As a host agency, we accept travel advisors who are both new to industry and who are already established in their businesses. Last year, we were excited to welcome Robin Hutson, Founder of Luxe Recess, to Gifted Travel Network (GTN).

Robin founded Luxe Recess, an online magazine on the best luxury hotels for families, in 2014 and has developed a truly impressive business with a unique and creative brand that includes both the magazine, parenting retreats, and a travel agency tailored to providing families with exceptional experiences.

On her website, she explains the meaning of a “Luxe Recess”:

“You know those parenting moments when you are away from home, with no dishes to wash or emails to return? Free from the drain of your daily responsibilities, you have found a shared experience with your kids that makes you feel exhilarated, curious and engaged. You are present and connected as a family. You feel joy. Those are the deeper, more soul-feeding moments that make a Luxe Recess.”

Robin has been busy in the short time that she’s been affiliated with GTN, and was kind enough to chat with us about some of her recent experiences!

You were recently invited on an exclusive FAM trip hosted by Four Seasons. Can you tell us a bit about how this opportunity came to be, and some of your highlights from the trip?

The Four Seasons wanted to showcase a portion of their African portfolio. They brought a select group of advisors to their Serengeti Safari Lodge and combined it with a visit to both of their Seychelles Island resorts on the main island of Mahe and their private island resort on Desroches Island.

The safari lodge is well located for game drives right in the heart of Serengeti National Park. Our first trip from the airstrip to the lodge was filled with wildlife. We saw so many animals, even shared the road with them. The Four Seasons can arrange a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti that was magical as well as a dinner in the bush. The Maasai provide security for guests at night as you walk the elevated walkways between buildings on the property. Lucky guests can swim overlooking elephants at the adjacent watering hotel, too.

The Seychelles are a convenient post-safari place to relax, and the resorts offer two very different beach vibes. The original resort built into the hills offers expansive views of beautiful waters, and even entry level options are stunning villas with private pools and generous square footage.

Pictured Above (from left): Robin Hutson with Brittany Zapp, Account Director at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Congratulations on earning your spot in the 2024 STARS Celestial Club! Can you tell us more about this achievement and what it means to you?

The Marriott luxury brands are wonderful partners. My clients love the family-friendliness of the Ritz-Carlton properties with favorites being the recently renovated Naples resorts as well at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property. I'm thrilled to travel to Asia soon where I will get to experience more Ritz-Carlton properties in Japan, Tokyo, Singapore, and Bali.

Pictured above (from left): Jeremy McClellan, Director of Global Luxury Sales & Bank Hotel Programs at Marriott International and Robin!

What do you look for in a luxury hotelier when you are deciding if you want to work with them, and if you trust them to wow your clients?

My favorite hotel brands provide frictionless experiences for both my clients after check in, but also for me in making their arrangements. I applaud both of these brands for their investment in tech to make bookings easy for advisors. Both the Four Seasons and Marriott Luxury Brands have excellent online resources for advisors and booking my clients is an efficient process as giving my clients VIP status.

Their global sales teams are outstanding at offering me support when issues rarely arise. Both Brittany Zapp at Four Seasons and Jeremy McClellan at Marriott have made my job easier by getting to know me and my business. They ensure I am up to date on and familiar with each brand’s portfolios. Other luxury brands should copy their models.

As an established and successful luxury travel advisor, what advice would you give to an advisor who is either just starting out, or is established and wants to transition their business to selling more luxury travel?

I think clients in the luxury space really want to trust the expertise of their advisors. You have to sell what you know and how you travel yourself. If you want to increase bookings in wellness, adventure, or cruising, get out there and try them yourselves. Better yet, try many in the same space and understand how they each differ. Valued partners that are destination specialists are essential. I am grateful of the collaborative environment at Gifted Travel Network where we can share that knowledge of strong DMCs with each other so that we are always aligning with the best for our clients.

Thank you to Robin for chatting with us and sharing her insights! For more information about Robin and Luxe Recess, visit her website and follow her on Instagram!