Luxury travel is currently carving out its own distinct high-end niche in the tech sector. While services like AirBnB and SkyScanner might be the sites of choice for your everyday consumer looking to book a holiday, there are luxury services that help customers arrive at their resort on a private jet, or help to plan opulent vacations defined by elite one-of-a-kind experiences, from luxury yachts to beach villas tucked into total seclusion.
By Luxury Society Asia team
These companies are known as “luxury concierge services,” and extend indulgence by aiding their customers with maintaining jet-setting, Instagram-ready lifestyles – referred to extravagantly as “lifestyle management.”
Right now the sector is converging with technology, leveraging connectivity and combining it with their innate lavish attention to detail, in order to connect their customers with their extensive networks around the world. However, the focus is distinct from the mass-market apps and mobile websites that cater to your everyday AirBnB user.
Imagine sending an elaborate request to your personal concierge via a Whatsapp message, and having the red carpet rolled out instantly? These are the kind of highly personalised (and extremely expensive) services that a luxury concierge offers. While there are a number of apps vying for the attention of high-end travellers, luxury concierge services are in a different class altogether, often requiring a five-figure annual sum for membership alone. At this elite level, the focus is on highly personalised communication, and even custom-built apps, as opposed to mass-market solutions.
For those looking to enjoy a premium travel experience in Thailand, with absolutely no expenses spared, there are several key players in particular.
The Black Tie Service:
The Black Tie Service is unique in that it is a Thailand-based company focused on providing services to the Asia-Pacific region. A fairly new player in the luxury concierge market, it was launched in 2015 with the aim of becoming the region’s top “privilege solutions provider” for its corporate customer base. As such, the company is focused on catering to businesses clients, while its associated Black Tie Experiences service is a complementary offshoot that provides luxury bespoke experiences on a consumer level.
The Black Tie Service promises access to a broad range of elite events around the world, with its in-house ticketing and hospitality team connected with a global network of suppliers and sister offices. Backstage passes, red carpet experiences and corporate suites are all on offer.
On the travel side of things, the service emphasises how high-end travel can assist with developing business relationships. As such, their offerings draw on PR and engagement activities to help drive value for its business customers, as well as offering an elaborate array of premium services like customised app development, marketing and promotion programmes, and beyond.
Some of the real-life experiences this luxury concierge has created for its customers in Thailand include closing Ankor Wat for a private dinner as a reward for corporate banking customers to developing a range of seven exclusive experiences for luxury car owners as part of a privilege programme. In additions to its Bangkok office, the Black Tie Services also has operation teams in Hong Kong, China and Singapore. The Black Tie Service recently received Luxury Lifestyle Award as “Thailand Best Concierge Company 2017”.
Launched in the UK back in 2000, the Quintessentially Group is arguably the world leader in the space, currently servicing more than 60 cities around the world, and working with an additional 33 sibling companies that link its customers to the world’s most exclusive travel experiences. The Quintessentially clientele is reportedly brimming with celebrities and high-profile leaders across numerous industries. However, it’s also a list that is kept top-secret for reasons of privacy and discretion.
Quintessentially’s Private Membership and Corporate Services offer a bevy of luxury travel experiences that are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. As well as intricately planned travel itineraries, Quintessentially also positions itself as providing the more intangible “experiences” made possible by its elite worldwide network. Restaurant reservations, VIP entry to nightclubs, access to prestigious sporting finals, front row theatre tickets and sold-out concerts. The company launched its Quintessentially Lifestyle App in 2014.
Quintessentially has had a Thailand office since 2006, and consistent with its international reputation, is considered one of the country’s premier luxury concierge services. “We give our Members the opportunity to organize and experience things they would never have the time to set up for themselves both in their personal life and in their business, because of their busy, hectic lifestyle… Moreover, we build personal ties with our Members,” Quintessentially’s Thailand site says.
Aspire Lifestyles operates across 20 countries and speaks over 90 languages, specialising in a similar 24/7, 365 days a year luxury service that brings more than 20 years of experience to the table. With its global headquarters in Singapore, it provides services to Thailand customers from a Bangkok-situated office.
Though Aspire Lifestyles’ heritage marks it as one of the established long-term players, there’s every indication it has made the shift into a modern “lifestyle management” provider with aplomb. The company won the “Leading Concierge Service Award” at the Wealth APAC International Private Wealth Management Forum just last year.
Among the concierge services the company offers, Aspire Lifestyles tantalises with the promise of access to hidden travel gems and a detailed, complex approach to itinerary planning. Its “lifestyle concierges” are ready around the clock to fulfil the full array of requests relating to elite travel experiences.
One Concierge is another leader in luxury concierge services and “lifestyle management”, catering to both individuals and corporations in over 115 countries. With its Thailand Concierge Services division of the company, One Concierge promises refined access to the country’s natural beauty and religious landmarks, as well as its sophisticated restaurant culture for those seeking high-end dining.
The company claims to offer one of the most comprehensive arrays of concierge services in the Thailand region, including island hopping, personal translators, luxury hotels, yacht charters and beyond. It positions itself as catering to both corporate and private customers.
Emerald VIP Services
The Thailand branch of Emerald VIP offers a wide range of luxury concierge services, including what it terms “executive transportation” and “aviation solutions” (hello, helicopter transfers). The company also offers specialised regional tours across some of the country’s most beautiful national parks including Kaeng Krachan, Pa La-U, Sam Roi Yot, Doi Inthanon and Khao Yai, combined with high-end cultural experiences at ancient capital cities and Thailand’s plentiful other historical sites.