Luxury Concierge is the ultra service for the rich for anything, anyhow and anytime. It is an exclusive experience addressed especially to very wealthy individuals, but with very limited time. Instead of searching for days for that vacation they were dreaming of, they call a concierge company and it will take care of it from A to Z. In doing so, the client – businessman, business owner, CEO – can focus on their important meetings rather than dealing with day-to-day errands. A concierge may be a person or a company that takes over all these duties. A luxury concierge service is even at a whole other level and it can take care of almost anything a client might ask. What is the limit, you wonder? We were wondering the same so we wanted to talk to real experts in the field. Take a glimpse inside the magical and upscale world of luxury concierge. What do the super rich want, when they can ask for anything, anyhow and anytime? You can read below an exclusive interview with Marie Voyer, Lead Concierge at Arthur Majordome, a luxury concierge company based in Canada.
“Our members do not pay-per-service, once they join the select club, they are assigned their own concierge and requests are unlimited and encouraged.”
Luxury Concierge Service is definitely a deluxe experience. Can you please tell us who exactly books this type of services? What is the profile of the client that requires a luxury concierge?
We cater services to very high and mostly ultra high net worth individuals and their immediate families. We also offer tailor-made “packages” that are more corporate-oriented to include personal assistants in the membership, reservations for business trips, corporate retreats, holidays parties, and more, depending on their specific needs. Contrary to typical concierge agencies, we are a club. Our members do not pay-per-service, once they join the select club, they are assigned their own concierge and requests are unlimited and encouraged. A first meeting is scheduled to learn more about them, their needs, preferences and who they are as unique and exceptional individuals. At our company, we firmly believe that less clients mean more service. This way of thinking allows us to actually “choose” our members after they chose us. We only select members who will have a natural fit with our concierges and develop a strong human connexion, in order to reach our very high standards of service and differentiate the club (proactive) from the agencies (reactive). As an example, I will send a quick text message to a member and remind him of his wife’s upcoming birthday so we can discuss what they have in mind or suggest ideas, I will reach out to a member after hearing of a restaurant opening and thinking that would be the kind of cuisine/experience they would love. These are easy ways for us to be proactive, since we know our members and their families by heart, on a personal/human level.
“Whenever I am asked what kind of requests do we do and which ones we do not, I always say: “If it’s legal and respects the laws of gravity, I will take care of it”.
What type of services are considered “luxury concierge” and which of them are offered by your brand?
As cheesy as it may sound, the only thing that wealthy people cannot buy is time so it is at the center of all services we provide. A company owner is much more profitable running his business, his expertise, rather than wasting time trying to plan an itinerary for a trip to a destination they have never been to – our expertise. A stressed-out young CEO is much more relaxed and happy going back to a house we had cleaned and organized for him, rather than wasting his resting time doing housekeeping tasks. In the current global context, a member working from home is much more efficient and focussed if we find for them the perfect tutor to help their kids doing online school, rather than trying to jungle everything. Possibilities are endless! Whenever I am asked what kind of requests do we do and which ones we do not, I always say: “If it’s legal and respects the laws of gravity, I will take care of it”.
“I cannot disclose many details on my clients’ requests, but examples included the sourcing, transportation and installation of a 500lb musical instrument for a multiple time Grammy Award winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”
Marie, I saw you have a lot of experience in the world of concierge. Looking back to all these years, can you please tell us which were the most extravagant requests that you ever had to comply with? And most memorable ones, something that stuck to your mind until this day?
I cumulate over 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry, as Concierge and Chef Concierge in high-end Relais & Chateaux and Marriott (St. Regis) properties. I am honoured to not only be the youngest member to ever join the closed circle of Les Clefs d’Or at the age of 22, but to have also won the Les Clefs d’Or Awards 2019 distinction, allowing me to represent Canada in the international competition in Cannes, France. Having studied marketing and visual arts, my colleagues say that my creativity and witty, unconventional thinking are valuable assets for Arthur Majordome and its members.
I once welcomed an important Korean family and had planned and detailed their entire trip, including a lot of golf outings. During one of their tee time, they saw a prey bird, asking me to get back to them with the name of the type of bird. After they left, it took me days of unsuccessful research to finally come up with an expert’s undoubtedly answer and so I informed the translator by email. A month or two later, I received an email from him with a picture. To commemorate the wonderful trip that the family had, they had a monumental bronze sculpture of the bird done and placed in the center of the roundabout driveway in front of their mansion. Needless to say, I was speechless!
As Chef Concierge, being tasked with strategy and ultimate execution for all VIPs staying at the hotel, discretion and confidentiality is extremely important in this role. I cannot disclose many details on those stories, but examples included the sourcing, 130 km roundtrip transportation and installation of a 500lb musical instrument for a multiple time Grammy Award winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As you can imagine, you never know what to expect when the phone rings!
“Our mission is to allow our members to “lead the life you love”, this means that they also have access to the best professionals in finance, investing, accounting, lawyers, notaries, and more.”
The pandemic has definitely redefined a lot of businesses. Has your company done any changes to its offer, to adapt to the current times? And what exactly?
We definitely used the pandemic as an opportunity to redefine our company. I knew William Gingras, president and founder Arthur Majordome, for years and he kept an eye on my fast-arising career while I kept an eye on the company he created 3 years ago. We had a conversation at the beginning of the pandemic, sharing our passion for service and vision of what our brand could and should be. It was clear we were going to make a great team: his incredible entrepreneurship spirit and engaging personality paired with my experience, creativity and passion were going to elevate the club. This is how I joined forces with him and, together, we redefined the image of the company, its service offering and identity, in order to redefine the world of private concierge services – nothing less. We just relaunched the brand.
Around the same time, we have been proudly chosen by our financial Alter-Ego, Ceos Family Office, to work as partners as well. We share the same values of cooperation and the importance of human relationships in the digital age. They help Arthur grow by bringing the expertise, vision and wisdom essential to our mission to allow members to “lead the life you love”, our statement. This means that our members also have access to the best professionals in finance, investing, accounting, lawyers, notaries, and more. The multi family office clients also “skip” Arthur’s waiting list and become members upon recommendations. In the ultra high net worth, we believe it makes perfect sense to have our members’ “business needs” taken care of by the best, as we are the best at taking care of the “leisure needs”.
“Now we plan more a tasting menu with at-home chefs and sommeliers, instead of booking restaurant reservations.”
Has the profile of your client changed during this pandemic? Have new people from different industries contacted you or the portfolio of your clients remained the same?
We continue catering to UHNW individuals that we carefully select to join our exclusive club, however their needs have changed. Instead of planning a holiday to a sandy beach this winter, we were more looking into cottage rentals. We plan more a tasting menu with wine pairing with at-home chefs and sommeliers, instead of booking restaurant reservations, and so on…We are quick on our feet, we adapt very well and we proactively suggest local and at-home activities to provide our members with plenty of options, ideas and inspirations.
About Les Clefs d’Or:
Marie Voyer is member of Les Clef D’Or (translated as The Golden Keys) which is a professional association of hotel concierges, with approximately 4000 members working in over 80 countries and 530 destinations, in literally every corner of the world.
Easily identified by the golden crossed keys on their lapels, these members are an elite fraternity, globally connected, committed to professional development, and driven to setting new standards for guest service perfection.
With roots dating back to 1929, Les Clefs d’Or was officially founded in France in 1952 as a not-for-profit organisation based on two pillars: Service and Friendship. Before earning the right to wear the golden keys, those who aspire to become a member must have several years of experience as a hotel concierge, pass comprehensive testing and prove, beyond doubt, their ability to deliver the highest quality of service.