“Adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you.”
What began as two friends with successful careers in finance and a penchant for lavish adventures at under-the-radar places, has become South America’s go-to luxury travel company. In 2003, founders Paul Irvine and Henry Madden found themselves longing for a life beyond the corner office. During a holiday in Brazil they realised that existing South American travel companies had a huge blind spot. Traditional travel agents simply weren’t catering to the type of traveller who, like themselves and their city peers, were looking for a high level of service and a degree of luxury, but were also yearning to get off the beaten track. Tourists on “luxury” package tours were invariably being funnelled in to just a handful of soulless international resorts, overlooking the huge potential of the region. They combined this insight with their existing business skills to create South America’s first experience-led luxury travel company.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
They went back to London, and bid farewell to friends and family, “It felt like we were leaving on a steamer,” says Paul, “we were determined to make it work and we weren’t going to stop until we did.” They instinctively knew that the best place to be was on the ground, so they could be ahead of the curve, and on hand to personally create impromptu surprises and solve unexpected issues. For the next twelve months, they hired boats and seaplanes, got lost in the jungle, washed up on secluded beaches and discovered bijou 9-room pousadas. It may not have been the most economical or the smartest way to start a travel company but such is the nature of obsession.
“It’s not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
The field work paid off and word-of-mouth led to an early mention in Vogue. Today Dehouche is an industry leader and consults the world’s leading luxury resort groups looking to enter South America. The company has expanded its team, united by a philosophy of local immersion and a policy of continuously testing, trying, and re-visiting to create experiences that are impossible to create from afar.After all, Paul and Henry didn’t leave the corporate world to offer a corporate experience. Dehouche’s aim is simple: To create unparalleled holidays for our clients, that are meticulously designed with the flexibility to change as inspiration strikes. We want our clients to experience the region with the same sense of wonder as we did, on that very first trip.