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Private club introduces Chinese rich to luxurious life

By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-25 08:06

Private club introduces Chinese rich to luxurious life
Club members visit the North Pole.

Want a pink private jet and hotel room in Monaco arranged fast? No problem. Well, certainly not for members of Quintessentially, a super-exclusive club that insists: "Nothing is impossible."

The company has won international fame for its 24-hour concierge service, attracting clients such as pop diva Madonna and actress Sharon Stone, and has established successful bases in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

"Being a Quintessentially member is like having a global personal assistant all year around, 24-7," said Cynthia Chen, media relations manager for Quintessentially China.

What if a client wanted to have dinner with the United States President Barack Obama during his visit to Beijing?

"Of course, we might not be able to arrange a private dinner with him, but we could certainly have arranged for someone to sit in the same dining hall as him," said Chen.

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Membership to Quintessentially costs upwards of 38,000 yuan ($5,500) a year, which guarantees a full concierge service from a dedicated team of assistants. The premium packages cost around 300,000 yuan. However, only 50 elite clients are accepted in any one city.

The club has around 200 members in China but receives 20 to 30 new applications a month, Chen said.

It initially attracted clients in Beijing and Shanghai, but people in cities like Guangzhou in Guangdong province, and Hangzhou and Wenzhou in Zhejiang province are now joining.

"The number of affluent people in China is growing fast, so fast they don't really know what to do with all the money they are making," said Chen.

"They know luxurious brands but it's not always the most expensive that is the best. We try to introduce them to the good life, showing them the best products, food and adventures."

Female members tend to use the service to go to private jewelry events or fashion shows, while men are more interested in adventures in the North Pole or driving Bentleys in Siberia, explained Chen.

Despite a frosty economic climate, she said interest in joining Quintessentially China remains high, for personal and professional purposes. While most join to benefit from the global personal assistant services, some use the club to build a network and get contacts that can help with their careers.

"During the financial crisis, many of our members got coaching from us, things like private banking management," Chen said.

"Our youngest members are young CEOs. They want to establish business relationships with others and see the regular networking meetings we hold as great opportunities to do that."