After a 10-day trip exploring Brazil’s remote regions, Irvine turned down a finance job and moved to Rio, where he cofounded Dehouche. The British expat values small, design-forward properties with top-notch wine cellars over large chain brands, and refrains from sending clients to hotels when he knows the manager will be away. Some of his favorites include the Hotel Fasano Angra dos Reis, a stunning property overlooking the sea, and Casa Turquesa Maison d’Hôtes, a group of gorgeously renovated colonial buildings in Paraty.
On a recent trip for Carnival, he arranged for designers to contact his clients before they arrived, so they could have personalized costumes to wear during the festival's street parties and balls. Irvine is most excited about the arrival of luxury hotel brands in São Paulo, including the Four Seasons, which opened late last year, and the Rosewood, slated to make its debut in 2020.
"We have used Paul on three occasions and plan to go to South America again soon. The first trip was for our honeymoon a few years ago, which we still talk about often. It was perfectly idyllic! We went to a few different locations in Brazil including Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia, but the longest stay was in Trancoso, a divine beach village that we fell in love with. Paul knows all the right people and even organized a small plane for us when our flight was canceled. We can’t recommend Paul highly enough. We’ve also gone to Argentina with Paul and had a fantastic time in Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza. He takes the time to understand what you want. I am sure we would never have found the wonderful places we visited without him. We definitely wouldn’t have met so many great people along the way, like winemakers in Argentina and a local woman in Trancoso who cooked the best prawns at her house by the sea. I would wholeheartedly recommend Paul to anyone wanting a bespoke trip to South America. He was recommended to us by a friend, and we have in turn recommended him to several of our. Paul and the team at Dehouche always seem to get it just right." - Elizabeth Kent