Mariek Anselme is the Co-Founder of A.M.A Selections, the new premier luxury vacation rental agency on the French Riviera. Mariek currently resides in the South of France near Cannes. Although half French and half American by birth, Mariek grew up moving quite often and has lived in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Paris, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Exposure to cultural differences from an early age combined with a love for the hospitality industry have contributed to her resolve to create an unparalleled brand in the luxury travel industry on the French Riviera.
Before launching A.M.A Selections, Mariek founded an online company in 2009 selling bespoke fashion accessories and later pursued a Masterís degree in Luxury and Fashion Management. An ever-growing passion for travel, culture, luxury, and all things beautiful was the driving force in creating A.M.A Selections. Today, A.M.A Selections has a selected portfolio of just under 100 properties from Monaco to St. Tropez ranging from 7,000 to 120,000Ä per week, complemented with an exclusive range of concierge services. In keeping with the companyís philosophy, Mariek says, ďA vacation rental is a destination in itself and we pride ourselves on personally selecting all of our properties for the complete experience they have to offer.Ē
What is it that you do exactly?
Haha. Everything! I think as an entrepreneur of a new company itís really important to have a hands-on approach in all aspects of your business. No one should know your brand better than you and part of that means having worked in every role at all levels of the business. I answer emails, make phone calls, visit villas, write property descriptions, work on the website, meet new people (potential clients and partners), come up with new marketing strategies, work on social mediaÖthe list goes on! I am very lucky to have my business partner, Andre Saliu, and a great team to help with all of these tasks and more.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I can honestly say that I really love everything that I do. I especially love meeting all of the people and establishing new relationships with our clients, property owners, and partners. Itís inspiring to build work relationships and friendships with these people weíve met as we continue to grow our brand. It feels good to be part of a business that is focused on vacations; itís about bringing people together in one place, celebrating the beautiful French culture, and creating unforgettable experiences!
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
This is a hard question for me. Iíve been lucky to travel as much as I have. Anywhere with beautiful scenery, great company, and delicious food makes it in my book. I grew up going to St. Simonís Island, Georgia with my family and friends every year where we rented beautiful cottages and plantation style homes, rode bikes to explore the island, and fished for crabs from the pier. St. Simonís will always be one of my favorite places but Greece and Italy are at the top of my list too, and letís not forget the French Riviera!
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
Iíve had so many! I am a self-professed foodie; I love to cook and try out different recipes and I also love to eat out in great restaurants. For me, food is all about sharing an experience and for this reason the town dinner in Sardinia has to be one of my favorite dining memories. I stayed a week in Buggerru, a small fishing village in the south of Sardinia, where I was invited to take part in the traditional town dinner on the beach. I found myself immersed with the locals eating incredible fresh seafood they had just caught that morning, drinking great wine, and having lots of laughs. I will never forget this night!
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Yes I have, from the world of sports, entertainment, and business but I canít say names! We believe that ultimate discretion and privacy is truly an important part of someoneís holiday and we apply this to all our clients. In fact, this is part of our internal code of ethics.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
I have the longest list of places Iíd like to see! My next trip will be somewhere exotic… trips to Zanzibar and Marrakech are definitely in the making.
Thank you for taking part in our interview, Mariek. I can recommend both Zanzibar and Marrakech – each wonderful in their own unique way.