London Office

Ria Santamaria

As a former banker married to a finance executive, I know full well that every holiday time is incredibly precious. I learned to plan my holidays to maximize every experience, create bonding moments with our two sons wherein we could discover the world and its myriad cultures together. I grew up in Manila, raised my family in Singapore and spent a three-year post in London.

Ria Santamaria

I have experienced iconic travel adventures, such as going on safari in Botswana, marvelling at the aurora borealis in Iceland, celebrating the Carnevale in Venice, walking the Camino de Santiago route from Portugal to Spain, trekking the Inca trail to reach Machu Picchu and marvelling at the stars from Salar de Uyuni while camping out of an Airstream.  But the most special trips for me happened when we interacted in quiet ways with the locals, such as when we swam with dolphins in Kaikoura, New Zealand or explored the Flores islands onboard a traditional Indonesian boat to witness the Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. On city stops, I became a culture vulture, absorbing what everyday life is like elsewhere. I’m happiest browsing art galleries, flea markets and checking out the fresh produce in the local markets. As of late, most of my holidays have involved the outdoors and nature and I have an ongoing love affair with Lapland.

Choosing to work at Scott Dunn was borne from an epiphany that since travel has done so much to enrich my life, I am most passionate about endorsing these experiences to others.

Favourite places I've been

My hot picks

My top tips

  • Wander the quaint village of St Paul de Vence, a town laced with art galleries and boutiques. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at La Colombe d'Or where the likes of Picasso, Matisse and Miro dined, admiring the walls adorned with their masterful works of art.

  • From Barcelona, carve out some time to visit the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres and spend a few nights at the beautiful seaside village of Cadaques, home to Casa Dalí.

  • Treat yourself to some frittelle and chiacchiere during the Carnevale di Venezia - culinary delights that are only available at that time of the year!

  • When in Vienna or Salzburg, pop into the Sacher café to sample the original Sacher torte, the world's most famous chocolate cake.

  • Indulge in an amazing delectable Venetian lunch whilst exploring the backwaters of the city on board Eolo, a traditional fishing sailboat with chef-cum-skipper, Mauro.

  • E-bike your way (with ease!) through the rolling Tuscan countryside, crossing vineyards and olive groves, discovering medieval villages, castles and antique wine cellars along the way.

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