Wednesday, 20 April 2016 13:37

The keys to the city

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Gourmets can delight in the private chef service from Concierge Cape Town Gourmets can delight in the private chef service from Concierge Cape Town Pictures provided by Concierge Cape Town

A top notch concierge in Paris is generally regarded as "the guy who has the keys to the city" - and in just about any other major city, for that matter. If you are on a first-name basis with the concierge, your path in life is as smooth as silk ...

Individual concierges abound in environments such as restaurants and resorts, blue chip apartment buildings and in the lifestyle management arena in the shape of independent personal concierge companies.

The concierge industry has become a form of VIP treatment as a concierge service is even offered on luxury credit cards.  another form of VIP treatment.

A concierge meets standard requirements from guests such as restaurant reservations, recommending hot spots such as nightclubs and tourist attractions, booking spa services, arranging transport for limos, planes and boats, help with luggage assistance, drycleaning, sending of postal items and procuring tickets for special events - but every now and then guests like to throw a curved ball at the concierge desk.

Once in a while there is a request that is outlandish or seemingly impossible and it is the concierge's job to step up to the plate and deliver. Whoever said the hospitality industry was easy?

In South Africa the concierge is also king. Morris, also known as "The Voice" due to his deep voice, at the Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg, says the sky is the limit for a concierge. The buzzphrase among Hyatt regulars is "Ask for Morris", as his impeccable connections will ensure that he can get you just about anything from a piano to a Ferrari - for a price, naturally.

Hot air ballooning with Bill Harrop, visits to the Pilanesberg or Soweto and half day safaris to the Rhino and Lion Park in the Cradle of Mankind are all in a day's work for the indefatigable Morris who also ferries guests around in the Hyatt's luxury fleet of Landrovers and Discoverys, complete with wifi and newspapers.

His standout request was a priest who needed to get down to Cape Town to conduct a wedding ceremony and was willing to move heaven and earth to make it happen.

"It cost R85 grand to get a chartered jet to fly him to Durban," says Morris, but get his reverend guest there he did!

Down in the Mother City one of the top concierge companies is Concierge Cape Town, run by Zain Muller.

Zain is the go-to guy in luxury concierge services for wealthy travellers who want to experience the best that the Cape has to offer. Concierge Cape Town offers villa and hotel accommodation, ocean travel, luxury wine tours and even personal assistants. It's a flexible luxury service to make your stay that much more enjoyable.

Zain's high end and bespoke company, That Company, also provides special niche services for his high end guests. Need a DJ, a helicopter, special roasted coffee, or a diamond or two? Zain can help, plus he provides close protection services, personal butlers, hair stylists, luxury travel and car hire and, the cherry on the top, a private chef service for the discerning gourmet.

With South Africa being one of the top luxury destinations in the world, an experience on this level reminds one of Richard Gere's character in Pretty Woman who said simply: "It's the best."



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