4 reasons to hire a personal concierge for your next trip

As more and more people forego the luxury of possessions for the luxury of unique experiences, the personal concierge business is booming. Few travelers have the time, contacts, or knowledge and insight necessary to arrange those truly unforgettable experiences in any location around the world. Of course, the rich and famous themselves have a team of people organising the impossibly exclusive and often glitzy escapes you might later read about in the glossy magazines. Today however, you needn’t be on the Forbes List of the world’s wealthiest in order to book a personal travel concierge, and you could still find yourself rubbing elbows with that lot on your next holiday.

Concierge

Here’s why you should consider booking your own private concierge for your next trip.

1. Specialist local knowledge

Even if you know an area well, the job of a good personal concierge is to know about the places and experiences you may not have registered. After getting to know you through an initial consultation and ongoing discourse, your concierge should know your tastes and preferences well enough to tailor your itinerary beyond your expectations. Restaurant recommendations become clear based on the types of cuisine, atmosphere and service you prefer; outings are planned according to your interests and hobbies, what you like to do together as a family, and what you definitely would like to avoid. All is then refined and honed to your specific tastes, and ideally you will find yourself loving something you had never even considered before.

Seizing on the trend of those seeking immersive experiences in a location, or to “live like a local”, the concierge will have inside knowledge to help you find your way in a place even better than many people who do actually live there. The trip planning will begin well before your arrival in the locale and the coordination continues right through your stay.

2. Impossible access to unique experiences

But let’s say that you do know the area well and have your heart set on a few select experiences: that restaurant you’ve heard so much about but that doesn’t take reservations, or only a year in advance; the winery making your favourite wine but that doesn’t offer tours to the public; the singer you adore who will be performing a sold out show; or, that historic site that has always fascinated you but you’d rather not fight throngs of people to explore.

While there are limits to what can be achieved, and naturally everything comes at a price, a good personal concierge will often not just get a table for you at that restaurant, but may even be able to arrange for a private session with the chef. A tour of that winery and a private tasting should be easy enough to arrange for you, and tickets to sold out events are sometimes the easiest thing your well connected concierge can do – perhaps you’d even like to go back stage? Private tours, hard to book tables, personal escorts, surf instructors and trail guides, all access passes, it’s all tied up in that little black book full of contacts your personal concierge has spent years accruing. And again, the best concierge will arrange special access to something you hadn’t considered but will surely love.

3. Your time is valuable

Obviously. Many people would consider time to be the greatest luxury of all. So even if you did happen to be lucky enough to have the resources and connections to investigate all of these possibilities for yourself, do you really have or want to spend the time to do so? A local concierge will have invested more time and effort over the years than you could imagine; at the bottom of it all is someone who lives in the area and knows how to network. Restaurants and events come and go, while new opportunities are forever emerging; the local concierge makes a living staying on top of changes and staying in the know. With the investment of just a bit of time (and, of course, money) you can let your personal concierge do the leg work for you, freeing you up to focus on your work and personal life before your vacation and enjoying yourself to the fullest during your vacation.

4. Convenience and peace of mind

Ultimately, it’s the convenience of having everything arranged to taste that draws travelers to the personal concierge. Unlike the old adage, “if you want something done right, do it yourself”, you can rely on a proper concierge to do it better than you could yourself; how convenient is that? But beyond the convenience of someone setting the perfect itinerary for you, it also means that you can count on the kitchen and servers of every restaurant you will dine in knowing in advance about that allergy you suffer, and the sommelier already knows your preference in wine. You won’t have to double check the pick up time with your driver or where you are to enter for your back stage access. You can rest assured that the classic convertible you wanted to drive will be waiting in place and without wait, or delivered directly to you; in short, you have the peace of mind to relax and not preoccupy yourself with the minute detail and logistics during your stay.

There are various high end and exclusive concierge companies (some require a recommendation from an existing client) with an international reach, but increasingly it is even easier and more economical to contact a specialist local concierge in the area you will be visiting. More luxurious villa rentals will even offer concierge service to include daily local and onsite attendance as well as trip planning in advance, offering a truly immersive experience in that locale. It might be worth a little time and research into just the right personal concierge for you, and then you can let your perfect holiday unfold in front of you for lifelong memories. I have a few recommendations in my own little black book.

Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto.

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Comments (5)

  1. Kathy oreilly says:

    How does one go about getting a personal concierge? Would love a peek into your black book for a recommendation! We travel often and I have always wanted a high end travel agent but have not found one that I like or that I trust. Very interested in this concept!

  2. Alan Hazel says:

    Hi Kathy. There are some big international companies out there that can offer this type of concierge service in many locations around the world, some more exclusive than others. You might be surprised at what American Express can do for you; “Quintessentially” is pretty accessible to the public and offer a high level of service globally, “Personal Concierge International” is another though both charge annual fees and act in a continuing capacity.
    Many others are more niche and operate locally, and you can hire them discreetly for short periods. Here you may find even better access in a particular locale you would like to visit. For this you’re better off searching for a concierge within the destination you are intending to visit. For example, should you care to visit Cortijo El Carligto in Andalucia I can take care of you myself!!

  3. My family is visiting Puerto Vallarta and we would love to hire one, can you recommend one for Puerto Vallarta for June 12-19th.

  4. Alan Hazel says:

    Hi Wayne,

    See my previous comment for more general advice and for bigger global concierge providers, or something like concierge.com, for example.

    Beyond that, the point is that you can often find very specialist personal concierge service in the area that you want to visit. I, for example, am a personal concierge operating from La Axarquia in Malaga Province, Andalucia. However, I don’t have specific knowledge about similar agents in Puerto Vallarta as that’s not my domain.

    You might have some success seeking out private and luxurious villas or properties there in Puerto Vallarta; these, like my own property, will often offer a high level of service to best help you find your way around without paying a fortune and without paying for an annual service.

    Best of luck and enjoy your travels!

    Alan

  5. Jill Huerter says:

    Agreed,this service can save you a lot of time and headache. We used Expedia on one of our trips to Hawaii and found it to be a very valuable service. They had an area set up in our hotel which turned out to be extremely convenient. Would recommend it highly.

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