Elpida Kennedy is the person whose phone rings when billionaires want to vacation in Mykonos. With almost two decades of experience in the travel and hospitality industry, The Kennedy’s Group CEO manages dozens of rental villas in Greece, Mexico and Costa Rica.
According to Business Insider, Elon Musk stayed at a similar villa last summer when he came to Mykonos on a short vacation. Kennedy’s clients include British business magnates such as Carol Bamford and Richard Kering, as well as renowned Swedish DJs Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso and Steve Angello.
In fact, Kennedy has a habit of fulfilling even the wildest wishes of his wealthy clients, from delivering Michelin-starred chefs by helicopter to organizing boat trips on short notice. “They always ask for something at the last minute and we do it. I never say no. I will say yes, I will do it, I will fix it. I always want to please them”she explains.
The most difficult request she received was from a DJ staying at a villa in Mykonos. He called her around midnight and asked if he could host a party for 200 people at the villa. Her team set up a professional sound system, bar, decoration, personnel and security. And she did it all within an hour. “It was a very big challenge for us. Even he didn’t think he could organize everything so well. In the morning he hugged my whole team” Kennedy recalls.
Sometimes the demands of her job are even unreasonable. The businesswoman was eight months pregnant when a very important client asked her to attend his birthday party on a private yacht. She did so, but late in the evening her water broke. “In the morning I flew by helicopter to Athens to give birth. Then I received a message from another guest, a very important businessman, who said: “Thank God you gave birth before I arrived. See you when I arrive in six days.”“. As Kennedy says, that’s how it happened. “What can I do? I gave birth in the middle of summer,” she remarks with a laugh.
According to the businesswoman, billionaires are very different from each other: what they want, their needs, how they expect you to treat them. Tech stars prefer discretion and privacy over flaunting their wealth. They want to reach out to employees if they have questions. “They don’t like publicity. They don’t like fame. They don’t like being talked to. They’re like ghosts,” she explains.
But there are other business tycoons who want to get into the best clubs, meet socialites, throw parties and buy the most expensive champagne just to pour it. However, even when she thinks she has figured out a client’s preferences, they can suddenly change, Kennedy admits, citing a couple in their 60s who, always wanting a quiet life, decided last summer that it was time to end it.
“Sometimes they say one thing and mean another. You learn to read their eyes and understand their body language, to see when they are uncomfortable, when they are bored, when they are happy,” she explains. The key to winning their hearts in any case is to offer them something new and interesting, she notes. Which is difficult for an audience used to having everything.
Kennedy’s team spends hours uploading ideas for unique activities and offerings, such as underwater photo shoots and fire roasting freshly caught fish in a hidden cove. But most of all, her clients — billionaires and non-billionaires alike — love the traditional boat trip to Delos, she says. “When guests return, they hug you, say thank you and are full of love. That’s my reward,” Kennedy tells Business Insider.