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VIP Airport Treatment with The Leading Hotels of the World

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Taj Mahal Palace, MumbaiNew York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

To reduce the stress of airport transfers, many members of Leading Hotels of the World are offering VIP airport assistance for guests on arrival and departure.

Guests en route to Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic are welcomed at the plane by an airport associate, taken through the immigration process without having to stand in line, and then taken directly to the resort vehicle that awaits outside. When it’s time to leave, guests are returned to the airport, where they can relax in a VIP lounge, with free food and drinks.

Meanwhile in Marrakech, La Mamounia has established a partnership with Menara Airport, allowing guests to experience La Mamounia luxury from the moment they land until the moment they depart. Designed by Jacques Garcia, and offering the same ambience as the hotel, the 560-square-foot lounge is decorated with plush armchairs in warm tones; a unique fragrance—created by Olivia Giacobetti for La Mamounia—filtered through the lounge; and personalized reception. Wireless Internet connection, gourmet cuisine and a team of La Mamounia staff are also offered, at no extra cost.

At Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris, the palace experience starts the minute guests step off the plane. After being individually met at the gate by a hotel representative, guests are escorted to a VIP-only ‘Express’ desk to clear passport control. They proceed to baggage claim, where the agent takes care of the luggage, before being expedited through customs and escorted to their private limousine. For transfers back to the airport, guests are also invited to use the VIP lane at the tax refund office, to save time. Prices for this service start at EUR 310, plus tax.

The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas & Spa makes sure that guests requiring extra discretion and assistance are well taken care of. A VIP handler at the airport notifies the hotel as the guest’s plane is about to land. From the hotel, the concierge leaves with a convoy, comprising a lead security vehicle, a middle or ‘principle’ vehicle for the VIP, and a Mercedes microbus with the hotel’s security manager for the luggage. The handler welcomes the clients at the door of the plane to escort them to the front of the line at customs and passport control. The handler then assists them through baggage claim to the arrivals hall, or for clients seeking more privacy, proceeding to an alternative rear exit. Guests are met by the concierge at the convoy for the transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival at the Saxon, they are escorted to their accommodations, where the check-in procedure is completed.

For the convenience of its guests, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai has arranged a one-point contact for clients at the airport. This hotel representative is equipped to assist them on arrival with baggage and immigration lines, and provide access to private airport waiting lounges. At the end of the stay, the hotel offers pre-check-in for departing flights before guests leave the hotel, escorting them to expedited security checkpoints and providing gourmet snack boxes. In addition, the hotel offers guests a private concierge service, as well as airport check-in and in-room check-out facilities, at no charge. For guests looking to arrive in style, the hotel will be happy to arrange a fee-based transfer via Jaguar.

Quests bound for the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro are met at the door of the aircraft by a hotel agent. From there, they are guided through customs and immigration, offered assistance in completing all the necessary forms, and go on to baggage claim where the agent retrieves the luggage. The agent will even tend to the bags while the guests enjoy some duty free shopping. After leaving the restricted areas of the airport, the agent accompanies the guests to the car where the hotel’s driver awaits. When leaving Rio, an agent welcomes the guests at their departure terminal at the airport, assisting with luggage and check-in, and escorting them through immigration to the departure lounge. The hotel agent waits at the airport until he or she receives confirmation that the guests’ flight has taken off. Services are available in English and Spanish.

The PuLi Hotel and Spa provides elite airport service to guests arriving at Shanghai’s airports which include a private airport waiting lounge where guests can enjoy gourmet snack boxes. An elite agent will wait for guests at the boarding bridge and escort them to security and customs check, as well as pick up the luggage via an express line.

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