Interview with Eduardo Blanco of Different Spain

Eduardo BlancoMy  second interview is with Eduardo Blanco of Different Spain, an agency which he runs independently.   Eduardo has worked in a number of luxury hotels (Cortijo Soto Real, Hacienda Boticaria  and San Roque Club), and had airline experiences in Barcelona and London. He ocassionally writes hotel reviews, co-operates in travel websites and blogs, and has been dealing with Different Spain since mid-2005.

What is it that  you do exactly?

I meet my clients at their hotel or villa with useful local information about things to do or see in the area, after picking them at the airport and letting them relax and check-in. Previously I may have arranged a daytrip to a nearby town or place, maybe car rentals and best table at a nice restaurant.   A visit to a typical cortijo in the countryside on the way back to the hotel, and tapas tour for dinner before giving them  VIP access to the best club in the city for a drink. In the meantime, I have secured that the hotel or villa staff will prepare a late breakfast and morning newspapers from their country before we experience other activities the following day: antiques shopping tour, wine tasting or horse ride at sunset. And I am available for them at anytime during their stay.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

My reward is the client’s satisfaction. Realizing that through my help and assistance, they feel more into the local way of life is very satisfactory. I love when they love the place, the city or the activity I have suggested, when they like the restaurant I book or when I take them around for a walk or find out about their lost luggage. I just don’t look at the clock when I am with clients because I love my job. And they pay me for that!

What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?

1. Durley House in London, UK  –  in the heart of the best district in London. My suite had a fully stocked kitchen, livingroom, bedroom and separate bathroom. The feeling of living like in a private home in the center of London with personal and friendly assistance at all times is a memorable remembrance.
2. Cascais Mirage near Lisbon, Portugal  –  my very large junior suite contained an impressive spacious bathroom and terrace overlooking the infinity pool and Cascais coast. Enjoying the great hotel facilities and a step from the vibrant nightlife and casino makes you feel like a celebrity!
3. Hacienda Zorita in Salamanca, Spain –  a quiet wine hotel with own winery, my suite was the Christopher Columbus suite, two levels with bathroom in each, Jacuzzi bath, separate living room, large bedroom and cosy atmosphere. Staying there is like getting away from the rest of the world and enjoying your own private countryhouse.

What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?

I had two: one at the restaurant of the Guadalpin Byblos hotel in Marbella, where I enjoyed a romantic dinner with my girlfriend, perfectly attended by the waiters and maitre, excellent food and wine and fantastic atmosphere.   The other one, at the Cascais Mirage restaurant. The maitre turned our hotel dinner into a marvellous experience. Service was simply perfect. Spacious place and candlelight dining. Great wines.

Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?

I ´ve had the pleasure to greet Tiger Woods and Sean Connery at The San Roque Club, Jude Law at Cortijo Soto Real, the Kings of Spain in Seville and Oprah Winfrey in New York in 1994 during a TV show. And I have bumped into Paul McCartney in the streets of London.

What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?

I’d like to stay at any One & Only resort, the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel in Greece and any Four Seasons around the world, since there aren’t any in Spain. And cities like New York, London or Barcelona are always in my mind. And if I add a Canon EOS 400 camera and a Vaio laptop to my gadget list, it will definitively match my Ipod.

Thanks, Eduardo. I wish you all the best for your new venture.

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