Interview with Georgia Yuill – Bespoke trip designer at Butterfield.com
Do you desire a personal fashion show while in Milan? A museum open just for you in the evening with a cocktail? A castle for your family holidays? A tailored adventure across the Alps with your friends? These are just a few of the requests Georgia Yuill has to deal with daily for her clients. She is one of the very few experts of high-end luxury traveling in Italy.
After a year of pandemic, we decided to chat with her looking for inspiration for the next wonderful journey we would love to do.
The company Georgia where works,Butterfield & Robinson, has been awarded for years as the best luxury active travel agency in the world from Condé Nast Traveler and Town & Country. Today we ask her where to go in Italy as a VIP and not only in 2021. We asked her not to suggest any place on Lake Como since we wanted to be “super partes” ;).
DefinitelyButterfield & Robinson’s founders (George Butterfield, Sydney Robinson and Martha Butterfield (born Robinson).
The company was the pioneer of adult biking in Europe (later becoming an extremely popular concept) and has always held the value of ‘Slow Travel’ as a guiding principle.
We could define ourselves as"creatives" in our sector. We pour our artistry into every journey we create, immersing travellers in the very best the region has to offer. Our motto is “Slow down to see the world”; we go deep to make the most amazing places even more amazing withexcellent culinary experiences, state-of-the-art equipment, great wines at dinner and much more of something you can only discover by living it.
George Butterfield to this day inspires the way we plan and execute trips, which is a considerable feat since Butterfield & Robinson is in it’s 55th year.
Very much so! A family trip to Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong when I was 10 years old sparked a deep curiosity for travel and subsequently lead to studying Hotel management in the US and Switzerland.
As a solo traveller or when travelling with my husband and sons, the experience of exploring different cultures, landscapes, gastronomy is most definitely my favourite and satisfying pursuit.
Our reputation for creativity, exclusivity and research sometimes triggers requests for unique experiences, such as an encounter with celebrities, Italian fashion designers or the Pope be part of their trip. Sometimes we can actually make these happen!
Aeolian (Eolie) Islands
I recommend exploring the islands from the water by private boat or catamaran (I had the great fortune to do that with my family and friends last summer).
There are however also some excellent on-island accommodation which I’ve had incredible stays at such as Hotel Signum and Capofaro on Salina.
Dining on Salina: Both noted hotels have exceptional cuisine, in particular Hotel Signum. For more informal dining, Al Cappero near Pollara and Da Alfredo in Lingua (for superb granita and cunzato). All of the Eolie are worthy visits but if you have to choose, Lipari (given its vibrant old port and incredible archeological museum) and Stromboli (with its magnificent ongoing eruptions) are also very worthy inclusions. That said, circumnavigating Panarea, Alicudi and Filicudi are sensational too!
Experiencing the sheer beauty of the towering ‘pale mountains’ and verdant meadows alone make time in this unique region well worth the journey. Add to that, a proud traditional culture (three official languages), pristine villages, a myriad of physical activity, outstanding wines and culinary options ranging from rustic mountain huts to three star Michelin dining and the visitor is assured a dynamic experience.
In the Alta Badia, the Hotel Rosa Alpina, newly partnered with Aman resorts, is a top pick given their service and attention. It is also where St Hubertus, the aforementioned Michelin star Norbert Niederkofler, can be enjoyed. A few valley’s over, the Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s highest alpine plateau (equivalent to 8,000 football fields) is a natural marvel offering a broad network of hiking and biking (e-mountain biking is all the rage) for all abilities and interests. Whether at 5 star properties Alpina Dolomites and Adler Lodge or more modest lodgings such as Chalet Dolomites or Zallinger, their views are spectacular, spas regenerating and access to nature immediate. Favourite dining venues include Malga Gostner (owner Franz Mulser is a warm host and remarkable chef), Rausche Hutte and Baita Tschotsch.
This island is remarkably varied (topography and culturally) and wonderful from north to south, east to west so I’ll comment on the northeast but encourage repeated visits elsewhere on the island.
Cruising the Costa Smeralda by catamaran or gulet (both of which type I’ve designed trips for several guests) is optimal to reach spectacular beaches and bays as well as reaching the gorgeous La Maddalena archipelago.
Exploring the Gallura region, especially by bicycle, to experience its vineyards and intriguing nuraghe, is sure to be memorable. Boutique properties such as Petra Segreta or Li Finistreddi provide tranquil retreats slightly inland with spectacular coastal views. Both hotels have excellent kitchens and Petra Segreta’s owner and chef Luigi Bergeretto, is a gastronome’s dream.
Informal spots featuring regional classics in lively settings can be found in charming hilltop San Pantaleo at Ristorante Giagoni (be sure to have an aperitivo at Caffe Nina prior) and along the coast at La Colti.
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