discuss how Paris has evolved during the pandemic, how to find hidden gems in the city, and special details about the hotel.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 18

32 min 32 sec

Today we visit the magical Kingdom of Bhutan. My guest Sally Baughen is the General Manager of five newly built Six Senses lodges situated across five diverse valleys - rich with experiences, natural beauty, and surprising new ways to look at life. Though you can visit each lodge independently, the wellness gurus at Six Senses have designed it as a kind of journey - traveling through the country focusing outward on the experiences and culture and inward on your own experience of wellness. In Punakha you might visit locals in a rice paddy by day and focus on sleep rituals and relaxation in the evening. In Gangtey you might visit an ancient monastery and focus on mental wellbeing. Sally and I discuss the back story behind Gross National Happiness, the gorgeous hiking opportunities, and how the experience of Bhutan reminds us all to live just a little bit kinder. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 15

40 min 6 sec

Today we’re diving into the paradox that is the country of Israel. In such a small nation you can be surrounded by tech entrepreneurs, holy men and women from multiple faiths, geopolitical conflict, world class nightlife, and natural wonders like the Dead Sea AND the Mediterranean Sea. To try to unravel some of this beautiful complexity, we have three guests on our show today. My friend and partner in the region, Yoav Gal - an expert in luxury Israel itineraries; Eyal Riess - a Rabbi in the mystical Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, and Libbi Cohen- an expert in Tel Avivian history, culture, and nightlife. We discuss everything from Israel’s new cultural revolution, to spiritual experiences in caves, to Bauhaus architecture - and of course hummus! Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 11

52 min 24 sec

I’m excited to have Alejandro Bataller with me today, to discuss his family business - SHA Wellness - a beautiful property set on the cliffs of the Mediterranean coast near the charming villages of Alicante, Spain. SHA is actually a hybrid between a top notch luxury hotel and a cutting edge medical and wellness clinic. The vision came when Alejandro’s father saw a doctor who focused on nutrition and natural therapies that cured him from a lifelong ailment. He wanted top notch treatments from many different world philosophies to be available to more people. SHA is now expanding from its gorgeous location on the Mediterranean to the Caribbean Coast of Mexico and the Emerati Riviera. Alejandro walks us through his philosophy, tells inspiring stories of recovery, and lets us in on a little secret - it’s now millennials who are driving this trend towards preventative medicine and self care. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 8

40 min 49 sec

We’re shaking it up today with a panel of some of the world’s top concierges to spill some insider tidbits. In this episode you’ll visit the iconic cities of Tokyo, Paris, and Buenos Aires, and step into the glossy world of Park Hyatt - one of the top luxury brands in the travel world. Dominique Guidette, a past president of Le Clefs d’Or and top concierge at Park Hyatt Paris joins us and tells some hilarious stories of guest requests. Adrian Fautt joins us from the Park Hyatt Tokyo in the exact suite that was used for filming the famous movie, Lost in Translation; And Valeria Brauer comes to us from the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires where she once organized a trip to Antarctica for a past guest. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 4

58 min 18 sec

Today we travel to a private atoll in French Polynesia called Tetiaroa. Here you’ll find The Brando, a world famous resort composed of 35 luxury villas surrounded by a sparkling turquoise lagoon. The island was bought decades ago by Marlon Brando, who once said “Tetiaroa is beautiful beyond my capacity to describe.” So if this island left a famous actor completely speechless, imagine what it will do for you. Years later as the resort was developed, Brando’s deep passion for the island and early focus on sustainability has made the resort not only beautiful, but also completely sustainable. Our guest today is Silvio Bion, who has been managing the property since the very beginning. We discuss everything from the early days of constructing The Brando, to the special spirit of Tetiaroa, to the warm heart of the people. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Jun 1

34 min 12 sec

Today we’re taking a journey to one of the happiest countries in the world, Costa Rica. Costa Rica has 5% of the world’s biodiversity, 99% of its power comes from renewable energy, and 98% of its population is literate. It’s certainly a country that punches far above its weight. Whether you’re coming for surfing, to see sloths and toucans, or to find yourself alone meditating in a rainforest - Costa Rica can provide it all. We have two guests today - French/Moroccan Entrepreneur, turned hotelier - Mehdi Rheljari, and Wilhelm von Breymann, owner of Costa Rican Trails and former Minister of Tourism. We discuss the barefoot luxury and breathtaking views of Mehdi’s hotel - Kasilya Papagayo, some more off the beaten path parts of Costa Rica, and of course, Pura Vida. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 28

51 min 43 sec

Today we’re headed to South Africa and Zimbabwe to speak with Robert More, the founder and owner of the More Family Collection. Robert’s collection includes famous safari lodges like Lion Sands and Marataba, city hotels like Cape Cadogan, and now two boutiques near Victoria Falls. Robert tells stories of growing up on the land, camping with friends, close calls with crocodiles, and community ties. It was these memories that inspired some amazing guest experiences like romantic treehouse accommodations in the bush. Being family owned and purpose driven, Robert views himself more as a steward of the land, with a responsibility to provide opportunities for those in his community and a thriving environment for the wildlife. We discuss growing up in the bush, stories of love and loss, and the special energy of Victoria Falls. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 25

40 min 32 sec

In this special episode, we’re diving deep into a lesser known region of Portugal, The Alentejo. Here to discuss this hidden gem with me are hoteliers José António Uva and Gonçalo Pessoa. José was an investment banker in London before returning home to cultivate land that had been in his family for eight generations. He ended up turning part of the farm into Barrocal, a gorgeous modern farm house hotel smack in the middle cork plantations, white washed villages, and two thousand year old olive trees. Gonçalo was actually an airline pilot, staying in hotels around the world when he decided he wanted to build something special in the coastal area of Alentejo and brought the boho chic vision of his hotel, Sublime Comporta, to life. We discuss the unique culture of the region, the fantastic food, and the special things you can create when shifting from a short term to a long term mindset. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 21

35 min 1 sec

I’m excited to have my new friend, Lucie Weill on the show today. After a career in fashion at Givenchy, Lucie left to join her father (founder of the French equivalent of CNN) to create a beautiful getaway in the South of France. Lily of the Valley is set on a cliff, surrounded by gorgeous Cypress trees, overlooking the glimmering Mediterranean Sea. While St. Tropez is known for being flashy and indulgent, here you can relax, soak up the natural beauty, and strive for that ever elusive thing we all call “balance.” Lucie and I discuss the designer Philippe Starck, Lily of the Valley’s definition of “healthy,” and how her family has been enjoying this unique slice of heaven for 50 years. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 18

29 min 51 sec

There’s a saying in Russian… Better to have 100 friends than 100 rubles. And until I spoke with today’s guest - I didn’t truly understand the depth of meaning in that statement. Here to discuss the country of Russia with me is Greg Tepper. Greg has spent the last 30 years opening the eyes of visitors to one of Russia’s best kept secrets - the warmth of the Russian people once you’re part of their inner circle. Greg explains how the typical stereotypes of Russians are only surface level, and how, with the right connections - you can dig deeper. You might be expecting scenes of the Red Square, Summer Palaces, the Russian Imperial Family, and Faberge Eggs when planning a trip to Russia - but it’s meeting actual Russians that will help you to understand the world, and yourself just a little bit better. And insider tip - you can’t do that without an expert at your side. Greg and I discuss everything from the Trans Siberian Railway to how to chase your vodka; from ultra exclusive experiences to Russian comfort food. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 14

45 min 44 sec

If you’re the kind of luxury traveler who’s always looking for hidden gems, I’ve got one for you today! We’re chatting with mother-daughter team, Claudia Bosch and Katina Jongezoon, who own and manage Casa Palopo on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Casa Palopo is a colonial style home set on a gorgeous lake, surrounded by the peaks of lush, green volcanic mountains. During a stay here you might find yourself relaxing poolside with a cocktail inhaling the gorgeous views, paragliding over the lake suspended by only a parachute, or visiting Santa Catarina and helping locals to paint their homes in bright, happy colors. Both Claudia and Katina are passionate about showing off their country to visitors and have poured some secret ingredients into this special spot - a dash of love, a cup of fine attention to detail, and a pound of enthusiasm for the local community around them. And the result, is nothing less than delightful.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 11

37 min 2 sec

Our guest on this episode is Markos Chaidemenos, co-owner and Managing Director of Canaves Oia luxury properties in Santorini, Greece. Canaves is a collection of 6 of the top luxury properties in Santorini, all set in the whitewashed town of Oia, overlooking the sapphire Aegean Sea. After a day of wine tasting, bike riding around the island, or visiting centuries old ruins you can relax in your private plunge pool with a glass of champagne overlooking one of the most iconic views in the world. At Canaves you can also be sure that you’ll have privacy and excellent service - something that’s not a given at other properties on the island. Markos and I discuss how his family played a major role in uplifting Santorini as a destination, secret spots on the island that he loves, and what to watch out for when booking in Santorini. See photos, shown notes, and listener perks HERE. Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 7

28 min 14 sec

Today we’re exploring the country of Australia, famous for its icons like the Sydney Opera House, the Outback, and the Great Barrier Reef. The dazzling landscape is fit for the movies from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. To try to understand the country at a deeper level, we have three guests with us today. My friend and partner in the region, Stuart Rigg - an expert in luxury Australia itineraries, Charlie Carlow - the owner of the fabulous Wild Bush Luxury Lodges, and Clarence Slockee a musician, dancer, well known horticulturist, sometimes television show host, and of course proud Aboriginal man. We discuss everything from off the beaten path destinations, to indigenous species, to the uniquely Australian concept of “mateship.” Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

May 4

39 min 14 sec

Today we’re diving deep into the history, culture, and passion that make Sonoma County, California such a special place. While known for being the birthplace of Californian wine, Sonoma has so much more to offer. From beautifully wild coastlines and Redwood Forest groves to some of the freshest produce, oysters, and creameries found anywhere in the world. We have two guests today, Paul Sloan - owner of Smallvines Wines and Joe Bartolomei - owner of Farmhouse Inn - a family run, luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the Russian River Valley. Both Joe and Paul’s families have been farming the land in Sonoma for multiple generations. We discuss everything from wine making and Michelin stars, to whale watching and weddings. Though Joe and Paul won’t say it - It’s worth pointing out that family ties and deep roots shape the experience in Sonoma vs the more corporate experiences you’ll find with their neighbors over in Napa.  Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com   Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 30

44 min 17 sec

My guest today is Nicholas Clayton, the CEO of Capella Hotel Group, a constellation of some of the finest hotels in the world. Whether you experience a Capella stay in Singapore or Sydney, Bangkok or Bali - you’ll be treated like a star. The team at Capella Hotels goes out of their way to help you engage deeply with the culture around you. From the design elements and local foods served within the hotel, to connecting you with locals outside the hotel. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Travel & Leisure just ranked Capella Hotels the number two hotel brand and Capella Ubud as THE number one hotel in the world. Nicholas and I discuss the brand ethos, some of his favorite details across the different hotels, hawker stands in Singapore, and more. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 27

37 min 45 sec

I’m so excited to have my friend, Christine Gaffney on the show today to talk about the Nordic Region of Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland, and Finland. Mention of the Nordic region might conjure up images of Vikings, Fjords, Northern Lights, and Ice Hotels - and you’ll be sure to find all of that goodness when you visit. But the key to a fabulous experience is going deeper - finding secret spots to call your own, enjoying the world class cuisine, and taking home with you perhaps the most important souvenir of them all - the sense of peace and living slowly that our friends in this region do so well. Christine and I discuss how vast this region of Europe actually is, some lesser known spots to visit, and a few wildly authentic ways to experience the wilderness. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 23

42 min 34 sec

My guest today is Jose Koechlin, the Founder and President of the iconic Inkaterra Hotels in Peru. Jose’s life's work has been to preserve the biodiversity of his country. Starting with media projects like movies and documentaries, Jose realized he could use public interest to fund deep and meaningful research and conservation efforts. Whether you stay deep in the heart of the Amazon with experienced researchers, enjoy the trappings of a 16th century home of a conquistador in Cusco, or tuck into a warm soup while bird watching near Machu Picchu - you’ll be surrounded with the friendliest of staff and all the luxury amenities you’re used to. Jose and I discuss his long term friendship with Mick Jagger, the next hotel in Inkaterra’s collection, and his deep passion for the natural world around us. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 20

39 min 17 sec

Today we’re discussing the fabulous destination of Croatia. If you’re not dying to make a visit after hearing these amazing stories, I am just not sure that we can be friends! Whether you’re sipping Istrian wines with a local, going canyoneering and white water rafting, or relaxing on a yacht while island hopping Dalmatia, you’ll certainly learn all about the Croatian phrase, Polako - meaning - slow down and enjoy life. Our guest today is Alberto Dittadi, an expert in the region and definitely someone you’d like to slow down and enjoy some Balkan wine with. We discuss insider tidbits like how to best visit Dubrovnik, secret swim spots around the islands, and the interesting differences between the American and Balkan psyche. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 16

41 min 54 sec

Not only today’s guest is the Founder and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, some of my favorite properties in all of Europe, but he’s also been Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II herself! Rocco Forte Hotels are able to achieve the very rare combination between extreme sense of place, luxury service, and amazing design. The company is also family owned and run - with Sir Rocco’s sister doing design, his son selecting locations, and daughters building the vision for bar, culinary, and spa services. When you stop into a Rocco Forte hotel, it might be like visiting a Forte family home. With everything, including much of the staff, hand selected by the family. Located in the heart of Europe’s major cities like Rome, Berlin, Brussels, and London, you’ll be hard pressed to find better locations with more interesting history. Sir Rocco and I discuss how he blends family and work, some behind the scenes stories of the different properties, and some crazy guest requests. Learn more at www.luxtravelinsider.com Connect with me on Social: Instagram LinkedIn

Apr 13

24 min 49 sec