Wilson is an industry influencer with 16 offices around the United States and more than 35 years of experience. She’s chairman emeritus of Virtuoso’s advisory board and a valued advisor for half a dozen luxury hotels and travel brands. She’s also written two travel books and is on the road for more than a third of every year. Wilson and the staff of her top-notch agency (now also under the leadership of her daughters, A-Listers Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg and Kimberly Wilson Wetty) are well-traveled and highly organized. But they still enjoy the collaborative nature of planning trips with clients. “Part of the fun is hearing their ideas and vicariously traveling through our customers,” Wilson says.
In Bordeaux last year, Wilson planned an 8-day, wine-focused tour for a couple that included stops at some of the region’s premiere vineyards and restaurants. But she’s also a fan of destinations further afield, like Egypt, which may be more unfamiliar to Americans. That country’s river cruises, such as Abercrombie & Kent’s Art Deco–style Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, are well worth the trip, according to Wilson, with excursions that include a tour of the temple of Dendera and private access to Queen Nefertari’s Tomb.
"We spent quite a bit of time with Valerie planning our trip to Asia, and as we are seasoned travelers, we had strong opinions as to what we wanted to do and where we wanted to stay. Valerie's suggestions regarding hotels were superb for all of the places we stayed. Moreover, she was able to get us terrific upgrades in nearly every hotel. We had fabulous experiences during six weeks of travel, and so much of that was due to Valerie's meticulous planning and extensive knowledge of the countries, cities, and hotels. I would recommend Valerie Wilson to anyone interested in luxury travel, and have already done so. In my experience and estimation, her knowledge of places, accommodations, and the desires of clients is truly exceptional." - Lisa Kelland