Curious about what exactly it is that a travel concierge does? We’ll tell you that, plus everything else you need to know, in this detailed guide to travel concierges!
What’s in the job description, how are they different from travel agents, and what kinds of services they offer are just some of the topics that are covered in this detailed guide. We’ve also included a list of the top travel concierge agencies that are used by the elite, in case you’re considering hiring one for your next trip.
Read on to learn more about travel concierges, and see whether you should even consider using their services!
When you think of a travel concierge, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? The concierge desk at the last fancy hotel you stayed at, right? Hotel concierges are similar to travel concierges in their expertise and connections, but their job description is a bit different.
A travel concierge can do the same things a hotel concierge can do for you, plus a few extra things. It’s the person you hire to make all your wishes come true, as long as they’re not against the laws of the country you are in.
Travel concierge services are very pricey, and they’re often used by the rich and famous who don’t have the time or the energy to make travel arrangements on their own.
The duties and responsibilities of a travel concierge extend far beyond making hotel and airplane reservations – their duty is to ensure that everything about the trip is exactly how the customer wants it, from the destination to the daily itineraries.
In addition to that, concierges also provide 24/7 support for customers during their trips. That means that if a customer needs anything, it’s the concierge’s job to make it happen, no matter how difficult or impossible the task may seem.
And since the customers are usually ultra-rich people who don’t have a lot of patience or understanding, if they can’t complete the task quickly and successfully, it’s likely they will lose a customer for good.
This is why a travel concierge is nothing without their connections. They need to know all the right people to call to make even the impossible happen, and that’s how they can keep the customers with insanely high expectations happy. Also, concierges will often rely on word of mouth for recommendations, instead of looking at Yelp or Google reviews.
In other words, if they need something done and they’re not sure who to turn to, they’re going to ask their contacts until they can get a great recommendation.
Although they might have similar job descriptions, a travel agent and a travel concierge do very different things. A travel agent is a person who works alone or with an agency to promote hotels, make travel arrangements for others, and find deals for certain destinations. When you book a trip with an agent or an agency, their responsibilities generally stop once you arrive at your destination.
A travel concierge, on the other hand, will be at your beck and call 24/7 even during your trip.
Concierges don’t have to promote other hotels or restaurants – their sole obligation is to the customer, and to ensure that the trip goes exactly how they wanted. While a travel agent might be able to recommend restaurants and even make reservations on your behalf, a travel concierge can get you into the hottest restaurant in town, even if all the tables are booked for the foreseeable future.
There’s also a difference in how agents and concierges get paid. A travel agent takes a commission and if they work for an agency, the agency will take a cut of their commission as well. A concierge, on the other hand, earns money from fees, commissions, and tips that are often given out by generous customers.
Concierges can also take fees from providers depending on their arrangement, and certain customers can even keep them “on-call” with a monthly or yearly fee, depending on how often they need something done.
With all of that in mind, it should come as no surprise that concierges generally make more money than travel agents. Although the numbers are very individual and dependent on the type of work and clientele a concierge usually works with, but you can imagine that making wishes of the ultra-rich come true is a job that pays quite nicely.
The duties of a concierge are varied and plentiful. It’s rare for a concierge to offer only one type of service, so in most cases, these people will offer travel, luxury, business, and even certain personal services at the same time.
Luxury lifestyle concierge services are most utilized by the rich and famous, and they can include everything from planning parties to shipping valuable artwork all over the world. More often than not, luxury concierges will also make various travel arrangements for their customers, which can include anything from finding suitable hotels to chartering a private jet.
Corporate concierges are also a thing, and they’re often employed by large companies whose employees travel often. They do pretty much the same thing as luxury and travel concierges, but instead of being employed by rich individuals, corporate concierges are generally employed by large companies.
Their duties often include everything from making travel arrangements to organizing company events, but instead of needing to please just one individual, corporate concierges must respect the wishes of all the key personnel.
Although you can find concierge services that specialize in working with a particular clientele, more often than not these agencies will be capable of fulfilling your every demand. They might have certain individuals within the company who are specialized in one area, but even that’s not too common anymore.
The main reason why most people decide to use a travel concierge is to save time. Keep in mind that concierge services are expensive, and they’re mostly utilized by large companies or very rich individuals. These are people who don’t have the time to spend hours making travel arrangements or ensuring that the caterer got the menu right for their upcoming party.
Another reason why people opt to hire travel concierges, and travel agents for that matter, is because they can get access to exclusive deals. Both concierges and agents have connections with people in the industry, and they can offer exclusive deals to their customers, which they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
A good concierge should be able to get you a table on the same night at a restaurant that’s booked for the next two months, as well as get you tickets to a front-row seat at a fashion show. And just like travel agents, they can offer exclusive deals to their customers, which often include discounts for hotels, airlines, restaurants, etc.
The mega-rich will often employ concierges to do the work of a personal assistant. It can be closing down a Tiffany’s to purchase a ring, or shipping furniture halfway across the world – in any case, a concierge should be able to complete the task quicker and more efficiently than a personal assistant, because they can use the vast network of connections they’ve developed over the years.
Now that you know exactly what it is that travel concierges do, it’s time to go over some of the best (and most exclusive) travel concierge agencies in the business!
Quintessentially is one of the most popular luxury concierge companies in the world. They offer many types of concierge services, including travel, restaurant reservations, education, everyday errands, and much more.
This luxury concierge company has offices in 60 places over the globe, from Amman to Zagreb, and they work with both individuals and companies. Individual customers are usually the mega-rich, whose requests can range from fulfilling daily errands to closing down the Golden Gate bridge for a proposal.
It’s worth noting that Quintessentially is one of the largest concierge agencies in the business, so it should come as no surprise that they offer so many different services. The company employs more than 1500 people across their worldwide offices, and all those individuals are specialized in something.
Pure Entertainment Group is another luxury travel concierge company that works with private and corporate clients. Although they list some basic services they offer on their site, Pure Entertainment Group wants their clients to know that they’re capable of making all their wishes come true – all they need to do is ask.
The company prides itself on being of service to high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients from all over the world, as well as being able to make even the most impossible wishes and dreams come true.
John Paul is a well-known concierge company that works with both private and corporate clients. The range of services they offer is wide and varied – the agency can do pretty much anything from finding VIP basketball tickets to developing customized mobile apps for a specific brand.
John Paul agency was founded in 2008, but in 2015 they merged with LesConcierges – a company that has been around since 1987.
As you can imagine, the concierges who work for this company are seasoned professionals with networks of contacts that allow them to get things done with a single phone call, whether it’s arranging a two-week vacation in the Maldives or getting their client a table at a restaurant that hasn’t even opened yet.
One Concierge is an agency that offers lifestyle management, private aviation, and corporate concierge services. In total, they offer more than 150 different concierge services to both their private and corporate clients, and they’re very popular for their on-demand service.
There’s no subscription or membership fee for their on-demand service – simply fill out a form when you need something, and you’ll be contacted by their team shortly after.
Also, it’s worth noting that the agency offers a wide variety of event management services, which range from planning private events to finding you tickets to the most exclusive events. They also work with quite a lot of celebrities and public figures, and they’re able to offer various talent procurement services to their clients.
Knightsbridge Circle is a concierge service founded in 2012, and it’s one of the best and most expensive companies in the industry. They offer several membership levels to their clients, with their “Elite” tier being the most expensive concierge membership you can purchase.
The £25,000 per year membership gets you a personal manager who works only on your needs and requests, which is amazing. This company has the best staff-to-client ratio – each Personal Manager is assigned up to five clients, with the exception of PMs who work with Elite tier clients.
It’s worth noting that their most expensive concierge membership is by invitation only, and it’s reserved for the richest and most influential people on the planet.
Innerplace Concierge is a London-based company that’s been in the business for nearly two decades. They’re one of the top concierge agencies in the UK, and they’re pretty much the ones you should turn to if you ever need something while you’re in London.
Innerplace Concierge agents can get you in pretty much any London restaurant you want, and the same goes for clubs, VIP events, and even sold-out events.
This agency offers a wide variety of concierge services, which include lifestyle and event management, travel planning, and even corporate services. They also offer several different membership plans, ranging from short-term memberships for people who are traveling to London for a little while, to bespoke membership plans for big businesses.
Innerplace Concierge remains one of the top agencies in the business for London residents who are in need of lifestyle management services because this agency can do pretty much anything for you, from event planning to getting you access to exclusive events and even sample sales.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.