For the discerning traveler looking for a luxurious travel adventure, an excursion with Mezzanotte Luxury Tours is a not-to-miss experience. The independent travel agency based in Cypress marries unique travel experiences with detailed concierge service provided by its globe-trotting owners, Gerry and Adriana Sarmiento. After years of traveling around the globe as corporate executives, the two built the tour company as a way to share their love of exquisite dining and enchanting cultural excursions. The business grew organically from the couple’s upscale Italian eatery, Mezzanotte Ristorante on Grant Road, where Gerry is the chef and Adriana runs front of the house operations. When word spread that the two were arranging travel adventures for restaurant clients and friends, the pair decided to launch Mezzanotte Tours in order to serve more guests.
Mezzanotte offers small-group tours as well as private travel arrangements for the guest who wishes to immerse themselves in the finest aspects of their destination’s local culture. From the Italian countryside, to fabulous wineries in Spain and Portugal, to the frozen glaciers of Patagonia, travelers can expect a seamless, exclusive experience.
“We basically take everybody by the hand through these adventures,” Gerry says. "We look at every single detail of what’s in the trip so people don’t have to worry about anything."
The couple arranges every meal, cultural visit and transportation logistics. They work with trusted local guides to make their journey a relaxing immersive experience and make sure the tours are filled with culinary stops off the beaten path. Guests might peruse a boutique winery and have a private visit with the winemaker or meet with award-winning chefs. Many tours include dining at establishments awarded the Michelin star, the ultimate mark of globally-renowned culinary excellence.
When it comes to lodging, the Sarmientos spare no expense. Staying at the most sophisticated places with first-class cuisine is paramount. During their trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico they arranged for lodging at the Rosewood Hotel, rated the #1 hotel in all of Mexico. When visiting Matera, Italy, tour guests stayed in a five-star hotel built inside ancient caves equipped with exquisite modern amenities.
“We don’t believe in just staying in a big international hotel,” Adriana says. “We want to provide that unique, top-notch experience with local flavor.”
Gerry and Adriana draw their travel inspiration from their years of corporate travel and personal backgrounds. Gerry–a professional chef and wine sommelier–is a native of Peru and Adriana– also a wine sommelier–is originally from Mexico. During their tours, they often visit museums, vineyards and artistic attractions close to their hearts. The two are fond of ancient cultural landmarks such as Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel built high in the Andes Mountains. They also both enjoy sharing the hidden gems nestled in Mexico’s less touristy spaces.
“What we love is for our guests to be exposed to an idea of Mexico that they didn’t even know existed,” Adriana says.
This shared experience creates a way for travelers to intimately connect with their local destination while building genuine relationships. Many in the group begin the tour as strangers but leave as friends. The tour starts with a pre-travel stateside dinner where guests can get acquainted with each other and address their travel questions over fine wine and meals at Mezzanotte Ristorante. There, guests learn all about the destination, cultural excursions, how to pack, how to handle international phone use or medical concerns.
Finally, for the traveler seeking an even more personalized, private experience, Mezzanotte Tours offers detailed itineraries and tailor-made excursions with the Sarmientos’ personal touch. Travelers can visit unique destinations at their own pace, but still keep Gerry and Adriana a phone call away.