The weather is finally starting to warm up, which means summer vacation season—our favorite time of year—is right around the corner. If you’re looking for some travel inspiration, we tapped our trusted advisors to tell us their top destinations for summer 2019. Also in this edition, we talked to our clients, the talented Carpenter family (they’re on the road a whopping 300 days a year!), who tell us how they combine work and leisure, as well as their favorite classical music spots around the world. And finally, we’re bringing you some of the culinary must-try’s in Cape Town’s amazing food scene.
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
First in Service continues to attract some of the most talented advisors in the industry. Three new advisors join us, and with them we expand our footprint into Mexico City and Dallas.
I got my start in the business 13 years ago working for numerous luxury properties around the world, including Hotel del Coronado, Four Seasons George V, Four Seasons Singapore, Hotel de Crillon and Hotel Arts Barcelona, to name a few. I made my way to the United States where I was in charge of running the Global Sales Office for BVLGARI Hotels in North America. Over time, I cultivated a relationship with one of my clients who offered me a position in an upscale membership only agency. This was my foray into the other side as an agent before settling down in Mexico. My specialty is leisure and creating the ultimate experience for my clients.
My favorite destinations are… Japan, Myanmar, Maldives, France & Mexico
In the near future… I would love to go and explore India & Bhutan as well as the Uyuni Salar in Bolivia!
I love travel because… I simply love the feeling of “being away” from my routine, to explore new landscapes and cultures I have never experienced before. It is so refreshing and so addictive as well!
Valeria’s interest in the travel industry piqued during a college internship at Amansara in Cambodia. She fell in love with the hotel industry and how happy she could make guests by simply making sure to always exceed their expectations.
“You could tell the moments I helped to create were something they would always remember.” This cemented into a passion for working in travel and organizing incredible adventures for clients. Having started to travel the world at a very early age with her family, Valeria wanted to find a way to share her knowledge and experiences with others.
The leap into travel advising has turned out to be the perfect way to achieve that goal. Valeria specializes in creating tailor-made leisure travel.
My favorite destinations are… Botswana, the Swiss Alps, Istanbul and any beach in Mexico
In the near future… This year, I am hoping to visit the Atacama Desert. I can´t wait to spend a night sitting under the star-filled sky with a telescope and a glass of wine!
I love travel because… Every time I get on a plane I feel re-inspired. I love the idea of all of the new people that you can meet along the way and who will change your perspective on life.
Ask Jimmy Benitez and he will tell you, “I love sharing my story of how I got my start in the industry. My journey was a bit out of the ordinary”. Gaining a world of experience as a fire truck mechanic with the USAF, he traveled through much of Asia. After serving our country, Jimmy settled down in Dallas and worked for some time as an electrician. His life and career changed when he was approached by his best friend, a manager of a travel agency, who was looking to hire people with travel experience. It was the perfect fit. Jimmy skyrocketed to a position as a branch manager for a successful corporate travel agency in the Dallas market and has never looked back. He specializes in corporate and leisure travel.
My favorite destination is… Washington DC. I love US history.
In the near future… My family and I would love to go to Israel.
I love travel because… we get the opportunity to create stories, connections, experiences and opportunities for ourselves and others.