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.
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.
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 …
After getting introduced to the travel industry when landing a first job at Vanilla Tiger, a bespoke travel designer based in Geneva, it became clear to her that this was the path she wanted to follow. After all, she was a curious soul with an open mind and always keen to explore the world at large.
True to her conviction, Apolline Addor enrolled in the famous Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne (EHL) as it offered her the perfect stage for a promising, most exciting future abroad. With EHL’s main pillars standing for a unique spirit, an international network and warm hospitality, what was not to like? Memorable internships followed in both Berlin and Rome while mastering their respective languages.
While building the foundation of her future career, Apolline Addor still managed to make the necessary time for some of her other passions: music – as a gifted violin player Apolline is in her finest element on stage; sailing – always searching for some form of freedom, sailing the seas offers her exactly that; and, last but not least, travelling – to feed her continuous hunger to discover new cultures and discover new forms of gastronomy.
A hotelier at heart, Apolline Addor worked her way up the corporate ladder at iconic properties such as the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne and Villa Magna in Madrid. A knack for sales, meeting new people and organizing events quickly became apparent.
During her recent stint in Madrid, she fell in love with the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and decided to call it home.
Now, based on the island of Mallorca, Apolline Addor joined XO Private, the perfect playground to combine all her passions and make a difference.
Growing up between Spain and the UK, gave Adrienne an innate understanding of cultural diversity, and awoke the eagerness to explore different cultures, accentuated by long childhood road trips through rural France, England, Spain, and Ireland.
Always excited to develop new skills, she came upon the employment of a boutique hotel chain in Hampshire during High school, purely by chance, and discovered her adoration for the hospitality industry. Adrienne received a scholarship to enroll in a hospitality business management at Santiago de Compostela University. The program’s hands-on philosophy brought about enriching internships in luxury hotels in the South, the Canary Islands and finally in Qatar.
Adrienne made herself at home in Qatar and matured her skills at the St Regis Doha, where she worked a number of years with the Starwood Hotels regional corporate office. Fascinated by Arabic culture and lifestyle, she travelled within the region whenever the opportunity arose.
Luckily her hobbies generally coincided with her career choice, which include her love of the arts and gastronomy as well as participating in a variety of different sports.
More recently Adrienne happened upon Mallorca, paradise on a rock in the Mediterranean, which she couldn’t seem to leave and continued to pursue her career in travel as a luxury travel designer. Joining the XO Private family provided Adrienne the opportunity to expand horizons, blending her passions and skills into aiding to connect the artisans of lifetime journeys.