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What is the meaning of a true life of luxury?
More and more people enjoy a life of Luxury
According to Coutts, the private bank, “It used to just be the preserve of the few – but today more people are indulging in luxury than ever before. Consumers are both demanding and fickle, with luxury companies having to work harder and faster in order to survive. Wealth creates opportunities, rewards hard work and is enjoyable.”
Luxury yes, but what does it really mean?
You know the sort of things that most people know exist because they have seen them in films: flying to Mustique by private jet to attend a party at Mick Jagger’s, then off to a charity ball in Monaco hosted by Princess Caroline, taking a helicopter to Skibo castle for a round of golf with Nick Faldo. That sort of thing. Well I wanted to find out if there were more to it than what meets the eye. How did some people always seem to be able to get memberships to exclusive clubs when there is, allegedly, a 10-year waiting list? How were they able to get VIP passes and red carpet treatment at sold out events? And for goodness sake, how did they somehow “most of the time” manage to be seen dining with the rich and famous and still avoid having their name and pictures all over the internet?
Would you like to know how some people always get what they want when they want? Almost always.
If you had to guess, would you say that:
A – It’s because they have the most efficient staff working for them?
B – Because everybody loves them and wants them?
C – Because they are rich and money can buy pretty much anything?
D – Because they are members of a luxury concierge service?
“Well, for some, it is mostly D” according to Natacha Boulter from Sigillus a leading lifestyle management and concierge in London www.sigillus.com.“But it’s not always the rich and famous who always get what they want.”
“It’s not just about the money you have, it is also about the people you know and the contacts you have developed over the years.” There are things you simply cannot buy for love nor money but if you know the right people, they might be able to help you get it. “This is why the best concierge services have the best consultants in their field: travel, sport, education, you name it." Natacha believes that “This is the difference between a good concierge service and a great concierge service.”
When we think of a concierge, we cannot help thinking of Ralph Fiennes as Monsieur Gustave in The Grand Budapest Hotel or Michael Fox in For Love or Money. They both epitomise what a great concierge should be but this is a luxury that only the best hotels in the world can offer their customers. However, what do you do if you are not staying in a palace on a day to day basis?
What is a concierge service?
A concierge service is designed to assist clients, wherever they are in the world to obtain what they are used to having at home: babysitters for their kids or petsitters/pethotels for their beloved animals, security guards, chauffeur driven limousines waiting for them at the airport, hotel rooms as per their requirements (exotic flowers in their favourite colours, their favourite bottled water from Fiji or Japan), or fully staffed chalets in Courchevel or villas in Lake Como, tables at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville California, Yam’Tcha in Paris, Noma in Copenhagen or better still the Fat Duck in Bray.
Life before concierge service companies?
Before the first concierge service company was created, how did people manage? "People were probably not as demanding and more importantly they probably had more staff looking after them: PAs, butlers… Some of our clients still have them but their staff simply do not have the contacts we have developed over the years and very often, they call us to help them with their bosses’ requests” confirms Natacha.
Who generally uses a concierge service?
Most of the people who use a concierge service are busy individuals or families with a high disposable income but this might not mean being a billionaire. Many are young executives who simply do not have personal assistants but who lack time. They crave for a personalised service with someone taking care of organising their holidays, buying a present for their mum or their girlfriend, sorting out tickets to concerts or sporting events, for instance going to the Olympics in Rio this summer, the Euro 2016 final in Paris or Wimbledon for the men’s final…
Natacha Boulter explains: “We have more and more families using our services when they arrive in the UK. They need a house, they need staff, they need schools for their kids and they want them as quickly as possible. They don’t know how things work here and so they rely on us to sort it out for them. Some people have a dedicated manager who works for them 24/7. Others, prefer to simply have the standard concierge service. We can tailor our service to what people want/need.”
“Our team of contacts are very efficient at helping us fulfil our clients’ needs and, whenever we can, exceed their expectations. This is also one of the reasons why our clients stay with us.”
She continues: “One of our clients wanted to propose to his girlfriend and he was keen to get down on his knee but he want to do it in a very specific way. He asked us to find the perfect roof top in London where he could land a helicopter in an exclusive location and where they would be alone without any prying eyes. Now, there are not many places in Central London where you can land a helicopter but we found one. I forgot to mention that we only had a few days to sort this out. He was in a hurry. But we did it. We sourced a roof top with a private garden where we organised a romantic dinner for two. They had their own chef and their own waitress and of course a small band. This was naturally completed in the strictest confidence.”
What people crave for most when they are famous is anonymity. They do not want to be bothered regularly and they do not want their pictures in all the tabloid and on social media unless they are one of the Kardashians and this is the business they are in.
“With the help of professionals, we help our clients to avoid being in the press or in social media. This has been a growing business for us over the years.”
For Marjorie Silverman, former president of the international Les Clefs d’Or association, the difference between concierges and everyone else is the dedication to saying “yes” and making it happen. Willingness, commitment, readiness for action, “putting your whole self in” and masterful collaboration are the underlying principles. When “no” and negativity are so prevalent in the world, the concierge is, indeed, a welcome haven. "We harness the power of “yes” and make miracles happen."
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