A Chat With the CEO of the Most Successful Luxury Travel Brand You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Amanda Teale dishes on all things luxury travel

July 3, 2024 6:51 am
Minerva doesn't rely on advertising or media attention
Minerva doesn't rely on advertising or media attention
Getty Images

Amanda Teale runs the most successful luxury travel and lifestyle firm you probably never heard, namely because she rarely, if ever, advertises or seeks media attention. Minerva Private Travel thrives on word of mouth, with a black book of well-heeled customers who whisper tales of once-in-a-lifetime, and totally unique, experiences in the vacation and tourism realm.

Clients come to Teale assured that no two journeys planned by Minerva are alike. In the spirit of the great international hotel concierge who can make anything happen for the elite traveler (short of illegality, of course), Teale’s firm can plan a bespoke adventure from scratch based on a client’s desires, or provide resources for travelers to enhance segments of a trip they’ve conceived on their own.

Teale put her trip planning down for a moment out in Newdigate, U.K. to talk about what inspires her while assembling journeys that have the ability to change both hearts and minds.

Amanda Teale
Amanda Teale
Minerva Private Travel

InsideHook: Can you describe what Minerva does? If you were explaining it casually to an acquaintance at a cocktail party?

Amanda Teale: We pride ourselves on service and personalized experiences that transcend the ordinary. Our commitment goes way beyond booking flights and hotels. We provide white-glove service, anticipating needs and ensuring seamless travel. It’s like having a personal concierge by your side, and we become trusted companions on the journey.

Do you find there is any limit to what people are willing to invest in such a trip?

Luxury isn’t just about price. It’s about making people feel like you really care about their journey, their experience, their dreams and making them feel really special. So many people miss this.

What led you to this special field? How did you find yourself in a position to plan and organize these special experiences?

I’ve always been a self-proclaimed people pleaser, with a heart that yearns for the skies. Ever since my earliest memories, the allure of travel captivated me. There’s a certain magic in the ascent of planes that I find endlessly fascinating. My favorite thing to do as a child was to go to the airport and watch the planes take off. This blend of desires drives me to elevate every experience, constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance and enrich the journey for my clients.

Is it true you don’t advertise and you don’t search for clients because they all come to you?

Yes. We rely on word of mouth. It was the first rule I made when I started my company, and I stuck by it. It’s a long game, but worth it in the end.

What do your clients come to you looking for in an experience? Is bespoke the way of the future on the high-end luxury side?

Clients come to Minerva for our knowledge, our passion and our dedication to delivering a great experience. Every request is different. We could be booking out a ranch, taking over a private island or just handling a flight from L.A. to New York. Our clients know that no matter how big or small, complicated or simple, they will get the same level of service and I believe that is our unique selling point.

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How do you manage Minerva’s 24-hour concierge system?

We make sure we’re always available for our clients. I rely on the help of my incredible team and the simple use of WhatsApp. Whether a client contacts us from the East Coast of the U.S. to the far south of Italy, we will always have it covered. It’s part of our commitment to the client.

Are you seeing changes or evolution in the luxury travel world? 

I find the demand for privacy on land and privacy in the air (for convenience and the avoidance of disruption) increased. For my clients, when flying commercial, traveling through the airport is no longer an option, if it can be avoided. Tarmac service is in high demand, and we book transport from plane door to car door. We also can provide private security and a private immigration process. This sort of service is the norm for the luxury traveller now — and the offerings are on the up, I’m pleased to say.

Where would you like to see your operation in five years’ time?

I’m looking forward to still being in the position of having the best people in the business on my team. The greatest achievement in my opinion is to provide an environment where the people who work for you love their jobs, love coming to work and believe in your business as passionately as you do.

Tell us a couple stories of the most amazing experiences you’ve assembled and the craziest requests you satisfied.

We put in place 10 white BMWs perfectly lined up at a private airport suite, on the tarmac, ready to transport our clients to the plane door. That was a great sight and a special feeling for the clients who were made to feel like royalty.

We completely privatized one of the most romantic spots on the whole of the Amalfi Coast in Italy for a breath-taking wedding proposal. I am pleased to say she said yes.

I’d like to think I organized the rain and the lightening, but this part was down to nature in Ibiza. We produced the most sensational night and atmosphere on record for a show at the Ushuaia Beach Hotel. We had our clients placed at the top VIP area to coincide with the natural phenomenon, thanks to our great relationship with the club. The clients are still talking about it.

We often accompany our clients on trips at their request (especially small groups) so they don’t have to worry about anything. I have also been known to go to the airport to meet clients personally, if I am in the right place at the right time. If I’m not, I will often send a member of my team. We do that not just to make them feel special, but largely because I genuinely like to see them and welcome them.

It’s all part of the service.


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