Maybe we’ve become too cynical. Ask fellow guests at your next cocktail reception for one word to describe what motivates the world’s most successful business owners. You’ll hear responses like driven, ruthless, hyper-focused. Rarely if ever will you hear the word that drives Lauren Berger.
For someone who has created an international luxury brand that caters to some of the world’s wealthiest, most demanding travelers, Lauren is an outside-the-box success story. The Lauren Berger Collection, which arranges mansions, yachts, exotic automobiles, and one-of-a-kind experiences for her discerning guests, was built on love and Lauren’s innate sense of hospitality. Hospitality is never authentic when it’s forced, but in Lauren’s childhood home, hospitality was simply how her mother treated guests. Lauren grew up in New York watching her Greek mother nurture and care for family and friends. Lauren naturally followed in her mother’s wake, emulating the matriarch’s penchant for creating comfortable havens and catering to the comfort of those she welcomed into her home. “It wasn’t something I thought about,” she says now, years later. “It was just what my mother did and what I learned from her.” That intrinsic geniality and concern for others continued to fl when Lauren wed Dr. Sidney Berger, a world-renowned, most brilliant, respected, loved and gracious Doctor of Implantology. “Sidney’s high-profile patients traveled to New York from all over the world to see him,” she recalls. “They needed care and craved privacy. They were privileged, and so required a certain level of luxury to feel at home.”
Dr. Berger loved bringing his patients to his own residence to recuperate, and Lauren loved taking care of them. So Dr. Berger and Lauren designed a home to make his patients feel “at home.” And truly indulged.
That was really the start of it all,” Berger explains. “They came to us as patients but left as family. So it was quite natural that when they wanted to return to New York for business or holiday, they would call to ask if she could help with the arrangements. Thus the concept of the Lauren Berger Collection was born.
Just as her mother once went out of her way to cook meals for friends and welcome guests into their home, Lauren has created an enterprise that goes beyond simply providing access to some of the world’s most distinctive properties. To put a fi point on it, guests of the Lauren Berger Collection are not merely hosted, they are welcomed as family. Lauren’s passion for creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for her guests is simply what she lives for. “ Luxury can be purchased, but genuine hospitality can only be given.”
That could be the motto of the Lauren Berger Collection.
Nonetheless, the collection of eye-catching, refi and exquisitely located properties provides a significant wow factor that can’t be overlooked. Beachfront hideaways, impressive castles, sophisticated and spacious apartments in the world’s most exciting capitals—these and other such residences are gems in the roster. The Lauren Berger Collection has more than 250 exquisite properties in its portfolio—identified and acquired through a seemingly endless web of relationships that Lauren has formed over a lifetime.
But it’s when those homes are sprinkled with some of the Berger pixie dust that the magic happens. Indeed, where Lauren is concerned, nothing in the guest experience is left to chance, minor details are given major consideration, and no request is too great for her guests. A guest may want to host a formal dinner for forty; Lauren has it all, from the George Jensen silver, Minton china, Baccarat crystal with killer views.
Lauren Berger, through long experience and her innate sense of hospitality, understands that luxury is subjective, defi by the details. She isn’t satisfi unless her guests have an experience as bespoke and unique as themselves.
But even the most accomplished hostess occasionally requires some additional expertise. And in the case of Lauren Berger, that global lineup of talent is nothing if not impressive. Included in the laudable list of associates are:
Maggie Draycott who has worked for British Airways in London for 29 years until recently managing the end to end customer experience of their top global client base that includes CEOs of global FTSE companies, Heads of State, Royalty, and Celebrities from the Film and Fashion world.
Maggie managed on a day to day basis the prestigious “invitation only”Club for British Airways most infl tial client base and created the current loyalty program for their high net worth clients which is hugely successful. Maggie has been voted one of the top 50 most infl tial travelers by Conde Nast traveler and in Tatler magazine 100 most invited in 2017.
Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness—a coalition of CEOs, university presidents, national laboratory directors, and labor leaders committed to driving U.S. productivity and prosperity.
In recognition of profound transformative global challenges and opportunities, Deborah founded the Global Federation of Competitiveness and serves as the President of this unique coalition of global leaders committed to advancing sustainable economic growth, inclusive prosperity and security.
It’s an elite group of luxury travel and lifestyle specialists, eminently suited to foster Lauren’s brand of-reputation for customized travel. “Hospitality is truly about loving all people,” she explains. “The relationships I have are at the heart of everything I live for. My husband Sidney, who can only be described as my magic treasure, the love of my life who is responsible for what I am made of today and which none of this would have been possible without him. My mother, my world, who has always been my Rock of Gibralter, my family, whom I could not love more, have been there every step of the way, my team, who are invaluable to me, my associates, of whom I could not be more proud of, my property owners, who have been beyond amazing, and last but not least my treasured guests for their continued trust and loyalty, who have made my life complete.”
Photo courtesy of Lauren Berger