Cruise and World Travel
How’s this for adding a personal touch? When Lydia Ganz was designing a Sweet Sixteen Paris trip for a family, she sent the birthday girl books on the City of Light, chocolate Eiffel Towers and French cookbooks. She booked them in to a boutique hotel in Saint Germain and arranged for a special visit to private ateliers, and even a scavenger hunt for the kids. At Versailles, they enjoyed a private tour, rode bicycles around the gardens and ate a picnic lunch from Laduree.
That’s just one high-end vacation delivered by this France and Europe specialist, who has been in the business for 35 years and garners $3 million annually in sales.
“Lydia is very creative and always thinks out of the box,” says her manager, Nancy Yale, who cites Ganz’s ability in particular for helping families discover their roots. Yale tells us Ganz arranged for a family to visit Normandy to see where their grandfather fought during the D-Day invasion.She also had a bride and groom fly in via hot-air balloon and land on the grounds of the Loire Valley chateau they were staying at.
Ganz hits the road herself to check out new places. This year she visited Hôtel du Palais on the western coast of France that was once the home of Napolean’s sister, Eugene. “The service and the staff were amazing,” says Ganz. “It’s right on the beach where you can surf. I recommend it for couples and families.”
Want a travel tip from this FIT expert? “Always sell up. You can always go down from there. I would rather have the smallest room in the best hotel than the best room in a lesser hotel.”