Russell Wagenaar 

Chicago, IL United States
 96%
Recommended
33
Reviews
 
Travel Specialties
Interests
  • Beach & Sun
  • Festivals & Events
  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Nightlife
  • Sports & Outdoors


Destinations
Selling Travel Since
1977
Languages
  • English
  • German

My Background

I began my career in travel in 1977 when I joined Paul Klein Travel Service and have been with the company since then.

Being born and raised in Southern California, growing up in the Orange County area, two basic internal instincts of mine are beach and the outdoors.

Recent travels have taken me back to India, the Middle East and France and Italy. Opera is a passion of mine and in July 2016 I was fortunate to return to Verona and attend two operas at the famous 2000-year old outdoor Arena di Verona.

Places I Have Traveled


Reviews and Recommendations for Russell Wagenaar

96%

of 33
guests
recommend


Virtuoso Verified Traveler

All reviews are from confirmed guests sharing exclusive insights

Sort reviews by

Wonderful

By: Alps Climber


Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2013

Our hiking trip to the Swiss and Italian Alps was fabulous. As always, Russ took great care to ensure that our trip went smoothly. Russ Wagenaar has been our travel adviser for many years and we will continue to use his excellent travel services.

Highly Recommended

By: Stew at the piano


Reviewed on: 02 Dec 2013

Mr. Wagenaar's planning for our extensive trip through Vietman, Cambodia, Laos, and Taiwam was outstanding. Every detail was covered effectively for this extensive, many faceted trip. Recommended facilities were excellent. We will recommend Russ Wagenaar to any person or group who wants to work with a knowledgeable, experienced and effective travel agent.

The Best Travel agent EVER!

By: Daisy


Reviewed on: 25 Nov 2013

Russ is very talented and creative. He totally "gets it" and we can really trust his opinions. He always is straight forward and doesn't pretend to know about something when he's doesn't! After more than two decades of working together, we think we will have to stop traveling if he ever retires!

Excellent!!!

By: Ellie


Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2014

Only a few days into our trip.  But, working with Russell Wagenaar to plan this vacation was so easy.  I sent an email to Paul Klein travel and Received an immediate response from Russell saying he would be happy to help me make any travel arrangements. He  has been working on this month long trip for me for many months.  He made many wonderful suggestions and was sure to plan each detail perfectly.  From flights to car rentals to wonderful hotels in 5 cities, his attention and expertise has been invaluable.  Many thanks to Russell for a trip to remember.  

Extremely helpful

By: Kd


Reviewed on: 06 Mar 2014

Russ is fantastic.  With his expierence and knowledge in the travel business he always has great ideas for me and my family.  He is always patient and very through.  I have referred many cleints and friends to Russ and Paul Klein Travel and have received extremely complimentary feedback about their expierence.

a few glitches

By: julie


Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2014

We stayed for four days at The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona. It is a beautiful place and the rooms were very nice.  A few quibbles:1.  We were entitled to a $100 resort credit on the virtuoso package and when we checked out, they had not applied it.  After we told them, they adjusted the bill.2.  Russell had told us that we had a $40 breakfast credit but the sheet they gave us at check-in only said complimentary breakfast.  We were over $40 most days because the buffet was $19 and they charged $4.75 (!) for an orange juice (not included in the buffet).  One day they rang up breakfast as lunch and charged us for it.Russell had a fruit plate for us on arrival--it consisted of one apple, one pear, one strawberry, 2 small grape clusters, and 4 walnuts just sitting on a plate.  It was sort of embarrasing and I'm sure it was not cheap.  There was also a bottle of mineral water next to it which seemed a strange thing.

Highly Recommended

By: Marv


Reviewed on: 02 Apr 2014

Russell was incredible booking my travel plans during a very difficult time when I had to bury my father. Thank you Russell for everything!!

highly recommend

By: Not provided


Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2014

Russell did a great job setting things up

Highly recommended

By: Sabrina123


Reviewed on: 01 Jun 2014

Russ arranged our Helsinki visit. We stayed at Hotel Haven, which does not look that amazing from the outside, but the room is comfortable, the bed is amazing. The hotel staff are friendly and helpful, and an excellent breakfast is included. The hotel is located right near Market Square. We can explore Helsinki by foot to most places, with excellent restaurants and roadside cafés nearby. We are only a short ferry ride away to Suomeloina and Talin.  We did not have time to make use of the hotel's gym or spa facilities. Russ always recommends excellent hotels for places. This was again an excellent recommendation! Thank you.

Extremely efficient and helpful

By: SAR


Reviewed on: 12 Sep 2014

I have used Russel Wagenaar as my travel expert for several decades. He has always provided timely, very efficient, and friendly service and general advice. Often he finds appropriate travel schemes that are superior to the one I originally asked about. Overall, dealing with him is always a pleasure. SAR

Great Service

By: Alan


Reviewed on: 29 Sep 2014

Russ did a terrific job; provided excellent advice, was very responsive and voluntarily suggested creative ways of doing things. Would definitely would use or recommend Russ to anyone.

Ceelbrating 25 Wonderful Years at The Savoy, London

By: Barb25th


Reviewed on: 02 Dec 2014

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful week in London planned by Russ Wagenaar. The Savoy on the Strand had such a buzz going, at all hours! The service was sublime, the recently redecorated room spacious with a wonderful view. The Savoy offers several restaurant options and bars are so busy, you need a reservation! Room service was prompt and excellent. The location ideal, just cross the street and you are in Convent Garden with all the theatres, lovely shops and wonderful little restaurants. Walk across the Thames to Southwick, and you are few blocks from the London Eye, The Globe Theatre, and the Tate Modern. Take a 10 minute stroll west and you are in Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery. A bit further and you can be shopping on Regents Street, or St James Street with all the wonderful clothing shops. We give the trip a "double" thumbs up!

Great Service!

By: @GeneCMH


Reviewed on: 25 Sep 2015

Russ is a skilled and agile agent. He was able to arrange this quick and complex itinerary for me with just a couple hours notice. I greatly appreciate his ability to execute and have the right contacts to not only arrange this stay but also workout a valuable package. I definitely recommend his services.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Excellent arrangements

By: Jane


Reviewed on: 26 Oct 2015

Russell is imaginative and reliable. I will not use anyone else to plan my travel

Incredible response to slight emergency

By: Nicholl1012


Reviewed on: 10 Jan 2016

When I injured my ankle while in the UK, I immediately got in touch with Russ regarding issues I faced on my journey back to Chicago. He was totally responsive and extremely helpful. I highly recommend Russ

Expert friendly service

By: Fred


Reviewed on: 05 Oct 2016

Russ provided both wonderful advice as well as great service.

Trip to Japan.

By: Jeffrey


Reviewed on: 16 Apr 2017

Fantastic. Trip was wonderful and went off without a hitch.

Always Top Notch

By: Rose


Reviewed on: 09 May 2017

Russell has never let me down. Accommodations are always spectacular. Can't wait to book my next trip through him!
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Napa

By: Luciano


Reviewed on: 05 May 2017

Always an excellent experience! He is very professional and follows through in a timely manner. He always considers the customers' needs and desires when planning reservations.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Very good

By: Mary Pat


Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2017

I've worked with Russell on 4 Cunard cruises prior to booking my most recent trip to Cuba. I have never had any problems with Russell or any member of his staff. He will always be my go-to travel agent. I would definately refer friends to him...and I have.

Adventures in Cuba

By: Kath


Reviewed on: 17 Jun 2017

Easy! There is a tremendous amount of paperwork and documentation necessary to travel to Cuba, and Russell took me through it step by step. All documents were received in a timely manner. I have utilized Russell's services in the past so I was confident that he would provide professional service, while maintaining a personal touch. I will continue to utilize Russell's expertise for my travel adventures.

Ben's Trip

By: Diana Senior


Reviewed on: 05 Jul 2017

Terrific! He was responsive at all hours and tries to address problems if they arise.

He's been everywhere!

By: MG


Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2017

Russ has made my travel arrangements for over 20 years for both business and leisure travel. He is a pleasure to work with, and I highly recommend him.

Ireland Adventure

By: Bigstick


Reviewed on: 07 Jul 2017

Fabulous trip. Hotels were awesome! Transportation arrangements went off without issue. We'd do it again!
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Russ

By: Sherryl


Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2017

Russ is wonderful. Efficient, diligent,considerate. Goes beyond expectations. Helpful and knowledgeable.

London

By: London


Reviewed on: 17 Sep 2017

Terrific! He has wonderful suggestions and is always available to handle emergencies.
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Amazing Advisor

By: Sherryl


Reviewed on: 19 Sep 2017

Russ is the best advisor that I have ever worked with and I am happy to recommend him to everyone. He is knowledgeable, efficient, diligent and attentive. I could not ask for more
  Loading comments. Please wait...

Russell Rocks!

By: Elle


Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017

Every attention is paid to the details of a trip planned by Russell. Many thanks

Always helpful

By: lk


Reviewed on: 23 Oct 2017

He is well informed and uses this information to create a wonderful holiday plan.
Not Recommended

I did not work with Russell or anyone else

By: Lw


Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2017

Dontknow. Didn't use him. You must have me confused with someone else

Highly recommend

By: Sherryl


Reviewed on: 10 Dec 2017

Perfect. Always the best.

Excellent Advise

By: leahmlaurie@me.com


Reviewed on: 28 Dec 2017

He understands his clients needs so his recommendations are individualized. He knows a lot about foreign travel and has been to many locations in Europe and Asia.

U

By: U


Reviewed on: 15 Jan 2018

Easy and prompt replies to all inquiries

Working with Russell Wagenaar, you will have access to:

  • - Special perks and extra amenities
  • - An experienced travel guide whom you can rely on before, during, and after the trip
  • - Exclusive luxury resorts and properties
  • - Once in a lifetime experiences

Explore with the Best

Virtuoso Advisors are constantly pushing the boundaries in unique travel experiences.
Alliance programs are unique tailored experiences exclusive to travelers working with Virtuoso Travel Advisors.
learn more
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • China
  • France
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Namibia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • South Africa
  • Turkey