Intro: Red Carpet Luxury Lifestyle has been providing exclusive luxury travel and wellness experiences to a range of discerning customers, both corporate and private, since its inception in 1996. Their commitment to exceptional personal service in creating curated itineraries combined with their extensive experience, depth of knowledge and targeted international partnerships makes them a leader in the demanding luxury market.
We spoke to Founder and CEO, Alan Rogers, about the inspiration behind his company, the philosophy they operate by their greatest achievements, and their plans for the future.
Luxury Lifestyle Awards: What was your inspiration behind founding Red Carpet Luxury Lifestyle?
Alan Rogers: Prior to starting my company, I was General Manager at London Luton Airport. During this time, I was extremely disappointed with the service levels and how the airport cared for their passengers. Trying to change the service culture was a challenge, which is where I saw an opportunity to start a truly service orientated company. I wanted to look after people and make them feel special, (it is in our family’s DNA) I wanted to operate in the luxury market, which is why I decided to name the company Red Carpet. No matter what products or services we were going to provide in the future, they would be accompanied by impeccable service, maintaining the highest possible service standards. I secured offices in Knightsbridge as I was serious about operating in the luxury market and wanted to show we were going to be a professional and credible company.
LLA: What makes your company stand out as exceptional in the marketplace?
AR: Within a brief period, we attracted demanding FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies as we had already achieved a reputation for providing impeccable service. We won a major contract with Barclays Premier as our bid proposal for their annual conference was innovative and unique, providing them with a different vision on how they looked at and delivered their annual conferences.
This eventually culminated in winning the Vision 100 award, an award that recognised the top one hundred visionary companies in the UK, in both the public and private sectors. We shared this award with some major UK brands who became clients of ours. We are exceptionally good at establishing and building good relationships.
We went onto win the entrepreneur of the year awards with Coutts Bank and BT, along with the best marketing campaign for our Live Like a Millionaire campaign. We were helping companies grow profitably and helping them raise their profile within the global marketplace.
During this time (and even with large groups), we kept receiving consistent feedback from clients saying our service was impeccable and we always made people feel special. With every request, our attitude has always been, if it is physically possible and legal, we will make it happen. We created our strapline “The Answer is Yes, What’s the Question” which was our DNA.
This is what makes us stand out and exceptional in the marketplace.
LLA: Where do your clients come from? Does your client list have an international flavour?
AR: We certainly have an international flavour. We have discerning clients from around the world. We have catered for billionaire Russians to a lovely lady in the UK who just wanted something special for her son’s birthday. As we started to get more inquiries from the USA, we decided to open an office in Hollywood.
We have clients across Europe, Australia, Canada, Finland, India, New Zealand, and across Asia. As we have experience of working with many diverse cultures and cuisines, this enables us to cater for everyone.
LLA: Do you have a lot of repeat business with clients returning to design further experiences?
AR: During the past 25 years I cannot recall losing a client. Clients’ trends and budgets change depending upon their circumstances. However, the most gratifying situation is when our clients’ children become clients as we looked after them so well when they were younger. Our clients are inspired by new and innovative experiences that we curate like our Road to Longevity Retreat that explains the simple formula to living a happier, healthier, and longer life, whilst providing a leisure program of authentic lifestyle experiences. We launch this retreat in January 2022 and existing clients will have special privileges. When our clients want to celebrate something really special, they always come to us first.
LLA: What special services can you offer when arranging your travel experiences?
AR: All our special services start long before the client travels. Safety always comes first, so we get to know their dietary requirements, their allergies, their likes, dislikes, and apprehensions. We get to know if anything scares or really excites them. We then get to understand their aspirations, needs, and wants. Their favourite foods, drinks, preferred accommodation, views, and choose the appropriate establishments for them to enjoy. We even match their favourite colours and flowers within the services we provide (but we cannot reveal how we do this). We establish what will make their experience extra special. We consider convenience, from prior to leaving their homes, throughout their stay in the destination and returning home again. It goes without saying that whilst they are in resort, every detail is taken care of including all kinds of transportation, choosing various locations and places of interest, menus and drinks choices, entertainment, shopping, and most of all special enhanced services not available to the public.
LLA: What principles does your company operate on to ensure it delivers a world-class offering?
AR: Firstly, our business is all about people. We ensure our team has the right mindset with the right skill set. We ensure they are fully trained to the highest service standards which include Forbes Travel Guides luxury standards. Our principles are based upon being caring, courteous, gracious, thoughtful, respectful, knowledgeable, skillful, and always providing a sense of personalised service with a professional immaculate appearance. In addition to this, we will always take ownership and provide anticipatory services. Our clients do not need to think when they travel with us, everything is taken care of.
LLA: Can you tell us about some of the most remarkable experiences you have organised since the start of your company?
AR: Wow, this is a difficult one with so many experiences to choose from. We have arranged for clients to fly fighter jets in Cape Town. We hired a battleship for a boy’s 13th birthday and arranged for England footballers to play 5 a side football on deck with him and his friends.
We curated a surprise 10-day tour to France and Italy for a lady to celebrate her husband’s 40th birthday. The itinerary was amazing, but the attention to detail was impeccable. We ensured his favourite (unusual) snacks, foods and beverages were available onboard the private jet we chartered. A 40-year-old bottle of his favourite wine was waiting chilled to the exact temperature on his actual birthday. We organised a yacht charter in Portofino with private visits to several places with a prestigious private chef catering for their every whim.
We organized a 25th wedding anniversary canal cruise in France. Surprise VIP tickets were waiting to attend a concert of their favourite artist, a private jet whisked them to Morocco to visit Ricks Café in Casablanca as it was their favourite Humphrey Bogart film. We also flew in specialist tea, foods, and items of clothing from Russia to ensure all elements of home comfort was available during their anniversary adventure.
We have taken our clients and their children on a private jet to Lapland to visit Santa Claus. During their visit they had dinner in igloos, went husky racing, and rode with reindeers. We took them snowmobiling across frozen lakes, and we hired a private log cabin in the middle of nowhere, where Santa Claus and his elf’s visited to give everyone a personalised Christmas gift.
LLA: What achievement or experience are you most proud of?
AR: In 1998 I was asked if I could help develop tourism in Colombia. I agreed and travelled to Cartagena to collaborate closely with the tourist authority, local travel, and tourism companies. I felt they should change their strategy and the way they positioned Colombia at trade shows and exhibitions. They took my advice, and later that year they attended world travel market with amazing results. They were thrilled with my recommendations and said they would be honored if I would be a judge for their Miss Colombia contest, which was one of the largest events in South America. I said I would be honored to judge such a prestigious event and agreed. Over the six-day period, I met many dignitaries, celebrities, many lovely people and of course eighteen beautiful contestants representing each district of Colombia. During this time, I experienced outstanding hospitality, amazing cuisine and overall, something quite extraordinary and special. After successfully judging the Miss Colombia contest and to my astonishment, I was handed the keys to the city. (Certificate attached)
LLA: Do you personally have a favourite experience that you would recommend?
AR: This really is a tough question as over the past 25 years there have been so many amazing experiences. Royalty has hosted me when visiting the palaces of India and I’ve been a guest at the Sultan of Brunei’s Palace. I have stayed in amazing castles reliving the history of famous people such as Andrew Carnegie at Skibo Castle. I have watched the wildlife in Africa and been behind the scenes at Shamwari private game reserve observing how they look after the animals, which was amazing.
I have flown a Hawker Hunter fighter jet in Cape Town, driven a Formula 1 car, played elephant polo, been driving on a glacier in Iceland, been to the Ice hotel in Sweden, visited Santa Claus in Lapland, been husky racing, rallying and snowmobiling across frozen lakes in Finland and visited some of the best wine cellars and vineyards globally.
My favourite…….. it is impossible to choose, but I always recommend one thing to clients. Apart from the hundreds of experiences we can curate, think about what is most important to you and what you really want to experience or achieve whilst you can. Then if you can, do it now or you may live to regret it in later life.
LLA: What key lessons have you learned from 25 years in the luxury travel business?
AR: Check, double-check and then check again. The luxury travel business is personal and emotional as people are looking for exceptional life experiences. You must plan carefully, anticipate everything, do not take anything for granted, and always apply the what if rule. Choose your staff and suppliers very carefully and have clear and concise procedures for everyone to adhere to. Train and retrain staff on a regular basis, keep up with technology and trends, and most of all, listen to your clients. Always be open to innovative ideas and no matter how many years you have been in business, you can always learn something new, so listen and keep an open mind. It is imperative to be kind and courteous to everyone irrespective of their social status.
LLA: Can you describe the state of the luxury travel market currently?
AR: It is witnessing rapid growth due to the increase in demand for unique and exotic travel experiences that help people to reduce their stress levels. The global luxury travel market is expected to generate a revenue of $1,369,103.8 million by 2028, growing exponentially at a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period (2021-2028). Post covid trends show luxury travellers are looking for travel experiences that include sustainability & responsibility, exclusivity & personalization. There is an emphasis on culture, cuisine & heritage, people are looking for authentic experiences geared towards education, learning, health & wellness. Luxury travellers require unique & memorable experiences with increased levels of service & have higher expectations. The market has clearly seen an increase in private jet charters, exclusive use of hotels and villas with luxury travellers wanting more privacy.
LLA: How has your company been affected by the global pandemic?
AR: We have been seriously affected like the rest of the global hospitality industry. However, we focused on areas that were in our control and formed partnership with companies that could add value to our authentic and unique experiences. We introduced a digital platform enabling companies and individuals to virtually interact more effectively. We designed and introduced a new website, opened an office in Hollywood and invested in a new brand of spirits that we will be launching next year. I also agreed to help students and lecture on luxury and wellness travel at the ESHTE School of Hospitality and Tourism in Portugal. The first lecture was aptly named, Time to Rethink Hospitality and Tourism. We used the time effectively which I am sure will help us and our clients in the future.
LLA: What changes have you seen and what do you predict for the future in the luxury travel market?
AR: Based on our research with clients and suppliers the changes have been extensive. People are more health and wellness conscious and are concerned for their safety. Obesity has unfortunately played its part in deaths during covid, so there is an increase in people wanting to lose weight, boost their immune systems, be fitter, healthier, and live longer. People’s expectations have increased, they will not accept poor service, being crammed into restaurants and waiting for ages to be served. Therefore, luxury hospitality businesses will need to provide exceptional levels of service, or they will face the consequences.
In the future, I believe the luxury travel market will flourish in many ways. People who maybe travel 4-5 times a year, will possibly only travel twice a year, with higher spending to make their travel more luxurious, experiential, personalised and private. People will be prepared to pay more if the experience is exceptional or contributes to their health. People’s mindset has changed as covid has made them realise, there may not be a tomorrow.
LLA: What plans do you have for future expansion and development?
AR: We have many plans for future expansion and development, I previously referred to a digital platform that we will roll out in January next year.
We will focus more on health and wellness working with our wellness professionals to ensure our clients not only enjoy amazing experiences globally but also ensure they are healthier and living the lives of which they have always dreamed.
Our Road to Longevity Retreat in May 2022 will reveal the simple formula to reach longevity in a healthy, beautiful body.
We plan to open the successful wellness and longevity clinics we work with in Portugal to other countries.
Our new brand of lifestyle spirits is named after the iconic Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart. Bogart spirits will provide the hospitality industry and consumers with new and unique flavors,’ especially as we’ve partnered with other amazing drinks companies to enhance the spirits.
We will also be announcing new partnerships with luxury hotels and resorts in different countries expanding our existing portfolio.
At Red Carpet Luxury Lifestyle, we do not just provide luxury experiences, we take care of people, look after their health and wellness, and give them and their families the life they have always wanted to live.
Visit https://www.redcarpet.co.uk/ for more information