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Paul Taylor

Private Client Manager

Where did your love of travel come from? 

I spent three months of my gap year backpacking around India and fell in love with both the country and travel itself. This trip wasn’t enough for me though and, after meeting the friendly locals, experiencing India’s amazing sites, breathing in the aroma of spices and sampling the authentic cuisine, I still wanted more. After graduation, I headed straight back to India for another three months of exhilarating experiences. This immersed me into a 12-month backpacking trip that took me from India through Asia and onto Australia. I have now been to India 16 times for work and pleasure. My passion for travel remains inspired by India and the subcontinent but also now on my list are Asia, Latin America and Australasia, as well as Europe, Africa, USA, Central America and the Caribbean. 

Top recommended ultra luxury experience?

I recently visited New Zealand with A&K and was wowed by the exceptional lodge accommodation. These form part of the ‘Luxury Lodges of New Zealand’ portfolio and are magnificent both in locations and local insight. They all pride themselves on serving stunning regional cuisine alongside some of the most comprehensive of wine lists. Indeed, all the lodge managers seem to have an almost sommelier standard of knowledge about all the local wines. They use this skill to visitors’ advantage, matching little known wines with their Michelin star level of food. Choose to travel between lodges by helicopter to gain a unique aerial view of the dramatic landscapes marked by volcanoes and glaciation. 

Ultimate dining experience?

The most romantic dinner I believe possible is a table for two at the peak of an Icelandic glacier, only accessible by helicopter. Luxury experiences abound in Iceland but this one is fantastic. After landing, your private butler will serve you a glass of your favourite Champagne. The meal that then follows is an exceptional selection of local lamb and fish, accompanied by side dishes and toasted with local vodka. The discreet service ensures you the most wonderful of meals in the most intimate of settings, with a soundtrack of classical music played by a live quartet.

Hotel with the best service?

You might not want to leave your room in The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, India. With views over the romantic Taj Mahal, this is the perfect spot to breathe in this world wonder. There’s much more besides though. Agra, once the capital of the Mughal Empire, boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are well worth visiting. The hotel is only 600 metres from the Taj Mahal and attention to detail here is remarkable. With a company philosophy that ‘the guest is everything and our joy comes from ensuring each is seen and valued as a person, a friend, a family member who has come to stay’, you will always be made more than welcome. Expect a warm greeting and exceptional personable service during your stay, as well as a plethora of sights to discover.

Best kept travel secret? 

Few people make it to the rarely visited gem of Bhutan. Largely untouched by the modern world, tourists were only granted entry from 1974 and even now, visitor numbers are strictly limited. Compare last year’s annual count of 250,000 with the Parisian tourist numbers of around 23 million.

The people of Bhutan believe in a deeply Buddhist culture which is reflected in both their happiness and authentic lifestyle. You will be warmly welcomed by locals in national dress who want you to enjoy the best of their wonderful country. There are stunning dramatic landscapes, monasteries, and fortresses locally known as dzongs. The famous Tiger’s Nest (Taktshang Goemba) Monastery hugs the sheer cliff face, overlooking the Paro Valley and is one of the country’s incredible sites. If you visit here in spring, you will also see the surrounding valleys, covered with an astonishing 49 species of rhododendrons.