Not a fireside chat but, in true Life by the Blonde style, a poolside chat. The Globetrotter is our journal where we catch up with interesting and stylish men we meet on our travels. A globetrotting assortment of stylish bon vivants and discerning travellers with a sunshine state of mind.
This month we are poolside with globetrotter Paul Cleary, CEO at Caribtours.
Caribtours specialises in tailor-made luxury holidays to the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, USA, Indian Ocean and Arabia. Paul, a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for style, travel, customer service and Negroni, speaks to us about his style, life, and love of travel.
Morning Paul, could you introduce yourself?
I'm Paul Cleary, the Owner and CEO of Caribtours, the UK's leading luxury holiday company. Our award-winning team specialise in arranging bespoke holidays to the most desirable destinations on the planet including the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Arabia and Europe. We have walked on every beach, slept in every hotel and swapped stories with the locals and we love to share our experiences with our guests.
When I'm not travelling, I love to spend time at home in the West Sussex countryside with my family and our Italian Greyhound Rudi and 2 Pygmy Goats. I also run the London marathon every year.
Where was the last place you travelled to?
I just returned from Sugar Beach in Saint Lucia - a gorgeous hotel situated bang between the two iconic volcanic Piton mountains - Saint Lucia is one of my favourite Caribbean Islands and Sugar Beach is one of my favourite hotels In the world.
You’ve seen more beaches in the world than most; which is your favourite beach in the world and why?
There is a beach in Mexico, right next to the archaeological ruins in Tulum called Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach). It is outrageously beautiful, and I love it there. During my last visit, we spent a day with good friends drinking iced bottles of Dos Equis and eating Coconut Shrimp - the perfect beach day.
What piece of clothing do you never go on holiday without? Or how do you stay stylish when travelling?
What’s the first item you pack?
Sunglasses. I wear Ray Ban Justin’s XL because they are the only sunnies that suit me and would be lost without them. I have five pairs in five different colours.
What’s the best piece of travel advice you’ve ever received?
Speak to the locals and you will discover places, beaches and adventures that you won't find anywhere else. Too many people rely on Trip Advisor and generic internet platforms to shape their experience - Don’t. Just get chatting to your taxi driver, waiter or server at the bar and you will find your own adventures.
What is your favourite bar, and what do you order when you get there?
I love the Island of Nevis in the Caribbean - It is very low key and very much off the beaten track which is why I love it so much. My favourite bar in the whole world is called Sunshine's, set right on Pinneys Beach. Their signature cocktail is called the Killer Bee and like all the best cocktails, the ingredients are a closely guarded secret. All I will say is that one is not enough and three is far too many!
If you could have any other job in the world, what would it be?
I genuinely feel that I have the best job in the world and wouldn't swap it for the world. Before falling into travel, I would have loved to get into fashion - I always pictured myself being a fashion buyer and sitting on the front row of New York fashion week - I am certain that I had none of the qualities for this role but I would have loved the glamour.
Style is clearly important to you; what made you choose Life by the Blonde to collaborate with?
CARIBTOURS is a private owned boutique business that stamps our own style and personality on everything we do - we create unique bespoke experiences that we know people will love. The first time I came across the Life by the Blonde website - with its flair and great tone of voice and a carefully curated selections of items, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. We love what Life by the Blonde does and the way that they do it.
What’s your favourite Club 826 piece, and why?
The Antigua linen shirt in French Navy is my favourite. Perfect for either a casual lunch on the beach or a dressy cocktail party under the stars -always versatile and always stylish.
Describe your happiest travel memory.
I was 23 years old, and my boss at the time needed me to travel to the Caribbean to help sort out some issues that had arisen. I was young and left alone to travel around the Caribbean on and off for six months. I loved everything about it and remember driving back to my Villa every night while the sun was setting, listening to Bob Marley on the radio realising that I had hit the jackpot with my career choice.
QUICK FIRE ROUND!
Pool or beach?
Beach every time
Swim shorts or surf shorts?
Ski or surf?
That is like being asked to choose your favourite child!! Sunny holidays just edge It
Smart or casual?
Sunrise or sunset?
Sunrise - everyone gets to enjoy the sunset but the sunrise is reserved for us early birds
Party with friends or dinner with a loved one?
Dinner with a loved one
Shirts or tees?
Thank you Paul, it;s been a pleasure to have this poolside chat with you. I think it's time for a Negroni?