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Interview with Michael Groux of justLUXE Magazine and The Privileged Collection

Michael Groux  is  CEO and President of justLUXE Magazine and Founder and CEO of The Privileged Collection brand. justLUXE was launched in the summer of 2004. It resides under the parent company, LUXEmont, a luxury lifestyle publication. justLUXE focuses on the affluent lifestyle of world travelers. The magazine covers, luxury air travel, mega-yachts, fine real estate, world shopping and exotic destinations. Think of it as your ultimate portal to everything luxurious. The Privileged Collection is an online magazine publication that branches off the justLUXE name. The Privileged Collection is also a luxury lifestyle portal however it is dedicated only to air travel. It is one of the few online publications focusing only on luxury aviation. It is your source for news, current events and trends when flying like the rich and famous. Whether it be chartering your own private jet or flying first class from New York to Tokyo, The Privileged Collection covers it all. What is it that  you do exactly?
I am currently working on launching another branch off the Privileged Collection Brand called, JETprivileged.com. JETprivileged.com is a luxury travel concierge. Through JETprivileged.com you can charter a jet, purchase an aircraft, sell an aircraft and even be accommodated with luxury services ranging from chauffeurs to personal security details. With so much competition in the private aviation industry, JETprivileged.com saves the hassle of searching for a reliable and reasonable charter company when flying exclusively. JETprivileged.com is expected to launch Fall 2008.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love having the flexibility of overseeing the two companies; justLUXE and The Privileged Collection. It allows me to expand my knowledge of the travel industry and my markets as well as develop my multitasking skills when overloaded with challenges from both companies. I work closely with a small group of people. We don’t have any big offices or headquarters spanning over states or continents; however even though we might operate from small hubs and even some of us, from home offices, our reach in our market is as if we had an office in 10 major cities around the globe. A small group in a large business in a selective niche market, allows us to really focus on the little key points that make our companies succeed.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
One remarkable place I stayed at was, the Conrad Hotel in Tokyo Center, Japan. It was quite some time ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. If you are travelling to Japan and don’t mind laying down up to $800 a night on a standard suite, this is definitely the place. Everything is white glove service with the finishing touches. I recently stayed at the Howard Swissotel London in the city center. Everything about this hotel is done with Swiss tradition; prompt, clean and extraordinary. They focus on the little things that make your stay all worth it. For $550USD a night, you’ll have a spacious suite with views of the River Thames. A few years back I was fortunate enough to score an upgrade at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas while on vacation with my family. For $6,500 a night you’ll be pampered with butlers, maids and chauffeurs and taken care of as if you were royalty. If you have the extra cash and have nothing better to do with it, I’d say it was worth a try.
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
I remember taking a road trip with my father and grandparents through the Swiss alps and into the French speaking side of Italy, Lugano. The restaurant was called Les Falaises, which is French for The Cliffs. The small, family-owned hotel and eatery was situated on the cliff of a mountain overlooking the bay and marina down below. From the hillside you had magnificent views and could just sit there all day with a drink and good book and gaze out. The food was excellent. The eatery as well as the hotel itself attracted locals as well as tourists travelling through the village.
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
Well here in New York City, you can be walking down the street and catch Bill Cosby walking his dog down Madison Ave, or be standing in line at the grocery store next to Ralph Lauren or even see Lindsay Lohan partying it up at one of the trendy meatpacking nightclubs, and not even know it the whole time. To see a celebrity here in the city is an everyday thing. We don’t get excited over it because it is so common and natural. I will say I’ve had the pleasure of bumping into and starting a pleasant conversation with Hillary Clinton (as she lives 10 minutes from my father’s house), rapper, DMX and legendary actor, Chevy Chase, just to name a few. Hopefully with the launch of JETprivileged.com travel concierge, I will be privileged enough to meet some new exclusive clients.
What currently ranks highest on your travel wishlist?
I would definitely have to say, Bangkok, Thailand or Rio, Brasil. I have seen so many European and Middle Eastern cities, Id like to make my way to the other side. I hear the beaches are amazing in Rio as well as the nightlife and that the culture experience and dining experience in Thailand is one to live.
Thanks, Mike. Funnily enough, I shall be flying into Lugano from Zurich  in just a couple of weeks.   Does that restaurant/hotel still exist, do you know?   I can’t seem to find it on the ‘net…

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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