Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report has been praising and detailing luxurious, exclusive travel for more than three decades. The report recently released its Grand Awards 2012, a list that picked a newcomer to the Southern California resort world as one of the best grand resorts. (You may download the list with free registration, but subscriptions for print and online editions of the Hideaway Report will set you back $195 to $350 a year.)
It’s written by Andrew Harper, a pseudonym for the real travel writer who doesn’t disclose his identity. Here’s a Q&A, via email, with the always-incognito Harper, who says his anonymity makes him “unsullied by the special treatment lavished on travel writers and editors who announced in advance their visits to hotels and resorts — and who stayed for free. Hardly a guarantee of honest, unbiased information!” (Los Angeles Times travel writers and editors generally travel anonymously, generally don’t announce their visits and pay for their expenses.)
Q: We never, ever know your true identity?
A: To ensure that Hideaway Report would be free from undue influence, I created the pseudonym Andrew Harper, booked all my travel under my real name, paid full fare on everything and refused to take advertising. Those policies stand today. As the company has grown, I have been lucky enough to assemble a very small cadre of trusted writer/editors with deep travel experience and passion to work with me in creating the monthly Hideaway Report newsletter and its expanded online edition, the Andrew Harper Collection, which is the directory of my favorite hotels and resorts, and the growing digital content on our website.
Q: Has your travel reader changed in light of the recession or do high-end travelers remain steadfast throughout the financial wild ride over the past few years?
A: I am delighted to say that the enthusiasm among our readers for travel has not waned and that, in fact, the Andrew Harper Travel Office had its best year ever in 2011. I have to add that it is a pleasure to write for such a devoted group of people who share my curiosity and love of seeing the world and experiencing it at its best.