Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, if your time is money and you have more pressing engagements than spending hours on the net looking for the restaurants and hot hang-outs that London’s coolest locals favour, then Bon Vivant has the answer. Already an established and respected concierge and lifestyle management company offering high-end service to its elite members, the team behind the brand are now offering an ad hoc service to individuals visiting the capital, ensuring that your trip is a memorable one – for all the right reasons. Whether you’re after the perfect London hotel, a table at the city’s hottest restaurant or want to see its finest sights, Bon Vivant’s concierge services are on-hand to help. The new service offers unlimited access to your own personal concierge for the duration of your stay, offering you insider information and local knowledge just a phonecall away. With an enviable little black book of contacts, the team will be able to secure the hottest theatre tickets, tables at restaurants with month-long waiting lists, as well as entry to the coolest clubs. Other benefits include room upgrades at luxury and boutique hotels, priority reservations and even complimentary drinks.
Emyr Thomas is the man behind this emerging travel brand, and as we always do when we get our hands on an expert in their field, we decided to grill him.
Emyr, as a travel professional, what are you fail-safe packing tips?
Pre-planning is always important: if you know you’re going to have too much luggage (I usually do!), remember to pay for extra bags or weight in advance as it’s much better value and saves unnecessary hassle at the airport.
If you’re travelling for business and saving time is critical, make sure you only take the essentials with you in your carry-on luggage and that you have your travel documents stored together – keep them in the same place every time you travel, so you’ll know exactly where they are every time.
Do you have a favourite airline?
I usually fly Virgin or BA, particularly as I love premium economy (see below).
Economy or business?
I’m a big fan of premium economy – the extra legroom and the smaller cabin with fewer people are invaluable and you can fly in comfort without breaking the bank. I really wish they would offer more premium economy seats on planes though.
However, if you’re travelling very long distances, you can’t beat the feeling of reclining all the way to flat!
Which destinations are on your hot list for 2012?
South America will become an increasingly popular destination, combining food and wine experiences in Argentina with activity based holidays in the Patagonia region, for example. Brazil will also start to feature more heavily in the run-up to the major sporting events over the next few years.
Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring the South of France – I haven’t been for a few years and I’m long overdue a return visit. There are so many quaint villages and truly stunning hotels with great food and service.
Favourite city in the world?
Although New York and Paris are strong contenders, my heart will always belong to London. It’s dynamic, vibrant, exhilarating and truly beautiful. I love standing on Waterloo Bridge with such magical views either side. It also has the hottest restaurant scene in the world at the moment, which is fantastic for us Londoners.
There are a few contenders. The best service I have ever experienced was at the Hotel Bel Air In Los Angeles – the staff were incredibly attentive and the service was discreet and seamless. The hotel is in a beautiful setting with a great pool and it’s a lovely antidote to the frenzy of LA – it has recently had a refurbishment and I can’t wait to see how it has been transformed.
The Connaught is my favourite hotel in London – it’s cosy, welcoming and utterly glamorous at the same time, and its Coburg Bar is one of my favourite bars in London – there’s nowhere better for a martini.
But my favourite hotel is Eden Rock in St Bart’s as the setting is just idyllic – the turquoise sea, the white sand and the glorious weather. The hotel, like the island, is the perfect blend of barefoot luxury with a splash of glamour!
Best travel gadget?
My iPhone and iPad are both prized travel possessions – there are so many apps to help improve the whole travel process: Kayak to help you find the right flights, TripIt to store all your travel confirmations in one place and the ability to check live departures and arrivals is invaluable.
Sell us a membership to Bon Vivant in one sentence…
We can help with any travel, lifestyle or leisure need that you don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to do yourself – your own personal concierge will be on hand to help at all times, you’ll be offered our insider knowledge and expertise and you’ll regain control of your time so that you can make the most of your life and free time.
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