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Bespoke Travel

We redefine what it means to travel.

As a company and a brand Luminary represents a team of individuals who are committed to producing only bespoke travel experiences — imagine it as travel haute couture. Whether it’s arranging a ski-in, ski-out Villa in Courchevel, a sun-soaked week on the Amalfi Coast or a private tour of Angkor Wat, we work tirelessly to ensure that our clients do not feel bound by the typical constraints of travel; if a destination excites you, it excites us.

Our goal is to help you envision your ideal trip and then design it with your personality and preferences in mind. We’ve dismissed the typical “cookie – cutter” travel advisor model in favor of a highly customized approach like no other.

INSPIRE

INSPIRE

Cook in Tuscany
If a client wants to learn how to cook authentic, local Tuscan cuisine, we’ll reach out to a chef who partners with us. From there, we’ll arrange for our client to take a class in that chef’s personal home, where he or she will share generations-old recipes as you’re guided through elaborate and memorable preparations.
ADVENTURE

ADVENTURE

Visit the Maasai tribe
If you’re feeling more adventurous, we might send you to visit a Maasai tribe in Kenya. Despite limited contact with the outside world, they’ll be eager to introduce you to their way of life, share a meal with you and allow you to join them as they engage in the traditional singing and dancing rituals.
SPIRITUAL

SPIRITUAL

Prair in Laos
Finally, for clients looking for a more spiritual experience, we may offer an opportunity to share a Morning Prayer with Buddhist monks in Laos. Amid the sound of drums, symbols and chanting, it is possible to switch off your brain for a moment, and simply exist in the now.
Exclusivity

Exclusivity

Elite access — always
Booking with Luminary gives you access to our exclusive relationships with many luxury travel companies such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Singita Safaris and many premier jet companies. These relationships provide elite access to additional availability and amenities for Luminary Travel clients. We are also a Virtuoso member, allowing us to enhance your stay at properties around the world.
Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy

A stay unlike any other

You will find no other advisory that will as creatively, efficiently and accurately ensure that your sojourns, romantic getaways, and holiday plans proceed flawlessly. We pride ourselves on understanding your needs, wants and desires and our goal is to immerse you in local culture, while simultaneously providing a top-luxury experience.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

We uniquely prepare each of our itineraries based on the preferences and predilection of individual clients. No two itineraries are exactly alike, just as no two clients are exactly alike. Our advisors would be glad to speak to you about planning your bespoke trip.

Alsace, France
Alsace, France
New Zealand
New Zealand
Giza, Egypt
Giza, Egypt
Verbier, Switzerland
Verbier, Switzerland
Tanzania, East Africa
Tanzania, East Africa
Provence, France
Provence, France

Local Footsteps
Experiences designed to go deeper

Do not just see the sites, get to know them.

About Local Footsteps

You have access to a small group of hand-selected local experts and expats in cities around the globe. Local Footsteps specialists have lived and breathed the culture of their regions for years (or a lifetime) and possess a passion and breadth of knowledge that can only be developed over decades.

meet the guides
Henrietta

London, England

Henrietta, a native of Bristol, has lived in Madrid, Paris and Melbourne. However, she still says London ...

Henrietta
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

Henrietta, a native of Bristol, has lived in Madrid, Paris and Melbourne. However, she still says London, her home for more than 20 years, is her favorite city. She loves everything about it, from the “buzzy” feeling she gets when she walks down the street, to London’s seemingly endless cultural activities. In a world where chain restaurants and shopping malls abound, London, Henrietta says, has maintained its quirkiness.

Henrietta completed a detailed and comprehensive course of training and examinations to earn the Blue Badge, which is awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and is the highest guiding qualification in Britain. She loves taking visitors to both popular attractions such as Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels and local hidden gems such as pop up Shakespeare performances and quirky Bohemian markets.

Favorite things to do in London:

  • On Saturdays, strolling through the Old Spitalfields Market in East London, known for its funky wares, up-and-coming designers and delectable, homemade foods.
  • Relaxing at St. James’s Park near Buckingham Palace with a cup of coffee while looking out over the serene lake.
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Isabelle

Paris, France

A Franco-American born and raised in one of the great cultural hearts of France--Versailles--Isabelle ...

Isabelle
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

A Franco-American born and raised in one of the great cultural hearts of France–Versailles–Isabelle has spent her life developing a complex body of knowledge about the European continent. She studied in Italy, spending several years in Siena and Florence while preparing her Master’s degree, and then attended Ecole Française in Rome on Scholarship to work on her Ph.D. thesis. Finally, in 2006, she received her PhD in Etruscan art from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE). In addition to teaching at the University of Paris VIII and at the American University in Paris, Isabelle has experience as Communications Manager for an art books publisher and as a documentary translator for French television. As a docent and lecturer, she enjoys sharing her deep love for Paris, especially its art and history, with visitors, family, and friends. She is also an active member of the Montmartre Historical Society and recently published a book about Montmartre.

Favorite things to do in Paris:

  • The gardens of Palais Royal during the annual rose festival. A hidden and quintessentially Parisian, this park takes visitors back in time.
  • Exploring the Louvre after-hours. Exploring an empty museum allows art appreciators to make new discoveries and to view old favorites without the distraction of the crowds.
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Lise

Tuscany/Florence, Italy

Lise first traveled to Tuscany on an art scholarship to study printmaking. After completing her master's ...

Lise
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

Lise first traveled to Tuscany on an art scholarship to study printmaking. After completing her master’s degree, she returned and took up residence in an ancient stone farmhouse with no electricity or running water. To pay for some much-needed renovations, she began working as a guide in the Tuscan countryside and the city of Florence. Twenty-five years later, Lise can still be found showing travelers her favorite art museums, coffee houses and scenic vistas. Lise believes that Italy is a “living classroom of the Renaissance” and her priority is making it come alive for travelers.

In addition to her work in Florence, Lise facilitates cooking lessons from locals in her farmhouse kitchen, which has been photographed for The New York Times. She is the co-author of Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best and The Cognoscenti’s Guide to Florence.

Favorite things to do in Florence:
  • “I love to start early in the morning with a perfect coffee and pastry before going to the lively outdoor food market of St. Ambrogio, where the seasons are reflected in the colorful produce stands.”
  • “Florence is a crowded city and I love to avoid the main streets and instead get to where I’m going by taking picturesque side streets, alleyways and courtyards, always rewarding with architectural detail and delight.”
Favorite things to do in Tuscany:
  • “The light the light the light. Driving or walking in the Tuscan landscape in the late afternoon is pure poetry.”
  • “Every small Tuscan town has a bell tower and one of my favorite things is to climb up on high to look out over the spontaneous jumble of red roofs to the surrounding landscape, which always include stone walls, vineyards and olive and cypress trees.”
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Rachid

Fes & Marrakech, Morocco

Rachid, a native Moroccan Berber, has been conducting tours of Morocco for elite travel advisories for over 25 years. ...

Rachid
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

Rachid, a native Moroccan Berber, has been conducting tours of Morocco for elite travel advisories for over 25 years. He’s adept at offering a refined, but authentic perspective on the most engaging elements of Moroccan life and history— Islamic historical monuments, Jewish heritage sites, luxury properties, wildlife reserves, shopping, and museums.

An expert government-certified guide, he attended Fes’s Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, and also holds a graduate degree in tourism from International Institute of Tourism in Tangier. He’s capable of holding compelling and intellectual discussions in fluent English as well as French, Arabic, Berber, German and Spanish!

Favorite Things to Do in Morocco:

  • Going to medieval areas, some of which date back to the 13th century, and sipping mint tea while talking to locals about native traditions, proverbs and history “without feeling the time passing by.”
  • Stopping by one of his favorite outdoor food stalls for a traditional meal of lamb and fresh salad that is as delicious as it is inexpensive.
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Ving

Bangkok, Thailand

Ving was born on the countryside of Ubon Ratchathani, in North-East region of Thailand, then moved to Bangkok as a small boy ...

Ving
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

Ving was born on the countryside of Ubon Ratchathani, in North-East region of Thailand, then moved to Bangkok as a small boy. As a young adult, he fell in love with the travel industry and has subsequently spent the last 30 years honing his skills as a tour guide. Ving’s passion for connecting his guests with Thai culture, food, and history allows him to curate deeply memorable experiences. When he’s not leading tours, you can find him relaxing and doing yoga.

Favorite things to do in Bangkok:

  • Visiting nearby farming villages and taking photographs or simply sitting under a coconut tree and watching the day pass by.
  • Going to a Chinese opera and taking in the actors’ vivid makeup, stunning costumes and dramatic performances.
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Lieselotte

Stockholm, Sweden

For years, Lieselotte has been a proud, certified tour guide of Stockholm ...

Lieselotte
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

For years, Lieselotte has been a proud, certified tour guide of Stockholm. A native Stockholmer, she has always been in love with her hometown and thrives on sharing her dynamic, energetic and ever-changing city. A former assistant purser on The Seabourn Spirit cruise ship, Lieselotte has been both traveling and attending to the needs of luxury clients for most of her life. Moreover, her current work as a professional freelance photographer helps her to adjust her tour focus from broad to detailed depending on the wishes of her guests.

Ultimately, Lieselotte thoroughly enjoys meeting people from all over the world. To her, guiding them through her favorite city on the planet is just the icing on the cake!

Favorite things to do in Stockholm:

  • Visiting the Stockholm City Hall, an amazing piece of national romantic architecture; an impressive building with a lot of history and legend built into it by the magnificent architect Ragnar Östberg.
  • Going to SoFo, a proper hipster neighborhood bustling with small, independent shops, art galleries, coffee shops, tattoo parlors and retro- and vintage stores. The name SoFo is a pun of SoHo in New York.
  • Spending time at the Stockholm Archipelago, a stunning landscape with nearly 30,000 islands, islets, and skerries reachable by commuter boats or even by bus (on some of the larger islands).
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Katerina

Prague, Czech Republic

Katerina first put her masterful knowledge of Prague to use as a concierge at the Mandarin Oriental ...

Katerina
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

Katerina first put her masterful knowledge of Prague to use as a concierge at the Mandarin Oriental. She prides herself on taking visitors to some of the most undiscovered corners of the city and on always knowing the best of Prague’s culinary scene. In addition, she holds a license in guiding and a specialized license for Prague’s Jewish Quarter.

She formally studied art history in Prague and notably was on the management team of the largest contemporary art gallery in the Czech Republic – the DOX Centre. When Katerina is not working, she can be found watching the Czech Philharmonic or another, lesser-known classical concert. To relax, she enjoys a cup of tea in one of Prague’s small, stylish cafes.

Favorite things to do in Prague:

  • Renting a pedal boat on one of the islands on the Vltava River in the late afternoon and watching the hustle and bustle on the riverbank while admiring the surrounding architecture and soaking in the sunset.
  • Strolling down some of Prague’s more upmarket streets and stopping into boutiques featuring local designers or visiting some of the area’s small – yet upscale – galleries.
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Victoria

San Sebastián, Spain

Vicky has always been interested in diverse cultural experiences. At 18, she moved to London to study travel and tourism ...

Victoria
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

A travel buff from the first moment she can remember, Vicky has always been interested in new places and diverse cultural experiences. At 18, she moved to London to study travel and tourism and then began her career by working for a Spanish tour operator. As her experience and resume grew, Vicky had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe and Asia, continuing to hone her skills as a guide and cultural expert. A speaker of Spanish, French, English, Basque and Italian, Vicky parlayed her abilities as a linguist while working as a translator in Morocco. Finally, after 5 years in North Africa, Vicky returned to her hometown of San Sebastian—her globetrotting days behind her, at least temporarily.

Today, Vicky relishes sharing her knowledge of local history, heritage and gastronomy with visitors from all over the world. She is especially fond of taking her guests to the best pintxo bars in old town and enjoying the electric offerings along with them. When she’s not working she enjoys cooking and sampling Basque cuisine, attending the San Sebastian film festival each September, and hiking when the weather permits.

Favorite things to do in San Sebastián:

  • Admiring the colorful fishermen’s houses that line the beautiful, cobblestone streets of Hondarribia, a medieval port town a few minutes from San Sebastian.
  • Enjoying views of Playa De Concha and the bay while enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book.
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Assaf

Tel Aviv, Israel

A life-long traveler, Assaf’s father was a career diplomat who transferred his passion for discovering new countries and experiences to his family ...

Assaf
Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

A life-long traveler, Assaf’s father was a career diplomat who transferred his passion for discovering new countries and experiences to his family. After Assaf left the IDF, he began traveling extensively, especially throughout North and South America. Upon his return to Israel, he attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Today, Assaf splits his time between satiating his wanderlust (40 countries so far and counting) and bringing the sights and sounds of Israel to life for discerning tourists. In his guided tours he focuses on history, archaeology, and culture, as well as culinary experiences.

Favorite things to do in Tel Aviv:

  • A morning jog and workout along Tel Aviv’s coast, followed by a quality coffee at one of the many excellent cafes around the city.
  • Lunch with friends in the Carmel Market – one of Israel’s best food markets. It combines both traditional culinary experiences and new trends emerging out of Israeli kitchens.
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Out Team

meet the crew

Eric Grayson
Eric Grayson
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Eric’s first stamp in his passport came before his first birthday and he’s been traveling ever since.
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“No machine will ever match an expert tailor. Travel is just like that. Truly great journeys are
mapped out by human beings.”

Eric’s first stamp in his passport came before his first birthday and he’s been traveling ever since.
He’s explored the souks of Morocco, trekked across Botswana’s Okavango Delta and perused the floating
markets in Bangkok. Over the past 10 years, he’s visited over 50 countries and stayed in over 100 luxury
hotels and properties.

Eric loves new places. For him, Istanbul is just as much about exploring the Hagia Sophia as it is
scouting hotel rooms with the most picturesque views of the city. A consummate travel geek, Grayson
realizes that his clients not only appreciate his advice on local sites, but also his analysis of a
city’s top hotels–right down to the quality of the linens.

Prior to founding Luminary Travel, Eric worked in client services at The Carlyle Hotel, The Pierre and The
Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. He also designed bespoke travel experiences as an advisor for Frosch
Travel. Recently, Eric founded a social networking company designed to match like-minded travelers from
around the globe.

He currently resides in New York City and enjoys playing basketball, golf, and is a pilot.

BIO  >
Matt Kingsbury
Matt Kingsbury
Chief Operating Officer
Hailing from Maine, Matt learned the joys of exploring and traveling early on in his life.
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Hailing from Maine, Matt grew up exploring his native New England and taking trips further afield with his family.

He began working in the travel industry in high school as a trip leader in the summers and as a ski instructor in the winters. After graduating from Middlebury College, he began professionally guiding tours to Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Searching for new challenges, Matt pivoted to the world of technology and operations, joining the Google Glass Sales and Marketing team. Before Luminary, Matt spent five years at Sourced Adventures, helping them scale into the East Coast’s largest outdoor-adventure tour operator.

Matt is fascinated by the process of creating and delivering unforgettable client experiences. Behind every carefully planned trip there is a myriad of details and steps requiring care, attention, and creativity. Matt passionately engineers seamless internal processes that make Luminary Travel a high-touch luxury travel advisory.

 

 

BIO  >
Isabel Kaufman
Isabel Kaufman
Senior Travel Advisor
Isabel’s first trip took her to Paris at the age of seven — and her wanderlust never ceased.
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Isabel’s first trip took her to Paris at the age of seven – and her wanderlust never ceased.

Isabel’s B.A, in medieval and Renaissance literature at NYU allowed to study the plays of Shakespeare at the Globe Theater in London and the frescoes of Pinturicchio in the Vatican apartments. After completing a research master\’s at the University of Edinburgh, Isabel returned to New York hoping to utilize her passion for global adventure, relentless intellectual curiosity, and love of finding a “home away from home” in every part of the world. She found her calling planning bespoke luxury travel for discerning clients.

Whether ziplining in Peru, sighting tigers in the wilds of Ranthambore National Park, or simply settling down to watch the sunset over the Louvre from her favorite Parisian bar, Isabel is a travel junkie. She never tires of the intricate architecture of Prague, the highlands of Glencoe, and will follow the sea wherever it takes her.

BIO  >