Traveller Made – the world’s leading and largest network dedicated to ultra-luxury travel – has recently announced its 12 Most Influential Luxury Travel Designers in the World for 2017, and RaskReviewed’s founding director Jonas Rask Eilersen was named amongst this prestigious list with the title of Most Thorough Designer, as voted for by Traveller Made’s hotel partners.
Upon receiving the award, Jonas shared his favorite travel designing experiences:
What is the most beautiful, extraordinary travel itinerary you have ever created for a client?
There have been many; they’re the ones where we really have to prove our resourcefulness to create arrangements which touch the heart and soul. One I remember in particular was a month-long motorcycle trip for a single traveller around Kyrgyzstan; another was for a family who travelled independently around Ethiopia to show their adopted children the children’s heritage. Yet another was arranging a wedding in Mallorca for a male couple who’d dreamt about the possibility of getting married for so long that they’d almost given up. All beautiful arrangements in their own way.
What travel creation are you most proud of?
At RASK, we have always prided ourselves on our ability to rise to a challenge, and we did just that when we worked for the European Games in 2015, in Baku in Azerbaijan (often dubbed the world’s largest sporting and cultural event that nobody has ever heard of!). It was a truly momentous challenge, dealing with literally thousands of people, including super-VIPs, and involving extremely complex (and often very luxurious) travel and logistics arrangements – big client, big budget, big arrangements. To this day, I’ve never experienced a more impressive spectacle than the ceremonies at those Games, and I was very proud of RASK’s involvement in making it all happen.
What travel creation was the most complex to organise and for what reason?
An ongoing 8-month height-of-luxury, round-the-world trip for a family, during which I am practically the concierge and am in touch with the client on a daily basis. The itinerary has included everything from private jets in Indonesia to private yachts in Bora Bora, from the world’s top hotels and lodges in New Zealand and Australia to rainforest tents on tropical islands, as well as a number of Aman’s most luxurious properties across Asia. The journey’s still in progress – next up are the Philippines and Japan, where we’ve arranged some truly exceptional experiences for them.
What client travel itinerary would you have liked to do for yourself and why?
I absolutely love travelling by train, and we just had clients travel on a private train from Moscow to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, ending up in Kazakhstan – I was so jealous! Another one has to be a gorilla safari in Rwanda, or an architecture tour to Asmara, Eritrea, followed by snorkelling o the unspoilt coastline of that country. Also, I’d lie if I said I wouldn’t want to join a couple of our top Oscar-winning VIP entertainment clients when they’re at the Oscars, enjoying the arrangements we’ve put together for them…
What is your favourite destination? Why?
Japan is my personal favourite; it’s both exotic and different, as well as being safe and easy to travel around. People are friendly and engaging, the sights are extraordinary, the food is absolutely amazing. Tokyo is simply the best city destination there is; I could easily hole up in one of the luxury hotel towers and stay there for months at a time…