At Ker & Downey, we believe that people matter. It’s the people who make up this incredible company who work to make your journey truly memorable. Over the course of the next year, we’ll be introducing you to the people that make up Ker & Downey. You can also read more about us here.

John Martens was born in Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. His passion for travel started as a child when he took a grand tour of Europe to visit his grandmother. He studied Hotel Management in London before returning to South Africa where he began a career in retail. That career eventually led him to Beverly Hills where he served as the Vice President and General Manager of Neiman Marcus. After watching Out of Africa in theaters, John contacted Ker & Downey to arrange a trip to Botswana for him and his wife. After a 35 year career with Neiman Marcus, John now serves as one of our Brand Ambassadors.

John Martens | London Luxury Travel | Ker Downey

Favorite place you’ve traveled: India and Sri Lanka

Favorite city and why: London – the theatre, the buildings, the ambiance, the food and the weather.

What is the best thing about traveling: Exploration.

Travel accessory you can’t live without? Chip for my camera.

Favorite plane ride activity: Sitting back and being able to think without interruption.

Top of my travel bucket list: Havana.

Two weeks + and unlimited budget, where are you going? The Aman properties in Turkey, Greece, Montenegro and Venice – two nights in Venice and four nights in each of the others.

John Martens | Turkey Luxury Travel | Ker Downey

Beach or mountains: Beach.

How do you take your coffee? Usually black.

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Cautious.

My theme song is: More – from the movie Mondo Carne.

Any pets? A Rhodesian Ridgeback and a cat.

If I were a super hero, I would be: Richard Branson.

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: I like to do what I say and say what I do.

Two things I can’t live without are: My car and friends.

It’s Sunday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: Reading the Sunday Times.

My favorite physical activity is: Working out at the gym.

John Martens | India Luxury Travel | Ker Downey

One thing I love that everyone else dislikes is: Packing the dishwasher in an orderly way.

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Turn off the alarm clock before it wakes me.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I have a sense of humor.

The last concert I went to was: Willie Nelson and Family.

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: I did not have access to TV until I was in my 30’s.

If I could instantly learn a new language, I would learn: French.

Guilty TV pleasure: Watching Judge Judy.

On my nightstand: Gandhi: Naked Ambition by Jad Adams.

What’s inspiring you lately? The will to keep fit and do better.

Life mantra in four words: Live life to fullest.

Favorite quote: ‘The best meeting is held by one.’ (attributed to Charles de Gaulle)

John Martens | Sri Lanka Luxury Travel | Ker Downey

Check back next week to learn more about another Ker & Downey team member! Stay up to date on all of Ker & Downey’s online content by “liking” our Facebook page.