At the helm of every Luxury Gold journey is your Travel Concierge. The ultimate destination experts, they offer flawless service 24/7, ensuring your tour is tailored to you.
For this month’s Travel Concierge spotlight, we sat down with Travel Concierge Michael to find out more about the delights that await you on the Castles & Kingdoms luxury tour, and how he makes this tour exceptional.
Sharing the stories of the UK and Ireland
Born and bred in Ireland, Michael is proud to show people around his homeland. “I like to tell stories about the old way and take our guests on a journey to discover what these islands are all about,” says Michael.
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Iconic experiences taken to the next level
One of the best parts of a Luxury Gold tour is how we elevate even the most classic travel experiences. “For example, we visit the Giant’s Causeway but we have a specialized local guide who’s a cut above the rest,” says Michael. “We get one of the rangers there to come and talk to us. With that level of depth, our guests get a feel for the country, the people, the culture and history. And they take a little bit of that back home with them in their heart, or leave a little bit of their heart over here.”
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Bringing back the golden age of travel
When you ask Michael what he loves about being a Luxury Gold Travel Concierge, he says it’s getting to look after our guests the old-fashioned way. “It’s like the golden age of travel,” says Michael. “The hotels are fantastic, the food and dining are the best, and the itinerary is well thought out. It’s the way we look after people. We listen to what the guests have said and it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s an absolute dream. It’s a pleasure to be out there.”
Going above and beyond
Michael says being a Luxury Gold Travel Concierge goes far beyond being a travel guide. “It’s a lot more than guiding,” says Michael. “I take care of people’s needs. I’m like their personal butler. With small group numbers, you can offer more personalized service and you can really look after people. It’s all in the little details. I take care of everything for them and fulfil special requests with the utmost discretion.”
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Michael also likes to add special extra touches to each tour, such as arranging surprise treats. It all adds to the unique, personalized experience for his guests. “I’m so proud to be conducting these tours, they really are the best. I can’t say this enough,” says Michael.
Staying at The Rubens at the Palace in London
Located directly opposite the royal residence of Buckingham Palace, five-star Rubens is a truly extraordinary stay. Michael says it certainly lives up to its reputation, from the red tail-coated doormen to the regal bedrooms.
The dining is also fantastic here, with traditional afternoon teas in the Palace Lounge and dinners at the lavish English Grill Restaurant, one of the most renowned restaurants in London. Guests will enjoy a Welcome Dinner here prepared by executive chef Ben Kelliher using the same suppliers who serve the King’s kitchen.
When staying at The Rubens, Michael also likes to take his guests for a round of drinks nearby at The Albert, an ornate Victorian pub.
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An exclusive after-hours visit to the Tower of London
Michael says the private tour of the Tower of London is one of the most remarkable experiences on any tour. We arrange a special after-hours visit to the iconic fortress, once the crowds have gone home. A Yeoman Warder greets you at the regal tower and you’ll then bear witness to the Ceremony of the Keys, the oldest practised military ceremony in the world, carried out every night for the past 700 years.
After-hours tour of Castle Howard
The exclusive experiences don’t end there. You’ll also enjoy a private after-hours tour of Castle Howard, an 18th-century mansion that will have you feeling like Queen Charlotte or a star in Bridgerton.
Meeting the Duchess of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle
When Michael says we offer experiences that are a cut above the rest, he means it. When you travel on a Founder’s Collection departure of our Castles & Kingdoms tour, you’ll meet Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland as she personally welcomes you for a private tour of Alnwick Castle Gardens. You’ll also meet the Head Gardener who will take you deeper into the gardens as you hear the fascinating story of how the Duchess restored the gardens to their former 18th-century glory over the last 20 years. From the lush labyrinth to the serpent garden and ornate fountains, the gardens are spectacular.
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Scenic adventures in the British countryside
“It’s a pleasure to experience the beauty and majesty of the British countryside,” says Michael. He takes our guests on a scenic journey through England, from the fairytale villages of the Cotswolds to the Tudor cottages of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. Step back into the past in medieval York or wander through the Georgian city of Bath. Roam through rolling green hills, emerald valleys, ancient cobbled streets, and traditional tearooms.
These experiences only skim the surface of the extraordinary experiences you’ll encounter on our luxury tours in the UK. Discover more by taking a look at our Castles & Kingdoms luxury tour and enjoy the exceptional personal service of your Travel Concierge.