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Follow Dasha Tinkova on her epic journey through Kamchatka in this exclusive interview

Today, we are sitting with Dasha Tinkova, Marketing Director of La Datcha Tinkoff Collection, to talk about some of the once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences and properties they offer throughout the world.
Tired of Saint Tropez and Mykonos? Read along.

People are so spoiled with choices now. You have to think outside of the box

Dasha TinkovaMarketing Director La Datcha Tinkoff Collection

Helene Clabecq: Dasha, thank you for taking part in this interview. You just spent the summer in one of the most remote places on earth, the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka, exploring what is accessible to only a few, on the most advanced explorer yacht for charter in the world, la Datcha. What was it like?

Dasha Tinkova: It was my first time visiting Kamchatka during the summer season because I had heard so much about it; I usually go there during the wintertime to heliski.
It was interesting to see all the active volcanoes with no snow, and we did lots of fishing, hiking, up to 20K some days.
There were also lots of water activities as we brought a lot of water toys onboard: jet skis, wake board, wake surfs, and we also brought a submarine.
I’d recommend staying 10-15 days there, as it takes you a while to get used to the time difference (NB. 11 hours difference with London).

HC: What makes La Datcha Expedition Yacht 77 so special? How is it prepared for extreme destinations?

DT: La Datcha is the only explorer that has two helicopters. So if anything happens, and one helicopter gets stuck in the mountain or anything, you have a second one that can come to the rescue, if needed.
Onboard, we have the crew members who do not leave the boat, and the expedition staff, a group of 12 people: the local heliski guide, the local fishing guide, the local hiking guide, the local safety person in case you bump into a bear or a spider…).
Also, once you have rented a normal boat and done the Mediterranean, it gets boring. If you want to go to the wild destination of Kamchatka and experience luxury at the same time, it is the only option. You can fully recover in the steam or sauna, get a massage or sit down by the fireplace, enjoying Michelin star food with a cup of tea or a glass of red wine, after a whole day of skiing. It is one of those once-in-a-lifetime trips.

HC: Who would appreciate most experiencing it?

DT: After you leave the harbor, you do not see anyone other than the crew members for the whole time. There are bears everywhere though, they are like foxes in London. After a bit you do not even pay attention to them… So, definitely people who seek privacy, along with luxury, and who want to be active during their vacation. 

HC: There are two amazing La Datcha houses in Val Thorens and Courchevel. What would you say is the biggest difference between these resorts? And which other resorts do you own?

Val Thorens is a huge chalet with lots of land, it sleeps 20 people comfortably.
It has a huge living room, a huge dining room, a huge spa, a huge entertainment room with a professional golf simulator room and a Formula 1 racing room… You go there with a big group of friends.
Whereas Courchevel hosts 12 people, it is more for family.

We also have a house in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, one in Astrakhan, Russia, which is next to the Volga river for fishing, then we have a yacht in Forte dei Marmi, Italy, that stays in the harbor.

Our concept is the home away from home and our staff is seasonal, they work in our chalets in the winter and in the rest of the houses in the summer, which means that clients obviously get the best service, the managers already know their preferences so it is way more personal and family-oriented. In fact, 90% of our clientele has already come back to experience another of our locations.

HC: Which of the Tinkoff Collection resorts is your favorite and why?

Our villa in Mexico, Cabo San Lucas.
Our house in Mexico. The house is huge, facing the ocean, the Mexican food is amazing, and the local Mexican people are so nice, polite and such hard-workers. The massages at La Datcha are amazing… We have an ice-room there that is so fun to go to after a long day at the beach.
Also, a thing that most people do not know, is that there is a huge amount of 5-star hotels and restaurants there such as Nobu and Four Seasons, and you can experience so many amazing things outside of the property as well.

HC: You are Marketing and Sales Director of the Tinkoff Collection of Boutique Hotels, that carries your name. What have you imagined and implemented for this concept?

DT: I do so many things, from bookings, sales, and coming up with new ideas while experiencing the properties. During my last trip to the Cabo house, we organised a party during the Day of the Dead, with all the traditional dancers, dresses and skull face paintings and made a video about it. After seeing it, one of our clients chose to have the same exact experience but for her children for Halloween.
I am also a huge believer in videos that explain so much more than photos sometimes, it allows people to dive in and experience every single property.

HC: CSR and sustainability are very much at the forefront of most companies nowadays. How does the Tinkoff Collection take it into account, apart from reconnecting people to nature?

DT: Yes obviously. On the boat, we are fully plastic-free, we use things that are biodegradable, all our sanity products are made out of bamboo, we have reusable cotton pads. I saw this horrible documentary on how plastic straws end up in dolphins’ mouths and dolphins die from them. Why continue doing that? We must lead the way.
In today’s world, if you can be environmentally friendly, do it. Sometimes, we come across tiny islands in the middle of nowhere that are covered in rubbish. We always collect the plastic on the island. It is such an easy thing to do. Especially on boats, we understand that fuel and emissions are not great but sadly there are no alternatives to that so we do anything we can.
I think it is a shame nowadays to see thousands of mini-plastic bottles that clients put in the bin. It is a new generation and we all want to be more careful and cautious about it.

HC: Do you have any last word about La Datcha Tinkoff Collection for our members?

There is a new addition coming up soon that will be announced next year, not a typical location… But I cannot say more than this :).

Interview by Hélène Clabecq

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