R.L. Adams at Forbes.com
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Welcome to a world laced with stunning opulence, replete with unrivaled service, unforgettable one-of-a-kind outlandish experiences and simply unimaginable excess for those with the good fortune that’s afforded by these all-access-pass concierge sites.
However, don’t get me wrong, concierge services aren’t merely meant solely for travel. In fact, all of the best concierge companies in the world not only help their members book travel, but also aid them in managing and maintaining their celebrity-esque lifestyles, while providing a refined level of digital personal assistance for an unfettered ease of comfort, convenience and accessibility to their lives.
Who has the time to manage their second or third home, help book that superstar singer for their wedding in the Mediterranean, or remember an employee’s birthday and send a personalized gift? Imagine being able to send a WhatsApp message to your luxury concierge, telling them what you need, and a short time later, it’s done.
This type of hands-free virtual service and attention to detail is possible in today’s marketplace thanks to the proliferation of technology and the extensive personal and business networks developed by some of the world’s most in-the-know concierges. Yet, don’t expect your personal concierge to come cheap. Depending on the level of attention you’re seeking, annual fees can easily range in the low-to-mid five-figures. And that’s just to be a member.
However, if you’re looking for an unparalleled red-carpet experience, look no further than these select few concierges that not only deliver on service, but also a technological footprint that provides convenience and accessibility to the world’s upper-middle class and elite jet-setters. These companies are the cream of the crop, the best of the best when it comes to white-glove service and an anything-goes-get-it-done attitude.
What Are The World’s Best Concierge Companies
Today’s complex and intricately-woven digital world is filled with companies that are vying for the attention of consumers in an increasingly-crowded space. While most businesses have their work cut out for them, the luxury segment and one-percenters are becoming harder and harder to reach and win over.
Like other industries, building a solid brand presence in the luxury concierge space is a monumental undertaking at best. Couple that with the necessity to deliver true value to consumers that are used to getting what they want and when they want it, and it almost spells out a recipe for disaster.
For that particular reason, becoming a go-to name in the luxury concierge-services space is filled with strife and ripe with challenges. Yet, to the victors go the spoils because some of the world’s best concierges are reaping the benefits and enjoying the sweat equity that involves demanding and expecting more from yourself each day than you expected the day before. That’s most certainly how champions are created.
Originally launched in 2000, in the heart of the United Kingdom in London, the Quintessentially Group is one of the world’s foremost luxury concierge services with offices in 63 cities from around the world, and 33 sister companies that provide an intricate network of access to the world’s most exclusive brands and experiences.
The brain child of co-founders, Aaron Simpson, Ben Elliot and Paul Drummond, the Quintessentially Group’s well-to-do and in-the-know global fixers provide an all-access pass to the elite looking for preferential treatment and white-glove service in every aspect of entertainment, travel and commerce.
The winner of some of the world’s most prestigious travel and concierge awards such as Conde Nast’s Best Concierge Company, the Leading Hotels of the World’s Top Producing Agent and World Travel Awards’ Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Club, Quintessentially is no stranger to the so-called cream of the crop.
The company’s client list is vast and filled with celebrities and notable individuals across numerous fields, yet they remain tight-lipped about specific names citing the importance their clients hold for privacy and discretion. With an average net worth of $5 million dollars and up, the company is accustomed to dealing with those that demand and expect the very best of the best.
Quintessentially’s technology and on-demand services platform also give it a cutting-edge advantage in a marketplace filled with upmarket suppliers. From restaurant reservations, to VIP access at events and nightclubs, luxury travel, day-to-day errands, unique lifestyle experiences, relocation services and even home management options, the company offers a wide range of options in three unique tiers of membership that range anywhere from $5,500 per year for a standard membership, to $45,000 per year for the elite level.
Its vast contacts and partnerships with companies like eliteLYFE, one of the world’s most highly-acclaimed leading luxury villa rental providers, luxury car rental businesses such as GoRentals, private jet charter companies, superyacht charterers, leading hotels and resorts from around the world such as the St. Regis and Four Seasons, amongst many others, make Quintessentially Group one of the best providers for concierge services on the planet.
Its utter commitment to delivering true value to its clients is a hallmark of the service that’s allowed the company to expand its global footprint immensely in the past decade or so. While average spends from clients per request hover around the $1500 mark, many of their members have been known to spends hundreds of thousands of dollars, to upwards of a million dollars and more, on a single request.
Some of the most outlandish requests that the company has filled has been:
- Closing the Sydney Harbor Bridge to allow a member to propose to his fiancee
- Arranging for dinner on an iceberg
- Flying a member’s dog in comfort on a private jet
- Organizing a complete James Bond experience that included a kidnapping on the streets of London
Claire Kennedy started her journey in the luxury travel industry in 2002 while working for American Express Centurion in the United Kingdom, the purveyors of the so-called Black Card. Working her way up the ranks, she became Centurion’s Senior Relationship Manager, dealing with their highest-value clientele.
However, it wasn’t purely a business relationship that she had formed with the company’s card members; many of them had become her highest-esteemed friends. This became evident to Kennedy when she took maternity leave from her job in 2012, at the same time that two of her colleagues had decided to start their own venture called, Knightsbridge Circle, which attracted some of the highest-net-worth individuals on the planet.
In 2013, Kennedy joined Knightsbridge Circle, a team highly-devoted to providing the best travel services and experiences that money could buy, bringing with her the strong relationships she had developed from over a decade of service to some of the most elite clients from around the world. But it wasn’t until 3 years later that she bought in as 50% partner, Today, she is the co-owner with its original founder, Stuart McNeill, in what is arguable the most exclusive concierge company on the planet.
Today, Knightsbridge Circle caters only to a select group of clients that have an eye-watering average net worth of $800 million dollars, with an annual membership fee of approximately $25,000. However, don’t expect to easily join this closely-knit circle. This exclusive, invitation-only concierge service has a long and illustrious waiting list.
Yet, for those that do manage to join the fray and become part of the most ultra-exclusive concierge company in the world, they can expect to reap the benefits of such a highly-esteemed team of travel enthusiasts and anything-goes specialists. Some of the most outlandish types of requests ever filled by the Knightsbridge Circle team include the following:
- Renewal of wedding vows by the Pope himself
- Private viewing of the U.K.’s Crown Jewels in Tower Bridge
- Arranging a private dinner for guests before Leonardo DaVinci’s ‘The Last Supper,’ at the Dominican Convent
- Playing a round of golf and enjoying a private dinner with a former champion at Augusta’s National during the Masters
- Private ritual conducted by Monks at the Grand Temple in Bangkok for a member
- An ultimate weekend in a Beverly Hills sprawling estate that included dinner prepared by the acclaimed chef, Daniel Boulud with entertainment by Jennifer Lopez and a late-night DJ session performed by none other than the superstar, Avicii.
John Paul Group
Founded in 2008 by David Amsellem, the John Paul Group has become one of the pioneering leaders in concierge services to a global group of well-to-do clientele and corporations. At the outset, much like many other of the world’s most successful concierges, the basis was a deep-rooted passion for service and hospitality, with a vision to enhance the lives of members by delivering the most trusted service on earth.
With an average net worth of its members of approximately $1 million, and an acquisition in July of 2016 from Accor Hotels along with a prior merger with Les Concierges back in late 2015, John Paul Group has expanded its footprint to over 1,000 concierges based out of 12 separate hubs, while operating on 5 different continents.
The focus for the company has largely been on its proprietary behavioral-profiling technology that gives its representatives an accurate snapshot of its members and their preferences based on exhaustive algorithms that look into their likes, dislikes, and travel patterns. At any given moment, John Paul Group’s well-devoted concierges can tailor a specific request based on this significant technology.
What’s most intriguing about this technology is that it provides an analytical data-layer atop phone calls, emails, SMS and other client communications to analyze and extract information about the member’s preferences. The company has wrapped this proprietary system into a white-labeled program that they also use with some of the world’s biggest corporations.
When it comes to putting through a request, John Paul Group’s members have numerous options. Similar to other concierge services, members can use WhatsApp, SMS, WeChat, mobile apps and other technology to place their request and subsequently track their requests directly with their assigned personal concierge. During every point of contact, the system analyzes requests, helping to further evolve the member’s profile.
This focus on the underlying technology has created the foundation for a business that has grown tremendously over the past decade, allowing it to tailor every specific request to the needs of its members while being extremely proactive in the process. It’s also enabled the company to deliver highly-targeted email blasts, resulting in astronomical open rates and sales conversions.
When it comes to some of the more outlandish requests filled, the company has done the following:
- Delivered 30 live penguins to a “Black and White party” organized for one of its British members
- Welcomed a stuffed zebra at Charles de Gaulle airport on behalf of one of its U.S. members, which was purchased during a Safari trip in Botswana, but was being shipped to one of his homes in Paris
Pure Entertainment Group
Founded in 2008 by Steve Edo, Pure Entertainment Group is a luxury lifestyle and concierge company based out of Montreal, Canada, catering to high-net-worth individuals. The company focuses on bespoke travel packages, luxurious-lifestyle experiences and personalized concierge services for both private clients and corporations from around the world.
The foundational mission at Pure has always been one that’s focused on both value and quality in their delivery, over quantity. They know that their clients are expecting the best of the best, and it’s their job to go out of their way to not only ensure those demands are met, but also that they far exceed the expectations of even the most discerning clients.
With members hailing from all points of the earth, they also believe in discretion and privacy, keeping their roster of clients close to the chest. And for those that are looking to join this elite-membership group, expect to pay anywhere from $12,000 per year to upwards of $35,000 per year just for a membership. But that membership can certainly afford some privileges.
Like other top concierge companies, Edo’s Pure Entertainment Group has spent years and years developing close personal and business relationships, and vetting companies and brands from around the world to ensure that they deliver the utmost value to their astute membership base.
With an average net worth of $5 million dollars, and a typical spend per request of upwards of $30,000, over the years, Pure Entertainment Group has fielded some outlandish requests such as the following:
- Arranged a Caribbean getaway at a luxurious beachfront villa for 12 guests featuring a Michelin-starred private chef, personal butler and 20-minute private beachfront firework displays
- Wedding congratulations video from an A-list celebrity, personally congratulating the newly-wed couple by name, stunning the crowd in attendance at the 1,000-person event
- Private after-hours viewing tour of a well-known gallery and museum in Venice, Italy that included a candlelit romantic dinner by an Italian Michelin-starred chef, which also included a personalized-guided tour of the 20th-century masterpieces on display in the museum