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Louis Gergaud

Senior Travel Specialist

Where did your love of travel come from? 

When I was nine, my mother took me out of school and onto her work trip to Fiji. My eyes were immediately opened to different culture, cuisine and ways of life. There were men in skirts there. People were playing rugby on the beach. I was able to discover kava, Fiji’s national drink, the beautiful coral reefs and the allure of the jungle. This moment was undoubtedly when my wanderlust was sparked. Since then, I have seized every opportunity to explore, experience and investigate the world. A&K helps me fulfil that dream every day. When I am not planning a wonderful trip for a client, I can be found on a mountain top in Verbier or enjoying a sundowner in Mykonos.

Top recommended ultra luxury experience?

Exclusivity and intimacy embody an ultra-lux experience for me. When they are combined with five-star service and a complete escape from the world, then the moment is complete. For me, there is nothing more wonderful than sipping a sundowner on a private sandbank and one of the most idyllic locations I know for this is a few miles off the Pemba Coast in Zanzibar. There is nothing better than luxuriating on your own private island, whilst sipping on an ice-cold drink. It’s one of my most memorable experiences.

Ultimate dining experience?

Award-winning La Colombe in Constantia on the outskirts of Cape Town is a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Situated on the Silvermist organic wine estate, the views, food and wines are equally spectacular. It’s worth investing the time in the tasting menu here because every mouthful is gastronomic genius. Asian and French flavours fuse perfectly under Scot Kirton’s expertise and each dish is focused around clean flavours and classical elegance. Service is impeccable. My personal highlight is the ‘Old fashioned’ cocktail and the experiential dessert. Be prepared to marvel at every mouthful.

Hotel with the best service?

I find it very difficult to narrow this down because there are some spectacular hotel collections across the world. I am always wowed when I stay at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Mandarin Oriental Bangkok for very different reasons but right now, I believe the Royal Mansour Marrakech is at the top of its game.

In building this beautiful hotel, the royal family left nothing to chance and made sure they considered everything. Staff are trained to such a high degree of service that every need is satisfied. The spa is an architectural masterpiece. Imagine walking through an enormous dovecote and settling down to complete relaxation. One of my favourite experiences here is a breakfast on your private rooftop terrace followed by an authentic Moroccan hammam.

Best kept travel secret? 

The islands off the south coast of Vietnam are infrequently visited because they are a wonderful secret. One of these islands is Phu Quoc which is a stand-out winner when it comes to travel gems. The beaches here are pristine, lapped by warm, crystal-clear water. The island’s history belies its beauty. A former prison during the Vietnam War and even now one of the largest fish sauce producers in South East Asia, Phu Quoc has many facets. A holiday here should be spent reclining by the sea in barefoot beach luxury. Combine this laidback life with some gentle snorkelling in the marine-rich waters, a hike in the verdant jungle and then a delicious Vietnamese salad, washed down with a Saigon beer. It’s pure heaven.