A group of luxury concierges at the ITB Berlin agreed that the profession’s old rules still ring true: never forget a face and never say no.
“Quite simply, patrons want our help fixing problems,” said Amadeo Musto D’Amore of the Fairmont Hotel Four Seasons in Hamburg and a member of Les Clefs d'Or, or the Golden Keys.
“People working in the hotel need to be friendly, warm, and remember the patron’s name. The word ‘no’ doesn’t exist. You must always try your best,” he added.
Steve Kalthoff, head of the German branch of online luxury concierge Quintesentially agreed, adding that his customers often meld business and pleasure travel, a category his company calls “bluxury.”
“We are experiencing a decline in single-purpose travel,” Kalthoff said. “Our clients combine personal and business. So we can support all of this – business conference rooms, child care, anything else which we call bluxury. Roughly 30 percent of our travel requests are bluxury.”
Both men have satisfied even the most demanding patrons.
One such patron paid Quintesentially to arrange the closing of Sydney Harbor Bridge for 15 minutes so that a marriage proposal could be delivered, Kalthoff said.
D’Amore, for his part, once arranged a last-minute sailing license for a Japanese heiress visiting Hamburg. But the most unusual request entailed the purchase of a dozen prize cows for a Saudi royal.
“The sheik wanted to bring the cows back with him to Saudi Arabia,” D’Amore said. “We arranged a driver to take him to ten farms. Then we had to deliver the cows he picked to Saudi Arabia. It wasn’t easy, but we did it.”
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Michael Scaturro is reporting exclusively for 4Hoteliers.com at ITB Berlin 2019 - www.4Hoteliers.com/itb.
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