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Top ‘fixers’ for the super-rich traveler
They're exclusive, elitist and basically unaffordable. For some though, travel just isn't travel without help from a luxury concierge service
Poor you, scanning websites for hours trying to scrape up a holiday travel deal that'll fit into your Cratchit-sized budget.
If you had just a little more cash -- say, a few extra million stashed in coffee cans -- you could hire a personal concierge service to plan everything from rides to the airport to picking just the right duty free item the Chilean ambassador will most appreciate at that Friday fund-raising gala that, oh yes, you need a new suit for.
Handling luxury villa bookings, scoring impossible-to-get dinner reservations and filling outrageous travel requests are just a few of the things private concierge services do for the super-rich.
The world’s most exclusive fixers -- such as the three described below -- go a few steps farther.
1. Pure Entertainment Group
Where they operate: United States, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom or Singapore.
Who they serve: World famous names who enjoy living in the lap of luxury.
Concierge catchphrase: “We would never settle for anything less than the best, and we don’t expect our clients to, either.”
Although its customer demographic is predominantly male-based, Montreal-based Pure Entertainment Group is gaining popularity with jet-setting ladies who enjoy luxurious travel packages. Think of a "Sex in the City" movie sequel set in Abu Dhabi.
A basic membership comes in at US$12,000 and the group counts celebs and CEOs among its clients.
With a network of suppliers covering all continents, Pure’s travel planners have access to 3,000 properties worldwide and if you can afford a little more, you might also find a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 parked in your villa driveway.
If you have a diva streak, don’t worry. “We pride ourselves on being able to bring seemingly impossible dreams to reality; no request is ever a ‘nightmare’ request. We see it as a challenge to find the perfect fit for that client,” says Teneisha Collins, director of advertising and PR.
Their services have included locating "hard-to-find items," securing sold-out tickets to events and planning celebratory events.
“One of the highest fees we charged for a client was to locate a very specific and exclusive yacht,” says Collins. “We negotiated a specific charter price with the yacht owner first and then organized a first-class event with Michelin-starred chefs."
Submit your application early because membership is limited.
Pure Entertainment Group; +1 514 764 9693; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.purentonline.com
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Where they operate: Pretty much anywhere.
Who they serve: People probably on the Forbes 100 list earning US$8-30 million per year.
Most outrageous fixes: Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a private climb and proposal, and a dinner for two arranged on an iceberg.
High net-worth members are worth their time and effort. An Elite Membership fee costs HK$300,000 (US$38,550) and that earns you exclusive luxury services.
If that’s too heavy on the wallet, settle for a Dedicated Membership package at HKD$40,000. Once you’re in, the world is your playground, especially the 60 cities worldwide where Quintessentially operates.
The service includes a personal account manager who is trained to anticipate your requests and make proactive suggestions, rather like a super-nanny-Siri hybrid.
Emma Sherrard Matthew, CEO, and her team expect Quintessentially members to be demanding. “They wouldn’t be where they are in life if they weren’t!” she says.
“A recent crazy request involved sending eight midgets with circus experience for a boat in Dubai!”
Quintessentially; +852 2540 8595; email@example.com; www.quintessentially.com
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3. Luxury Concierge China
Where they operate: China or Hong Kong.
Who they serve: Well-educated, culturally hungry people who enjoy long walks in foreign cities.
Most bizarre request: Asking to be taken to all the locations where people in the city had committed suicide. Sorry, wish not granted.
If you have a penchant for the Orient but wish to avert any potential disasters in the chaos of overcrowded Chinese cities, a private guided tour is your best bet.
Enter Luxury Concierge China, “a provider of bespoke experiences with the support of concierge services,” says Jonathan Hasson, director.
They offer personalized tours in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Xitang and will soon add Beijing and Hong Kong to their itinerary list. A team of multi-lingual experts in history, architecture and contemporary Chinese art are on hand to make these trips culturally enriching.
If you have a budget of RMB 13,500 (US$2,100), Shanghai is yours for a day. A personal guided tour involves moving through the "longtangs" (alleyways) in the French Concession, an authentic local lunch at Art Salong, light shopping at Taikang Lu, a private massage overlooking the Bund, evening cocktails at Waldorf Astoria’s Long Bar and dinner at Franck’s.
“We had a request from a vice president of a client company that came in at 3:30 a.m. on a Saturday. I was at her hotel by 7.30 a.m. to show her around Shanghai and take her souvenir shopping for her children. All this when I had only one and a half hours sleep the night before!” says Hasson.
The best part? Their services start from RMB 2,500. Who said luxury has to be that expensive?
Luxury Concierge China; +86 1350 166 2908; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.luxuryconciergechina.com
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