Ashley Isaacs Ganz Designs Your Dream Trip From Poolside in Istanbul

Ashley Isaacs Ganz IS the founder & CEO of Artisans of Leisure, a bespoke travel planning company that offers luxury trips all over the world. Planning out full itineraries for a discerning customer requires a deep understanding of all the things that make a trip memorable, from big hotels to small discoveries along the way. Ganz has that understanding. We spoke with her about her new travel hot list for 2012, and her own latest travels.

Where are you based?
Manhattan.

How long have you lived there? 
15 years.

How many days a year are you on the road?
2-3 months total per year.

Sum up your job in a sentence:
Designing dream trips for some of the most fascinating and accomplished people in the world.

What are your favorite cities to visit?
London, Tokyo, Istanbul.

Where/which are your favorite bars right now? 
I don’t spend a lot of time at bars these days, since I like to get home to be with my young children after work, but when I do manage to grab a drink, I like to go somewhere near my office, like Tarallucci e Vino or Eataly.

What’s your drink right now?
Campari and soda.

What’s the last great meal you had?
Today. Vegetarian (and gluten-free) dim sum in Chinatown.

What’s the best hotel you’ve stayed in this year?
It’s a tie between Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Bosphorus in Turkey and Gleneagles in Scotland. I loved being at the Four Seasons Bosphorus this summer. Sitting by the pool and the outdoor restaurants and watching life on the Bosphorus go by was the perfect way to relax after a busy day in Istanbul. I just got back from a late fall trip to Gleneagles in Scotland, and I can’t imagine a more perfect place to experience autumn in Europe.

What makes a great hotel for you?
I love a hotel that feels intimate and personal and that really reflects its locale, yet is large enough that it has extensive facilities and an energy to it…one where you want to be sure to spend some time even if your schedule is packed.

What are your picks for the upcoming year?
Artisans of Leisure is offering new trips in all the following countries this year, so this is our cultural travel hot list—check us out to see what private tours you can enjoy in all of them.

1. Myanmar (Burma)
2. Portugal
3. England
4. Peru
5. China
6. India
7. South Africa
8. Germany
9. Israel
10. Morocco

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