Based in Dubai

Sophie Anchan

It's Nice To Meet You

I'm your personal French Travel Counsellor with a lifelong love for travel and exploration. Having lived abroad since childhood, I've had the privilege of travelling across the globe alongside my family in South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

My passion for food and hospitality led me to work in luxury properties across Asia, Europe, and Dubai. It has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and extensive travel experience. I strive to find the properties that fit my client's needs because "one bed doesn't fit all".

Beyond my travel expertise, I find solace in running long-distance races and indulging in various sports and adventures. However, here's a quirky titbit about me - I'm not exactly fond of insects, especially when they decide to join me in my hotel room during a holiday!

I don't just deliver a product but rather a tailor made an experience, to your needs. I'm here to share my extensive knowledge and experiences, all in the pursuit of bringing a smile to your face. I'm eager to hear about your travels and can't wait to relive your adventures through your photos.

With me your experience is personal and tailor made. I am always just a phone call away. Let's embark on this journey together!


Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

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My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Why you should keep travelling with young children?

23 October 2023

Well I believe having young children and travelling are not incompatible…I dare to say it is essential for the family bonding and the wellbeing of EVERYONE. Yes, travelling has been part of my life since I was two years old so I can say I fell into the cauldron young. I, personally, see travelling as an amazing way for the family to bond through discovery, discomfort (yes you read well), adventures, failure, laugh, the unknown…and time away from the routine. Don’t get me wrong, I think our children will not remember what they saw during these family trips…I sadly don’t remember the Matchu Pitchu I visited when I was 7 years old…but I remember the “Hacienda” (yes my love for hotels goes way back) we stayed around the site. Most importantly, I remember being with my parents, away from home, and having their unconditional attention. I remember learning from my dad how to order “Tres jugos de naranja por favour” (“3 orange juices, please”) as we were 3 young girls. I believe that all the travel, the unknown territories my parents brought us to, allow me to have a good general knowledge of different countries, geography, languages, history…and much more. This has enabled me to make conversation with people from all over the world but also, to be outspoken and comfortable with change. We visited Sri Lanka, two years ago, with my daughters being 6 and 7 years old at that time, and the itinerary involved changing hotels every night for a week and driving about 4 hours a day around the country. My husband was super apprehensive about it at first, he thought our daughters would never adjust…but they did! We wanted to see the country, not be on a beach which we can do in Dubai at any time of the year. It wasn’t always easy, but the key was to be prepared and to be willing to compromise. We did things that we (mum and dad) enjoyed like visiting 10001 temples and things that they enjoy like visiting the turtle rescue centre…most importantly we were together. Stay tuned for the “BE PREPARED” part, as my next blog will be about my best tips on how to get ready to travel with children??

My tips to make travelling with young children easier

08 November 2023

1. Choose you destination carefully. It seems like such a basic tip, but it is maybe the most overlooked one. Destinations that are appalling to you as a parent will most probably not be to your children. It is also crucial to not rely on what people say or what social media promotes. Your family is unique and that’s why, speaking to a Travel Counsellor about what you like to do in your spare time and places you enjoyed visiting in the past, are all relevant questions that can help you decide on the best fit for your family. We visited Bali, over the summer 2023 and I was told that it was a wonderful destination with children…. well I am not sure it was the “best fit” for my family. We very much like to explore and move around when we go somewhere, specially since my girls are now 7 and 8 and the long drive due to Bali’s traffic wasn’t the most pleasant part of our trip. Don’t get me wrong, we had a fabulous time. So, speak to someone who understands your needs and likes and tailor your wishes with the reality of the destination you have in mind. 2. Be prepared with the food. Snacks is what comes in my mind first: have plenty of them if you are travelling to a destination which is quite exotic has you won’t necessarily find the things your kids like. If they are hungry, they will make your travel time difficult. I find snacks very useful when doing a lot of driving around, in airplanes, trains… Another point is to consider the food offering in the hotels you will stay but as well as in the country in general. Specially if you have a few nights in the same place: how many times can they have the same pasta dish? Will the hotel be flexible and accommodate small requests? My last point is considering your journey timings. When we went to Sri Lanka, 2 years ago, our flight was landing in Colombo around 3 pm but I knew we would have at least 2 hours drive to our hotel near Sigiriya. We reached our hotel by 9pm as we got stuck in the city evening traffic. Luckily, I prepared a little picnic to have in the car…. I think my kids and husband never loved me as much as that day! There was nowhere decent on the way where could have stopped so definitely a 5 star moment for mummy. 3. Sticker books…the magic word!!! I am not big on-screen time and in some locations the internet is not even available, so I think activity books are the way to go, along with cards games. We also, ask them daily what they like the most and the least about the day and share our thoughts too. The girls also carry an empty notebook and draw and write about their days, like a little journal that they will, hopefully keep and enjoy reading when they are all grown up. Take pictures and videos but also know when to drop your screen and just be present. You spent a lot of money for this time off….be in the moment?? 4. Don’t neglect the essentials. Before packing, do your research: will I need mosquito repellent, sun protection (cream, hat, proper swimming costumes), goggles, water shoes, water toys, moisturizing cream, essential medicine, THERMOMETER… Make a list…. keep it safe in your phone for future trips and research the destination to know what you must bring! 5. Finally, involve your children BEFORE you even choose where to go. You can even involve them while choosing the destination as a family. A friend who has 4 teenagers, has all family members choose a destination and present it in front of the family one night. They each get one vote and at the end of the night, they know where they are heading next. I also encourage you to share your research about the destination with your children before going: the capital of the country, the itinerary, the currency, the history, the language, how to say “thank you”….the more you involve them, the more they feel part of the trip. We have some little traditions that have built up over the years: we collect birds houses from everywhere we go, for our garden back in Dubai, so the girls enjoy searching for them wherever we go.

Family skiing in the French Alpes…simply stunning

28 September 2023

During the February school break, we book an all-inclusive week at the ClubMed, Serre-Chevalier in the French Alpes and were not disappointed. Emirates has direct flights daily from Dubai to Lyon. For Serre-Chevalier, Turin airport would have been closer but as there are no direct flight from Dubai we opted for Lyon, while you can also land in Geneva and Milan. While landed in Lyon, the ClubMed representative was waiting for us with a luxury minivan and some other passengers that had arrived earlier. We had about 3 hours drive from the airport to the resort with a little stop over to shake our legs just before starting the climb to the station. We finally arrived at the resort around 6pm, just in time to collect our room keys. The check-in process couldn’t have been easier as there were several desks set up in the lobby with staff waiting for you, to hand over the keys and guide you through the next “Must do” before you indulge in nice French diner and an early night sleep. You are then invited to visit the skiing school (“Ecole Francaise de Skii”) also located in the lobby. The skiing instructors are they to guide you and recap on your skiing classes’s bookings made via the ClubMed app, prior your arrival. This isn’t mandatory as you may want to ski by yourself but if you are looking for some companions with similar level than you and an experimented guide and instructor, this is brilliant. Honestly, for me, this was the USP of the package as my husband and I don’t have the same skiing level and I don’t really enjoy skiing on my own…. The classes and language level initially booked from the app, can be amended at that time to fit your needs better. Next stop is the equipment room in the basement of the resort…. Yes!!! you don’t need to put on your coats….it is all in the same building?? I had pre-booked and paid all the equipment, from the ClubMed app prior to our arrival. This made our life much easier on the day of arrival at the resort. Professionals gear you up and show you the lockers allocated to your family, in the same basemen. A small corridor takes you then from the locker to a few slops and the shuttle access to the main skiing lifts of the domaine. Now, bear in mind that Serre-Chevalier is due for an extensive renovation where it is planned to include a direct access to the station lifts. And now you are set to simply enjoy your well deserve mountain break. The girls started their classes by 7:50am and were getting ready in the locker room with their team and their coach while adults started around 8:30. That leaves you enough time to indulge with a cup of coffee on the terrace overlooking at the mountains. As the girls were coming back from classes, earlier than us, we decided to let them have lunch with their friends, and the staff of the kid’s club. Personally, we used to pick them up right after we had our lunch to take them skiing on the easy slopes near by the hotel, but you can leave them in the afternoon club where many activities are organized in English and French. Snacks and beverages are available throughout the day, in self-service manner and evenings are filled with lots of activities for young and not so young…bingos, game nights, quiz night… The last Saturday is with no classes, for families to ski together, enjoy a hike around the mountain with a guide, take a private skiing class, indulge in a high-altitude lunch, visit the spa, do a yoga class…anything you want to leave this retreat refresh and renewed. Honestly, we can not wait to go back to try another ClubMed in the mountains. It catered all our family needs, and no one felt left behind. We felt safe and look after at all time. So get ready for the skiing season and contact me so that I can help you book, your dream skiing trip. By Sophie Anchan

Sri Lanka the “Pearl of the Orient”

23 January 2024

With my husband being from India, it took me over 13 years after having lived in the UAE to persuade him to give Sri Lanka a go…the fear was that it would be very similar than his home country and with so many other destinations easily accessible from the region, we always put it at the bottom of the list... In 2022, we finally went during the Easter break when our daughters were 5 and 7 years old. We absolutely loved it. After visiting India several times, I can honestly say that the two countries are similar in parts but not comparable at all. So pack your suitcases?? The political situation was starting to be quite tense, as the country suffered a lot during the pandemic, but I can honestly say that as tourists, besides the lack of petrol and some food items in restaurants, we felt totally safe and enjoyed an amazing break. We landed in Columbo, with our Emirates flight around midday and the arrival at the airport was super smooth and fast. Our driver/ guide was waiting for us with a big smile and flowers necklaces. As we live by the sea all year long, we decided to see as much inland as possible and then spend the last few days by the beach. So, from Columbo airport we headed straight to Sigiriya which was my absolute favourite. The drive from the airport was quite hectic due to the traffic at this time of the day, I think the journey took about three hours, so don’t forget to take some snacks you. Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of granite approximately 180 m high. The climb wasn’t easy, as the steps which are used to go up and down are super narrow … but we all managed with a few moans here and there from our girls. The view, from the top is stunning, but for me the most spectacular part was the wall paintings on the façade, but I won’t reveal more. This is a must see to visit. We decided to stay in a hotel near the city of Dambula as we were headed to Polonnarwa the next day; the second oldest of all Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first established as a military post by the Sinhalese kingdom. If you have been to Angkor Wat, this is very similar. On day 3, we drove down to Kandy, UNESCO world heritage site and stayed in a lovely hotel on top of the hill, where we could admire the entire city and the green mountains surrounding it. In Kandy, you must visit the Temple of the scared tooth relic where cultural shows are held daily. Another of my favourites, was the visit of the Peradeniya Garden on the way to Nuwara Eliya, where we could walk amongst 100 years old trees gifted by Royalties and Presidents from all over the world. The garden hosts a big colony of cute little monkeys that walk you through the park, which kept our girls walking nicely..?? On the way to Nuwara Eliya, you must stop for some tea shopping and get ready for some cooler weather, depending on the time of the year. We got to sit by the fireplace and enjoyed a nice cup of tea. Next up was the very famous “Instagramable” train ride that took us from Nanuoya to Ella…stunning scenery along the way with total immersion with locals as we had booked the slowest train… We then spent one night in Udawalawe where we did a short safari in the national park and saw a zillion elephants, from our roof topless jeep which the kids adored. Finally, the last 2 nights were booked in a lovely hotel in Galle, not far from the old town where life was really bussing. I loved the colonial heritage that left amazing architecture near by the Fort area. We enjoyed a mangrove tour, some time on the beach, walks in old streets with a little shopping and great food before heading back to Columbo to catch our flight back. If you are an outdoorsy family/couple/solo traveler looking for a mix of cultural and adventure, then Sri Lanka is just what you need. The flight is short, the people are warm and welcoming, and the greenery is refreshing break coming from our desert.

My customer stories

Sent by Patrizia Tenconi

Sophie is very knowledgeable and attentive to the customer's specific needs. She helped us planning the right vacation, found us the best solutions for flights, hotels, transfers and went above and beyond when issues arised to ensure our experience was as smooth as possible. She was always available and ready to help, we really recommend her.

Sent by Agopigue Emirian

Nous tenons à remercier Sophie pour ces compétences professionnelles suite à nos voyages dans différents pays d Asie. Nous avons eu un service remarquable tant au niveau du programme et suivi de Sophie, au jour le jour, de la bonne marche de notre voyage. Encore merci Jacqueline &Alain

Sent by Stacey Franklin

When I first started planning my Maldives trip I was so overwhelmed with all of the choices. Sophie made things so much easier by getting to know us and our preferences and finding the perfect resort to suit us which was absolute paradise. She made sure everything was arranged and booked in advance so we got to experience all of the restaurants and activities on the resort including a private dinner and a floating breakfast. We had an amazing holiday and it’s all thanks to Sophie for her detailed planning.

Sent by Giuseppe Sibilla

Sophie delivered outstanding service. My whole booking process was easy and she answered all my queries promptly which enhanced my experience, ensuring a smooth transition from my arrival to my accommodations at The Marriot. I’ll definitely be booking with Sophie again in the future.

Sent by Allwyn Almeida

Exceptional Travel Planning by Sophie I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for the outstanding travel planning services provided by Sophie, my dedicated travel counselor. Sophie has gone above and beyond. A few examples of this: - Sending me the updated baggage tag receipts once I have checked in, while she was in different time zone. - Co-ordinating with the hotel in USA while she is based in Dubai when there was some payment issue at Check in (night check in). All I had to do was drop her a WhatsApp message and by the next morning all was sorted. From the initial stages of discussing my preferences and interests to the meticulous planning of each leg of my journey, Sophie has demonstrated a level of expertise and dedication that is truly commendable. Her attention to detail, and thorough understanding of my travel requirements have made this planning process not only seamless but also incredibly enjoyable. With a hospitality background, Sophie commitment to ensuring that every aspect of my trip aligns is a classic example “Once a Hotelier, always One”, guess I just made this up ??. Beyond her professional competence, Sophie has also been a pleasure to work with. Her friendly demeanor, prompt communication, and willingness to accommodate my requests have made the entire planning process a delight. I genuinely appreciate the level of personalized service she provides, making me feel like a valued client. I look forward to embarking on many more trips, not just in 2024 but in the future. Thank you, Sophie. Warm regards, Allwyn Almeida Director of Projects – La Tavola SRL

Sent by Anonymous Marjolein

Bonjour Sophie, nous sommes arrivés hier à la maison. Encore mille mercis pour votre magnifique travail. Nos vacances étaient incroyables ?? Que de bons souvenirs. Très belle journée et à très vite

Sent by Irene Hayes

It was an excellent staycation. Sophie took care of everything, nothing was too much trouble, even with my last minute request to change to a dog friendly room (when I decided to bring my elderly Golden Retriever - Charlie along for a mini holiday also). A few simple clicks and everything was booked and arranged. Will definitely use Sophie again when looking at vacations and staycations again. Great value and she took the time to get the best rate for me. Have lived in Dubai for 17 years and had never been to Hatta. The hotel was great, very friendly helpful staff and the rooms were very nice. F&B was also nice and lots of activities in Hatta Fort that guests can participate in. Would highly recommend it! Thanks Sophie and Hatta Fort for a lovely staycation