Local FootstepsTM

Don't Just See the Sites, Explore Them

Our clients have access to a small group of hand-selected local experts in cities around the globe. These specialists possess a passion and breadth of knowledge that takes decades to cultivate. They can offer advice about restaurants, shops, culture and other experiences that cannot be found in a guidebook or on the Internet. Our specialists are available to help you prior to travel and are even able to give guided tours during your stay.

We are rapidly expanding our list of cities. Please check back soon for more destinations.

  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Florence/Tuscany, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Fes & Marrakech, Morocco
  • London, England
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • San Sebastián, Spain
Back
  • London, England

    Henrietta

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    Henrietta, a native of Bristol, has lived in Madrid, Paris and Melbourne. However, she still says London, her home for more than 20 years, is her favorite city. She loves everything about it, from the "buzzy" feeling she gets when she walks down the street, to London's seemingly endless cultural activities. In a world where chain restaurants and shopping malls abound, London, Henrietta says, has maintained its quirkiness.

    Henrietta completed a detailed and comprehensive course of training and examinations to earn the Blue Badge, which is awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding and is the highest guiding qualification in Britain. She loves taking visitors to both popular attractions such as Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels and local hidden gems such as pop up Shakespeare performances and quirky Bohemian markets.

    Favorite things in London:

    On Saturdays, strolling through the Old Spitalfields Market in East London, known for its funky wares, up-and-coming designers and delectable, homemade foods.

    Relaxing at St. James's Park near Buckingham Palace with a cup of coffee while looking out over the serene lake.

  • Paris, France

    Jean-Manuel

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    A resident of France for most of his life, Jean-Manuel has written and edited numerous books about Parisian art and religion. He has also authored works describing his travels around the world. Notably, he penned Guide érotique du Louvre et du musée d'Orsay, a guidebook about erotic art in two of Paris' most famed museums. Jean-Manuel is passionate about imparting his abundant knowledge and expanding travelers horizons, while always adding a touch of humor to his stories. After 25 years in the business, he is capable of tailoring excursions to anyone. For example, his tours of the Louvre can center around gourmet cuisine, French kings or even works depicting romance and pleasure. With this flexibility, even teenagers, he says, come to love three-hour visits to the storied museum. He also enjoys embarking on pastry tours, taking visitors across the city in search of the finest desserts. He particularly loves seeking out the best Paris-Brest, a choux pastry filled with praline-flavored cream.

    The notion of having hobbies or free time is nearly foreign to Jean-Manuel, who spends his non-working hours trying to further expand his seemingly boundless knowledge. He enjoys visiting museums, reading, writing and simply walking around Paris looking for undiscovered gems.

    Favorite things in Paris:

    Stopping by the city's smattering of independent bookstores and browsing the stacks in search of new and exciting reads.

    On Saturday and Sunday mornings, shopping for antiques at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, the world's largest flea market.

  • Tuscany/Florence, Italy

    Lise

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    Lise first traveled to Tuscany on an art scholarship to study printmaking. After completing her master's degree, she returned and took up residence in an ancient stone farmhouse with no electricity or running water. To pay for some much-needed renovations, she began working as a guide in the Tuscan countryside and the city of Florence. Twenty-five years later, Lise can still be found showing travelers her favorite art museums, coffee houses and scenic vistas. Lise believes that Italy is a “living classroom of the Renaissance” and her priority is making it come alive for travelers.

    In addition to her work in Florence, Lise facilitates cooking lessons from locals in her farmhouse kitchen, which has been photographed for The New York Times. She is the co-author of Italianissimo: The Quintessential Guide to What Italians Do Best and The Cognoscenti's Guide to Florence.

    Favorite things in Florence:

    “I love to start early in the morning with a perfect coffee and pastry before going to the lively outdoor food market of St. Ambrogio, where the seasons are reflected in the colorful produce stands.”

    “Florence is a crowded city and I love to avoid the main streets and instead get to where I'm going by taking picturesque side streets, alleyways and courtyards, always rewarding with architectural detail and delight.”

    Favorite things in Tuscany:

    “The light the light the light. Driving or walking in the Tuscan landscape in the late afternoon is pure poetry.”

    “Every small Tuscan town has a bell tower and one of my favorite things is to climb up on high to look out over the spontaneous jumble of red roofs to the surrounding landscape, which always include stone walls, vineyards and olive and cypress trees.”

  • Fes & Marrakech, Morocco

    Ahmed

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    Born in Fes, Ahmed has lived in Morocco for over 50 years and has been guiding tourists for more than half his life. His expertise in myriad subjects-- history, geography, art, psychology, literature and language-- have put him in high demand. In addition to showing visitors through the dense souks of Marrakesh and Fes, Ahmed enjoys taking travelers to small mountain villages, where they can get to know traditional customs and enjoy dinner with a local family.

    Ahmed has traveled to dozens of cities but currently resides in Marrakesh with his three children.  Still, his love of travel has not waned and he enjoys taking his family out of the city to farms where life seems to slow down and conversation flows. Ahmed is also an avid volunteer and can often be found helping those who are less fortunate learn to read and write.

    Favorite things in Morocco:

    Going to medieval areas, some of which date back to the 13th century, and sipping mint tea while talking to locals about native traditions, proverbs and history "without feeling the time passing by."

    Stopping by one of his favorite outdoor food stalls for a traditional meal of lamb and fresh salad that is as delicious as it is inexpensive.

  • Bangkok, Thailand

    Jerry

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    A guide for nearly 30 years, Jerry is committed to ensuring that travelers experience the local flavor of Bangkok firsthand. He takes visitors to small farming villages to chat with locals, try traditional food, walk through orchid farms and see small temples nestled in the countryside. Visitors can also try homegrown tea at the oldest tea house in Bangkok or take a bus with the city's residents to a flower market. When he takes visitors to frequently crowded spots such as the Grand Palace, Komsan ensures that he goes during off-peak hours to enhance the experience.

    Komsan is currently finishing his PhD in tourism and conducts lectures at universities. On the rare occasions when he is not working, Komsan can be found pursuing his favorite hobby - photography - or exercising in one of Bangkok's parks.

    Favorite things in Bangkok:

    Visiting nearby farming villages and taking photographs or simply sitting under a coconut tree and watching the day pass by.

    Going to a Chinese opera and taking in the actors' vivid makeup, stunning costumes and dramatic performances.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Roberto

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    With a degree in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires and a background in publishing, Roberto got into the travel business almost by accident, when long ago, a friend asked him to show some visiting tourists around the city. Roberto, who speaks five languages, found that his storytelling skills and love of architecture came in handy and he has been showing off Buenos Aires’s treasures for more than 20 years. Aside from the most popular attractions, Roberto loves bringing visitors to some of BA’s lesser-known gems such as El Ateneo, a renovated bookstore that was formerly an ornate theater built in 1860. With its still-intact theater boxes, ornate ceilings and stage-turned-cafe, El Ateneo has been named one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Roberto also enjoys showing travelers Recoleta Cemetery, which contains the graves of presidents, Nobel Prize winners, and more.

    Roberto currently lives in the bustling Retiro neighborhood but has traveled extensively. He has written, translated or edited a dozen works about travel, including authoring a book about the Concorde that can be found in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

    Favorite things in Buenos Aires:

    Attending a polo match in the Campo Argentino de Polo during polo season, which runs from September to November.

    Watching tango at a milonga (tango night), where dancers of all levels show off moves that hearken back to the 1920s.

  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Katerina

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    Katerina first put her masterful knowledge of Prague to use as a concierge at the Mandarin Oriental.
    She prides herself on taking visitors to some of the most undiscovered corners of the city and on always knowing the best of Prague's culinary scene. In addition, she holds a license in guiding and a specialized license for Prague's Jewish Quarter.

    She formally studied art history in Prague and notably was on the management team of the largest contemporary art gallery in the Czech Republic - the DOX Centre. When Katerina is not working, she can be found watching the Czech Philharmonic or another, lesser-known classical concert. To relax, she enjoys a cup of tea in one of Prague's small, stylish cafes.

    Favorite things in Prague:

    Renting a pedal boat on one of the islands on the Vltava River in the late afternoon and watching the hustle and bustle on the riverbank while admiring the surrounding architecture and soaking in the sunset.

    Strolling down some of Prague's more upmarket streets and stopping into boutiques featuring local designers or visiting some of the area's small - yet upscale - galleries.

  • San Sebastián, Spain

    Victoria

    Director of Client Experience and Principal Guide

    A travel buff from the first moment she can remember, Vicky has always been interested in new places and diverse cultural experiences. At 18, she moved to London to study travel and tourism and then began her career by working for a Spanish tour operator. As her experience and resume grew, Vicky had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe and Asia, continuing to hone her skills as a guide and cultural expert. A speaker of Spanish, French, English, Basque and Italian, Vicky parlayed her abilities as a linguist while working as a translator in Morocco. Finally, after 5 years in North Africa, Vicky returned to her hometown of San Sebastian—her globetrotting days behind her, at least temporarily.

    Today, Vicky relishes sharing her knowledge of local history, heritage and gastronomy with visitors from all over the world. She is especially fond of taking her guests to the best pintxo bars in old town and enjoying the electric offerings along with them. When she’s not working she enjoys cooking and sampling Basque cuisine, attending the San Sebastian film festival each September, and hiking when the weather permits.

    Favorite Things to Do:

    Admiring the colorful fishermen’s houses that line the beautiful, cobblestone streets of Hondarribia, a medieval port town a few minutes from San Sebastian.

    Enjoying views of Playa De Concha and the bay while enjoying a cup of coffee and a good book.

Top