American Marketer

Travel and hospitality

VeryFirstTo ramps up pub-crawls with month-long speakeasy trip

October 11, 2016

The Croft Institue speakeasy in Melbourne, Australia The Croft Institue speakeasy in Melbourne, Australia


Ecommerce platform VeryFirstTo is giving a whole new meaning to the term “pub-crawl,” with an extreme version that takes members on an international trip.

The platform has curated a trip for affluent consumers that ups the ante in terms of unique experiences, with a pub-crawl that spans 10 international cities within one month. A partnership with furniture manufacturer Timothy Oulton provides guests with specially created pieces that follow the tour’s speakeasy theme.

“This is the first-ever trip that is the fusion of remarkable travel and exceptional furniture,” said Marcel Knobil, founder of VeryFirstTo. “In curating an unprecedented partnership between Hurlingham Travel and the globally admired British furniture and interiors company Timothy Oulton, VeryFirstTo is not only offering the first-ever trip dedicated to visiting the best secret bars around the globe, but participants return home to exquisite hand-crafted speakeasy furniture.”

Luxury pub-crawl
VeryFirstTo is hosting a month-long trip in which attendees are taken to the most exclusive hidden speakeasies in various cities across the world. Managed and executed by Hurlingham Travel, the tour travels the globe from London to New York, including stops in Hong Kong and Melbourne, putting guests up in the most luxurious hotels such as Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and Shangri-La.

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong M Bar 400

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong M Bar 400

Participants will have access to the most interesting and exclusive bars, with native experiences that represent the culture of each city. World-renowned bar expert and author Christine Sismondo will be speaking to members of the trip who will receive her book and have a chance to talk one-on-one with her.

Other activities include music and cabaret performances, mixology classes and learning about the history of each establishment. Each bar and city has its own experience on par with not many others.

For instance, while staying in Hong Kong, tour members will be able to visit the Foxglove, which can only be accessed by guests in-the-know who know where the secret entrance is. Fronted by an umbrella shop, visitors can enter by touching a specific umbrella on display.

The Croft Institute in Melbourne, Australia is featured after an old science lab, whereas New York’s HR Giger resembles a human vertebrae and also fancies itself a museum.

giger bar

HR Giger bar and museum

With the pub-crawl being such a spectacle, the goody bag had to be on the same level. VeryFirstTo’s World’s Most Alluring Secret Bars trip ends with a delivery of specially made furniture that resembles speakeasy artifacts that participants can include in their homes made by Timothy Oulton.

Affluent consumers are craving unique experiences and the more exciting and different, the better.

For instance, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company innovated in the meetings and events space by encouraging organizers to book with its new sensory-stimulating conference program.

Combing through Pinterest, online platforms and onsite holiday window displays are just a few of the methods in which experts gleaned inspiration for creative event experiences designed to motivate attendees. Ritz-Carlton’s A Meeting of the Senses program selects all details of events, such as food, cocktails, individualized itinerary and wellness breaks, to fully immerse participants (see more).

VeryFirstTo extravagance
VeryFirstTo has been continually providing luxury products and events that max out the exclusive experience. The ecommerce platform also offered a life-sized chocolate bunny fitted with diamond eyes for the Easter holiday.

Standing 1.24 feet and weighing 11 pounds, the hand-carved chocolate bunny was created by award-winning chocolatier and former chef decor of department store Harrods, Martin Chiffers. The luxury industry spares no expense in terms of unique experiences, and often extends these elaborate touchpoints to holiday items to ensure memorable moments (see more).

“Affluent consumers are increasingly demanding experiences and items that are truly different and of supreme quality,” Mr. Knobil said. “The trip is one which none of their piers will have undertaken.

“The Timothy Oulton furniture not only ensures the recipients never forget their trip and put their cocktail masterclasses into practice, but the quality is truly outstanding with distinctive cabinetry constructed with painstaking craftsmanship with a rich textured surface cloaked in a dark patchwork skin of leather panels," he said.

"Affluent consumers expect luxury to be all about relentless fastidiousness, outstanding quality and meticulous service. All of these qualities are featured in abundance in the vacation and furniture.”