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A-List 2010: World's Top Travel Agents

An illustration of traveling icons.

Photo: Nola Lopez

Greece

Kelly Shea
New Favorite: Hydra—just over an hour by hydrofoil from the mainland—is on Shea’s radar. It’s east of Spetses and part of the Saronic Islands, with several charming small hotels, including the longtime favorite Phaedra and the newly renovated Hydra.
Years as Agent: 23.
Other Specialty: Turkey.
Fee: $250.

Christos Stergiou
New Favorite: Costa Navarino, on the Peloponnese peninsula, where two Starwood hotels have just opened—the Westin Resort and the Romanos, a Luxury Collection property.
Years as Agent: 6.
Other Specialty: Turkey.
Fee: $43 per person.

Ireland

Carol Cornell
Special Booking: For a group of women on a china- and silver-shopping excursion, the table at their private villa was set with different patterns, which were listed on the menu along with the food.
Years as Agent: 28.
Other Specialty: Italy.
Fee: From $50.

Italy

Margot Cushing
New Favorite: Lesser-known Alghero, on Sardinia’s northwestern coast, has a historic center with trattorias, churches, and a 14th-century fort.
Years as Agent: 30-plus.
Other Specialties: France, Southeast Asia.
Fee: From $300.

Joyce Falcone
Insider Clout: For a family of seven who needed to travel from Venice to Liguria, Falcone arranged a transfer by boat to a driver waiting to take them to lunch and then along scenic byways to the Ligurian coast, arriving at Sestri Levante in time for dinner.
Years as Agent: 15.
Other Specialties: Culinary and walking tours.
Fee: From $300.

Andrea Grisdale +
Insider Clout: Grisdale orchestrated an entire reconnaissance mission for a client interested in the famous bistecca alla fiorentina—from visits to Tuscan farms to private cooking demonstrations with top chefs.
Years as Agent: 10.
Fee: $186 per person.

Deborah Hyte
New Favorite: Casta Diva Resort, a new hotel on the shores of Lake Como that was recently opened in an early-19th-century palace. Staying at Casta Diva is like being in your second home—from the impeccably furnished salons to the bedrooms, each with a balcony. Two docks afford access to watersports, and there’s a full-service, 14,000-square-foot spa offering Natura Bissé treatments.
Years as Agent: 31.
Other Specialty: Western Europe.
Fee: From $400.

Judy Nussbaum
New Favorite: In the hills south of Montalcino, the 14 rooms and suites at Castello Banfi Il Borgo are Nussbaum’s new standard for understated, authentic Tuscan luxury. The hotel was decorated by Italian designer Federico Forquet and overlooks the vineyards of Brunello.
Years as Agent: 30.
Other Specialties: France, luxury cruising.
Fee: Varies.

Andrea Sertoli
New Favorite: In Florence, Sertoli is impressed by the Palazzo Vecchietti, on the Via Strozzi, with 12 rooms and suites and two apartments—all flawlessly furnished with a mix of Tuscan antiques, contemporary art, and chic striped dhurries.
Years as Agent: 13.
Other Specialty: Croatia.
Fee: From $100.

Marjorie Shaw
Insider Clout: Shaw has dedicated guides on whom she can call in every major city in Italy and across all regions—from chefs and cultural historians in Lucca to a private gondolier in Venice.
Years as Agent: 21.
Other Specialties: Culinary and historical travel.
Fee: From $395.

Sally Watkins
Insider Clout: For a Caravaggio enthusiast, Watkins enlisted an art historian guide to escort the client to three churches in Rome to admire seminal Caravaggio works, followed by a visit to one of the artist’s former studios, just off the Piazza Fontanella Borghese.
Years as Agent: 24.
Other Specialty: Europe.
Fee: From $350.

Icon Key

* Tour Operator
** T+L’s Travel Agent Advisory Board, 2010
+ New to List

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