Roxana Lewis, CTC
Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent
Cultural, Culinary and Active Travel Specialist
I love connecting my clients with local specialists and guides who can help them experience life as a local, not a tourist. Foodies often enjoy a private cooking session with the chef of a Michelin star restaurant, while art enthusiasts can tour museums or art shows and galleries with a docent or art professor.
The best memories often happen when you get away from the typical sightseeing spots and find hidden gems to enjoy in relative solitude. For example, The Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City tops many travelers’ wish lists, but you’ll be admiring it alongside hundreds of tourists. Meanwhile, not far from Rome’s Coliseum at the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli is a dramatic Michelangelo sculpture of Moses. Here, you may be one of a handful of people at the church and can get close enough to see the chisel marks on the eyes of Moses and your guide will have time to tell you fascinating stories behind that statue: how long it took to carve and how Michelangelo obtained his Carrera marble.
One of my specialties is active travel. I have climbed and led serious mountaineering expeditions around the world, including ascents of Mount Fuji, Mount Rainier, Denali, and Mount Blanc and can arrange both hard and soft adventures. Sherpas and other outfitters make a challenging trek much less physically taxing. They will carry your luggage, set up camp and have gourmet meals waiting for you. I have vetted suppliers and outfitters around the world for this posh type of rigorous adventure.
One of my favorite treks is in Patagonia. The scenery is like nowhere in the world, and the sherpas will do everything except move your legs for you! Another favorite is Nepal, a land that seems untouched by time. People still greet each other in the traditional way, hands together in prayer fashion, with the words “Namaste” and sherpas create a very cosseted experience. For the ultimate in active luxury, I can set up an itinerary where you bicycle from one Italian manor house or French chateau to the next, and savoring Michelin-star meals along the way.
I got my start in the travel industry with Western Airlines in 1968 and then worked in corporate travel for a Washington, D.C., think tank before starting my own travel agency in 1977. I named it Chartwell Travel Services after Winston Churchill’s home when I was in my Anglophile phase, and I liked the play on words. In 2007, Chartwell merged with Protravel International, Beverly Hills. It has been a great move that gives my clients access to the value-added amenities and tremendous buying power of Protravel while still allowing me to provide the personalized planning my clients expect from me.
I feel very lucky and enjoy giving back as a Sierra Club volunteer hike leader. I have led hikes in the U.S. and overseas trips. I also volunteer as a docent at the Japanese American National Museum where I lead monthly culture walks. Recently, as a culinary enthusiast, I created and now lead a food-centric walking tour. In addition, I serve on the Advisory Council of the Pacific Asian Counseling Service.
Whether you would like to see the world as an adventurer, a cultural or culinary explorer, or have a specific interest you’d like to explore in your travels, I am here to help you create the journey of your dreams.
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