In Conversation With…
Each travel experience curated by Lucibello owes its success to many people…our travel planners, of course, but also the professional people who make things happen. From the chauffeur and private jet pilot to the personal chef and restaurant maître d’, these highly trained specialists come together to create exceptional travel experiences and special events.
One person, however, is the ultimate ringmaster of each performance – Karl Nilsson, our founder. He found time, between arrivals and departures, to share his thoughts on his favourite topic…bespoke experiential travel.
I’m inspired by Italy, particularly the wonderful Amalfi Coast and the Isle of Capri. Another island, the Spanish isle of Ibiza, also inspires me. And, of course, the Cote d’Azur is a constant source of inspiration. In each of these glamorous destinations, I’m inspired by more than the elegant hotels, stunning coastline, vibrant lifestyle and enchanting restaurants…I’m also inspired by the simple, traditional experiences that await travellers who take the trouble to seek them out.
I should add that Lucibello clients can discover these simple pleasures without effort, as I have already found them. Personally, I thrive on contrasts…after a stay enveloped in luxury, I like to check into a small family hotel, with unfussy, heartfelt service.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that luxury can take many forms. Yes, it means favouring the best suite in the very best hotel, or selecting the most exclusive villa in the most desirable destination, but to me it means more. It means stepping out of the five or six star itinerary to meet local people and hearing their stories. It means visiting places where few tourists venture…off-the-radar places that offer rich emotional rewards. Sometimes these special places take me five years to discover, but the wait is worthwhile, as they offer Lucibello clients unexpected opportunities for personal fulfilment.
I LIKE TO SEND MY CLIENTS TO PLACES I KNOW WELL...PLACES I'VE EXPERIENCED MYSELF, WHERE I'VE MADE STRONG CONTACTS WITH LOCAL PEOPLE.
Well, every challenge is an opportunity of course, and I find it immensely satisfying to achieve the seemingly impossible. There was the time I organised a special anniversary dinner at the base of the Pyramids of Giza…not an easy feat. To make the occasion extra special, I even arranged for the Pyramids to be illuminated in the anniversary couple’s honour. Another challenge was to persuade an exclusive hotel on the Amalfi Coast to host a wedding party, with all rooms and suites available to the wedding guests. This wasn’t easy, as the hotel had never offered a ‘buyout’ before. In fact, compared to securing this amazing venue, arranging for the British band Coldplay to perform at the party was comparatively easy.
I could go on…there was the time in outer Mongolia…you get the idea – Lucibello is a ‘can do’ enterprise.
STRANGELY, SUPER-PREMIUM, ULTRA-LUXURY HOTELS ARE LESS PROFITABLE THAN HOTELS THAT ARE MERELY LUXURIOUS. THEIR MAIN GOAL IS NOT TO MAKE MONEY BUT TO CREATE A UNIQUELY APPEALING LIFESTYLE. AT LUCIBELLO WE SHARE THE SAME ASPIRATION.
Actually, we can’t be tempted to send our clients to a hotel, resort or villa that we haven’t experienced ourselves. It’s important that every destination meets our ultra-high standards. In fact, if a client asks us to arrange travel to a hotel or resort that we believe falls short, we gracefully decline.
The trend, which we’re proud to be driving forward, is for even higher levels of personalisation. Travellers demand more, and the more enlightened hoteliers, villa owners and travel providers are rising to the challenge. In particular, we’re finding that our second-generation clients are demanding flawless, seamless travel experiences…which, of course, we’re determined to provide.