Tell us about you and your company.
I’m Sariah and I own Rhone and Thames Travel Co. I was born and raised in the Philippines. It is where my love for travel started. My father was very adventurous, and his job allowed us to travel around the country. He instilled in me and my siblings the importance of learning and appreciating culture. Prior to travel, I was in banking for 15 years–specifically in mergers and acquisitions. While I enjoyed my role, the hours weren’t sustainable for a young mom so I pursued a career that I’m passionate about and that allows me to have quality time for everything and everyone important in my life.
Rhone and Thames Travel Co. is a full-service travel company that specializes in crafting tailor-made itineraries worldwide for all travelers seeking to elevate their travel experience—couples, families, groups, and businesses. My main goal is for clients to feel an unforgettable connection to their destination, making way for that happy moment that creates a long-lasting memory. From weekend staycations to once-in-a-lifetime adventures, I assist in providing client a luxurious and seamless experience.
Why do you recommend working with a travel advisor (or travel agency)? Who do you think benefits most from this?
Planning a trip can be enjoyable, but can also be overwhelming. It takes knowledge, experience and most importantly, time. Saving clients’ time is the main reason why RTT exists. My most discerning clients do not have the time to plan the intricate details of a trip. I am here to keep clients from spending endless amounts of time researching. I can do all the work for in order to make clients’ travel experience as seamless and stress-free as possible. I also have strong personal relationships with the top travel providers (hotels and experience providers) all over the world so I am able to vouch for quality and clients receive exceptional treatment when in destination. Win win.
Besides clients who have limited time, groups also benefit greatly from working with a travel advisor because of the level of service and organization.
What was a memorable experience that you planned for your clients?
I like crafting well-rounded experiences for my clients. One memorable experience was a day on the Isle of Skye that involved gastronomy, history, and adventure. The group began the day with a local expert learning about the Scottish ancestors’ way of life and discovering the lost skills of foraging and fire lighting. The group uncovered wild foods in the forest and along the coastline which they then used to prepare lunch in an open fire. After enjoying lunch and local brews against a breathtaking backdrop, the group headed to one of the most stunning walks on the island—The Old Man of Storr.
What area would you say is your primary area of expertise?
I’ve traveled extensively in Europe focusing on food and wine so clients naturally go to me to plan these trips. However, I plan trips worldwide and now that the world has re-opened, I’ve been sending clients to South America, Asia and Africa for honeymoons and family travel.
You have two children of your own. Tell us about a favorite trip that you’ve planned with children.
Every itinerary I create is tailored specifically to the respective clients’ interests and preferences. When it comes to children, I put more effort into incorporating their interests to keep them engaged. I recently planned a family summer trip to Greece. The kids are learning about the country and have a strong interest in mythology so I added experiences such as a mythology tour and treasure hunt in Athens as well as a day trip to Delphi to see the Temple of Apollo. To add some fun, I included a full-day island hopping excursion in Paros and Antiparos and an ATV tour of Santorini.
I am in the process of finalizing my own family’s trip to Japan and I think it’s going to be my favorite. We are going in the fall for that autumn colors and I can’t be more excited. Before kids, my husband and I traveled for food and adventure. Now that we have kids, we have to keep a balance so everyone’s happy. My boys love ninjas and transportation so incorporating a day with a master sensei to learn about ninja life as well as traveling via the legendary shinkansen bullet train were big priorities. We’re also going on a dessert food tour and sushi-making class.
What have been one of your most memorable meals and where?
Paris has a special place in my heart. It’s a destination I go back to again and again, and I keep falling in love with it more and more. For our babymoon a few years ago, my husband and I stayed at Le Bristol. We had the perfect dining experience at their 3-Michelin star restaurant, Epicure. Every dish was absolutely exquisite. I very much appreciated the warm atmosphere. It was luxurious and elegant yet unpretentious and anything but stiff.
Where do you think people are most excited about traveling to this summer?
Europe is always my most requested destination for summer travel, specifically Italy and France. First-timers to Europe gravitate toward Lake Como, the Amalfi Coast and the French Riviera. Repeat visitors go for the same places but may add a stop or two where they have never been before.
What do you think is one of the most underrated summer destinations right now and why? Do you have a hotel you recommend there?
I urge clients to be open and think outside the box especially right now when hotel rates are elevated. I’ve been recommending places like Azores in Portugal, Corsica in France or Corfu in Greece. For the American market, I think Biarritz in France is very much underrated. It is a beach town located on France’s Basque coast. When not basking in the sun on its glistening beaches, visitors have a wide variety of other experiences at their fingertips (thanks to its location): shopping the local boutiques, surfing on the Bay of Biscay, hiking La Rhune, and dining in San Sebastian, Spain which is only 40 min away. I recommend staying at the Hotel du Palais, a beautifully restored palace located on La Grande Plage overlooking the ocean.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Here’s my SmartFlyer bio if helpful: https://smartflyer.com/agent/sariah-gutierrez/
What’s the best way to get in touch?
Visit www.rhoneandthames.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org