LUXE City Guides is the brainchild of Publishing Editor, Grant Thatcher, a British born writer and former actor. Grant studied at the acclaimed theatrical school RADA in London and performed with the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company playing opposite Ralph Fiennes and Simon Russell Beale before eventually moving to Asia. After moving from Bangkok to Hong Kong in 2001 Grant was constantly being asked where to stay, shop and eat in Bangkok; frustrated with the less than stylish guidebooks and the lack of up-to-date information on the market he made a personal list adding colloquialisms with unique no-faff brevity. This list - ?the best of the best? began to make the rounds via email and eventually turned up at a party in Singapore where Grant was advised that if he ?ever went to back to Bangkok, he mustn?t go without this list?.
Realising the gap in the market Grant decided to take the plunge and published the guide to Bangkok under the name LUXE City Guides. Consulting twenty-five Bangkok residents selected for their style and knowledge, Grant re-visited and scoured the city to make the kind of guide that was useful but had zero padding found elsewhere; no graphics, no pictures of ubiquitous market stalls stacked with mangosteens and chillies, and no advertising.
The LUXE guide is just like your resident, most in-the-know best friend who?s given you the inside scoop on all their favourite haunts. Today?s travellers don?t have time to wade through endless amounts of information, so LUXE re-thought the whole concept of why and how we travel, of what we need when we get there and, most importantly, what we don?t. The innovative, light and easy-to-use concertina format ensured the guide would fit into any shirt pocket or clutch, and 9 years on, there are now 35 titles across Asia, Europe, the USA and the Middle East, including a brand new series of family guides called Little LUXE.
Grant and his team work tirelessly to unearth all that is new and hip in each city, updating the guides online so they are constantly ahead of the game, and researching new titles. Grant still oversees the design, development, writing and editing of every guide, maintaining that unique LUXE combination of smart content and throwaway wit, with their iconic and unique covers. A passionate traveller, he is always on the lookout for the unusual, truly local and bespoke. Uniquely, LUXE City Guides have always been a collaboration between local contributors overseen by a resident editor, who is overseen in turn by Grant and the LUXE staff editors who fly into each city to check out all the shortlisted entries. No other guidebook on the planet does this, so all this attention to detail means, if it?s in LUXE, it?s in.
Grant is the Hong Kong Academy Chairman for the World?s 50 Best Restaurants, and has also written innumerable travel and style features for publications including Vanity Fair on Travel, The Times, The New York Times T Magazine online, Departures, Centurion, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The Independent, Food & Wine, Gourmet Traveller and Vogue Entertaining & Travel Australia.
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