"It all started with a 5-month trip to Nepal."
After 6 years at Scott Dunn specialising in the Indian subcontinent and Middle East, I have become Scott Dunn’s Tailormade Product Manager focusing on new and interesting experiential itineraries around the world. I love getting off the beaten track into rural landscapes and discovering the unique nuances of a destination, and always finding out new and exciting experiences or hot places to go. I began travelling at 17 when I headed off on a month-long expedition to Bolivia, climbing mountains and heading into the Amazon. My love of the subcontinent started on a 5-month trip to Nepal on my gap year teaching English and exploring the whole country. Whilst at University, I specialised in East India Company history, which allowed me to return twice more to the subcontinent, and I have now spent 2 years of my life travelling through the Indian subcontinent, covering 19 separate trips. In addition to this, I have travelled extensively through the Middle East, exploring the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.
Favourite places I’ve been
My absolute passion is Nepal; a country that defies belief in how beautiful and diverse it is from high mountains to the fascinating backstreets of the mediaeval city of Bhaktapur. I have covered a lot of ground in India, and always say you can’t do it all at once. There are still parts that I aim to get to, but I will always love the Himalayan states, and the off the beaten track gems in Karnataka. You also can’t overlook Rajasthan which just gets better and better each time you visit. Calcutta is my favourite city culturally, and Mumbai my favourite place to head out for dinner or drinks. I will never quite forget Bhutan, and really want to return to head further into its rural heartlands. Moving onto Sri Lanka, it offers the best selection of small, boutique hotels anywhere I have been, and with such a mix of historical sites, tea estates and palm-lined beaches – something for everyone. The Maldives offers picture-perfect desert island living, and it is my continual aim to be able to offer island hopping by private dhoni! The Middle East is always of particular fascination, whether it is the boldness of Dubai, or the welcoming nature of the Bedouins in Jordan. The depth of historical sites on offer in Jordan is of particular interest. One of my favourite experiences was driving across the Western Desert in Egypt to Siwa, before heading down the Nile to satisfy my historical fix. The Roman remains in North Africa (Tunisia and Morocco) were spell-binding, and too the drive from Fez to the Sahara and back to Marrakech which was one of the best road journeys I have done to date.
01. Make sure you try to get off the beaten track in India to ensure you see the colourful markets and dramatic landscapes; so many people just stick to the cities which can be a little intense after a while.
02. When your children are getting a little older, there’s nothing better than heading off on a family adventure. It’s something all of you will absolutely adore.
03. Balance your experiences in India; try out different styles of hotels, from the boutique, palace, heritage or luxury; mix diverse experiences, rather than an endless list of temples; and try and take your time by not trying to see everything and rushing too much. It’s a holiday!
My hot picks
01. Ahilya Fort, Madhya Pradesh – a place where you and your fellow guests are the only tourists for hundreds of miles. It’s unique and utterly refreshing to be in a hotel that doesn’t make you feel like a tourist, but a guest of the Maharaja.
02. 360 Leti, Himalaya – so far into the high Himalaya that even the locals are intrigued. Take day trips into the unknown, seeing Himalayan life undisturbed and at its most fascinating. To me, it’s the ultimate Himalayan hideaway.
03. Tranquil Plantation, Kerala – my choice of the south, a retreat with some wonderful hosts, Victor and Gini, and an estate to roam by day. At night, all guests sit around a large table and natter about the day’s adventures.
What's will you marry me in Nepali?
What my guests have said
"We just wanted to say an enormous thank you for a arranging such a fantastic family holiday. The itinerary you put together for us gave a wonderful introduction to the area and it was so much fun to try out so many different experiences. Each location/accommodation had its own charms and we were looked after royally wherever we were based. The drivers from your local ground handlers were excellent. One of our best holidays ever!"
"Marcus, Thank you, thank you, thank you for organising such an amazing trip; it was absolutely wonderful!"
"Thanks to Marcus for recommending a perfect programme for myself and my daughter. She thought it fabulous and thoroughly enjoyed all the different activities suggested by Marcus, particularly Petra Kitchen. Our driver was excellent and went out of his way to ensure that we saw everything we wanted and nothing was too much trouble. We could not have been more pleased with all the arrangements. Thank you."
"Marcus had clear, authoritative first hand knowledge of Scott Dunn's Egypt offering which was invaluable. This was probably our best holiday ever. All aspects of our experience were first class and the Scott Dunn service in putting together a holiday tailored to our requirements was invaluable. Well done!"
“Everyone agreed it was the best holiday we ever had been on. Not a single thing went wrong the whole trip. Our driver, as requested, was safe, courteous and protected. It was a very special trip. Thanks. The ground handlers were very helpful and I spoke to them numerous times about changing schedules.. All of which was smoothly dealt with.”
"Marcus Potter was very helpful, patient and responsive and was at all times highly professional and knowledgeable. From a fairly wide brief he came up with exactly with what we wanted."
"Marcus, thanks again for helping put together such a great trip, it was so well organized and we liked all our stops and the hotels. The driver, Vikram, was excellent. We really enjoyed it and my daughter and I decided we would definitely go with Scott Dunn on our next trip!"
"Scott Dunn have done us proud - pass on our thanks to Marcus if you speak to him and thank him for the card he kindly sent to Agra. Tomorrow we are off to Goa for the R & R bit. But I shall be sad to leave Rajasthan and our lovely driver who has looked after us so well in a smart Toyota with a SD badge on the front! We are in beautiful Udaipur at present staying in a really supadupa hotel which, happily, is in the same group as the one we stay in in Goa. The Pushkar camel fair was quite an experience. I'm not sure that it was the best bit of our trip but I'm certainly pleased Marcus insisted we went there - quite extraordinary. I've never seen so many camels in my life and there were lots of strange things going on. We ended our evening there doing Hindu prayers by the lake and I am still sporting the little bracelet we earned."
"I thought the level of support and guidance to be first class. Marcus managed to identify a very good hotel given a broad remit. He also put together a combination of deals which brought down the overall cost. Requests for rooms were delivered and we were particualrly pleased with this."
"Marcus Potter is excellent. He has an intimate knowledge of all places we stayed in and all travel links. His advice was invaluable throughout and gave great back up when we needed it."
"Marcus as always is a rock star.... my 4th trip with him."
"USA as well – is there no end to your geographical reach?"
"Wow! Thank you!! I've just finished reading through the material you attached on Ladakh and Amanbagh, and it's a little like you got inside my head and pulled out precisely the kind of adventure I was hoping for! We were lucky to see quite a lot of Asia while living in Vietnam, and weren't sure where else to find something as untouched, culturally rich, and ripe for adventure as we had found in Myanmar... but you seemed to have found just the kind of experiences we had in mind."
"Marcus was able to plan a fabulous honeymoon for us via email. We loved our trip to Morocco, it was a diverse trip with lots of things to see and do as well as time to relax. Great food, lots of amazing scenery and cultural diversity. He was easy to work with, had a superb knowledge of the local area and would definitely use Scott Dunn again for trips to Africa."
"I can’t book a holiday with anybody else but you, ever again.."
"It was a fabulous trip - a truly memorable set of experiences. Marcus was really impressive in his knowledge of the region, and throughout our planning, I had complete confidence that he was doing the very best for us. I will recommend him to anyone who is looking for that kind of trip to India and Nepal. Will be back in touch when we're thinking about our next big trip. I would usually do it all myself independently, but this year was a great result, so thank you. "
"Marcus is simply fantastic.. unfailing service as the trip changed a thousand times."
"We had a wonderful holiday in Oman, thank you. Marcus was a great help and everyone else we spoke to was also a real pleasure to deal with. The booking process was very straightforward and the recommendations made by your team were excellent. I’m sure I will be in touch to book another trip with you before too long!!"
"I wanted to drop a quick thank you note for the amazing holiday we had at Gili Lankanfushi. We arrived and were treated like VIPs from the word go and everyone knew we were a special guest of Scott Dunn and we were treated as such. I asked my future husband to try Scott Dunn and all I kept saying was "see!! Scott Dunn sorted it all" and he had to agree. So I thank you for showing him how important we are and also for allowing me to say "I told you so!" (love that bit). Thanks again for making this trip really special and truly outstanding."