Our Team

Sophie Marchant

Sophie’s love of travel began aged 5 when she was whisked away from leafy Kent to live in South Africa. Intrigued by the open spaces, the veldt, the wildlife, the untamed beaches, and the shift of comfort zone, Sophie soon realized that travel was her preferred way to learn. Returning to England after a degree in English and Film she soon turned peripatetic choosing jobs that involved travel in the film and media sector and was never happier than sipping a coffee at an airport wondering how she would feel when she arrived.

In 2006 after a decade of raising her growing brood, she became the first travel writer for Luxury Explorer. She has, on many occasions, taken one or more of her 7 children on her adventures, while the most important holiday of the year is the one where they are all together. Today, as travel editor, she carefully selects destinations and hotels of specific interest, or exceptional quality, and will not include any hotels that don’t meet the criteria necessary for inclusion. Her favourite place is very often the last one, such as the Maldives in March 2017. However, she has a bit of her soul in the Far East, a bit of her heart in Italy, as well as a never ceasing love affair with Provence.

Favourite destination – the next one. Most edifying destination – Bhutan. Most romantic destination – Italy. Most spectacular destination – Java and the Maldives. Most exceptional all-round island romp – Bali. Most seduced by…The South of France. Favourite cities – London, NYC and Rome. Feels at home -wherever she lays her, one of many, hats but usually West Sussex and London.

Peter Matthews

As a designer by training and with a career as a brand consultant, Peter has founded or co-founded several luxury and tech businesses, including Luxury Explorer, which he now chairs. Peter fell in love with luxury travel in his twenties, a passion he says was sealed the day he first visited Club 55 in Saint Tropez aboard a yacht.

A lifelong foodie and listing fine wine as his hobby, Peter has extensive experience in the hospitality business through, over the years, advising Aman, Azerai, Ballyfin and Corinthia (to mention just the A-Cs) on brand and digital strategies. For LE Peter travels the world seeking out hotels that combine a unique sense of place with design flair and finesse, pitch perfect service and excellent cuisine and wines.

He lives with Sophie in West Sussex and London and some or all of their 7 children, depending on the season.

Contributors

Jennifer Hamm

Travelling the world extensively with LE and film production, Jennifer’s suitcase never collects dust.  A mother of four boys and married to a UK film director, she somehow finds time to carve out a career as a screenwriter, travel journalist and blogger. Honours graduate from UCLA in English, Jennifer has been living between LA and London for 20 years, travel isn’t just a way of life – it’s a sport.  Sibling rivalry (she’s the youngest amongst four) has prompted a family competition of ‘who’s been where first…” and last tallied, Jennifer is winning!  From the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and Tuscan regions to the beaches of Thailand and Bali, the magic of the Maldives to the peace of Java and Israel, all travel is met with an opportunity to learn and explore.

Jennifer’s acutely aware of her natural travel rhythm – usually finding that the stress from everyday life peels away around day three and the ‘being there’ moment sets in – when a mind/body/spiritual connection is made.  Asked where her once in a lifetime  destination is?  Antarctica!

Kelly Hail

An American based in London and Chamonix, Kelly first caught the wanderlust in the South Pacific, scuba diving the deep WII wrecks of Micronesia, and since then she hasn’t stopped.  Her love of mountains, water and spiritual growth are at the heart of her most favourite travel destinations. Previously, she was a Research Economist for The HRH The Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community and United Nations Environment Programme.  Interested in exploring the off-beaten track along with a bit of adrenalin thrown in for good measure, Kelly became a helicopter pilot 11 years ago. Places that she holds close to her heart: Chamonix, her family beach house in Canada, Treviso, Italy and Laos.

@kelly_hail

Featured Reviews

Clio Hare

Clio has had the travel bug for as long as she can remember, having spent summers in Europe with her family from age dot. From France, to Italy, Spain and beyond, she then took matters into her own hands pre university and donned a backpack and embarked upon her own travel adventure around the world, taking in India (still her favourite country to have stepped foot in - the colours, smells, sounds and most importantly people are about as exciting and inviting as it gets!), Australia and South East Asia. She has since spent time in Central and South America but has just had her heart stolen by Africa, where she spent a magical honeymoon in the Sabi Sands on Safari, and Benguerra Island in Mozambique.

She spends as much time as she can in Europe in the summer months, with Italy being her favourite European country (for the food!). In the UK, St Mawes holds a very special place in her heart, having spent many a very happy short break there over the last few years.

Featured Reviews

Isabella Lynagh

Born in Italy, Isabella’s childhood holidays along the Croatian coast and islands on her family boat set her up for a life of discovering new exotic places. Curious about other cultures and learning new languages (she’s fluent in four), it’s no surprise she says: ‘I was born with the travel bug!’ A brief stint as an economist, Isabella realised that good food and wine were her real passion. Living between Italy, Australia and England over the past 23 years, in 2016, she graduated as a Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NY City and enjoys helping people live an energized and passionate life by discovering food and lifestyle choices that best support them. Based in London, Treviso and Biarritz, Isabella relishes mixing cultures and food into her daily life. Isabella’s dream journey: US coast-to-coast road trip!

Jacqueline Barron

An obligatory trip to Europe as a young Australian eventually lead Jac to London where she has called home for the past 15 years.

Whether on a budget as a young woman or these days preferring some of life's luxuries, Jac has built travel into her life, whilst raising three beautiful daughters who embrace the world and it's many wonders.  An entrepreneur with many talents, Jac's jewellery design business took her to many far-flung places including SE Asia.  Building on her artistic talents, Jac's latest venture, to train as a florist, was sparked by her love of the stunning native flora of some of her favourite places.  She is also deeply committed to Breast Cancer Now and sits on the Pink Ribbon Fundraising Committee.

Whilst naming Marrakech, Fiji and Tanzania as some of her more exotic holiday destinations, Jac never forgets her Australian roots and confidently says that her favourite place is her beach house on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. A perfect day there would start with a cup of coffee, shutters opened looking out onto the spiky canopy of pandanas, the banksia and native gum trees, watching and listening to the lorikeets, spangled drongos and black cockatoos with the sound of the ocean in the background.  So many more places to visit! Next stoop for Jac: Japan, Cuba and South America.

 

Gail Taylor

With nothing but a rucksack on her back, Gail first caught the travel bug years ago on the small Philippine island of Boracay, then an unspoilt paradise with no electricity, hotels or tourism, staying in basic huts surrounded by incredible vegetation and wildlife.  Today, Gail’s no stranger to luxury, co-founding Taylor Howes – an award winning international market leader in luxury interiors. Recently, she’s turned her attention to launching a diffusion arm called th2designs and th2studio, an online retail space.  Her idea of holiday bliss: warmth, peacefulness, gorgeous views of nature and her family as company.  Interestingly, she includes: no wifi access! 

Patricia Millet

A believer in cultural and intelligent travel, Patricia discovered the joy of travel in the 1980s in India – “a place of unique light, food, wildlife, history and architecture”.  After 12 years as an investment banker and a further 16 years teaching special educational needs, her deep commitment for music and the arts has more recently taken centre stage, holding various posts as a trustee, chairwoman and committee member of the charities close to her heart, including: City of London Sinfonia, Westminster Opera Company and the English Touring Opera.  Patricia’s next adventure: Japan and its islands via Moscow, along the Trans-Siberian Railway, stopping at Beijing and Seoul.