Houses are stacked on the rocks with dark water below on the Cinque Terre at sunset

Making every journey exceptional, your Luxury Gold Travel Concierge is at your service, 24/7, every step of the way. An expert on your destination and your tastes, they offer a flawless personal service tailored to you. Going above and beyond, they even know what you need before you need it, bringing stunning destinations like Ireland and Italy to life in a personal, tailored way. 

To find out more about what it takes to be a Travel Concierge, and some golden moments you can experience our tours, we spoke with Shona Finnie. A Travel Concierge since Luxury Gold’s inception in 2012, to her exceptional service comes as second nature.

“Luxury service means you don’t have to worry about a single thing,” she tell us. “It means comfort and every need being anticipated and fulfilled. Ultimately it means having a stress free, trouble free, absolutely fabulous way to travel.

Learn more about our personal service: Concierge Services

A flawless, personal service

Travel Concierge Shona is pictured smiling in front of a brick building.

Luxury concierge services on every small group journey are a hallmark of Luxury Gold. At the helm of your travel experience, they’ll lead you through under-the-radar history, introduce you to undiscovered artisans, and connect you to the humanity and culture of your destination.

A benefit of traveling with a smaller group, you’ll enjoy a personalized service from your Travel Concierge, as well as from the venues and attractions we visit. This tailored touch allows you to travel with ease, knowing everything is taken care of along the way.

You may also enjoy reading: Sunshine on a plate: Travel Concierge Dom on his love of Iberia

A tale of going above and beyond

Coloured house perch on the rocks beside the sea in Capri, Italy

Even if things don’t go according to plan, your Travel Concierge will go above and beyond. “On Ultimate Italy, we stay in Capri, and our luggage has to leave the night before we do,” says Shona. “So, I’m always reminding guests to keep something back to wear the following day. On one occasion a guests called me in the morning to let me know that she had forgotten to do that, and she just had her PJs in which to travel over to the mainland.

“I always keep something back, just in case. But the lady concerned was very small and slight, the exact opposite of myself. It was hilarious because I had to dress her in one of my outfits and the poor women had to get on the ferry dressed in my voluminous outfit!”

Discover this on: Ultimate Italy

You may also enjoy reading: This little gelateria in San Gimignano may just serve the best gelato in all of Italy

Unforgettable Capri


Four Luxury Gold guests relax on deck of a private cruise, on the waters around Capri

“Capri is simply sensational and is special because of its beauty, history, stunning blue waters and gorgeous grottoes,” says Shona.

“I love that we stay on the island and so, when the day trippers leave and the locals emerge on to the streets and piazzas, we get to see and experience the real Capri.”

An arrival fit for a celebrity, guests travel in open top taxi through dramatic coastal scenery and lemon groves to get to their hotel, the stunning Quissisana*. A private cruise around the dramatic coast of Capri seeks out hidden coves and grottos that few get to see. Lunch at Michelin-starred Le Monzù offers delicious plates with unforgettable views.

 You may also enjoy: The Isle of Dreams: How to Spend the Perfect Day in Capri

The secret is to listen

“For me the secret to making guests feel extra special is to show them that you care about them,” says Shona. “To listen to their request to find out a little bit about them. To make sure that we can anticipate maybe things that they might ask.

“For example, if a guest on Castles & Kingdoms tells me that their family come from a certain part of Scotland or Ireland, I try and make sure we can pass by that place if possible.”

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My favorite tour – Ultimate Ireland

Grey turrets and walls of Ashford Castle with bright green lawns in front and a white clouldy sky

“If pushed to say my favorite Luxury Gold tour I would say Ultimate Ireland,” says Shona.  “One main reason is because we get to stay at Ashford Castle and that is the most luxurious, fabulous experience anybody could have.

Guests spend two nights at this exquisite 5-star hotel which, along with its extensive grounds, epitomizes the best of Irish hospitality, natural beauty and grandeur.

“The day that we leave Limerick and head to Ashford Castle is particularly memorable. We get to experience the beauty of the Burren, the majesty of the Cliffs of Moher and the vibrant and lively city of Galway. Your day the concludes with a piper escorting you over the bridge to this elegant castle, our stunning home for the next few days.”

Discover this on: Ultimate Ireland

Bookmark for later: How You Can Stay in Europe’s Finest Private Castles

Exceptional dining with a positive impact

Dough is kneaded by hands, on flour on a dark surface

“Every Luxury Gold journey features some amazing experiences, curated with our guests in mind,” says Shona. “On Ultimate Ireland our Farm-to-table lunch at Tracey’s Farmhouse on the beautiful banks of Strangford Lough in County Down, between Belfast and Dublin is outstanding.

“We’re welcomed into her home and Tracey shows guests how to make traditional Irish soda bread and gets them involved. We’re then treated to a lovely homemade lunch with time to chat to Tracey and learn all about life on the shores of Strangford Lough.”

A MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, Tracey’s Farmhouse is actively practicing and encouraging the slow food movement, and this visit focuses on seasonal produce, organically grown ingredients sourced from the immediate community. MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences are conscious travel experiences curated exclusively for guests, each designed to ensure it brings a positive social or environmental impact.  At least one is featured on every Luxury Gold small group journey.

Learn more: Tracey of Tracey’s Farmhouse on the benefits of eating what’s in season

Special requests

The front half of a red Ferrari

“I once had a request to hire Ferrari for a guest who wanted to drive around Tuscany,” Shona tells us. “I was nervous until they returned, because driving a Ferrari in Tuscany not the easiest thing to do.

“And a couple of occasions I’ve been asked to organize surprise proposals for people which is really nice to do. When this has happened I’ve put my knowledge of the destination and my contacts book to full use and sought out a particularly romantic spot. I’ve made sure the Prosecco is on ice and the musicians are ready to play. Usually I’m hiding in a bush somewhere with a camera ready to capture the moment that the ring is placed on the finger! Fortunately, every time that’s happened it’s been a positive answer.”

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Extra touch for guests to enjoy

Tow glasses of a bright organ drink are clinked against a bright blue sky

“I like to offer extra little touches for guests along the way,” says Shona. “Something a little unexpected.  It really depends on the destination, But I find guests really enjoy it when you give them something that’s a flavor or a taste of the region. Maybe something to eat or drink, something we wouldn’t have tried before but very much represents the place that we’re travelling in at that point in time.”

See for yourself how your Travel Concierge goes above and beyond with our worldwide collection of  small group journeys.

*Itinerary varies depending on departure dates