Born and raised in Northern California, Ellen attended San Francisco State University before heading north to the Napa Valley – and a career in the hospitality industry.  Several years later, she accepted a position in New York City working for Laurence Rockefeller’s legendary hospitality company, Rockresorts.  After enhancing her resume with positions at Inter-Continental Hotels and Orient Express Hotels, Ellen founded ‘Freschauf & Company’ in 1992.  Her goal was to provide sales and marketing support to select resorts and hotels, thereby increasing their visibility and sales within the upscale travel agent community.    In 2015 the corporate name was changed to ‘Selected Escapes’ and continues to represent some of the finest hotels and specialty travel companies in the world.

Today she resides in Marin County, California with her husband Randy and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Explore the Vision

​​Your next journey begins here.  Explore our collection and enjoy the escape!  Each is carefully chosen "as being the best".  

Born in Arkansas and raised in California and Texas, Shawn attended New York University after a 10 year career as a competitive figure skater. Upon graduation, Shawn made NYC his permanent home and began his profession in the hotel industry. After less than one year at The Inn at Irving Place, he was promoted to General Manager – a position which he held for 17 years. During his tenure at The Inn, he established their famous afternoon tea service at Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, a service which grew into one of the most popular tea salons in the city. Shawn was also responsible for expanding the room inventory by converting nearby apartments to create 52 Irving Residences as an integral part of The Inn’s room options. As a member of Small Luxury Hotels, maintaining The Inn’s reputation as a truly unique and exquisite hotel in the busy NYC marketplace was only one of Shawn’s responsibilities.   In joining Selected Escapes, Shawn brings his solid relationships with top travel agents and background as a hotel manager as the perfect and cohesive addition to this well established company.

Today Shawn resides in NYC and maintains an active role in figure skating, serving as an Olympic/World level judge and an elected member to the ISU - International Skating Union. 

About Us 

Ellen Freschauf
Founding Partner

Shawn Rettstatt