Quintessentially Lifestyle is the luxury concierge service that helps to organise the lives of the world’s rich and famous. In this online exclusive, we sit down with their Asia-Pacific CEO to hear about getting tickets to the Oscars and planning a flash mob in Times Square
Just like us at Prestige Towers, members-only concierge service Quintessentially Lifestyle is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Hong Kong this year. During that decade, the team at Quintessentially Lifestyle has organised plenty of extravagant parties, sourced nearly-impossible-to-find presents and got their members access to the world’s most exclusive events. If you want a tiger at your birthday party (yes, a real-life tiger) or front-row seats at Paris Fashion Week, then Quintessentially Lifestyle are the people to call. To mark their 10 years in business, we sat down with Emma Sherrard Matthew, Quintessentially Group’s CEO in Asia Pacific, to chat about some of the more memorable requests that they’ve received.
What’s the most outrageous request Quintessentially has ever received?
A membership with Quintessentially Lifestyle paves the way to a number of benefits and experiences that money simply can’t buy. With that in mind, we have received some very outrageous requests over the years, including organising a flash mob in Times Square, New York for a member to surprise his wife for her birthday, to closing down the Egyptian pyramids for an engagement party, to being asked to source an uninhabited island in international waters for a member to claim as his own.
Another that particularly stood out is a member who once asked us to source a genuine authenticated medieval suit of armour – a birthday request that was needed within 24 hours. Another VIP member also wanted to do something out of the ordinary for his birthday. As he is obsessed with James Bond, we organised an extra special James Bond-themed adventure for him that included filming a high-speed car chase in a special-edition Aston Martin.
We’ve heard you’ve had requests involving live animals. Is that true?
Live animal requests do come up quite regularly and we have been asked to source some weird and wonderful animals. For example, we were given half a day to find a pet jellyfish when a member suddenly decided that this was the season’s absolute must-have accessory. We convinced the manager of an aquarium to personally install the tank and jellyfish and give the proud new owner a 30-minute lecture on the difficulties of keeping a jellyfish healthy at home. We also had requests to source a tiger for a private party as well as a kangaroo and a koala for a children’s event. Of course the welfare of the animal and the safety of our members is always a priority and seriously taken into consideration with requests like these!
We know some of your clients are into fashion. What’s the most challenging fashion-world request you’ve had?
We see a lot of requests asking us to source limited-edition or sold-out items from top luxury brands. For example, we had a request for a Grand Complications Patek Philippe watch. This particular model had a waiting list of seven to eight years, but we were able to secure this piece for him and have it delivered to his home within three weeks. Another example was when a husband requested as a surprise for his wife an Hermès Birkin Bag (35cm Rouge Braise Shiny Porosus Croc with Palladium). Hermès Birkin bags are only made available by Hermès to their top-tier clients but in this case we managed to source this item within two working days and ship it to the client’s hotel room in Italy, much to the delight of his wife.
What’s the most requested red-carpet event?
Our most requested red-carpet events include access to the prominent fashion weeks around the world including the shows at London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks, as well the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The Oscars and Grammys are also popular, as well as access to amFAR galas, the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and film premieres, for example for the latest James Bond movie, Spectre.
What’s the hardest restaurant in the world to get reservations at?
Damon Baehrel in New York State is certainly a challenge, as is Noma in Copenhagen, Schwa and Next in Chicago and Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, to name just a few. For us, it’s all about the connections and our unrivalled network – for example elBulli in Spain (before it closed) was nearly impossible to get into, but we were able to secure two nights during the restaurant’s closing weeks for our members, who flew from all over the world to eat there.