We said Jack Bloch was the master of the “uber FIT” in 2007 and that hasn’t changed one iota since we profiled him in March of that year. Back then, he was booking private guides and dogsleds in Iceland so his clients could chase the Northern Lights. Then there was that client who private-jetted around the world to experience all the different Aman resorts, as special chefs catered their meals.
The owner of JB’s World Travel Consultants and his team of advisors on Manhattan’s 57th Street have grown and evolved the business since then, and quite prettily. “It’s developed into a more exclusive, private access, hand-holding luxury travel experience consultancy,” Bloch tells us. “‘No,’ is never an answer. If a client desires something, we get it for them, with ease and style, and then some.” And these clients? They’re welcome by referral only, thank you very much.
“We find that by referral, new clients know what they are getting when they call JB’s World and ask for our experienced advice,” says Bloch, who founded the company in 1977 and to this day remains an independent agency owner.
Bloch has continued to raise the bar on his FITs. Consider flying first class to Johannesburg to stay at a villa at the Saxon Hotel, Villa & Spa. (“Gorgeous,” he notes.) Have a drink at the new and exclusive Johnnie Walker whisky bar, Eighteen05, facing the pool at sunset. Over the next few days, enjoy private plane experiences and the exclusive use of safari camps in South Africa with private guides and trackers, naturally. (Think Singita Sweni to Royal Malewane to Ulusaba to Londolozi.)
His itinerary also includes hot-air ballooning over game reserves, with cuisine served by a private chef, who prepares meals at the restaurant, in the villa room or in the bush. Safari day tours are topped off with spa treatments. The adventure ends in Cape Town with a private guide, as well as the nearby vineyards (Wine tasting, anyone?). For the lucky clients who enjoyed this agenda, Bloch also secured reservations at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town for a seven-course meal with wine pairings, even though the wait list was six months long. Tip: “The latest place to stay in Cape Town is the One Above,” says Bloch. “It’s above the One&Only hotel, an amazing private and secluded area with avant-garde African art.”
A true globetrotter, his own recent travels have taken him to Switzerland, Turkey, Spain, Dubai, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, the Galapagos, Tanzania, Namibia and South Africa.
In fact, it was in South Africa that La Residence, Franschhoek, caught his eye. He calls it, “a corner of France in the South Africa winelands. It has amazing suites and villas, all individual with their own character and beautiful art. It’s got fantastic scenery and wonderful food and wine.”
On the family front, Bloch’s daughters are now both in college and he and his wife, Navah Benhaim, “are still married and in love after working together 24/7 for 20 years.”