Human Interaction is the New Luxury: Knightsbridge Circle

By Christina Tsangaris

Knightsbridge Circle, the exclusive travel and lifestyle management service that boasts the highest staff to member ratio in the world, is not bending to the 2020 pressures to be tech-driven. Lockdown has led to exponentially more screen time, but one thing that remains clear is that the best customer experiences are now, more than ever, being built on empathy and trust, which no amount of technology, AI, apps, or out of hours call centres can ever replace.

This progressive concierge acts as an extension of a member’s Personal Office, working alongside Personal Assistants to seamlessly join the dots for clients while providing unprecedented access and exceptional, proactive support for any requirements. With this unique approach, Knightsbridge Circle is celebrating a growth in membership numbers since the pandemic hit.

With a £25,000 price tag and the highest staff to member ratio in the world, Knightsbridge Circle is the Ninja Fixer facilitating the truly extraordinary, and seamlessly joining the dots for its members – from organising lunch with the pope to flying a family cat to the Bahamas amidst a pandemic.

Founded in 2012, Knightsbridge Circle ensures that its Personal Managers are assigned only five members each, meaning they have the time to develop an in-depth understanding of their client, whilst being available 24/7. With its uncommon and tailored offering, Knightsbridge Circle has quietly established itself as the world’s most exclusive travel and lifestyle management company, with a strict ‘by invitation only’ criteria, which is capped at 50 members in each region. With its HQ based in London, the agency has announced plans to extend into Monaco and Miami next year.

As the world prepares to enter another challenging year, life remains difficult to navigate, meaning the affluent are searching for one company with one point of contact who can cater to all their needs and save them time. Over half of the high-income earners who responded to Euromonitor2 International’s Lifestyles Survey 2020 stated that they find themselves looking for ways to simplify their lives, with trends emerging of HNWIs being happy to defer to experts in an increasingly complex world. Euromonitor International also recently reported that 25% of people would abandon a business relationship if personalisation is lacking, and 69% prefer offline communication rather than speaking via technology. Over the course of the year, Knightsbridge Circle has also noticed an interesting trend that some of their younger clients require the most face to face time and even fly their Personal Manager to wherever they may be for meetings. Unlike Millennials’ adoption of technology, it is time to think beyond digital and come around full circle by including personal channels of communication again to reach Gen Z.

Before 2020, many Knightsbridge Circle members spent up to six months of the year travelling, which meant organising exceptional travel experiences and securing tickets to the world’s most important calendar events was a cornerstone of Knightsbridge Circle’s offering. Founder Stuart McNeill commented: 

“Covid is currently being used by many as an excuse for inadequacy and inefficiency, so despite the obvious challenges that this year presented, we have led the way in guiding our clients through constantly evolving, unchartered waters to give them more support than ever before."

"Some needed help navigating quarantines, airbridges, relocating and Covid-testing, and for those that were no longer jetting around the globe we had to think of inventive ways to entertain them and help them with their new found ‘At Home’ status. We worked twice as hard and were constantly proactive and, on some days, we were in contact with clients twelve times per day. We had to be hyper-engaged, going above and beyond to show Knightsbridge Circle’s value.” 

Setting up micro-breweries and installing gyms at client’s homes, hosting virtual tastings, arranging adult education classes, and special blend tea deliveries from Claridge’s are just some of the ways Knightsbridge Circle have been keeping clients happy at home during lockdown. In response to increased health and wellness spending, the agency has also recently included a medical concierge within its offering, giving access to online GPs 24/7, fast-track hospital appointments, blood tests, mental health and much more.

Over the past eight years, Knightsbridge Circle has built an impressive little black book of contacts and loyal partners all around the world. By cultivating this network, Stuart and his team can open seemingly closed doors, giving clients money can’t buy access, such as training sessions with Anthony Joshua, meet and greets with Lady Gaga and dinner with the pope; and unlike an app, they can book the Presidential or Royal Suite last-minute, or a top table at a fully booked restaurant.

They also excel at the basics and can be depended on for anything from interviewing staff to booking private security anywhere around the world and arranging IVF appointments. The Personal Managers secure clients the best deals, saving their annual membership fee multiple times over, and strive to discover the newest experiences by flying all over the globe to recce new destinations before a member travels – even  going so far as to meet them in the hotel lobby to help check them in personally or hand-delivering anything they may have left behind.

To every extent, Knightsbridge Circle is utterly unique – its team is inherently curious, keen to get under members’ skin and deliver the highest levels of service, forever connecting the un-joined dots. Knowing the latest, creating memories and seeing the little-known is what puts Knightsbridge Circle a mark above the rest, along with Stuart’s very apt belief that 99 times out 100, the answer is always yes.

By Christina Tsangaris