CREATING EVERLASTING MEMORIES WITH MATTHIAS PIAULT
Matt Piault and his concierge company “The Escapist” has risen to become one of the most renowned adventure-curators to date. His company will not only provide you with the charter of private jets or a luxurious superyacht. He’ll be thrilled to get you onto the red carpets of the world’s most prestigious events. “The Escapist” predominately creates the most exciting and memorable experiences money can buy. To him, it’s all about exceeding his client’s expectations. And most importantly, grant access to destinations usually tucked away in the mists of hidden insider knowledge.
Q. What made you get into the concierge business?
A. It was literally by accident. I was rising the ladders as a professional basketball player in the French LNB league when I got injured and it simply did not take off the way I wanted for different reasons. First, it was devastating since it was my passion. But a different bug had bitten me. I loved the wild and opulent parties that came with the access to a world that until then, was completely hidden away from me. It wasn’t so much about the parties themselves but being part of something out of the ordinary.
Q. So, how did you make a business out of that?
A. After coming to terms with my career in sports ending abruptly, I was fortunate to meet Veronica Kohlbecker, a concierge herself, who was at the time looking for a private chauffeur to take care of her high-achieving customers. That further introduced me to a world full of adventures and experiences I wanted to be part of. After working with her for about three years in both Cannes and Monaco, I became a concierge in Cannes at the Five Seas Hotel, before heading to Monaco at the prestigious Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo. Getting to see the genuine joy of our customers, really sparked the idea to chase my dreams. I was driven by the thrill of enchanting peoples experiences by curating and guiding them to events and destinations no one has access to by themselves.
Q. Can you give us an example?
A. Absolutely. You see, if you want to witness the next solar eclipse in Antarctica, you will most likely do some research, get there and that’d be it. “The Escapist” will go into much further detail. We will curate a unique experience for our clients. Watching the Solar Eclipse, check. Observing majestic Emperor penguins, check. Heli-skiing the untouched slopes of the Antarctic Peninsula, triple-check. All the while on a 10-day trip on board “La Datcha”, a superyacht supplied by our trusted partners. Also, a submersible deep-dive discovering the depths of the endless ocean will be on your bucket list… The list goes on. To do that is quite complex. A lot of expertise and knowing the right people goes into being able to provide this once in a lifetime experience.
Q. Sounds like the industry has changed quite a bit since you first started?
A. It definitely has, for sure. Like I said before, the internet has evened out the playing field. At least, so it seems. Various platforms and crowd knowledge make it easy to find destinations and adventures alike, no matter the budget. This is where “The Escapist” truly shines. We have the means to make your travel dreams come true. To do that, you’ll need far more than the cash to pay for it. You need profound experience, an extensive network of experts and most importantly, a solid dash of creativity to make these things happen. Most customers don’t have that; how could they?! We are here to take decisions away from our clients, enabling them to concentrate on the important things. At the same time, values like honesty and total transparency are vital to grant our clients peace of mind.
Q. How would you best describe yourself?
A. I’d say my heritage sums it up quite well. My father is from the Caribbean, most likely explaining my everlasting wanderlust. My mother on the other hand is German. This helps me stay organised and meticulously plan experiences for our clients, so they don’t have to. Lastly, I was born and raised in France, making me passionate for all things culinary, lifestyle and finding joy in communicating with others.
Q. Is there anyone you look up to?
A. This might come as a shock, but I really don’t tend to fantasize. My life is incredible as it is. Not only do I get to travel to destinations and meet with people I would otherwise never have met; I also am able to share these adventures with my clients – enchanting and inspiring them. While wealth can fade over time, memories are the most precious things we will hold on to forever.
Q. Tell us about three experiences you hold on dearly?
A. First and foremost: “The Escapist-Week” in Montenegro, which I’ve had the pleasure of organising multiple times. To everyone attending so far, I will always remember you! Second, all the memories collected in Cannes and Monaco. I could, and possibly will write a book about all those exciting stories at some point. Lastly, going to see Kobe Bryant’s last game in Los Angeles. I had the time of my life, especially, since we all know what happened next.
Q. And also, three adventures you want to do next?
A. To vibe and experience the joys of life in a true hedonist fashion. I want to keep searching for new ways to explore our world. For myself, my family and of course for my clients. Also, I really am looking forward to maybe one day experiencing space first-hand. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate reminder of how small and insignificant we truly are? But most importantly, I want to be able to share my love for travel with my son from an early stage. He is 15 months old and already has eight countries stamped into his passport, if I’m not mistaken. I wish for him to experience and learn from other cultures just as I have been fortunate enough to benefit from. It truly is a wonderful world we’re living in.