Home rentals

Like Airbnb, but for the rich

From the marinas of Monaco to the slopes of Aspen, it’s no secret where the wealthy love to go on vacation.

But where they stay is no longer a mystery. Rental accommodation offers space and privacy, while luxury hotels have “your way” service staff ready to go out of their way to satisfy affluent guests.

With “ultra luxury” villas, affluent travelers can have both. The homes, which represent the pinnacle of the luxury real estate rental market, come with lavish grounds, private chefs, and overnight rates equivalent to many people’s monthly mortgage payments.

“Ultra luxury” houses

For those who need more than the oversized tubs and marble kitchen counters of a regular luxury home, there are “ultra luxury” rental homes. The term is used by several rental companies to distinguish the most outstanding homes from high-end vacation home rentals.

A selection from the president’s collection, Casa Fryzer in Los Cabos, Mexico, is said to have hosted famous artists, royalty and CEOs of the Fortune 500.

Courtesy of Villas of Distinction

One of these companies is Private Collection Icon, where users can search for “ultra luxury villas” with budgets starting at 10,000 pounds sterling ($ 13,450) per night. Another, UltraVilla, connects travelers to the luxury homes of Saint Martin to the South African vineyards of Franschhoek.

Distinguished Villas distinguishes its best villas with a different term. Its “Chairman’s Collection” homes feature top-notch locations, architecture and privacy, as well as “exquisite design both inside and out,” according to the company’s website.

Another Chairman’s Collection choice, La Dolce Vita by Turks & Caicos has nine guest rooms and over 12,300 square feet of space.

Courtesy of Villas of Distinction

Of more than 2,900 luxury rental homes, only 35 qualify for the special designation, said Steve Lassman, vice president of Villas of Distinction.

“We have a few new ones coming up in the next 30 days which are amazing,” he said, adding that some will offer private jet service from 2021.

Other businesses are more location specific. Luxico rents five-star ‘ultra villas’ in Australia, with daily maid service, personal butlers, linens, stocked fridges and a ‘sommelier’s honesty bar’ stocked with the finest wines and liquors .

“Private resort” houses

Ani Private Resorts is a hybrid vacation option for wealthy travelers.

The company owns four “private resorts” – in Anguilla, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Thailand – which combine the best aspects of a private villa and resort into one, the company’s CEO said, Ira Bloom.

“In a private villa, guests have to do a lot of things on their own, whether it’s hiring a chef, planning meals, doing the dishes… they are mostly on their own. unmanned, ”Bloom said. “At Ani, we personalize everything for our customers.”

The 10 Ani Anguilla suites are open and accept reservations.

Courtesy of Ani Private Resorts

Staff, most of whom have been trained at Aman Resorts and Four Seasons hotels, can arrange special requests, from fireworks to helicopter landing inside the villas. They recently held a “Moana”– a themed birthday party at the Thailand site with staff in full costume, Bloom said.

The amenities are also more like a resort than a rental home. Set over 20,000 square meters along the south coast, the Sri Lankan location has its own tennis court (and tennis pro), an Ayurvedic spa, and a children’s activity coordinator.

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, all four properties are open, said Yeshi Phuntsho, the company’s chief operating officer.

“Àni Anguilla and Àni Dominican Republic are functioning normally,” he said. “We’ve actually been very busy there as people prefer to travel privately because of Covid.”

Ani Private Resorts employs children’s activity coordinators to organize beach scavenger hunts, baking classes, and crafts.

Courtesy of Ani Private Resorts

Locations in Thailand and Sri Lanka are open to domestic customers only.

Like a private home, each location only hosts one group at a time, Bloom said. Rates include meals, drinks (including alcohol), spa treatments, personal training, cooking classes and children’s entertainment.

The company billed à la carte, but browsing a detailed list of fees wasn’t a “super fun” way to end a trip, Bloom said.

“Switching to all-inclusive luxury now allows our customers to worry about nothing and just be in the moment,” he said.

Rates: from $ 4,625 per night (8 adults) or $ 9,625 (28 adults)

Historic houses

After a nearly decade-long restoration of $ 40 million in 2019, London’s majestic Templeton House is now accepting nighttime guests. The 240-year-old Georgian mansion and former home of Winston Churchill has eight bedrooms, a spa, and a 25-meter (82-foot) swimming pool.

Templeton House is located in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Courtesy of the Richstone Collection

In 2010, the house was purchased by David and Laura Rich-Jones, the husband and wife team behind Richstone Properties, a London-based property development company that entered the luxury residential rental market with the launch of La Bergerie in the south of France.

So began the Richstone Collection, an “ultra-exclusive portfolio of fully staffed properties,” said CEO David Rich-Jones.

Unlike many hotel and house rentals, instant reservations are not available. Rich-Jones said guests, who mostly come from “highly professional business backgrounds,” are assessed before they can book.

The living room of Maison Templeton includes a portrait of Lady Templeton, the original inhabitant of the house.

“We always control our guests – especially to make sure the travel and the source of funds are legal,” said Rich-Jones. “It is also important to us that these properties, which are all private homes by us, are respected.”

Exclusivity and privacy are two of the main reasons guests book these homes.

“With a Richstone Collection property, you will enjoy all the benefits of an upscale hotel, but in a very private setting,” said manager Laura Rich-Jones. “You don’t have to share your pool or dining room with strangers, for example.”

“Only a few selected guests can stay each year,” she said. “And most bookings are by word of mouth.”

La Bergerie is an eight bedroom villa with professional kitchen, cinema, guest house and helipad nearby in Provence, France.

Courtesy of the Richstone Collection

Each house has a chef, a sous-chef, reception staff and a team of housekeepers. Services such as babysitting and yoga can be arranged. The company organizes activities, such as mountaineering, gliding and driving racing cars, all of which have been requested by previous customers.

Prices per night from:

Templeton House: £ 15,000 ($ 18,217)
La Bergerie: € 4,850 ($ 5,890)
Villa Charlotte: € 4,357 ($ 5,290)


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