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Paul Eccles-James

Private Client Manager

Where did your love of travel come from? 

My mum – she was an air hostess. I still clearly remember the stories of her adventures in the Far East that she told me as a young boy. These tales of adventure left an indelible mark on me as, after starting my career in finance, I could not resist the lure of travel for very long.

Top recommended ultra luxury experience?

Charter a luxury phinisi to cruise around the spectacular islands of Raja Ampat with an anthropologist. Located just off the Bird’s Head Peninsula in Indonesia, this part of the ‘Ring of Fire’ is stunning and a diver’s paradise. Not easily accessed, it’s the perfect destination for those who have ‘been everywhere’ – as your friends will almost certainly have not. 

Ultimate dining experience?

My ultimate high-end experience was at Eleven in Madison Park when I lived in New York. It blew my internship budget (and my mind), but it was worth every penny.

At the other end of the scale, I feel compelled to mention my time in the deep, dark Bornean jungle searching for orangutans. While here, I enjoyed grilled catfish prepared by my chef, Gin, who was like a young Malay Francis Mallman. To this day, it remains up there in the top three meals of my life. 

Hotel with the best service?

Les Airelles in Courchevel, France. The hospitality here is second to none, and staff do their utmost to ensure your stay is one of impeccable quality. Expect luxurious accommodation, dedicated service and a spectacular fine-dining experience. 

Best kept travel secret? 

Kachi Lodge – located in the heart of Bolivia’s salt flats. The altitude needs careful management, but a stay here is well worth it. There is nothing else around affording you unobstructed views of the stunning landscape – especially in the wet season when it becomes a large reflective surface.  Explore the Altiplano in Polaris buggies; hike to the lip of a volcano crater; visit an island covered with giant cacti, or appreciate the solitude and observe the enormous population of pink flamingos.  It’s a truly unique destination that promises unforgettable experiences.