Helen Varri CTC

Vice President

Helen Varri CTC

I was born and raised in Switzerland and started to travel early to neighboring countries, Italy, France and Spain.

I guess the passion for travel is in our genes. After leaving Switzerland, my life was one of worldwide travel for over 20 years with established residences in seven foreign countries, principally in Europe, South America, and South Africa.

Finally upon relocating to the United States, embarking on a career in travel was a natural.

Travel can be glamorous and fun if everything goes well and that is my responsibility and driving interest. The devil is in the details for an exceptional experience, and my goal is to make every trip as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for my clients.

My recent trip to Egypt was an eye-opener. With few tourists, we enjoyed the most impressive sights almost alone. and the experience is breathtaking. But Switzerland still is and will always be my favorite destination, with beautiful nature, great hotels and stress-free travel.

I can't wait to get on that plane again and explore or revisit foreign destinations and share the memories and impressions with my great clients.

  • Favorite Hotels and resorts: Widder Hotel (Zurich Switzerland), Le Bristol (Paris, France), Mandarin Oriental (Bangkok Thailand), Le Sirenuse (Amalfi, Italy), Hassler Hotel (Rome Italy), Belmond Il Splendido (Portofino Italy), Belmond Villa San Michele (Florence, Italy), Belmond La Residence D ’Angkor (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
  • Recently Visited: Switzerland; Spain; Egypt
  • My Bucket list: River cruise Provence and Dordogne, Paris and Rome again


HV is a wonderful advisor, a wonderful lady. She is knowledgeable and responsive, just terrific. She has built an excellent team around her. Looking forward to planning our next journey.
MWD | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
We have used Helen for many years and she has always handled our many request with competence, thoroughness and good humor. We travel using 5star accommodations and her follow through is always prompt and complete.
chips | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen is as able, knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive as a travel agent can be. I will put to the side her expert planning and execution. Shortly into our holiday, we faced a family crisis. Our grandson was admitted into intensive care. We needed to return home to Chicago immediately. Helen and her team responded brilliantly. Everything we needed done she did. We could not have a better advocate. Helen is top shelf.
MWD | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
All the people in Lake Forest Travel have always been very helpful in all our bookings. We have used them for years and would go no where else for the best travel itinerary. We would recommend anyone in the office. Thank you Lake Forest Travel for being a big part of all our wonderful travel plans Richard.
Richard | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen is outstanding to work with. She creates the perfect trip each and every time. She attends to every detail so that every aspect of the trip is perfect. Helen is 10 out of 10 always!
NYC ANDREA BOCELLI and the Ritz Carlton | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen Varri has planned a number of our family vacations where it was our "maiden voyage" to a new country. Normally that would be daunting--but now with Helen as your advisor. She provides solid advice, give you a range of choices, and suggests side trips and trip enhancements that are always fun and totally what you want to do. We recently traveled to Italy with our family with a very complicated set of travel arrangements--certain family was coming in early, some later and we had a list of places to go in Italy. Helen gave us good advice on how much time to spend in each place, how to organize the trip to see what we wanted to but also have time to kick back and relax. I would highly recommend Helen to both beginners and seasoned travelers. You can trust that she will plan everything well, confirm your trip, provide an itinerary with all the relevant information and make sure you have fun in the process!
World Traveler | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen Varri of Lake Forest Travel is a sensational expert in the luxury travel field. Her wealth of knowledge in the travel industry in every part of the world is unparalleled. I travel frequently and have had the privilege of working with her and her firm exclusively for over 20 years. I am so grateful for Helen and her team at lake forest travel and for Virtuoso! Lake Forest Travel and Helen and her team will always excel!
Lisa | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Bucket List Greece! Great advisor, always easy to work with and goes the extra mile to ensure everything is handled. We always feel confident with Lake Forest Travel!
bucket list! | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen and Monica are great! Very responsive and knowledgeable of fine accommodations and destinations. They are my go to source for getting the most out of brief visits to wonderful foreign locations.
SuzyQ | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
You need many words to capture Helen because she is so excellent at what she does. She listens. She is smart and highly experienced. She cares deeply. She plans her trips and vacations for you as if you were family. She leaves nothing unaddressed. No detail escapes her attention. She really wants you to enjoy, to be enriched, to return safe, sound, and refreshed, Who wants one word? Awesome.
MWD | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
This was a wonderful trip from beginning to end as we were celebrating our grandsons 10th year birthday. Charlie was greeted by name for the entire 3 days we were in the delightfully small and charming resort. Fishing was our goal and our guides were perfect for a young fisherman. BRAVO to all and to our travel agent, Helen Varri, at Lake Forest Travel.
Janet | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen takes care with every detail and has great judgement. Everything we plan works like clockwork. The only glitch in this trip was something she couldn't have predicted. The mattress in our room at the Widder Hotel in Zurich was not "inflated" the first night, so it wasn't comfortable to sleep on. After inflating, it was fine the 2nd night. With that exception, we liked the Widder very much. But our favorite hotel was the 4 Seasons in Milan...we loved everything about it...one of our favorites in all our years of travel. We enjoyed the Majestic in Bologna and the Villa d'Este, as well. Were very glad we were at Villa d'Este rather than Como or Bellagio.
Ann | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Lake Forest travel always goes above and beyond with whatever arrangements they make. We continue to engage with them because they plan and execute from start to finish. We have never had a disappointment in travelling when we have secured Lake Forest travel! We just returned from an amazing trip to London and LF Travel made all the arrangements. Once again job well done! Highly recommended!
LF Traveler | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen has been my "go to" travel consultant for the past 15 years. I am a frequent business traveler but when I have really complicated trips or vacations to consider, I hand them over to Helen. Not only is Helen knowledgeable, she gets to know her clients, our preferences and what might be terrific suggestions to make. Helen recently organized a trip we took to Maui--it was last minute but Helen handled everything efficiently and the arrangements were so special. When we checked into our hotel, there was a wonderful note from Helen with some goodies to munch on. And that was just one example of how Helen does very special planning for her clients!
chris | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen and her firm set us up to have a wonderful visit to the Taj Mahal. The guide they set us up with was very knowledgeable. He knew to get us there early, where exactly to have us take photos, great historical information, bug spray in hand, excellent English, wonderful knowledge of local vendors and accompanied us to shop, but didn't push and helped us by giving me his email address to follow up in case anything went wrong on our rug purchase. We also had a driver who was excellent and got us to and from the airport - a drive I would never consider doing on my own. Fabulous trip, very enjoyable, interesting and well organized. Couldn't have been better!
SusanIndia | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen has helped us with our travels for over 10 years. She is friendly and extremely competent. Helen has always let us know which are the best hotels, where in the hotel to stay (e.g. at the Hassler a garden room to avoid the noise), and has always arranged for excellent drivers and guides. Using Helen we have travelled to Europe 11 times, to South America, New Zealand, Egypt, US trips and numerous cruises. This particular trip was to Egypt and Rome. I had trepidations but Helen had recently been there and encouraged us to go. Glad she was persistent as Egypt blew us away. Helen arranged everything and it could not have been smoother. In Rome I wanted a driver/guide to take us to a couple of hill towns in Umbria and Tuscany. Helen arranged for a guide that surprised us by serenading us with a guitar and harmonica medley whilst at lunch on a terrace overlooking Montepulciano. I have nothing but the highest regard for Helen and trust her recommendations implicitly. 
Savvy Traveler | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
The Hotel d'Angleterre was closed for two years for complete renovation reopening in 2013. Booking thru Virtuoso resulted a a room upgrade to a junior suit that was fantastic. Service was outstanding as well. So what can we say - Helen and Gwen did it again!!!
RDC | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen Varri was a joy to work with and the trip was designed around our interests and capabilities. The fact that our traveling companions live thousands of miles away was no problem. Everything was arranged and we had first-class accommodations at every city we visited. We benefitted from Virtuoso upgrades to a junior suite at two different hotels. It may have helped that we were near the end of the summer season in Switzerland. When we checked in at the Ville d' Este on Lake Como, we were met by a woman who knows Helen very well and we were treated very well, as well. The same thing happened on a previous trip when we were met by the manager of the group on hotels in Lyon, France who told us of having lunch with Helen 2 years before. I highly recommend Helen Varri and the services of Lake Forest Travel Bureau.
FEH | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen rocks! She never disappoints, always anticipates and follows up to make sure everything has been taken care of. I've recommended her to many friends because she's terrific!
Cher | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Munich and Salzburg were terrific. The Kempinski was very lively and the location is the best. The Hotel Sacher was wonderful and our room had a gorgeous view. The Lungarno is our favorite location. We had a wonderful room with an enormous patio. Castiglion del Bosco was a lovely, relaxing Tuscan treat. We had a room that could have passed as a small house. You could have parked a smart car in our shower. The golf course was really special and we had a great wine tasting on the property. We were there of 5 days, which may be a bit long for people who are anxious to have a lot to do. The biking is very difficult and hilly. We day side trips, which filled out our time there. The 2 restaurants were excellent. Porto Ercole is beautiful. As expected, the resort is extremely high end. The 2 restaurants were ok, but over-priced and the service did not compare to CDB. The room was nice, but furnishings seemed dated. The Sofitel in Rome gave us a fantastic upgrade. Very nice staff.
Janet | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
My family and I planned a trip to Santa Barbara through Lake Forest Travel and were absolutely delighted with the options, suggestions, and personalized service that we received. Our four-day family vacation was such a huge success, no doubt because of the smoothness of the schedule, the outstanding cuisine of the selected restaurants,, and the attention to detail in such areas, for example, as the forward planning for spa appointments, the excellent choice of an outdoor restaurant followed by wine tasting experiences, and the specialized ambiance of one of the finest hotels. We are excited to anticipate future trips that will include outstanding experiences as a result of Lake Forest Travel's "outstanding personalized service"!
J75 | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
I had a great time in Ireland. Friendly warm people and spring arrived as we were there, a much needed treat. The Westbury was a good city hotel, good location and easy to walk everywhere...nice amenities. Ballyfin was fabulous, wonderful staff, it was great being there with a few other guests... felt like our own private estate. The aghadoe was poor... the lobby and halls were dark and smelly. They tried to improve things for us but fortunately we were out of the hotel most of the time. The k club was delightful, but our stay was too short.
Molly | Agent: Helen Varri CTC
Helen Varri has helped with with travel for years. She always has solid input and great recommendations. She booked Auberge Saint Antoine for us is Quebec City. Our room was beautiful with a stunning view of the Hotel Frontenac. My husband and I agree that it was one of the nicest hotels we have stayed in. The minimalist interior was so tranquil and the service was superb. Helen also took the liberty of booking us a table in the hotel restaurant, Panache, for our first night stay. After a day of travel, it was nice not to have to think about where we were going to eat. I always trust Helen with our travel plans.
Penelope | Agent: Helen Varri CTC