ADVISOR SHOUTOUTS

JANUARY 2022

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Barb Ortiz

Tzell Travel

New York, NY

What continues to inspire or motivate you to work in the travel industry? 

At the age of 16 I knew I wanted to travel the world and share my travel stories with others. I like finding the unique, different and off the beaten track things about a location, even if it’s a city that everyone’s visited. Traveling is my passion and I will continue to travel and share this with others.

What destinations do you love selling and why?

Having lived in Europe, it is one of my favorite destinations. You can be in any given country within 2hours or less and experience a different culture, language, cuisine and vibe.

What can't you travel without?

You should always carry – lip balm- Rosebud Salve is my favorite as it can double as hand cream when you need it, tissues, sanitizer, cashmere scarf or sweater (it can get cold on a flight), a foldable small bag (in case you buy last min items)

What is something that your peers may not know about you?

I’ve been to 49 plus countries, live in Amsterdam and Florence, speak 3 languages fluently and I know a little Dutch.

 

What new skill or hobby did you pick up during the pandemic?

Not so much a skill, but I learned how to do with less. I sold a lot of stuff on Poshmark!

May we ask you to highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or just a short sentence on why you enjoy working with our team? 

I’ve known the Bennett + Mercado group for many years now! I love that they are go getters and women owned. Whenever I need something, I know I can count on them to assist. I fell in love with the Viceroy Group hotels and was thrilled when B+M had them under their group. My clients love the Coppola Resorts as well, I always recommend them to my honeymooners. I look forward to seeing the properties in Italy once I have the opportunity as well.

Where are you traveling to next?

I need to make up for lost time – In 2020 I had 9 trips planned prior to the pandemic that I did not take. So..I plan on returning to Europe, visiting Honduras, Belize, South America and New Zealand. I know it’s a lot, but that’s what I do. 😊

p.s. If you see a post of me wearing my travel ring – I am going somewhere and posting all about it!!

 

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Alex Gagarin

Small World Travel / Brownell Travel

Austin, TX

What continues to inspire or motivate you to work in the travel industry? 

Travel may take a few more steps these days, but the destinations are just as magical as they've always been. It continues to inspire me to know that every day we are working to design trips full of memories that will last a life time. 

 

What destinations do you love selling and why?

I love Belize! It's such a great mix of jungle and ocean, active adventures and relaxing beach time. It's a great destination for families and with easy access from most of the United States, it is perfect for short school breaks.

What can't you travel without?

 

Dinner reservations! From Michilen stars to taco stands and market stalls, I'll have a plan to eat it all wherever I go. 

What is something that your peers may not know about you?

Post college I played on a co-ed adult kickball team. We traveled around the country on a competitive circuit competing for cash prizes. 

 

What new skill or hobby did you pick up during the pandemic?

I got really into canning. Jams, salsas, pickles - you name it, I was canning it! 

May we ask you to highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or just a short sentence on why you enjoy working with our team? 

I absolutely love Turtle Inn. The rooms are lovely and the beach is beautiful, but it's the staff that really make it special. We recently had clients there with their one year old son who loves toy trucks. On the last day two of the workers gave the child a wooden toy truck that they had made for him. The staff here is constantly going above and beyond to create amazing memories for the guests.

Where are you traveling to next?

The Maldives in April! It will be my first time and I'm so excited to have a chance to explore some of the Crown and Champa resorts.  

 

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Caroline Chang

Beyond Traveled, an independent affiliate of Cadence Travel

Los Angeles, CA

What continues to inspire or motivate you to work in the travel industry? 

The people - I am so lucky to have wonderful clients, incredible colleagues, and the best team of women.

What destinations do you love selling and why?

Destinations that focus on sustainability! My passion is purposeful, experiential travel that helps make the places and people we visit better, and I love working with partners who have the same ethos.

What can't you travel without?

An extra bag, just in case I go shopping (which is always).

What is something that your peers may not know about you?

I'm a black belt in karate.

 

What new skill or hobby did you pick up during the pandemic?

House plants!! I became a plant momma during the pandemic.

May we ask you to highlight a Bennett + Mercado Hospitality hotel or destination, or just a short sentence on why you enjoy working with our team? 

I love the Bennett + Mercado properties in Central America! While each is unique, they all honor the destination's people, culture, and environment.

Where are you traveling to next?

TBD!