Thursday, December 18, 2014

4 Tips To Creating A Coveted Life from American Express & The Coveteur

A sponsored hip + urban girl post.
Are you a tourist or a traveller? Do you dine out regularly or are you a gourmand? Are you shopping to feel trendy or to curate a wardrobe you adore? And — what’s the difference anyway?

American Express Canada recently invited us to explore these themes and how to turn ordinary activities into extraordinary experiences that help you live an enriched life through a lively panel discussion with Stephanie Mark, The Coveteur, Laura Scheck, American Express Canada and Liloo Alim, Four Seasons Toronto moderated by Catriona Lamb, Coco & Cowe.

From experiencing Dubai as an official royal guest to snorkelling in the Maldives with a handsome stranger to dining at a quirky niche restaurant that pays homage to peanut butter. The evening was filled with incredible travel stories but also easy ways to enrich daily life through dining, travel and service experiences that we can all use.

Here are my 4 favourite tips of the evening:

Tip # 1 - Seek pleasures in the familiar.
Many of the panelists shared that while they loved the over the top experiences they’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy, often it’s just the simple and familiar things that bring the most joy. For example, Catriona shared that slipping into a plush hotel robe as soon as she drops her bags in a hotel room is so satisfying while Liloo recounted dining on a meal of family favourites prepared using mom’s recipes as one of her most memorable dining experiences.

Tip #2 - Always chat up the locals. Finding the best spots to nosh is the ultimate challenge in a new destination whether you’re travelling half way across the world or just a neighbourhood away. All panelists shared that they most often strike up a conversation with locals and hotel staff to find out where to dine. Liloo and Stephanie pointed out that not only will you learn more about the culture of the area but you’ll also likely be led to new or up and coming hot spots that may not have extensive reviews but also won’t have stiff reservation policies.

Tip # 3 - Be kind for superior service. Naturally certain companies are just known for amazing service. As Head Concierge at Four Seasons Toronto, Liloo shared a few incredible service stories. She was asked and succeeded in purchasing a condo for a regular client who lived out of town but also as a guest herself at Four Seasons Mumbai she was able to have her sister’s garment bicycle couriered through gridlocked streets so they could attend a wedding celebration on time. Laura also reminded us that American Express strives to offer excellent service by making it effortless to book and enjoy enriching experiences. When you’re not dealing companies known for service (and even when you are) panelists shared that getting great service anywhere is a whole lot easier when you approach the service request with a kind attitude. Who wants to help a mean girl?

Tip # 4 - Take advantage of programs that provide access. Another common conversation theme of the evening centred on access, what it means and how to get it. For Stephanie and the team at The Coveteur, access of course, is everything. After all they are responsible for taking us into some of the most coveted celebrity closets in the world. FYI Toronto’s Suzanne Rogers and Sylvia Mantella ranked among their favourites and YES, they do try on all those gorgeous items we can only ogle through our computers! For everyone else, access was about enjoying activities in a way that make the experience effortless and memorable. As American Express cardholders we all enjoy amazing perks like Front of the Line access to concert tickets, invitations to private fashion or dining events and even a seamless travel booking service that let panelist, Laura, book an unforgettable last minute vacation to Bermuda with a girlfriend in a single phone call and using some of her travel points to boot.

American Express believes that it’s in exploring our passions and interests that we truly create an enriched life. We were reminded of how satisfying such experiences are and how easy it is to step into them as cardholders through the evening’s discussion. To learn more about how American Express can empower you to live life to the fullest Like American Express Canada on Facebook and follow @AmexCanada on Twitter.

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