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Ellie Hughes

Senior Travel Consultant

Where did your love of travel come from? 

I began travelling throughout Europe at a young age whilst living in the Netherlands. My time in Europe instilled a real sense of adventure and I thrived in the exploration of different histories, cultures and people. My appetite for knowledge carried on through school and University, where I spent time studying in Malaysia and travelling in South East Asia. During my time at Abercrombie & Kent, I have been lucky enough to broaden my horizons ever further, with travel to diverse and incredible destinations, including Japan and South America, hunting for some of the most unique and exclusive experiences with our teams globally. Most recently, I’ve returned from a year travelling Australia and New Zealand with a whole host of new experiences under my belt.

Top recommended ultra luxury experience?

There are few places left completely untouched by humans, and for the ultimate adventure, Antarctica represents the final frontier in luxury travel. It's a place so remote that few will ever experience it, and so beautiful that those who do will never forget it. To journey in true style, travel by private Jet from Cape Town to land on a custom-built ice runway. Stay at Whichaway Camp in one of seven sleeping pods where cosy beds and plush furnishings are accompanied by gourmet cuisine from an award-winning chef and cocktails chilled by million-year-old ice cubes from the nearby lake. During your stay you will tread new ground untouched by human footsteps. With the help of your expert mountain guide you will locate, map and climb an unexplored mountain and earn the honour of naming a piece of this magnificent landscape as a legacy. Travel to Atka Bay, frequented only by German scientists studying the 28,000 strong emperor penguin colonies here. To share the ice with these majestic creatures is a privilege just a handful of people enjoy each year. If that wasn’t enough, travel to the South Pole in the footsteps of Scott and Amundsen - a place where fewer visitors have been than the summit of Everest! The carbon-neutral camp operates on a zero-impact policy, encouraging responsible travel to the end of the earth.

Ultimate dining experience?

Next on my list must be Under; on the wild and windy North Atlantic coast of Norway, this intimate, semi-submerged restaurant offers the chance to watch the seabed through a panoramic window. Showcasing incredible seafood and foraged accompaniments like sea kale, the journey from farm to plate is truly minimal. From one of the lowest dining experiences to one of the very highest, for a truly exclusive meal, board a helicopter in Iceland where your guide will fly you to a remote Icelandic peak where your table is afforded magnificent views of a vast, rugged national park. Feast on an array of Icelandic delicacies prepared before you by an expert chef. Accompanied by a glass of chilled champagne and live musician, it makes for a wonderful surprise for an anniversary or birthday.

Hotel with the best service?

One of my favourite hotels is Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, where concierge Roberto greets you like an old friend and lets you in on all the secrets of Venice. The flawless service and close attention to detail mean anything is possible during your stay here. For the ultimate adventure, journey back to London in a Grand Suite onboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express. The impeccable hospitality and timeless glamour of this vintage train combine to produce one of the best journeys in the world. 

Best kept travel secret? 

Japan grows ever-more popular, however there are still so many undiscovered gems to be found in this fascinating country. Hidden amongst 3,000 mostly uninhabited islands in the Seto Inland Sea lies a cluster of Art Islands filled with surreal art installations, cutting edge museums, and architectural gems few tourists incorporate in their visit.  Not just for art lovers, head to Shikoku for unspoiled coastline and countryside, local tradition and ancient festivals rarely frequented by foreigners.