Little Emperors knows how to pick their luxury hotels. The Four Seasons London, with its spectacular roof-top spa and beautiful interiors, The stunning The Peninsula in Paris, with its charming views over the Opéra building, The Carlyle in New York, for sophisticated travellers looking for the true Manhattan experience...the list goes on. Over 5,000 luxury brands, actually. Today we talk to the sisters behind this Members Club for the luxury savvy, Rebecca Masri MBE and Charlotte Masri.
Little Emperors’ offer is simple: they present its members with corporate rates in glorious hotels around the world, and hot tables at the most selective restaurants. Their annual membership fee (from £200) actually pays off with just one booking. ‘As a business concept it’s unique, in a sense that we flip the traditional concierge model and the core focus of Little Emperors is saving. The consumers will be able to see an immediate value in savings in their bookings travel and hotels. Versus other companies who are more focused on service, we are focused on value in luxury.’
Image: ME Ibiza 5* Luxury Beach Resort. One of the 5.000 luxury brands Little Emperors offers to their members, with special rates.
To have an operation of this volume of luxury hotels and a membership roster of more than 30,000 is quite an achievement, specially when you consider the origins of the business. Rebecca started Little Emperors almost by accident. It all started in 2008, when the market took a significant drop in the luxury sector.
Rebecca and her business partner, Elizabeth Sieff, worked in The City in banking and were used to travelling for work and having access to top hotels offering corporate rates. But when the crisis hit, everything changed. The luxury hotels lost their corporate contract with large clients who no longer had the budget. ‘We had made friends with many of the sales managers in the hotels and eventually asked them if they would extend the corporate rates to us, even if it wasn’t’ through corporate contracts, while we were travelling on business. They didn’t have any corporate clients left, so they were more than happy’, Rebecca explains. And of course, quite quickly, a lot of their friends found out. With the boom of start-ups and small hedge funds, there got to a point where there was a clear business model
“We’re quite a young company, we’re personal. A lot of our clients know us by our name. They trust a lot of our recommendations, even though that’s not a core element in our business”, says Charlotte. Photo: Lugermad
Charlotte and Rebecca were also excited to announce the launch of their app towards the end of the year. ‘The Little Emperors app will automates the travel bookings and allows our members to immediately save and book directly through the app. We’re also introducing gift elements and the dining section remains, as well as access to events. We don’t want to give too much away, but there will be new elements in the app that will enhance the user experience as well as automate it. Not only will our members be able to save money, but also time’, explains Rebecca. Photo: Lugermad
And where do these two travel when not on business? While Charlotte prefers the Côte d’Azur, Rebecca has her eye set on Japan.
Image: Aman hotel, Tokyo
Luxury hotels are the sparkle in travelling. In fact, sometimes they overtake destinations as the key factor when choosing a holiday. And one can’t deny that what really puts a sparkle in your smile is knowing that the luxurious room with charming views of Parisian life has cost you…a little less.