Ever dreamed of going on holiday and having someone who would just take care of everything ?!
We found the one. Meat Mario, the Algarve Luxury Concierge, the wonderful man whose job is to “make people happy”.
How did you start your career as a Concierge? If I can call you that.
I’ve been working with luxury tourism since 2008 but I don’t consider myself a Concierge, in fact, I don’t think nowadays you can really define that word as its meaning changes daily.
I consider myself a facilitator. I attend to my client’s wishes during their holidays. They’re usually very busy people without time to spend with their loved ones, so they expect that their free time to be the best time possible. Everything has to be perfect.
My job is to make people happy.
How could someone reach you?
I have my own website where you can find our email ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and also is the best way for, at least, to get to know me and what I do. I also use Instagram where I post some moments from my job. Although I think people reach me through word of mouth when my clients recommend me their friends. The same with my partners, they recommend me and I recommend them.
What’s your typical day like?
The Algarve is a seasonal business when it comes to tourism.
During winter I get to spend more time behind a desk, preparing the summer, making contacts, gaining new clients and partners.
When Summer comes I spend most of my time outside, making sure everything goes according to the client’s needs. Every now and then I join them when they go sightseeing it’s the way I can ensure things go smoother. But every day is different.
If someone only had 48 hours in the Algarve what would you recommend?
You got to go to the sea, spend the day on a yacht along the coast and stop next to the caves, without a doubt a magnificent sight, or go in the opposite direction and visit Ria Formosa, the “Venice from Algarve”.
If you like something a little bit more on the wild side I would definitely recommend jet skis, banana boats, I’m sure it will always make you laugh.
To eat? The fish. Fresh, grilled, by the sea or the Ria. You can’t go wrong with that.
For something more intimate I would take you on a private wine and food tasting in Monchique.
Where to stay in the Algarve if I’m looking for a more secluded area?
Sagres or Tavira would have to be my choice. Some of the most amazing beaches in the Algarve are in Sagres, it’s probably the most untamed area in the Algarve. Tavira also has its magic, it’s where you let time pass and just go with the flow of its locals. I like to call it “slow tourism”.
Could you tell me what was your most challenging client yet?
I will tell you a story, I was just starting my career with Algarve Luxury Concierge when a middle eastern client arrived late at night on his private jet.
We had nothing planned yet and his personal assistant booked us a meeting around midnight, where she asked me to give her a weeks schedule by 9 a.m next morning.
I thought I wouldn’t be able to accommodate these demands, given the contacts I had at the time, plus, back then there were no cell phones to call or text so I had to wait until seven of the following day to see what I could do. Thankfully everyone answered my super early phone calls and by nine I had their week all lined up.
I managed a plane ride along the coast, a hot air balloon tour, yachting on the sunset, and I even got his daughters a private view of the dolphins (given their religion this was mandatory).
But wait, there was another challenge to come, this was easy compared to what he asked next.
He wanted a private tour given by a professional historian to a museum in Mertola that had an exhibition of the Arabic connections with the Algarve and Portugal. When they got there the museum was closed. We were trapped. But thankfully the guide made some phone calls and made it possible.
The impossible was done.
The client was so pleased with everything he donated 50.000 euros to the museum so that they could continue to show this exhibition. I could not be happier with the outcome of it all.
What do you like most about your clients?
Without a doubt the time I get to spend with them. Every conversation you get to have with these people is so amazing, and some of them have developed into good friendships. I feel that my clients put their holidays in my hands so I try to give the extra mile to cater their needs. And their feeling of gratitude when it’s all over and done it’s amazing.
If you want to more about the Algarve Luxury Concierge take a look at their website here.