London with My Father

September 25, 2015

The perks of having a son in the travel industry? Extraordinary birthday trips. Jason Miller, founder & CEO of The Accomplished Traveler, tells us about the adventures he planned for his dad in London and Sicily.


My dad isn’t Italian, but you wouldn’t know it. He grew up in Manhattan near Little Italy, and he’s always identified with Italian culture. His favorite movie is – you guessed it – “The Godfather.” He must have seen it 100 times. He even looks Italian. So in honor of his birthday, I decided to plan a trip to the “mother country.” I wanted to start the journey in London, so I gave him a plane ticket to Heathrow and told him the rest of the journey would be a surprise.


before takeeoff


In London, we stayed at the Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel, ideally located in Mayfair, just steps away from some of the city’s best shopping and dining. Sir Rocco Forte owns more than 10 five-star hotels throughout Europe. He happened to be throwing a party for some of his friends and colleagues at the Brown’s Hotel, and I loved the idea of attending with my father as my plus-one.


We checked into a stunning two-bedroom suite. My father found the staff particularly hospitable, and we were both impressed with the service. We were also taken with the hotel’s rich history and mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. It’s actually where Alexander Graham Bell made the first-ever telephone call, which my dad excitedly pointed out. The hotel treated us to lunch upon our arrival, and we both knew we were in for a relaxing, superb stay.


That evening, we met our friend Nick Sievewright for drinks at the property’s iconic Donovan Bar. If you’re looking for a good cocktail, try the One Way Ticket, a gin-based drink served over ice and accompanied by a fictitious copy of Rocco’s father’s train ticket to London. As the drink name implies, he never made his way back home. Over cocktails, I persuaded my father to accompany me to a nearby hotel to visit a friend. He was a bit tired, but I insisted, and he was certainly glad he conceded. The friend was Kate Hudson, who immediately fell under the spell of my father’s authenticity and charm.



Kate Hudson


“First we met Kate’s assistant Madeleine and then, low and behold, there was Kate! She was sitting right there and an absolute sweetheart. I was quite happy I went,” recalls my dad, who I reached out to for input to help me retell our story.


The next day, we ate at a New York-style diner (my father’s comfort food), shopped, explored and rested up before Rocco’s party. My dad, Robert Miller, shines in any social situation. He’s one of those guys who can elevate the energy of an entire room. He can, and does, talk to anyone, and his sincere love for people is authentic and infectious. I had no doubt he’d enjoy the festivities and help those around him do the same. Well, he surpassed my high expectations. It seemed as though he spoke with every guest! We both had a fantastic time and were among the last of the guests to call it a night. We even bumped into the guys from DNA, a partnership formed by two of London’s most accomplished magicians (pictured below). I had recently flown them out to perform at my birthday party.





As our time in London drew to a close, we ventured to the airport for the main event – Sicily, which neither my father nor I had ever visited. I originally planned for this leg of the trip to be a surprise, but about a week before we left, my mom called and begged me to share the full itinerary. “He wants to be able to tell his friends and get excited,” she said. Of course I caved, so the element of mystery was gone, but in some ways that was better. We talked excitedly about the next phase of the journey—a visit to my dad’s “homeland.”


Looking to plan an unforgettable travel experience? Contact The Accomplished Traveler today at 212.586.2020.

From Our Blog

Global luxury travel network Virtuoso® congratulates Blaine Horton of The Accomplished Traveler in New York, NY as the winner of this year’s sought-after Rising Star Award at the 30th annual… read more

When we think about Paris’s luxury accommodation choices, we often conjure images of the city’s grand hotels, the famous and expansive palaces that feel quintessentially Parisian. For a more boutique… read more

Our recent trip to Turkey’s famous city showed us just how seamlessly diverse cultures and religions can blend.   Istanbul will always be a unique and vibrant city where the… read more

New year, new travel goals!   From wineries in New Zealand to beaches in Uruguay, here are some of our hot travel destinations to explore in 2016! If these spots… read more

Our CEO, Jason Miller recalls his journey to Poland to find the villages where his grandparents, both Holocaust survivors, were born.   Last year, I visited the villages where my… read more

We traipsed the German and Austrian Alps and toasted “prost!” to an unforgettable Oktoberfest celebration.   After ascending the steep streets of Berchtesgaden, Germany, we arrived at Hotel Kempinski, nestled… read more

My father and I make our way to western Sicily.   After visiting some of the iconic sites featured in “The Godfather,” my dad’s favorite movie, we began our journey… read more

When your dad is an Italian aficionado and a fanatic for “The Godfather” movies, nothing says “happy birthday” like a trip to Sicily.   As a special present to celebrate… read more

The perks of having a son in the travel industry? Extraordinary birthday trips. Jason Miller, founder & CEO of The Accomplished Traveler, tells us about the adventures he planned for… read more

Our trip to Florence and Rome reminds us that, in many ways, the world is small.   In Florence we stayed at the Lungarno Hotel, in its iconic location overlooking… read more

The second half of our exquisite tour of Spain   Day four of our journey (click here to read about the beginning of our trip), we took a guided tour… read more

Seven days in Spain and we still left wanting more   If we had to pick just one theme to sum up our most recent sojourn in Spain, it would… read more

    We arrived at the newly reopened Hôtel Plaza Athénée (part of the Dorchester Collection), and were greeted by our friend Sebastian. The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is situated on the… read more

On our latest foray to London, we were welcomed back home to one of our favorites, the Dorchester, a quintessential British Hotel. Between the floral accents in the fabrics, and… read more

  It is incredible to think that twenty-five years ago today, the Berlin Wall came down. The Berlin Wall was a barrier that divided the city of Berlin from 1961… read more

Back to Top //