A quintessential experience is to raft the Rio Grande through the Blue Mountains, stopping off at waterfalls and having picnics of barbecued fish.
I definitely like sorting stuff out, and I have the enthusiasm to try and help.
There are a lot of laws from Europe about employing people which are absolute nonsense.
‘Concierge’ comes from the Latin for ‘slave.’
I don’t believe that saying things because you feel they are what people want to hear is the right way to be in any part of your life.
I think people might say I’m a bit of a sucker for punishment.
It’s not marriage that I crave. Many of my friends who have married are pretty miserable. Within a year and a half, most of them are either unhappy or divorced.
My father instilled in me an attitude that you couldn’t really enjoy yourself unless you had done something to deserve it. So, my childhood was spent working on farms or local shops or, when I got older, in banks.
I have to be passionate about everything I do.
What goes around comes around in business, and it’s better to help people out rather than bill them every time you speak to them.
I’m not going to complain to New Yorkers about working too hard.
I eat out three times a day most days of the year. This is no big deal to most New Yorkers, and it is not something I am necessarily proud of – it’s simply the nature of my itinerant life.
My obsession with eating out partly comes from having spent 10 long years at English boarding schools in the 1980s, where food was pretty low on the list.
I have an issue with others ordering for me, and I spend far too long haranguing people that my choices are the best. I apologize for the amount of conversations I have ruined with this attitude.
In the same way I am addicted to puddings – the sweeter the better – I have become addicted to the daily routines my Pilates and Gyrotonic guru, Nada, puts me through.
Buenos Aires is easily one of the most stylish cities in the world with its eclectic collection of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm.
I’ve always been fascinated by India and its color and vibrancy. I worked in Madhya Pradesh in the Kanha National Game reserve before university, and it is probably the most intoxicating country I have ever visited.
For me, a stay at the Uma Paro with Pilates every morning is a perfect escape.
The way I choose to live my own life rates time and space as real luxuries.
For me, life is not about gold taps and marble all over the place.
Fastidious attention to detail makes the difference between an OK service and first class service.
Since I travel to the four corners of this planet for work, I don’t need sun holidays or that kind of thing.
Art is the ultimate luxury good, but one that can make you think, give a you a blast of beauty and enhance your life. Even if the work’s made of plasticine.
When the truth does not get printed, damage is done.
Since childhood, I have been a cricket fanatic.
When I lived in New York, I discovered these Russian & Turkish Baths in East 10th Street. Great for a platza treatment – plus, you’ll run into the world and his wife there.
With offices in 64 cities around the world, it is sometimes a challenge to ensure that I’ve got my finger on the pulse with every one, everywhere. Staying in touch means early rising for calls with China and Japan, and late calls with the U.S.
A lot of my work is about developing relationships with corporate partners such as Jaguar and Diageo.
I knew Quintessentially was a success when my father, who does a lot of business in Beirut, introduced himself to somebody and they said, ‘Oh, do you know Ben Elliot? I’d really like to meet him.’ I remember him ringing me up, really annoyed.
If people don’t feel they’ve got your attention, you’re not going to succeed.
I don’t set out to be connected. My business has allowed me to meet lots of interesting people, some of whom have become friends; but you can’t force it. This terrible word – ‘networking’ – I really hate.
Once you’re involved in a business, it’s part of what you do. It’s the way you are.
When you think about the word ‘quintessentially’, it’s about trying to get to the very essence of something.
I’m a creature of habit and tend to favour small, traditional English businesses.
Now if I don’t take exercise I feel a bit frazzled.
In my heart and soul, I am a West Country man, and ideally, my weekends are spent there.
In summer, my Sundays are often taken up with cricket. I play with a bunch of other over-competitive and overenthusiastic guys who I have known for a very long time.
I mainly read histories and biographies, but I’m also a big fan of Graham Swift and Thomas Hardy.
I studied politics and economics at Bristol, and people always assumed that I’d go into politics or a non-government organisation when I left. I might well do this later on. I’d love to represent a West Country seat in the House of Commons.