meet the team
London, Geneva, New York, Sydney, Pashawar ... and all points in between. Our team is based around the world. Some are most at home in-flight.

 

Hilary Doling, Editor in Chief

Site-founder Hilary Doling has been getting on and off planes for 'a lot of years',  since her days on London's Fleet Street where she worked for newspapers such as The Sunday Express, The Times and The Guardian and for England's glossy magazines. In search of sun the award-winning editor moved to Australia as Travel Editor on The Sun Herald newspaper, running one of the country’s most widely read travel sections for twelve years. Specializing in up-market destinations she became Editor-in-Chief of Luxury Travel & Style Magazine (2005 -2009). She is a global guest speaker on luxury travel and also contributes to The Weekend Australian national newspaper and is Editor of Five Star Kids magazine, which specialises in family luxury travel. She appears sporadically on Australian TV when they need someone to comment on the latest luxury cruise liner to arrive in Sydney Harbour. She says it is an 'occupational perk' to sit at the pointy end of the plane but that she would travel on the back of a vegetable truck if need be (and has done so, although not recently) for the sheer, unadulterated joy of going places.

Some Luxury Travels: Guatemala, Burj Al Arab hotel, Family Safari, Four Seasons Sultanahmet

Most Indulgent Moment: Putting champagne on ice on a private yacht in Antarctica, then realising I was surrounded by the world’s largest ice cubes!

Sarah Bryans, Features Editor

Based in our UK office Sarah is our champagne girl, she spends a lot of time yo-yoing to Europe and back in search of ever more fabulous places to stay. Sarah has an MA in publishing and journalism and expertise in web management and social media. She has recently been to the Maldives, Greece, Fiji, Sicily, Spain, Denmark and the USA. Phew. Sarah points out that Millenials are the new favourite target for luxury travel operators – and she is one. So if they want any target practise she’s available.

Some Luxury Travels: TT Mini Bars, Airport Restaurants, Culloden Estate & SpaMini Bars , The Sun Siyam, Maldives 

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Swimming in the warm seas by day and then partying under the stars by night in Fiji.

Jennifer Stevenson, Contributing Editor

 Jennifer grew up in Hong Kong, where her family spent the first three months living in a suite in the luxurious Repulse Bay Hotel ("best behaviour all the time, and no running in the corridors"). She has over 20 years experience in magazines and websites. She has been a Features editor for Hearst Magazines (Good Housekeeping UK) and Conde Nast (Vogue Australia). She has a travel track record with Alastair Sawday Publishing (Special Escapes website). She has also worked for Harper’s Bazaar, News International (The Australian Magazine), Murdoch Magazines (New Woman magazine) and sequined clutch bag of other newspapers ,magazines and websites. She is now to be found in the wilds of rural Somerset, juggling horses, dogs and a teenage daughter - when she's not travelling the world for us of course.

Some Luxury Travels: Coworth Park ,Jean-Philippe Nuel ,  Nicky Haslam , TT Ice Rinks

Favourite Indulgent Moment: A long lunch with friends in the vine-shaded courtyard of the tiny hotel America inside the grounds of the Alhambra, after exploring the Palacios Nazaries next door.

Prue Ruston, Contributing Editor

Prue roams the globe on a regular basis; India, Afghanistan, Qatar, Europe ... we're not always sure where she is. While she likens long-haul business class travel to "being tucked up in bed for the weekend with champagne" she says most of her better moments have been on the ground in far humbler circumstances, watching and listening to others from Kabul to Kitzbuhel.  Her stories have appeared in a wide range of magazines and newspapers including: The Weekend Australian, Time, Inside Out, Vogue Living, Gourmet Traveller, Cleo, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.   Prue is currently living in Asia.

Some Luxury Travels: Tasmania, The Peninsula NY, Crosby Street NYTT Riads

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Being cooked a surprise lunch by Kanwar Ratanjit Singh, descendent of the last Maharajah of Kapurthala after interviewing him in Chapslee House, his Shimla Summer residence overlooking the Himalayas

Mary Gostelow, Columnist

 Mary Gostelow is the doyenne of luxury travel, she's been everywhere and knows everyone. Her nominal home is the UK but she is variously known as Girlahead or the non-stop bag lady - she and her small carry-on bag (a Porsche Design for Rimowa, of course) are on the go, moving hotels every day, for over 300 days, or rather nights, a year. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe she's always travelling. As well as her column for TLTB she composes the monthly market intelligence newsletter Gostelow Report, both of which are leaders in their fields.  She is International Correspondent for HOTELS magazine, and for Elite Traveler and Elite Traveler Asia.  As Luxury Travel Coach for the millionaire-level Chinese market, she writes a weekly column, translated into Chinese, for www.tripshow.com  She is also, ILTM Global,producer of  behind-the-scenes daily newsletters at the growing number of ILTMs, International Luxury Travel Markets. Mary is an ardent keep-fit fanatic, be it into the gym at 4 am before a flight or cycling round hutongs, or using stairs instead of escalators at airports.  She eats an enormous breakfast, plus lunch and dinner, and her favourite VIP gift, on arriving in a hotel, is bananas and a bottle of red wine - a Grange would be perfection.

Some Luxury Travels: Girl Ahead 

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Dom Pérignon and Beluga on a small sandbank in The Maldives, fast disappearing as the tide came in.

Debbie Neilson-Hunter, Contributing Editor

Born in England, the first three years of Debbie's life were spent roaming Cyprus' olive groves, sundrenched beaches and ancient ruins - and translating Turkish for her Welsh parents. Thus her love of travel and adventure was born. After a three-year stint in Germany - a great base from which to roam the rest of Europe in their trusty Toyota pop-up-top campervan - her photographer father retired from the British Royal Air Force and brought the family to Australia. Debbie spent 15 years with Fairfax Media, 10 as Deputy Travel Editor on The Sun-Herald. She is currently juggling working for The luxury Travel Bible with raising her two young daughters in sunny Queensland.  She has also written for Holidays with Kids, Readers Digest, Vacations & Travel and the Daily Telegraph and contributed on travel issues for Channel 7 Sunrise and radio (2GB).

Some Luxury Travels: Nam Hai ,Hayman IslandGwinganna

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Dinner and dancing at Club Moritzino on the top of Piz La Ila in the Italian Alps. We arrived by snowmobile but skied back down the freshly groomed mountain - fuelled by a five-course dinner and several glasses of schnapps - with only the lights of the snow groomer, the twinkling village below and a full moon above to guide us.

Karen Spresser, Lifestyle & Food Editor

Karen is a journalistworking in Australia and New Zealand. She was features/magazine editor on the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) for four years and Deputy Editor of Marie Claire for seven years following the magazine's Australian launch. She has edited a whole designer-tote full of glossy magazines since then, specialising in filling in for full-time editors often on maternity leave. The magazines include: Elle, In Style, Inside Out and Australian House & Garden. She has also worked as an Associate Editor on The Australian Women’s Weekly and freelanced for many of the country’s favourite magazines. She is also an editor at Taste magazine (Taste.com).

Some Luxury Travels: Gourmet Travel

Favourite Indulgent Moment: A formal dinner, complete with starched white tablecloths and flickering candelabras, served on camp tables under a star-laden, velvet skied night in the middle of a Botswana game park.

Maggy Oehlbeck Cruise Correspondent

Writer, painter, pianist,  prize-winning cook and former actor and television presenter. Life began in New Zealand, but she ‘escaped’ to the United States on the arm of a US Navy flying ace, living first in America’s Deep South (Mississippi), Florida, and New York State.  During these years she also travelled in Europe extensively as a ‘fleet follower’. In the US Maggy hosted her own television morning show, and appeared in many leading roles in professional theatre. On return to Australia, she continued acting and broadcasting before sliding fairly effortlessly into writing.  She edited several glossies for the POL publishing group, including travel and lifestyle titles, inflight magazines and art-style magazines before joining Ita Buttrose as an editor on her magazine, as well as continuing freelance writing. Maggy has contributed to most major Australian newspapers, frequently writing about her favourite travel experience – all ships great and small. Maggy lives in Sydney’s beautiful Manly.“My office is frequently the Manly ferry. Can’t stay away from ships and the sea”.

Some Luxury Travels: Nieuw AmsterdamCrystal Symphony Sea Dream II

Favourite Indulgent Moment: The Terrace at the Villa d’Este overlooking Lake Como and almost anywhere in Italy. I have recently discovered Siracusa in Sicily and I am in love with its exquisite Piazza del Duomo.  

 Laurence d'Anonn, Man About Town 

Laurence is our undercover agent, you never know where he might turn up, although New York city is currently his home base. He is a self-confessed perfectionist, some would say pedant. He notices the fold of a napkin, the thread count of sheets, the chocolate on the pillow and the art on the walls. He appreciates good design and demands good service. If Laurence doesn't like something, neither do we. Laurence might check in to your hotel when you least expect it. Be ready. Is this his real name? Now that is a closely guarded secret. We hear tell our Man of Mystery is a good friend of SLH mystery hotel reviewer, Melissa Vinelli  and Conde Nast Traveler's Mr Incognito but who can say for sure.

Some Luxury Travels: Ethiad's new livery,, Necker IslandHotel Cipriani

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Time spent off the map.  A private jet, a paradise island, a perfect day.

Steve Meacham , Feature Writer

Born in the UK, about as far from the coast as is possible on such a small island, Steve was the first member of his family to ever travel “overseas”. He was 15 and the destination was Soviet Russia. He has been seeking out unlikely and exotic destinations ever since. Steve has a huge wealth of experience working as an editor and staff feature writer for papers in the UK (Daily Mail, Mail On Sunday, Evening Standard, The Sunday Times) and Australia (The Sydney Morning Herald) - regularly editing the travel pages and writing travel features which often involve trekking, diving, canoeing, skiing or some other outdoor pursuit balanced with some luxurious R and R. He now lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and relishes the fact his two young, world-orbiting sons have inherited his travelling passion.

Some Luxury Travels:  Great Ocean Walk, Bay of Fires Lodge.

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Enjoying a gin and tonic on the top deck of a classic riverboat as the sun sets over the Peruvian Amazon, knowing I’m the only passenger aboard. The other 30 people booked had cancelled at the last minute because of an unfounded cholera scare.

Jill Mullens, Feature Writer

Always a traveller, Jill "sort of stumbled" into travel writing when she was book editor on Cosmopolitan and was asked to do a fill-in piece on Tanzania when someone fell ill. In her own words she has been "having a wonderful time jaunting about the world" as a travel editor and writer ever since; mostly for upmarket magazines such as Elle and Vogue living. She has also contributed to the Weekend Australian Travel & Indulgence section. Her all time favourite destinations are India, North Africa and anywhere in the Middle East...where you can combine adventure with indulgence. Jill lives in Sydney with to-die-for views of the harbour from her waterside home but also spends part of the year based in Switzerland and the UK.

Some Luxury Travels:   Oman , Loire Valley

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Anywhere with Aman in front of it. Or a day, a week or hour at The Cipriani in Venice.

Lisa Edwards, Editorial Assistant

Keeping the home fires burning and all of us on track, Lisa loves to read and write "anything at all about travel". She has a long wishlist of destinations she would like to visit. We're listening Lisa!

Some Luxury Travels: Wedding Dress Travels , Great Bed Wars

Favourite Indulgent Moment: Looking at The Luxury Travel Bible website and dreaming….

Steve Cook, Director

Steve tends to stay away from a lot of this indulgent travel stuff, unless of course the trip involves a business meeting or a golf course.  Or are they actually one and the same, Steve?

Some Luxury Travels: TT Golf

Favourite indulgent Moment:  Enjoying the water views from the 7th hole at Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand, one of the world's great resort courses at one of the world's best luxury lodges.

Associates:

David Bilbow, web supremo

David Bilbow is CEO at Customer Community Services, a leading provider of websites, email marketing solutions and customer databases. When he is not keeping The Luxury Travel Bible circling in cyberspace he is to be found racing motorbikes far to fast, sailing or scuba diving. Action Man or what! www.customercommunity.com.au

Favourite Indulgent Moment:  Sitting on the deck of my catamaran knowing I can sail away at any time but just don’t choose to right now…

 

Regular Contributors: Jeannine Williamson , Charlotte Allen, Anne Paris,  Mike Dolan,  Steve Neil, Rupert Paynton, Michelle Lawlor, Sue Crowe, Racheal Oakes-Ash 

With thanks also to our invaluable Insiders: Much as we adore jetting off at any given opportunity it is not possible to be everywhere at once, which is where our Insiders come in. These are people who by the nature of their business, private income or sheer damn luck live the luxury lifestyle on a regular basis and share their insights with us. They include CEOs, wives or husbands of CEOs, financiers, fashion stylists, theatre directors, interior designers, film producers, actors, hoteliers, magazine editors, novelists, advertising moguls, barristers... the list goes on.
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