Luxury operator The Luminaire unveils tie-up with Mandarin Oriental

Luxury tour operator The Luminaire has partnered with Mandarin Oriental to offer curated experiences at a selection of the hotel brand’s flagship properties.

A collection of eight experiences at Mandarin Oriental properties in London, Paris, Geneva and Milan are now bookable both direct and through the trade.

Two experiences designed for Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park include a journey to Scotland’s Balmoral Royal Estate, and a deep dive into London’s horticultural scene with a garden historian.

Guests can also choose from two experiences at Mandarin Oriental, Paris, including a journey to Bordeaux to meet winemakers and sample rare vintages in renowned appellations, and a unique look into the world of Van Gogh, with private access to the site of his last painting. 

At Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, The Luminaire offers guests an exclusive watchmaking masterclass at Jaeger-LeCoultre and a private tour of the Patek Philippe Museum.

A further three journeys are available from Mandarin Oriental, Milan, including an insider’s guide to the Venice Art Biennale; a farm-to-table tour of estates that supply Michelin-starred restaurants in the Po Valley; and an expert immersion into the secret life of Leonardo Da Vinci in fifteenth century Milan.

“It’s exciting that Mandarin Oriental guests, who are used to booking world-class accommodation, can now book world-class curated experiences in a one-stop shop,” said Adam Sebba, chief executive of The Luminaire. 

“Our brands are so aligned. Mandarin Oriental is all about signature personalised service and that’s exactly the same at The Luminaire.

“These experiences are all about taking people outside the four walls of a Mandarin Oriental property to experience the best that the local area in that country has to offer.”

Sebba said the operator had received “hundreds” of enquiries following the partnership’s launch last month and said more “surprises” would be rolled out “in the next few months”.

“By the end of the year I expect we are going to be operating experiences in at least two other European cities and potentially a number of other global destinations in the Middle East and Asia,” he said.

Sebba believed the experiences would “certainly appeal” to luxury agents.

“Every agent has clients that are interested in art and culture and do maybe one trip a year that is connected to culture,” he said. 

“What we’re trying to do is make these trips contemporary and maybe even find new customers who might not have considered an art trip to Venice, for example, but [might with] the way we present it by making it accessible, engaging, interesting and, dare I say it, sexy.”

He added: “I think the watchmaking [experience] in Geneva could have a particular appeal to UK agents – I’m sure every agent has one client that is a watch fanatic.”

Agent bookings make up a “meaningful percentage” of total business for The Luminaire, which launched in 2022. The operator enjoyed a “record” number of bookings in January, which Sebba said was in part thanks to “increased volume” from agents. 

“Our brand is better known, and word of mouth has spread about what The Luminaire does,” he said.

“We haven’t increased our advertising budgets; it’s about trust and increased volume from agents. It hasn’t been from new agents, it’s existing agents that have been happy [with our service].

“We have a very engaged relationship with many top travel agents in the UK so we’re excited about offering these experiences to the trade and allowing them to have a greater reach.”

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