The stars were perfectly aligned….I was invited by a friend from Protravel to join her on a Virtuoso Icon, sailing in and out of Venice, while several friends and colleagues from Embark Beyond decided to visit Venice that very same weekend! We couldn’t have planned this any better! So as Avi Hagby, owner of Venice Luxury Services, wanted to show these amazing clients what she does, she planned a day and a half of touring Venice. It was just the right amount of touring, still giving each of us time to walk around on our own and do what we wanted, yet feeling as though we had an amazing friend in Venice who was meeting us to show us around!
It was the last two days of March, and the weather was just perfect for being outside…about 62 degrees with the clearest blue sky you’ve ever seen! (I had always heard that Avi could do anything, but this was ridiculous!) After all, we had only been working with Venice Luxury Services for a few months and this was the first time I was personally getting to experience fully what it is that they do for our clients! She has the stamp of approval from Condé Nast Traveler as a Specialist so we knew she was great — but experiencing it all first hand was what I was looking to do!
Our VIP arrival had been arranged with the amazing Daniel. He was like our personal butler greeting us at the gate, whisking us through the airport without stopping until we reached the outdoors where he offered a coffee while we waited just a moment for our beautiful water limousine adorned in lacquered wood touches! And we were off in style rushing past the vaporettos (bus-like boats that take everyone else) to take us to our hotel. With the wind blowing in our hair, the sun shining and this gorgeous historical city out in front of us, it truly took our breath away!
When looking for the perfect tour guide and company for Venice, Avi with Venice Luxury Services is the one!
Avi offers personalized tours sharing her extensive knowledge of the history, culture and secrets of the city.
She is simply the best!
There is nothing better than having everything organized for you in advance by an expert who is local and knows just how to plan your trip….so you really don’t have to worry about a thing. There is a peace of mind and puts you at ease so you can just sit back and enjoy. After all, isn’t that what you do, you plan everything for your clients, so they have incredible journey’s around the world. It is these local experts that are invaluable for you to find. Avi makes it seamless and so much fun!
I had been to Venice a few times before, I stayed with my father years ago at Cipriani and then visited in the middle of summer with my family when my girls were younger. It was fun, but it was hot, crowded and not at all the same experience. This time, everything had been arranged for us in such a meticulous yet easy fashion so that we could just be in the moment and enjoy the experience in perfect contentment……It was like a dream!
That is the essence of what it is like to travel with Avi…she is there to plan everything with her team prior to arrival, then she shows you around, introducing you to friends she meets along the way. As she says, Venice is a village and as she lives in the middle of it all… she would meet us or have the driver of the water limo pick us up and take us to a meeting point.
The first evening we did a sunset tour with a Prosecco tasting. Well, Avi learned very last minute that one of the advisors kept kosher so managed to find a bottle of Kosher Prosecco and then had another one too. Now this is taking care of the clients! As the only Jewish guide living in Venice, she has access to much of the Jewish ghetto archives and synagogues so she is the go to for this niche business!
Being in the travel industry, we know just how stressful travel can be, but when everything is well planned, in advance, and the proper partners are taking care of it all, we feel welcomed, cared for, we have access to exceptional local sights and experiences that allow the destination to unfold with ease. When I think back on these few days with Avi, everything was easy and fun. We visited the best gelato shop, the most famous old world café in St. Marks Square, and found the perfect spot to take a photo of all us in one of the highest points in the city!
Avi’s secret selling point: she is amazing at finding the perfect spot and capturing the money shot! Now that is the ideal talent of a guide these days!
We toured around St. Marks and learned about Venice, but we were not inundated with historical facts and numbers but rather given key points. The story was told in a very entertaining and enlightening manner — like a friend might do when taking you around their home town. As we walked and stopped around town, Avi would run into people she knows, whether a family friend walking her dog or a colleague on line outside a shop. It seemed as though she knew everyone. She did most definitely know the staff and management wherever we had a drink or coffee, and on an afternoon where just she and I had lunch, she introduced me to her good friend the Maitre at Do Forni (his daughter goes to school with Avi’s). One of the very best restaurants! She is a guide, sommelier and a foodie. The perfect person to trust your clients and friends with for Venice and the Veneto region including the Dolomites! She creates a feeling of time standing still and carefree. What more could you want all while having fun. But don’t wait, while she has other guides, Avi is the one you want, if possible. I feel that we are fortunate to have found her and Venice Luxury Services, as they are truly a gift from heaven!
It truly is like meeting a friend who is local, experienced and knows everyone that just takes you by the hand.
Isn’t that what most travelers are looking for? Just knowing that Venice Luxury Services is your guide and arranger gives you peace of mind as an advisor.
I started calling Avi the “queen of Venice” at ILTM and now I truly know why!
Check out Capati Choquet’s testimonial for Venice Luxury Services: