Our Paul Klein Travel Consultants are specialists in the art of travel; if it’s worth doing, we’ll know about it. If there’s a better way to get there, we’ll find it. If not, we’ll tell you. Our professional travel counselors continue to provide expert advice to discerning travelers. We have traveled the Seven Continents, sailed the Seven Seas, have been trained and appointed as an Accredited Space Travel Agency, and can help you plan the trip of a lifetime based on our actual travel experiences. With on average over two decades in the travel profession, we have first-hand knowledge of the destination or product you are considering. So much more than just a travel agent, a Paul Klein Virtuoso Travel Advisor can get you access to accommodations, locations, and amenities simply not available elsewhere. Not only do Advisors help you plan the vacation of your dreams, they’re also available during your trip to ensure everything goes perfectly, as well as afterward to fine-tune your preferences for next time. We know the world and its purveyors, and we will take the time to know you.
Discover the Paul Klein Travel Team:
Mr. Krenzien was born in Chicago, Illinois where he now resides with his wife Dena. Mr. Krenzien graduated from the University of Denver in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management. During college, Mr. Krenzien worked at hotels in Berchtesgaden, Germany; Burgenstock, Switzerland; and Denver, Colorado. After graduation, he was recruited by Hyatt Hotels Corporation and accepted an offer as a Corporate Management Trainee. After successfully completing the one year training program in Long Beach, California, he was promoted to various Food and Beverage Management positions in a variety of Hyatt Hotels in Southern and Northern California.
At last count, Mr. Krenzien has traveled to 111 countries and through his travels, has cultivated personal relationships with hoteliers, guides and travel operators all over the world. Mr. Krenzien is actively involved in many areas of the travel industry including present and past participation on advisory boards for Boscolo Hotels, Ciga Hotels, Ritz Carlton Hotels, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Luxury Collection, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and Virtuoso. Mr. Krenzien has appeared on, or been interviewed by, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast, Nightline, Fox Business News, Good Morning America, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, and more. Mr. Krenzien was proudly appointed as a Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent, one of only 28 travel agents in the Americas accredited to sell space travel, and is quite passionate about space travel on a professional and personal level.
Mr. Krenzien attended the first Virtuoso Travel Week at the Brazilian Court in Palm Beach and is an invited VIP buyer at the exclusive PURE Life Experiences annual event and the International Luxury Travel Market annual event and continues to search the world for interesting new destinations, accommodations and experiences.
With a passion for experiential travel and unique experiences, Mr. Krenzien is often heard saying “I have the best job on the planet”…
Born in California and raised in Orange County, Russ enjoys childhood memories of spending time at Southern California beaches, Disneyland and family camping weekends in the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Bernadino National Forest. At the age of 7 his family relocated to Homewood in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Russ graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School where during his high school years he took his first trip abroad with a German language class to the Netherlands and Germany. From that time he knew he was hooked on travel.
After graduating from high school Russ enrolled in a six week travel course in Chicago and upon completing that was hired by Paul Klein Travel Service in 1977. His first trip was two weeks in the South Pacific to Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia in that year. Since then travel has included visits to China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hawai’i, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Argentina, Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa and United Arab Emirates. Russ’s latest favorite destination is India which he has visited many times, most recently to Khajuraho and Varanasi in April of 2012. On other trips to the Sub-continent he has been to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, Agra and Kathmandu in Nepal. The people, the food, the sights, the history, the stories, the traditions; there is always something new to discover on a trip to India.
Passionate about opera Russ has attended performances in major opera houses the world over including Vienna, London, Paris, Prague, Budapest, Verona, New York City and Buenos Aires to name a few. On a plane as often as possible, Russ has been known to spend many weekends in London or Paris and even India! Always staying in and visiting Virtuoso properties along the way to keep abreast of the best accommodations for clients’ needs.
With roots in the Pacific Coast area Russ is always in search of a beautiful beach (Hamoa Beach outside of the town of Hana on the Island of Maui is one of them!) and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.
Dena has been in Sales & Marketing for over 25 years with experience ranging from PBS public television, the Cosmetics Industry, Public Relations, Computer Consulting, Event Planning, and Luxury Custom Home Building.
Dena has traveled extensively throughout the world. She has had high tea in London, shopped till she dropped in Paris, ate Sushi at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, cruised the Mediterranean, explored Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona, dined on squid with ink sauce in Dalmatia, walked with the penguins on the Cape of Good Hope, made a wish on the Charles Bridge in Prague, sipped gallons of Vodka in Russia, purchased lanterns in Vietnam, climbed the Great Wall of China, Teed off on some of the famous courses in Scotland, went on Safari in Sabi Sabi, drank Singapore Slings at the Long Bar in Singapore, walked the beaches of Cambodia, visited the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, sailed the waters of the South Pacific, went swimming with dolphins and stingrays, and ate her way through Italy. These are just a few of the life experiences she has enjoyed.
Dena is also the President of the Steven W. Reichert Memorial Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds and improving the quality of life for families in need, within the Chicago-land area.
I have been very fortunate to secure a lifestyle and career in travel with a path well paved by my family. My grandfather, H. Juergen Krenzien, was the first generation to own Paul Klein Travel and one of the founders of ATI (now Virtuoso). My father Timothy J. Krenzien became the second generation to own the agency and is my inspiration to follow in their footsteps. The travel business, as a whole, has been a part of my life and is truly in my blood. I have had many great experiences all over the world, but I do tend to steer towards adventure travel. My family and friends always say about me: if there’s a mountain nearby, she’ll probably be climbing it, hiking it, skiing down it, or camping on it. Needless to say, some of my personal favorite places to travel are more active with exotic journeys and sightseeing. Although, I always seem to find a wonderful balance of being able to relax while on a fast paced/high adventure trip. I do this by enjoying world class spas, napping on a hammock by the blue aqua sea, or walking through markets and interacting with the locals.
One of my hobbies in life is food and great wine. Searching the globe for unique experiences with all different types of food and pairing them with amazing local wines is one of my passions. I step outside of the box when it comes to exotic food and trying new things. My family calls me the Andrew Zimmerman (Bizarre Foods) of the office. If it’s local, different, creepy or even a bit funky, I’ll at least give it a try. My personal style with clients is simple: attentive, adaptive, creative and collaborative. I’m also a member of the Millennials in Travel group and the Hyatt Young Travel Professionals. If you are looking for adventure on your next trip, call me. Give me a challenge and I will make sure you walk away totally amazed by the experience.
John is a Certified Travel Associate and a registered BritAgent, has been a Luxury Travel Advisor since 1992, and has traveled extensively all of his life.
One of John’s great loves is Italy; the beautiful landscape, friendly people, and regional food and wines draw him to this wonderful country. John’s knowledge of Italy is extensive as he travels there as often as possible. Two of John’s other favorite destinations are the game preserves of Southern Africa and the Galapagos Islands. “There is nothing better than seeing the Big Five in their native habitat in South Africa and the unspoiled flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands.”
John recently visited the countries of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. He thoroughly enjoyed the cuisine of the region, climbed the temples in Angor Wat, cruised down the Mekong River in Laos, and enjoyed staying in Bangkok and sophisticated Hong Kong at the end of the trip.
John avidly participates in travel industry events and trade shows including the annual Virtuoso Travel Week attended by over 4,000 leaders in the luxury travel market.
When John is not traveling, he resides in Wrigleyville and is an avid “foodie” and Chicago sports fan.
Ewa grew up in the resort area of the Beskids Mountains in Poland and knew from a very young age that she wanted to pursue a career in the travel industry. Ewa completed a two year college program in Business and Management and graduated from the School of Hotel Administration.
Ewa immigrated to the United States in 1996 and found home in Chicago where she continued her education in Travel School in suburban Northfield, and after graduating in 1998, joined the team at Paul Klein Travel.
Ewa enjoys traveling with her husband; which includes skiing in the US and Canadian Rockies, mountain biking, and hiking throughout North America and Europe. Ewa has traveled extensively through Central, Southern and Eastern Europe; including Austria, England, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Czech Republic and of course Poland. Resort travel has included many getaways in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Recent highlights include driving a Porsche and a Tesla through the Swiss Alps, adventuring through the Costa Rican Rain Forest, climbing Huayna Picchu and an extended visit with family in Poland.
While I enjoy all aspects of travel, I especially love stepping outside my comfort zone – it almost always leads to a unique experience that I would never have known existed. It’s these types of adventures I’m thrilled to be able to deliver for my clients.
I began my career in the travel industry in 1983, seeking ways to be more independent. I started planning leisure travel, then incorporated business accounts into my services as well. Now, I work in both, as well as specializing in active, European, culinary and educational travel experiences. And, while I have my favorite destinations, resorts and hotels, I am always looking for new and exciting opportunities to bring to you!
My favorite part of each trip is spending time with a local, experienced guide. Private guides provide a personal aspect to any tour, any destination.
Sarah Matier, Executive Assistant
Sarah, a native of New York State’s Finger Lakes region, is a recent Chicago transplant. She is thrilled to be part of Paul Klein Travel and excited to further her professional development in the Travel & Tourism industry.
Sarah developed a passion for travel at an early age, highlighted by her first trans-Atlantic voyage to Paris as a teenager.
While earning her Bachelor’s degree at Bucknell University, Sarah spent a year studying abroad in Tours, France and fell in love with the Loire Valley. Upon receiving her degree in French a year later, she moved back to France to teach English near Lille. Realizing that teaching was not her calling, Sarah enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professional French Masters Program, an interdisciplinary program that combined coursework in French and Business. Integral to the degree program, Sarah completed a five-month internship at a boutique sports event planning agency near Bordeaux.
Thanks to her time living abroad, Sarah has had the opportunity to travel throughout Western Europe, as well as other destinations worldwide. So far, her favorite trips include a stay in Cape Town, South Africa for the World Cup in 2010, and a two-week excursion exploring Spain.
When not dreaming up exciting vacations, Sarah enjoys watching English Premier League football, even though it often requires waking up as early as 6:30 am on weekends!
Originally from Singapore and Malaysia, Caroline completed her diplomas in Hotel and Restaurant Management in Kuala Lumpur, and worked in various hotels, restaurants and clubs throughout Malaysia. During this time, she developed a passion for adventure and discovery while travelling extensively throughout Asia, Europe, America, Australia and Central America.
In 1986, Caroline moved to the U.S. — Philadelphia, to be exact — where she met her husband Randy. They migrated west to Chicago where they lived for 11 years. Her family, now with two boys Cameron and Luke, moved back to the East Coast for seven years before settling once again in Chicago.
In 1993, Caroline secured a diploma in Travel at Echols International Travel and Hotel Schools, Inc. in Chicago. She worked with Paul Klein Travel for two years, then set out on her own, opening her own travel agency business. After taking time to raise her family, Caroline is back in the travel business specializing in customized travel for families and groups vacations as they are a great way to reconnect and create lasting memories with family and friends. Caroline has now develop a wide range of clientele from Corporate to Leisure as well; planning weddings, honeymoons, multi-generation vacation and more. Caroline’s knowledge of travel, research capabilities and dedication to customer service keeps her clients happily traveling around the globe!
Caroline enjoys traveling the globe as a travel guide and host, especially with her husband and boys, dining with friends, skiing, golf, music and her active city lifestyle. A full-time travel advisor and a full-time Mom, she volunteers at school and is a member of The Latin School of Chicago Annual Auction Committee, teaming with fellow Moms.
Nora has recently retired from Merrill Lynch where she was a highly successful Senior Financial Advisor for 33 years. As a veteran financial planner, much of what Nora has done for her investment clients translates very well to the travel industry. She is a planner by nature and by long years of practice.
She now specializes in designing custom luxury travel solutions with the specific goal of matching your travel plans to you. Just as your financial advisor’s ultimate goal is to provide a good return on your investments, your travel advisor should ensure you receive a good return on your time.
For her personal travel, Nora loves what she calls “Princess Adventure Experiences”. She likes to go to beautiful natural settings but stay in luxury properties. Nora has traveled to New Zealand, Italy, France, Greece, Tahiti, Hawaii, Alaska Costa Rica, Mexico, England, Holland, and throughout the Caribbean and the continental United States. When not traveling, Nora reads about travel. She also enjoys culture and the arts of all kinds-in particular, theater, musicals, and museums. She is fond of good food, great wine and the natural world (without the bugs, of course), and funny people. She loves and lives to plan her next trip(s). Ask her where she is going next!
Alexandra, better known as Alex, was born in London. Traveling was almost part of her genes since she has been raised in Europe, Egypt, Cyprus, Singapore and Hong Kong. She discovered the world while growing up. She finally went back to London where she studied Political Sciences and successfully passed her Bachelor’s degree.
A few years later, she married Edward and moved to New York where she had her two children: Sandy and Adam.
She has over twenty years in the travel industry, specializing in international individual and family travel with emphasis on group travel. She recently settled in Chicago and thus joined the Paul Klein Travel’s team in 2014.
Although having lived or visited most major countries in the world, Alex still has a few must haves on her bucket list.