About Us
Ever since its inception in 2003, XO Private has always set out to be different, distinctive and refreshingly innovative in many ways. Today, this certainly hasn’t changed.

About XO Private


We believe that people create travel, we believe in genuine connections.
It all started with the idea of connecting luxury travel products with guaranteed affluent travellers. This resulted in the design and production of most inspiring coffee table books made available only to the most discerning of travellers via a closed network of high-profile corporate lifestyle partners (e.g. private banks, a helicopter manufacturer, luxury car manufacturers, private jet charter operators, superyacht charter companies, etc.). In absolutely no time, The Private Collection portfolios became highly coveted and developed into genuine collector items among the travelling elite worldwide to this very day.

Over the past 15 years, the luxury travel industry and world at large have experienced a tremendous leap forward through the high-paced rise and development of wireless telecommunications and the Internet. In other words, it was time for the XO Private team to differentiate itself and start pioneering once more by embracing this exciting new future with the launch of a membership-style platform that perfectly integrates what today’s connected world of high-end travel trade professionals requires and expects.
In its drive to continuously add value and provide a guaranteed return on investment, XO Private now connects the world of luxury travel by bringing together the most unique forms of accommodation, incredible experience operators and knowledgeable destination specialists with the most sought-after, creative travel designers worldwide.

Additionally, all XO Private Members are offered a wide range of most attractive, cost-effective services stimulating most valuable industry connections, including a prominent, shared presence at numerous of the leading, appointment-driven travel trade shows around the globe.

In other words, XO Private still successfully stands out within the high-end travel industry with its refreshingly distinctive, innovative approach that delivers on its promises.

Who We Are

The road to success can be rocky with more than a few bumps, potholes and thrill rides along the way, but as long as one embraces the journey and learns from the experience, what’s not to celebrate. XO Private’s own journey was born out of a passion for extraordinary travel experiences and adventure.

Yvan Vermeesch

Owner & Managing Director
A Belgian by birth, Yvan Vermeesch grew up in Uganda where his father worked for Sabena, Belgium’s national airline. Despite the country’s exotic allure, the Vermeesch family was soon the only expat family holding out, under the increasingly hairy dictatorship of Idi Amin Dada.After fleeting stints in Kenya, Burundi and South Africa, and rediscovering his roots studying back in Belgium, Yvan Vermeesch found himself restless for more travel adventures this time with an entrepreneurial twist. In his early twenties, he decided to try his hand at exporting Belgian speciality beers to the Caribbean until the notion was swiftly knocked on the head by a local brewing monopoly. With barely time to lick his wounds, Yvan Vermeesch ran into a multi-millionaire entrepreneur with a penchant for Belgian beer. After having been introduced to a few of this businessman’s close associates, he soon returned home with a fistful of exclusive rental contracts for some of the finest luxury villas and yachts of the West Indies. And thus Oxygen, his first bespoke tour operator, was born. 
To cut a meandering tale short, he then galloped through the corporate meetings and incentives industry, creating his own incentive house, before co-founding the Privilege Fair, a luxury and lifestyle show in Antwerp, Belgium.

After moving to Prague in 2002 to explore new opportunities, Yvan Vermeesch founded XO Private, a luxury publishing and marketing company, producing a yearly bespoke tome featuring the world’s most extraordinary properties. The series soon became a must-have publication adorning the coffee tables of the world’s travelling elite.

A lot has happened since these heady days. XO Private has enjoyed a tremendous growth around the globe and like a chameleon, kept pace with the ever-evolving face of high-end travel. Successfully steering the company into the digital age, Yvan Vermeesch takes great pride in connecting the finest players within the travel and lifestyle industry via a variety of most powerful, yet innovative and inspirational channels that turn ordinary journeys into extraordinary ones

Isabelle Van Passel

Born in the Flemish part of Belgium, yet speaking French at home, Isabelle enjoyed a bilingual upbringing. Over the years, this knack for languages developed into a passion and English, German, Spanish and Catalan soon followed suit. Isabelle is always studying another language when she sets foot in a new country in order to be able to get fully immersed in the culture and revel in it.

Given her fondness for words and books, studying Law was a logical choice. After completing a Bachelor of Laws in Antwerp followed by a Masters of Laws in Leuven, Isabelle obtained a Master in European Law (LLM) in Madrid in the Spanish language, as well as one in Equality Rights.

Hailing from Antwerp, location of the second largest Port in Europe, she went on to combine both languages and law by practicing maritime law, commercial and international contract law as a barrister in Belgium after having been granted a Bar Law Practicing Licence. Never shy of getting deeply involved, Isabelle simultaneously launched a Juvenile Law Magazine in Belgium with other lawyers and has been the editor for a couple of years.
On the verge of becoming a partner in the prestigious law firm, Isabelle realised that she was not ready to settle in Belgium yet. Offering legal services independently whilst travelling the world seemed became her new way of life. Whilst in Prague, she joined the XO Private family in 2002 as editor of The Private Collection series of coffee table books, and a couple of years in, opened the Palma branch and moved to Mallorca.

With the rise of social media, Isabelle enlisted for a course in London to facilitate the transition to online publishing. Always eager to develop new skills and innovate, she recently specialised in Legal Design Thinking, to write legal content with a more human-centred approach.

Whenever Isabelle is not with her head in a book, you can find her braving the waves on her stand up paddle board.

Roger Hyde

RISK Masters Director
Roger's passion for discovery began as a youngster exploring the stunning coastlines and rugged fells of northern England. These micro-adventures evolved into self-funded alpine climbing trips, competing in dinghy sailing world championships and raising the funds to travel to and help construct a community centre on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda, all taking place before the age of 18. These experiences helped lay the foundations for a lifetime of adventure, leadership, exploration in remote areas, and non-profit engagement.

Following more than a decade helping develop, manage and teach in meditation centres all over the world for a Tibetan Buddhist tradition charity, opportune connections led to the world of diplomatic level bodyguard provision and training. Intensive exposure and training led to a number of years working as an operative and occasional team leader on security and risk management projects globally, including bodyguarding, covert surveillance, secure communications, consultancy and training including tactical firearms, hostile area and advanced driving. This period saw a close relationship with a leading London based global concierge group through whom security work was subcontracted, as well as a luxury phone brand for whom he consulted on security and tracking technologies. A concurrent associated project saw the founding of a global disaster response non-profit, where Roger was an operational team member, as well as remote area communications manager.
During a 2010 four week sub-Saharan Africa safari deployment as bodyguard to a middle-eastern Prince, Roger saw an opportunity to develop such creative and unique journeys himself. This set the course for the subsequent ten years, during which time Roger developed Dulabab Travel to focus entirely on risk managed yet unique and creative luxury travel.

Unqualified when leaving school, he has subsequently gained a CertHE in International Relations & Development Studies, and a BA Hons in International Relations. These academic qualifications are more importantly supplemented by formal training in off-shore and remote area medicine, offshore powerboat handling, advanced scuba diving, off-road driving and tactical rescue helicopter operations. 

Now, having travelled and worked in more than 80 countries starting as a young independent adventurer, followed by non-profit establishment, diplomatic level security and risk management, disaster response, luxury concierge, and the highest echelons of experiential travel and business management, Roger is well placed to bring together the worlds of high-end travel and risk management with XO Private Risk Masters.

Philippe Perreaux

flight Masters Director
Born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Philippe Perreaux was only eight years old, when life’s masterplan rattled his childhood. His family moved to Zürich. This sudden relocation into German-speaking parts of Switzerland, change of environment, culture and language, laid a deep foundation for his future ability to adapt. Before he knew it, he was bilingual. Later, he added English and Spanish.

As life in Switzerland goes, he followed a rigid and punctual education system and already at the age of 15 he started working as an apprentice for the national Newsphoto Agency KEYSTONE. With 15 years of experience in the company, he grew into an analogue archivist and accompanied their transition to a leading digital Newsphoto Agency. 

It was during his law studies, that he found an escape in the great outdoors, paragliding the swiss Alps. It quickly extended to a passion allowing for flying adventures and turned into the lifestyle of an aviation enthusiast. Upon graduating in law at the University of Zürich, he made a name for himself as a legal advisor specialised in copyright. He worked with various companies from small start-ups to global corporations and travelled widely as a conference speaker.  
The conventional career path turned into a meandering journey of various interests centred around Aviation, Art, Law & Technology. His adventurous lifestyle was overtaken by his academic career and although he enjoyed the work as a legal and IT consultant, his longing for flying prevailed.

After all, there was only one thing that would stop him in his daily rush. The sound of a helicopter.
At the age of 38, he took the radical decision to leave behind a promising corporate career and followed up on his childhood dream of becoming a professional helicopter pilot and flight instructor. Today, he runs Helimalloroca offering exclusive helicopter services across the Balearics. 

Laura Rodriguez

estate Masters Director
Born and raised in Barcelona, Laura was educated in a French school and lived in the UK for a year prior to the age of 18, always eager to see life and the world from different perspectives. As soon as she started her first job within a public entity related to the EU, it became crystal clear to her that she would grow professionally in a global and multicultural environment. Being in daily contact with other European member countries and continuously travelling between them inspired her greatly.

The next chapter of her life saw her entering the tourism industry by coincidence. Always working on the international side of the business while growing into a passionate and senior marketeer, she got hooked on the hospitality business for life. After various stints managing sales and marketing departments within mid to larger-sized global businesses, she quickly came to realize that her destiny was in ‘out of the ordinary’ travel. Boutique hotels boasting a memorable history, incredible style and an outstanding service where each and every guest mean much more than a mere room number became her passion. Laura gradually developed her own criteria and personal taste regarding the DNA of what makes discerning travellers feel good or … not.

After launching her own consulting business 10 years ago, followed by her representation firm, and going from one client and/or source to the next on a daily basis, she identified early on the increasing demand for private villas, mansions, fincas, cortijos, haciendas, urban retreats, châteaux, palaces and/or mountain lodges. More than just feeling at home, guests wanted to experience a property as if it was theirs for a few days while enjoying the art of travel.

Laura’s recognised success in developing business for luxury villas and private estates lies in establishing strong relationships between luxury travel designers seeking a high standard of service on the one side and property owners seeking the best partners to develop their business in a very selective manner on the other. A balanced approach taking into account the individual traveller’s profile and the property’s uniqueness, authenticity, soul and destination ensure the creation of the finest bespoke and memorable travel experiences.

Markus Laahanen

wine Masters Director
With his original roots in Finland, Markus Laahanen became a true citizen of the world early on in his career and never looked back.

Having started his career in the hospitality business in the kitchen as a Chef, it didn’t take Markus long to work his way up the ladder to Chef de Cuisine. When he found himself restless in the kitchen, he decided it was time to explore the operations side of the business and dedicated himself to improve the service and dining experience. It wasn’t until he also mastered the beverage business, with a focus on wines and becoming a sommelier that Markus decided it was time to move on.

His international journey kicked off in Spain where he set up a restaurant business featuring a Mediterranean fine dining concept as well as a tapas restaurant with both boasting a selection of cocktails, beers and wines carefully selected by him.

He then embarked on a journey building a hotel career that saw him involved in the opening of The Setai in Miami and The Chedi Milan respectively, both for GHM Hotels, the award-winning hotel management company.  Next chapters took him to the Maldives and back to Spain for Six Senses Hotels & Resorts and onwards to the Dominican Republic and Anguilla to develop and open hotels with exciting food and beverage concepts, such as the Caribbean’s largest rum room with over 120 different labels.
Markus later returned to Europe to develop innovative hotel concepts across Portugal and Spain, including the PGA Catalunya resort where he repositioned the Hotel Camiral to be affiliated to the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World by introducing world-class service standards. Next on his journey was a stint in Mexico taking two existing properties to a new level before heading their expansion into Latin America and Europe.

In 2020, Markus could no longer resist the call of Portugal to lead a new, high-end boutique hotel into the culinary world by joining Relais&Châteaux with most enticing food concepts based on local, sustainably harvested produce paired with the finest Portuguese wines.

Throughout his career, Markus has always made sure to follow his passions, travel and wine. Actually, mostly wine.

XO Private Ambassadors

It all starts with authentic connections.
The XO Private ambassadors are experts in making these real connections happen and are always on the look-out to innovate and grow within the bespoke travel industry, and the XO Private Brand. Connecting with our community is a powerful thing and we believe that every connection can spark something amazing.”
Gabriela Markova
Gabriela Markova is a hotellier with over 18 years of experience. Growing up in turns in Czech Republic, Paraguay and Switzerland, she had all supposition to end up in the travel & tourism industry. Gabriela entered the world of luxury hotellerie by joining Mandarin Oriental Group, where she stayed nearly a decade, before moving to Velaa Private Island in the Maldives. End of 2018 Gabriela moved to Prague, where she founded GM Selection.
Rachele Belladelli
Rachele Belladelli is the owner of Unique Retreats, a sales and marketing consultancy firm for small luxury hotels. With a degree in Economics and a passion for hospitality, prior to launching her firm she has gained her experience working as DOSM for luxury iconic properties in Italy and Spain. Italian born, with an international upbringing Rachele has returned to Italy in 2000 where she currently resides.
Nadine Gobisch
Nadine Gobisch founded her company Nadine Gobisch, Luxury Hospitality Consulting after gaining extensive experiences at the regional office of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., as well as at various Kempinski properties in the Middle East. With her own consultancy, she continued her path as Inspirateur for luxury hotels and realized her current role as her greatest passion. 
Vivian Chambers
Vivian Chambers started her career with JP Morgan Chase after graduating with a degree in finance. She soon discovered that her passion lay in the hospitality industry, and shortly after joined The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. where she was responsible for Event Marketing & Management on a global platform. Vivian was instrumental in maintaining the LHW brand and creating market awareness for their portfolio of hotels. Vivian’s determination, unrelenting drive and commitment to her clients are unrivaled in the industry.  
Yeishan Goel
As Chief Executive of THRS India & GCC, Yeishan has spent over a decade in decoding the luxury travel & hospitality trends in Asia. He is well known for his expertise in consultative sales, creative marketing, travel trade engagement, and brand development which stems from his passion for understanding the evolving tourism and lifestyle landscape in the world. Yeishan spent his early years in consulting assignments with McKinsey & Co, Dell, and Wipro, the Indian tech giant. He fell in love with luxury travel when he set up his first hospitality focussed business and now remains invested in several new industry segments in India and the Middle East.
Elena Vetrova
Elena Vetrova’s career in the travel industry started back in 1996. After graduating from Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in Economic geography and International tourism, Elena felt the passion for expanding the definition of «travel» in Russia. She firstly joined TTG Russia publication, which focuses on travel industry news (hotels, destinations, airlines and others) and a few years later she founded Travel Media representative company. Elena's extensive work experience, great product knowledge and determination enabled many foreign hoteliers to introduce their products to the Russian market as well as for the Russian travel industry to rely on Elena’s expertise in much key decision making.