Meet the team

Nigel Hack

Nigel Hack

Born and raised in England, Nigel first came to live in Spain in 1992, having finished his studies at the Universities of Nottingham and Cambridge. In 1997, he left his post as a history teacher in a prestigious British school returning to renew his enduring affair with Madrid. It wasn't however until the following year that the "& Beyond" was added when he set up the company, - Madrid & Beyond.

There are few areas of Spain that Nigel has not visited, and in a constant quest to offer clients private access to unique places, people and experiences, he travels as much as two small children at home permit him to!

Over the last few years, Nigel has also travelled in Asia, Africa, Central and South America and always practices what he preaches… by using local experts and the best guides possible. He ardently believes travel is all about PEOPLE… what really counts are the people you encounter, and the genuine experiences you share with them.

He’s happy to have recently become a single handicapper golfer, hence the icon!

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Oscar Soler

Oscar Soler

Originally from Barcelona, Oscar moved to the island of Menorca as a teenager but has made Madrid his home since 2001.

Oscar started early in the world of tourism gaining experience and language skills with working stents in Germany, the UK, New Zealand and France. After moving to Madrid, Oscar met Madrid & Beyond founder, Nigel Hack, and so began a long professional relationship.

Oscar has profound knowledge of Spain and always manages to add something special to every itinerary. His experience and professionalism ensure successful but also fun trips. He is relentless in making sure everything goes just right, time and time again going the extra mile for his clients, even if it means long days in the office.

Oscar’s almost encyclopedia knowledge of cinema is second to none in Madrid, but when time allows it, whether alone or with his family, he loves pursuing his love of photography. We’re relying on him for many great new images for the web site!

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Carla Barahona

Carla Barahona

With an Australian mother and Chilean father, Carla is another cosmopolitan member of the team. Although born and raised in Washington D.C., Carla started her career in New York City, where she worked for a non-profit agency assisting foreign students with Fulbright scholarships.

The first time she came to Spain was with her mom and sister in 1990. Fast forward 23 years and she has a Spanish husband, three young daughters and Madrid is now “home”. Over the years she´s traveled all over Spain, both with her family and also on many scouting missions for Madrid & Beyond which she joined in 2007. For every trip she arranges, she always seems to receive rave feedback - testament not just to her experience and knowledge but to the care and detail she injects into all her work.

When she has time, Carla dabbles in interior design. She loves seeking out beautiful pieces of furniture and finding the right space for them. Recently, she got to put her hobby into practice as she refurbished an old house in the center of Madrid, making the city home now more than ever!

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Jorge Arnanz

Jorge Arnanz

Although born and raised in Madrid, Jorge boasts a very international look to his academic background, having divided his time between Spain and France for his BA and between UK and France for his MA in European Tourism Management. He has worked in many fields within the travel industry, including international hotel chains in Spain and the UK, as well as working for Spain’s largest travel company.

Jorge has a broad knowledge of Spain, especially Madrid, Barcelona and the north of Spain. He’s a very keen traveler and apart from the Iberian Peninsular, he’s visited many countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He’s keen on mountain sports, biking, art, literature, history and learning new languages, the latest being Thai!

In May 2013, Jorge finished a course in Social Media & Community Management and is our resident expert on social media. When he’s not online, you’re more likely than not to find him cooking… his recent obsession with all things ‘foodie’ knows no bounds!

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Clara Moreno

Clara Moreno

Born and raised in Madrid. Clara moved to England in 1991 after having graduated in History of Art at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. In 1995, with a perfect English accent, she came back to her roots and worked as a guide, leading small groups from the USA on biking and hiking tours all over Spain & Portugal.

Inevitably, after living as a semi nomad for several years, she decided it was time to put her experience to a more organizational role, and for the last 12 years she has been part of our team at Madrid & Beyond.

We, and particularly our clients, are the grateful recipients of Clara's vast knowledge and experience of the Iberian Peninsular. She is undoubtedly one of the very best travel planners in Spain and takes such wonderful care of her clients.

She loves her bike. As well as exploring much of Spain in two wheels, she also goes well beyond the borders. Among her adventures she has cycled across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean side, has crossed the Alps from Geneva to Menton, cycled all around Slovenia and each year takes on a new route. Recently, she’s pedaled from Budapest to Krakow, Turin to Tuscany, Basil to Rotterdam.

She has also travelled extensively throughout North America, Asia and North Africa.

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Ana López

Ana López

Ana was born in the historic town of Segovia, where she spent her formative years before moving to Madrid to complete her studies in tourism. After working in several travel agencies, Ana found that her experience was not being put to good use and decided upon a change of career into nursing.

However, during her studies, a chance meeting with Madrid & Beyond back in 2002 led to another change of heart and we are all better off for it!

For hundreds, if not thousands, of clients Ana has been the unsung hero, making sure that detailed travel documents are all sent off, welcome baskets are delivered, complimentary room upgrades are secured, arrangements with guide and drivers services are all reconfirmed and so on! Her calm manner and quiet efficiency make working with Ana a joy. No surprise we received her back with open arms when she decided to return to work after her second daughter started schooling.

When traveling in Spain she prefers smaller towns and villages, (especially in Cadiz) where there is a strong sense of culture and where contact with the locals is both natural and rewarding. Whenever possible, she loves nothing more than finding a quiet spot with her easel and paints.

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Irene Espinar

Irene Espinar

Irene, the youngest member of our team, is a local girl and has always set her heart on working in travel. She studied tourism at the University Rey Juan Carlos I in Madrid and later took a Masters in tourism whilst she took up her first job in a travel company. She lived in Paris for a while and once armed with her second language returned to Madrid.

Highly organized with an incredible capacity for handling multiple trips at any one time, travelers can feel reassured in her hands. A careful eye and a maturity beyond her tender years ensure a wholly professional approach to her work day in, day out.

Irene transforms herself once away from the office… a huge music lover and a fabulous flamenco dancer, she makes time to dance every weekend. Yet, we are still waiting for invitations to see her perform in public!

When she escapes Madrid she often visits her family’s second home, a small village in the mountainous area of Avila.

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Hazel Latoza

Hazel Latoza

Hazel was born on the island of Cebu before moving with her family, as a child, to an even bigger one called Australia. A ‘true blue’ she grew up enjoying the endless golden beaches of the mid north coast before moving to Sydney to study Art History and Philosophy.

A natural helper and organizer, Hazel found her niche as an executive assistant, working many years with the Dean of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney and during her time in London, for the Deputy Chairman of Lloyds and CEO of Hiscox.

Her love of Spain started with meeting her husband in Sydney. Since her move to Madrid in 2009, they have enjoyed countless travels across the country in their pop-top campervan, with their favorite haunt being the surf spot, Oyambre, on the beautiful Cantabrian coast. Yes, she’s a true Aussie surfer!

Since joining Madrid & Beyond, Hazel has quickly shown her talents and her incredibly conscientious approach always means happy travelers. Oh, and a special word of thanks from Nigel whom she helps out when his in-tray is overflowing!

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Mency Buendicho

Mency Buendicho

Born in Venezuela, Mency grew up between Curacao, Venezuela and the USA. With both parents originally from Spain, she has always felt a strong connection to the country and its unique culture. She studied Business Management at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, and moved to Madrid in 2011 from Texas.

Mency probably clocks up more road and air miles than anyone else in the Madrid & Beyond team. She makes the most of every weekend and especially loves traveling to rural and mountainous areas.

When living in Texas she was an avid horse-rider a lot and, whenever she can, she saddles up in different areas of Spain. One of her favorite spots is the Parque Natural de las Hoces del Rio Duratón. An incredible canyon carved out by the river over thousands of years with giant vultures always circling above.

A wonderful addition to the team… Mency is a young lady with many talents; she even managed to win a trip to Australia after winning the Green Apple festival with a video about sustainability.

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