Without a doubt the urge to pack our bags and go for a trip has never been this intense before, the current situation has made it impossible for anyone to fully experience the joy of travel. With more than two decades worth of experience, you can leave your travel plans in the good hands of Modern Butler. This boutique lifestyle company has curated itineraries for clientele including Cindy Crawford, Robbie Williams, royalties and other affluent individuals.
Ahead is an interview with Mario Seiler, one of the founders of Modern Butler.
When did you establish Modern Butler and how unique is the company on the bespoke travel scene?
We established the company in 2011 to expand the range of our luxury lifestyle services. My background is in luxury hospitality, working with the finest hotels and distinguished individuals worldwide. We approach travel as a three-dimensional experience, far more than the typical flight/transfer/hotel arrangements. We recognise that our clients have extremely sophisticated taste and they desire a seamless experience when they travel. Our years of professional contacts, plus my own travel experience, allows us to create uniquely memorable journeys for our clients.
What is the profile of the Modern Butler clients? What specific & customised experiences are they looking for?
Our clients are affluent, sophisticated, and entirely unique from one another. What they have in common is the desire for highly personalised attention and to have a one-of-a-kind, stand-out experience on the pulse of what’s trending. Whether that means high adventure, blissful relaxation, or invitations to private events, we tailor travel to meet or exceed their expectations.
Modern Butler is dealing with both private clients as well as corporate ones. How different are the requests?
Although many individuals plan well ahead, we see private clients being more spontaneous about travel, especially now, as we emerge from a period of isolation. Cost is not their top concern; instead, they want to be assured that they can fulfil the vision they have for their travel. With corporate clients, we typically go through more budget-driven planning, with lots of players and approvals involved. But our goal is the same: a seamless, effortless, luxurious experience for each traveller.
You know all about secret destinations and unequalled experiences. Without revealing it all, could you let our readers know of your three favourite exclusive travel spots?
1. Germany or Austria during the holiday season. Whether you are in the big city or smaller towns or villages, Germany and Austria are so steeped in tradition that the setting is truly magical. Elaborate decorations, Christmas markets, drinking mulled wine, listening to holiday music – it’s all bundled together into an unforgettable experience.
2. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on the French Riviera. The French Riviera really embodies the golden days of glamour. Spend a day in a secluded sea-view cabana or luxuriating on the rocks above the lilting splash of the Mediterranean, and enjoy a gorgeous lunch of Niçoise salad and grilled jumbo prawns zested with sea air, along with homemade sorbets and fruity crushed juices for icy refreshers. The views, the air, the light, the flavours – it’s sensational.
3. Marrakech: the magic of Morocco. Marrakech is a total sensory extravaganza. The scents and sights, colours and textures and sounds all wrapped in this amazing blend of history, art, and up-to-the-minute luxury. Modern Butler recently managed a three-day event for one of our clients there, so we have wonderful relationships and friendships with people from all walks of life within the city, plus access to all the little secret spots that make the city so very memorable.
Give us one example of a request you have received which sounded like “Mission Impossible” which you finally managed to deliver?
We were looking after a royal family one summer in Beverly Hills. That summer, AC Milan was playing Manchester United. A day before the game, the client requested a private meet-and-greet with the players of AC Milan. Through our network of connections, we were able to make it happen. Though I don’t think they ever doubted our ability to deliver, the client was very pleased.
How important and unique is the “Personal Security” side of Modern Butler? Tell us about your partnership with Thiel Security Services?
Peace of mind is key for our clients. In addition to personal wealth, such as cars, planes, houses, and valuable collections, they need to feel that they and their families are safe at all times. Unfortunately, today’s world is full of uncertainty and threats. We were introduced to Thiel Security Services when we were providing lifestyle services to a Bel Air client. We recognised common concerns and established a relationship of trust. For a number of years we shared clients, then we decided to forge an alliance. Security is central to the affluent life and lifestyle, so now, through Thiel, it is part of the Modern Butler menu.
You love Europe and its unique sophisticated lifestyle. Tell us about your best experiences of Europe and what you recommend to your clients travel-wise?
I was born in Germany and have a natural connection to Europe. It’s a different way of life, a different way of doing things. I spent a lot of time in Vienna, Austria, and have a great affinity to that city. I never miss a chance to stay at Hotel Imperial and experience the grandeur of an old palace, to have the famous Sacher-Torte and even ship it back to L.A. The Old World traditions and values speak to me, and I love how they live side-by-side with 21st-century culture. One evening you go clubbing to the newest beats, the next day you are in tails going to a formal ball or dressed in Lederhosen in the countryside sampling food and wines at local wineries. Such an amazing variety of offerings. Food is very important to me and the bakery products of the K & K (Imperial & Royal) are unmatched.
- If you’re flying commercial, use local airport VIP services, like the Private Suite at LAX. The high level of service, privacy, and efficiency adds a new layer to travel. Especially when you are coming off an international flight, you don’t have to deal with immigration lines, etc. You get whisked away by car, directly from the plane to a private terminal where all the formalities are handled.
- Change your watch to your destination’s local time before you depart. It really helps manage the change of time zones.
You also have the ability to organise customised yacht charters for sea-lovers and families, is that correct?
Absolutely. We can design custom charters, from small sailboats within the Greek Islands to mega-yachts cruising in the Caribbean. The sky is the limit. We can manage transportation there and back, as well as pre- and post-cruise stays and excursions, fine dining reservations, spa treatments, private shopping, and much more.
You describe yourself as a Global Citizen. Three words to describe the values Modern Butler always puts forward?
Would you like to name a mentor who has inspired you both and continues to inspire you in your respective lives?
I have had the privilege to meet and work with so many amazing people. It’s too hard to single out one person, but I am continually grateful to my inner circle of friends and family who support and inspire me on a daily basis.
For more information regarding Modern Butler, head over their website here.