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Meet the Boss: John Dixon, Prestige Holidays

Casa Dell Artejohn-dixon-prestige-holidaysCambridge Beaches Bermuda

Each week at 101 Holidays we interview one of the people behind the UK’s finest travel companies. This week we turn the spotlight on John Dixon, chairman and managing director of the independent luxury tour operator, Prestige Holidays.

John began his career on the high street and by the age of 25 was managing a large travel agency in London’s West End. From there he moved to Cadogan Holidays where he rose to deputy MD. In 1989, John left Cadogan with two colleagues to found Prestige Holidays. He lives in Hampshire with his wife Cheri.

• Where are you planning to go on holiday this year, and why?

I am off to Canada with my wife and some very dear friends this summer. We will be staying in our friend’s beautiful log cabin that is lost in the woods on an obscure lake in the wilds of Nova Scotia. It’s the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy the peace. It’s also a great place to go walking and see the wildlife. We will start the holiday with a few days in Montreal and on the banks of the St Lawrence River.

• What is your favourite bolt hole in the UK, and why?

Lainston House near Winchester because it’s a gracious, very relaxing hotel in beautiful countryside with a fine restaurant and it’s just 45 minutes from home – what more could you ask for?

• If you could spend a long weekend in any city abroad, which would you pick, and why?

New York as it’s one of the most exciting cities I have ever been to. It offers something for everybody from shopping, to fabulous restaurants, great theatre, music and of course museums; my favourite is the Museum of Modern Art.

• Please tell us three items that are always found in your luggage.

One or two paperbacks, an iPod (I am a classical music lover), and photographs of my wife, son and dog

• What one thing would most improve people’s overall holiday experience?

The willingness to open up and interact with the local community. I always find it fascinating to learn how other people think and live.

• What has been your worst holiday experience?

A trip to Malta years ago staying in a five-star hotel before the season began. The weather was unusually bad; I travelled with my wife and son, who was five at the time, and my mother-in-law. We all went down with flu-like symptoms and had an utterly miserable time.

• Tell us your favourite hotel: in the UK; in mainland Europe; in the rest of the world.

The Stafford Hotel in the UK, as it offers the feel of a luxurious country house in central London. The hotel has a great history and offers excellent service.

In Europe, Casa Dell Arte (pictured above, left) is a gorgeous boutique hotel near Bodrum. This features in our new Turkey programme and I chose it for its location, sheer luxury and superb staff.

In Bermuda, the luxurious cottage colony, Cambridge Beaches (pictured above, right) , is set on a 30-acre peninsula  offering stunning ocean views, 5 great beaches and 3 fabulous restaurants – the perfect romantic getaway.

• What is the most exciting project your company is working on right now?

A new long-haul destination, which must remain confidential, in a very large country that offers every conceivable kind of holiday imaginable – watch this space!

• Thank you, John.

Please visit the Prestige Holidays website.

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