Wellness Travel Specialist and Entrepreneur, Paul, is the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a global leader in wellness holidays worldwide. Always ahead of the curve in pioneering new health programmes that revive the soul, boost fitness or address serious health issues, the worldwide wellness tourism industry has now become a multi-billion sector, growing faster than travel in general. Paul has a wealth of PR, Marketing, Sales and Management experience in the health and tourism industry, consulting leading hotels on their wellness strategy and contributing regularly to broadcast and media interviews.
Southern Crossings Australia co-founder and director
Stuart Rigg’s tourism and travel experience has spanned across continents and all levels of the industry. Together with his personal travels around the globe and to every corner of Australia, this experience has provided him with a true appreciation of both traveller and travel trade needs. Stuart has also been personally recognised for his professionalism and expertise as a destination specialist for Australia with inclusion on both the prestigious Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist List and as one of Wendy Perrin’s WOW! List of Trusted Travel Experts.
Southern Crossings Australia co-founder and director
At age 17, Stuart became Associate Editor of Ulster Architect, a post he held for 15 years which gave him great insight into design. He has since contributed to Architectural Digest, Elle Decoration and Luxury Travel Magazine. A Corporate Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, he brings his design forte to the role as Senior Development Manager at the luxury developer Taylor Wimpey Central London. In between travel exploits, Stuart publishes the design led blog Lavender’s Blue (lvbmag.com).
Paul owned and ran an award-winning luxury country house hotel in the 1980’s. He went on to publish hotel guides, including being Managing Director of Johansens Hotel Guides. Paul established dmAFRICA (in 1997) and dmASIA (in 2010), of which he is Chairman & CEO. Having travelled to 124 countries, Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He divides his time between homes in northern Thailand and southern Spain, and his offices in Africa and Asia.
Mary-Anne has been in the trade for almost 30 years and has built up a strong and recognised reputation around the world. She joined Cox & Kings Travel Ltd. as a specialist India consultant and ran their India product. She later was part of setting up Western & Oriental Travel Ltd. where she was Managing Director. Fifteen years ago Mary-Anne put some of India's finest small hotels 'on the map'! The result is MAhout – an owner run company whose primary focus is to create exposure and business for some of the Subcontinents most exceptional and deserving hotels.
Lucy is a freelance travel writer and journalist based in the UK and member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. She has written for a variety of publications including Escapism, Rough Guides, Travel Weekly, DK Travel, Upward Curve, Formula Life, and various wedding and inflight magazines. She has a Psychology degree, is a born traveller and self-confessed foodie and runs the blog TheTravelJourno.com. She has travelled widely in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Caribbean.
Flo is an international fashion, travel and lifestyle journalist and consultant for luxury brands. She has contributed words to publications including New York Times, Vogue and Condé Nast Traveller, and was formerly International Producer at Time Out, where she launched sites and magazines in various cities.
For more than a decade The Luxury Spa Edit founder Lisa Brown beautified an array of stars including Kate Moss, Juliette Lewis, Gemma Arterton and Daniel Craig. Her love of travel and beauty, inspired her to write a luxury spa review blog for The Huffington Post UK. With the demand for luxury spas and wellness growing rapidly, she used her wealth of knowledge and experience to create The Luxury Spa Edit.
Nick Gilmartin is the editor of leading digital publication Luxury Lifestyle Magazine. This title showcases the very best in five-star travel and fine dining as well covering style, technology and cars. Nick has a background in both public relations and journalism and has acted as a PR consultant for a number of leading travel, lifestyle and restaurant brands. He loves fine food and wine more than anything, and has visited more than 100 Michelin star restaurants.
Lisa Corcoran knows how to travel in style, living by her own mantra, ‘If chic is out there, I will find it’. The go-to girl for luxury hotels, her site and blog, Passage To Luxury, should be your first port of call if only the softest slippers, the most stylish rooms and the slickest service will do.
Edward is Chairman of Searcys, established in 1847, Chairman of Portico and a Board Director of the holding group, WSH Limited. The Group is one of the UK’s leading hospitality organisations operating some of the most prestigious restaurants, bars and event venues in some of Britain’s most iconic buildings and locations. He joined in 2015 following 14 years at the Royal Household where he was Deputy Master of the Household, responsible for internal operations, hospitality and the upkeep and interior refurbishments of the five occupied Palaces and homes. Edward was awarded the honour of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2013, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, a Trustee and Chairman of the Judges of the Gold Service Scholarship, a Board Director of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of West London.
Catherine is an adventurer, an Asiaphile and a serial entrepreneur. She describes her greatest fear in life as mediocrity, and her second greatest as boredom -- and the combination being the stimulus for Remote Lands. A former software engineer and technology entrepreneur and founder of three software companies since 1989, she considers herself lucky to have found her true calling at the age of 42, and to have been able to turn her life's passion for Asian travel into her profession.
Wanderlust is in Catherine's blood, inherited from her great-grandparents from Pittsburgh who circumnavigated the world multiple times in the 19th century on Asian art and antique-buying trips. Catherine's Asia obsession began back in 1985 when she read James Clavell's 'Tai Pan' and was instantly smitten. She had already lived in France and had traveled widely throughout Europe, but she had never been to Asia, and was determined to go. In 1987 she flew to Hong Kong with two phone numbers in her pocket and her total savings of $1,000, got a job selling Apple computers, and ended up staying for seven years -- travelling constantly all over Asia and the world for both business and pleasure.
Some of her most memorable travel experiences include having a private lunch with the Queen of Bhutan in her palace in 2006; a magical New Years Eve in Mongolia sharing a ger with a nomad family at -35°F; hiking to far-flung hill tribe villages off the grid in eastern Myanmar; off-piste skiing in Gulmarg, Kashmir in 1989; trekking alone in the Everest region of Nepal; taking a private helicopter up to view the peak of the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga in Sikkim; cruising in Siberia from the Arctic Circle to Vladivostok in a Russian icebreaker; chartering a private plane to visit remote corners of the Gobi Desert and eastern Mongolia; getting married in an Iban tribal longhouse in Borneo, a Hindu temple in Kerala and a Buddhist temple in Bhutan; travelling solo across North Korea; cruising through Komodo National Park in Indonesia; and hiking through the magical rainforests of Yakushima Island in Japan.
Catherine founded her first company in Hong Kong in 1989 at age twenty six, a travel software publishing company which later morphed into Take-Two, a video game company with sales over $1 billion and parent company of Rockstar Games. Next she licensed the Pink Panther character to star as a globetrotter teaching kids about foreign cultures for Wanderlust Interactive, her second company. She took the company public in 1996 (NASDAQ: LUST) which was Silicon Alley's first IPO according to 'Crain's New York Business', which also credited her with being one of the founders of New York's now famous Silicon Alley. Her third company was a natural language technology developer named Soliloquy, which tried to change the world by allowing consumers to converse with websites as if talking casually to a shopkeeper. Despite having a prominent computer speech Ph.D. as a co-founder and 13 Ph.D.s from MIT, Yale, Columbia and Stanford on staff, their goal turned out to be far too ambitious - and indeed remains the holy grail of human-Internet interaction. After leaving Soliloquy, she took a few years off from startups to work in her husband's Upper East Side art gallery.
As a hardcore entrepreneur, she couldn't remain out of the fray for long. In late 2005 she partnered with her old Hong Kong colleague, Jay Tindall whom she knew was as passionate and knowledgeable about Asian travel as she was. Together they founded Remote Lands, with Catherine in New York running sales and marketing and Jay in Bangkok handling operations and private jet and yacht charters. Their goal is clear-cut - to be the preeminent ultra-luxury Asia travel provider and to own the niche market for celebrities, Fortune 500 CEOs and other UHNWI's travelling in Asia. They coined the phrase 'travel designer' to describe their unique way of creating highly personalized and detailed itineraries for clients, and are flattered to see that many other travel companies are now using the term.
Catherine (née Evans) graduated from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, and then moved to New York to attend Columbia University (Barnard College). 1980 was the first year Columbia offered Computer Science as a major, and her instinct told her computers would become increasingly integral into business and life in general. She earned her BA in Computer Science in 1984 and then spent four years writing code for Wall Street's LF Rothschild, Unterberg and Tobin while attending NYU's Stern School of Business, but she left for Hong Kong before completeing her MBA.
She lives with her husband, Donald Heald, a collector and purveyor of rare books and manuscripts, and their white Labrador, Bali, on Manhattan's Upper East Side and in Sherman, CT. Her proudest accomplishments include having been youngest female CEO of a publicly traded American company at age 33 (as Catherine Winchester); being featured onstage with Bill Gates in two of his major keynote speeches in 1991 and 1993; and finishing the 1985 NYC Marathon in 101st place with a time of 3:17. She still runs 40 miles a week, albeit rather slowly now, and credits running and the self-discipline she learned from daily training with being the foundation for all her achievements in life.
Born to three nationalities, Francisca Kellett felt the urge fill all those passport pages with a great deal of stamps from a very young age. She is currently the Travel Editor at Tatler, the world's oldest, funniest glossy lifestyle magazine, having previously spent six years as Digital Travel Editor at The Daily Telegraph, and spending years as a freelance travel and guidebook writer. She loves hotels more than anything, and is always on the lookout for sustainable, authentic little gems that she hates to share with her readers (but her boss says she has to).
Freelance Journalist for The Independent, Nat Geo Traveller and Olive magazines
Former deputy travel editor/acting travel editor at The Independent on Sunday (1997-2000), and at Olive magazine (2013/14), Sarah Barrell has worked freelance for the likes of The Guardian, Marie Claire, The Times, The Telegraph, The Express, Evening Standard and the BBC, producing award-winning travel stories that range from learning to belly dance in Turkey to tracking snow leopards in Siberia. Sarah Barrell joined the editorial team at National Geographic Traveller for the magazine’s launch in 2010, fresh back from living in New York where she had worked freelance for the British broadsheets, the first desk job to tempt Sarah in from the field in over a decade. She now contributes to the title as writer and Associate Editor, her commissions taking her to hotels far and wide. Her latest project is the debut book in new Lonely Planet food/travel series, From The Source, which has harvested 60 of Italy’s definitive dishes and the chefs who cook them.
Freelance Journalist for The Independent, Nat Geo Traveller and Olive magazines
Graduated from Ecole HÔtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, with a diploma in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Alicia spent the first eight years building her carrier around the world, including Monaco, Maldives, French Polynesia and UK, holding various operational positions in several luxury resorts and boutique hotels. Back in Spain, she opened as GM the first Design Hotel in Madrid. Later she joined and worked for nine years the most upscale real estate company in Madrid, Ambassador. In July 2015, she moved to London to join the Soho House Group.