Globetrotter: Ben Elliot of Quintessentially

Ben Elliot, co-founder of concierge service Quintessentially, recalls a terrifying flight over the Blue Mountains in Jamaica

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

How often do you travel?

We have offices in 63 countries and I travel frequently, meeting members, suppliers and partners. I'll go to America, Asia and across Europe each year. Quintessentially aims to be the finest concierge service in the world, but we're only as good as the relationships we have with our members.

Where have you returned from?

I recently got back from a week in New York - a city close to my heart because I used to live there and it's where I met my wife. I'm on the board of YouGov, so I was there for a board meeting early in the week. Afterwards, I spent time in our new Chelsea offices. My wife's father is Steve Winwood and we went to see him play in the evening.

What do you do when you aren't working?

I have friends in many cities so I'll catch up with them. I try to see a show if I'm in a new place and I like restaurants. There are some nice Italian places in the West Village in New York. I can't sit in an air-conditioned, windowless room all day. At lunch time, I prefer to walk in the park checking my BlackBerry.

Favourite country?

India, where modernity meets ancient culture. I proposed to my wife at the Neeleshwar Hermitage retreat in southern India. I like Madrid for its museums. But I believe London has the greatest mix of culture. The city is a melting pot of different nationalities, and West End theatre smashes Broadway.

Worst travel experience?

Two years ago, I flew in a small plane over the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. It was just me and a pilot. I'm not usually afraid of flying, but I found that trip terrifying. We hit a lot of turbulence going over the mountains and the pilot wasn't looking too happy.

Most random request?

I thought it was slightly eccentric when a member asked for a drum kit to be delivered to a boat in a Monaco harbour during the Grand Prix.

How do you cope with jet lag?

In New York I go to the Russian and Turkish baths on East Tenth Street. I'll have a platza treatment, which is a traditional Russian massage recommended to me by a friend from Azerbaijan. I try to exercise as soon as possible after landing, and I'll have adjusted my watch on the aeroplane.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A simple cure for impostor syndrome

Opinion: It's time to stop hero-worshipping and start figuring out what greatness looks like to...

I was hired to fix Uber’s toxic culture - and I did. Here’s ...

Harvard’s Frances Frei reveals how you know when your values have gone rotten, and what...

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...