Travel pioneer Geoffrey Kent named Monaco’s Goodwill Ambassador

Prince Albert has awarded Geoffrey Kent, founder of the luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent, the honorary role of Goodwill Ambassador 2021, a recognition that was celebrated during a spectacular gala hosted by the Monaco Ambassadors Club.

The Monaco Ambassadors Club (MAC) adorned the Salle Belle Epoque at the Hermitage Hotel in a stunning tropical bohemian theme on Friday 2nd July in honour of Geoffrey Kent’s life-long commitment to travel and his outstanding contributions to Monaco.

It was the first major gala hosted by the MAC since the onset of the pandemic, and its success came as a relief to the club which is renowned for creating some of the Principality’s most exceptional parties.

“Everything fell into place perfectly with the relaxing of some Covid measures just before the event,” MAC president Christian Moore told Monaco Life. “It was a such a pleasure to have gathered the members after such a long pause and it is exciting to look forward to our future events.”

Photo of MAC president Christian Moore by Eric Mathon

Geoffrey Kent was selected by H.S.H Prince Albert II from among several candidates for his long-standing commitment to Monaco and his ongoing commitment to the environment and the promotion of protecting biodiversity. “I honestly could not have chosen a better candidate for 2021,” said Christian Moore.

79-year-old Geoffrey Kent is the co-chairman and chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Kent, an international luxury travel company that he co-founded with his parents over 55 years ago in East Africa.

Today, the company organises trips in more than 100 countries on all seven continents, utilising local guides to give guests an intimate understanding of the culture, history and wildlife of their chosen destination.

He also created Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to positively impacting the lives and livelihoods in the communities where clients travel through education, health access, conservation and enterprise development projects.

It is in this sense that Alessandra Luna Sparaco, MAC Secretary General, set the scene for the gala evening, supported by luxury Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana.

Photo by Eric Mathon

“We didn’t want to create an event that people had already seen before, so we went for a tropical bohemian theme full of warmth and colour, giving the ambiance of a sunny summer holiday far away, all in honour of Geoffrey Kent,” said Alessandra. “We had musicians performing world music, with everything from bossa nova to jazz, taking guests on a ‘journey’ after having endured Covid restrictions for so long.”

Giant paper flowers created especially for the occasion by Artist Marilyne Pierre adorned the tables, as did bright purple orchids and golden pineapples.

The stage, dressed in hessian rugs, white candles, pillows and even a peacock chair gave the perfect backdrop for a congratulatory speech by Prince Albert, who thanked Geoffrey Kent for being an exceptional ‘Monaco Ambassador’.

Photo of Prince Albert at the Goodwill Ambassador’s Gala by Eric Mathon

“It was a wonderful evening and great to be presented with the award by HSH Prince Albert in the presence of my wife and all of our friends,” Geoffrey Kent told Monaco Life. “When I was looking for a new home that was centrally-located and had mild and sunny weather year-round, my friend and now partner Manfredi Lefebvre invited me to Monaco. The location is amazing, convenient for doing business in Africa, Asia or Europe.

“I’m full of admiration for Prince Albert and what he has created. The country is safe, secure and stable. Most importantly, I like the people who live here. They are very, very charming. You’ll never get bored in Monaco because everybody you meet is so interesting – entrepreneurs from all over the world who have built their own businesses.”
Click on the pictures below to see more images of the evening. Photos by Jean Ronin…

Top photo of Geoffrey Kent by Eric Mathon