Excerpt from The Telegraph
At first, I was shocked. Then, oddly flattered. A man I had never met until this day, standing at the bar in a foreign country, fleetingly and mid-conversation, dropped in a fact about me that he could have only known had he read a blog post I wrote in 2015.
Which, as it transpires, is exactly what he had done. This man was Benjamin, camp manager of the Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, which, in its own words, has been "pioneering experiential luxury since 1926".
Researching guests in depth before they arrive is just one of the ways this extravagant safari - with rates exceeding £1,000pp a night - takes service to new levels - but is it creepy, or highly effective in creating a personalised experienced?
Benjamin's job was arguably easier in my case given that I'm a writer, with my thoughts and opinions regularly published and easy to find online. Still, he must have invested quite some time in scouring through it all, especially since he managed to locate my largely-abandoned personal blog, which sits in a dusty corner of the internet that no-one ever reads.
Benjamin knew before I even arrived, for example, that I'm obsessed with lists, can't stand overhead lighting, am a night owl rather than a morning person, that African wild dogs are my favourite safari animal, and that I passionately prefer the window seat on a plane.
Every conversation we had at that bar overlooking the African bush was peppered with anecdotes that suggested the depths of his intel. And not just me. My father was travelling with me and Benjamin had clearly done his homework on him too.
“We believe in service as a form of art," Bronwyn Varty-Laburn, of the family that owns the historic reserve, later told me. Upon leaving, we recevied a farewell letter laced with in-jokes that had formed over our dinner with the owner the night prior. My father and I both agreed that Londolozi was up there with the best resorts we'd ever stayed.
Click here to read complete article at The Telegraph.
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