Best Travel Gold has grown substantially and evolved into an exclusive concierge service since being featured on our August 2013 cover. The agency, a division of Best Travel & Tours in Naperville and Northbrook, IL, has always serviced a private clientele that’s welcome by referral only, but these days, it’s stepped up its client vetting process even further, says Victoria Boomgarden, our cover honoree who heads up Best Travel Gold.
Because the concierge service now encompasses all aspects of its clients’ travel plans and includes complicated components, service fees at Best Travel Gold have gone up as well, Boomgarden reports.
Indeed, clients have always paid an hourly access fee to consult with Boomgarden (“This is a business,” she told us in 2013), but recently, Best Travel Gold implemented a final fee to cover the hours it takes for additional planning as the itinerary nears completion.
If you consider the type of travel Boomgarden and her team plan, you’ll understand. Two months prior to last Christmas they were asked to coordinate a multigenerational family gathering in a warm climate. That’s a trip that’s usually been booked months and months ahead of time, but nevertheless, Best Travel Gold was able to plow through the challenges of finding air seats and hotel rooms during a time it’s typically impossible to do so.
“We secured multiple villas and a Presidential Suite with beautiful accommodations at a cost of one-half million dollars for seven days,” reports Boomgarden. “Our clients had complete confidence in our ability to plan their entire stay, which included all dining venues, menus and five evenings of entertainment, as well as activities and additional touches, such a butler service.”
That's a nice piece of business but what Boomgarden treasures is the thank you note that read: “This was the best vacation we ever had, and that’s not only because of the natural beauty, which was stunning, it is thanks to your absolutely beautiful arrangements.”
Personal travel is also vital to growing Boomgarden’s treasure chest of knowledge; recently she's sailed the Danube, ventured to Punta Mita, Mexico, the Galapagos Islands and Dubai and Dhabi. Her new favorite place is Kyoto, Japan, thanks to its “ancient arts, meticulous detail and cleanliness.”
The hotel that just wowed her is Casa Gangotena, Quito in Ecuador, located in the city’s old center. Besides the fact that there were roses everywhere she looked, the hotel is “magnificently furnished and has a fabulous ‘sense of place,’” reports Boomgarden. “Service is impeccable and top management graciously greeted me during my late arrival. Breakfast was waiting for me prior to my early morning departure.”
News on the personal front is also great. Boomgarden and her husband, Michael, both celebrated milestone birthdays this year. For his “dream trip” they’re going on the Royal Scotsman this summer with 17 friends in the U.K. Best part? A “Whisky Ambassador” from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society will accompany them to provide access to private distilleries along the way. The couple is also still smiling over the June 6 marriage of their son, Alex, to “a wonderful girl named Aly, whom we adore,” says Boomgarden.