First-class travel from a first-hand perspective
It was only after couple Tom and Lucie Cahalan spent many years investing in exceptional holidays for themselves that they established their own travel agency. Privileged friends and associates approached them so often for guidance that it just made sense to offer their services professionally. Now Tom and Lucie organise getaways for some of the biggest names in tech, media, sports and more, and as highly experienced luxury travellers themselves they’re proud of how intuitively they understand this distinguished community.
As a teenager, Tom decided to set up his own software company. Work went well quickly, and he was soon in a position to indulge his growing obsession with all things relating to luxury hospitality. Now in his late 30s, he has visited the world’s best properties and most beautiful places many times over.
For years, Tom documented his self-funded travel experiences on his blog The Good, The Bad and The Luxurious, whose brutally honest appraisals of high-profile hotels and holidays dispensed with the PR fluff and avoided inane influencer-style platitudes. It soon became a go-to resource for the hospitality industry’s key players and influential members of the travel media who now recognise Tom as a global authority on all things luxury. It built up a loyal following of like-minded travellers too, who trusted Tom to deliver total honesty; a number of the blog’s earliest readers now count among Dorsia Travel’s long-standing clients.
Best private property
"We work with the most incredible exclusive-use home in rural Kenya: excellent service, an amazing spa, brilliant food - and elephants drinking straight from the swimming pool. "
Best wildlife encounter
"It’s hard to beat spending time with Rwanda’s gorillas. A curious teenage gorilla came up to play with me while his siblings watched on. I can’t wait to go back."
"Having stayed over 150 times, it’s got to be The Connaught. The rooms need a refurb, but I love everything else and guests are so well looked after. And then there’s the pastries..."
Best Indian Ocean resort
"Velaa in the Maldives. You get the best service, an obscene amount of facilities, and it’s great for all the family. It feels like the owner just wants everyone to have a great time."
"Park Hotel Vitznau’s facilities are an absolute joy. Plus you can choose between swims in the heated mountain-view infinity pool or just jumping straight into the lake."
Best honeymoon hideaway
"I probably have to say where we went for our own honeymoon: Laucala, a paradise private island of just 25 villas in Fiji."
Best hotel restaurant
"The Restaurant in Zurich. That’s not a typo, that’s the name of the Dolder Grand’s fine-dining venue and dishes are inspired by the chef’s global travels. It served one of the best meals I’ve ever had."
"Tough one, but as I love nature I’d say Kubili House in South Africa. It sits beside a dam, where endless wildlife comes to hydrate. Think lions, wild dogs hyenas, hippos, elephants and more."
Lucie’s grounding in hospitality comes from the many years she oversaw client relations at London’s top-tier hotels. That experience has proved invaluable at Dorsia Travel, where Lucie facilitates even the most imaginative requests and liaises with her global network of industry contacts to ensure Dorsia Travel clients are treated like true VIPs wherever they go.
Since becoming a mother herself, Lucie also relishes organising family holidays. She’s an expert on multigenerational gatherings and knows all about the best exclusive-use properties for unforgettable birthday parties, weddings, reunions and anniversaries.
"Visiting the Sacred Valley in Peru before taking the Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. I had a surprise massage treatment at the very top, followed by the most romantic private tour of the site."
"This is hard. Judged on the service and how much I wish to return then I would pick a Les Airelles property, either the one in Courchevel or in Saint-Tropez"
Best wildlife encounter
"We were able to get so close to the elephants, and to learn so much about them, at Abu Camp in Botswana. It was heartwarming and very enjoyable to spend so much time with these lovely creatures."
Favourite Caribbean island
"For the beautiful setting, the privacy, the fantastic beaches and how homely it still feels - not to mention the flamingos that circle the island nightly - Necker was so special."
Most child-friendly hotel
"At Les Airelles’ Saint-Tropez, the kids’ club sits in a standalone mermaid- and pirate-themed villa with its own pool. Activities cover everything from circus training to pizza making - it’s magical."
"Aman Tokyo. I had the best massage of my life there, and then soaked in the spa’s gorgeous baths with the most beautiful views of the city."
Best honeymoon hideaway
"North Island in the Seychelles: it’s beautiful, with fantastic service and the guarantee of privacy. One client wanted to be naked on holidays - this was the place to send him (and his wife)."
Best hotel bar
"I like the Library Bar at the Lanesborough in London. I go there to enjoy the live piano music and catch up with friends. They serve the most irresistible truffle nuts with every drink."
"Ellerman House, which offers very dramatic views over Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean. I could sit on the terrace there with a cocktail and just take it in all day long."
Dedicated support from a like-minded couple
As members themselves of the same community they serve through Dorsia Travel, Tom and Lucie pride themselves on the innate, insider approach they take to every experience they deliver. At each stage of the booking process, Dorsia Travel clients can be assured of dedicated, round-the-clock support from a like-minded couple who take luxury travel very seriously.