From extended stay packages to private chef provision, Globetrender talks to Amanda Dyjecinski, onefinestay brand and marketing manager, about the future of premium home rentals.
When was unfinestay founded and what problem did it propose to solve?
Our founders, leaving an office in Mayfair one evening, realized that all the lights were out – every house along the street was empty, and when they were away from the city, their apartments in central London were also vacant.
It dawned on them that there could hardly be a better way for savvy visitors to immerse themselves in the area than by staying in the nicest homes in the best neighborhoods when the owners were away.
This is how the idea for onefinestay was born – a luxury private rental in a prime location combined with top-notch service for guests and owners. The company was officially launched in London in 2010.
How does it compare to Airbnb?
onefinestay is a truly organized hospitality service, while Airbnb is a self-service platform. We invest time to connect personally with our guests and owners, then we anticipate their individual needs and personalize stays with amenities, services and destination experiences.
Homeowners who wish to list their home with us go through a thorough verification process to ensure the home meets our standards of excellence. Our dedicated reservations team manages guest travel from start to finish, as our guests expect when staying at a luxury hotel.
We have a personal relationship with our owners and take care of each home as if it were our own. With great attention to detail, we take care of everything from professional photography, housekeeping and maintenance during the stay, to handling all bookings, as well as welcoming each guest in person and the care of customers during their stay.
How is it innovative?
We were the first hotel brand to fill a gap in the premium private home rental market and have since set the standard in luxury private rental. We always ask ourselves “what next?” »And we remain one of the only global hotel brands to offer collections of chalets, villas and townhouses.
Many brands will specialize in one or two, however, we have all three allowing us to cater for virtually any type of stay in over 50 destinations, alongside a dedicated concierge team and personalized service in the area. framework of each stay.
We are responding with agility to consumer demand and throughout the Covid pandemic we have spotted the lack in the market for flexible, all-inclusive stays that are longer between one and six months.
We quickly adapted to meet this growing demand with our enriched long-term rental offer. No other premium rental company offers the same level of service, flexibility and attractive pricing options on these types of longer stays.
How many properties do you own and in which destinations?
Our portfolio is constantly evolving. Right now, we have 5,000 homes in over 50 destinations around the world – from villas dotted along the rugged coastline of Cabo San Lucas to mountain retreats in Jackson Hole and Aspen – each home is carefully selected by our team of experts to ensure a perfect home-home experience for the discerning traveler.
In 2021, we will launch 14 new destinations, including Ibiza, Santorini, Costa Del Sol and Aspen, with more to launch this year.
Is Onefinestay only for rentals between individuals or the properties you list
is part of hotel groups?
onefinestay is unique in that we are not a peer-to-peer rental company; our customers do not have to worry about the unpredictability that accompanies rentals between individuals.
Guests deal only with us, therefore all parts of their booking and stay are handled professionally – a guarantee of service. Our in-person verification process also ensures that every home lives up to our high standards – a guarantee of quality.
Along with our direct relationships with owners, we also work with local property management companies who manage their villas with professionalism and, as a member of Accor, we benefit from villas owned by the group’s luxury hotel brands.
How has the company evolved since its acquisition by Accor?
By investing in the private rental market, Accor is significantly expanding the pool of potential customers with varying travel needs and styles. At onefinestay, we have always seen ourselves as complementary to hotels; there will be occasions when a hotel is perfect for a client and occasions when a private home is exactly what the client is looking for.
It is possible to keep High Net Worth Customers (HNWs) within the Accor luxury ecosystem, whatever the occasion. This is ultimately the promise of Accor’s ALL lifestyle loyalty program, where onefinestay is part of the Group’s luxury portfolio in the “Live” category.
We also benefit from Accor’s Live Limitless loyalty program, which means customers can not only earn but use their reward points when they stay with onefinestay.
How has the pandemic changed what customers expect from hosting providers?
We have observed several changes in our clientele throughout the pandemic, which we have all followed closely to adapt and adjust as best we can. In 2020, we saw a 200% increase in inquiries for stays longer than 30 nights compared to 2019, the demand for which is driven by the changing behaviors and needs of HNW people.
The simplicity and ease of spending time together in a private home has also spurred an increased demand for our private concierge services: private chefs, private experiences and excursions so guests can stay in their bubble.
In light of these changes in behavior, we have adapted our business model to best meet the needs of our customers. In response to demand for longer stays with all-inclusive rates, we’ve launched flexible monthly rentals (stays longer than 30 days) available in London and Los Angeles, with New York to launch this fall.
Our new focus on longer stays includes valuable savings, bespoke amenities, weekly housekeeping and flexible terms, responding to the growing trend of longer stays and digital nomadism accelerated by the pandemic.
Stays are hassle-free and all-inclusive so guests don’t have to worry about bills, wifi, or local taxes. They also benefit from 24/7 local assistance, free toiletries and a welcome basket.
Tell us about your new long stay concept
We have seen an increase in our average length of stay, especially in our Home Collection. In London, the average stay was eight days in 2019, and in 2021 it increased to 18. Likewise in Los Angeles, the average booking value (ABV) increased by 63% in 2021 compared to 2019.
Our tailor-made approach to each stay ensures full flexibility, including early break clauses and the ability to book a specific number of days, rather than committing monthly.
Most companies in the rental market do not offer this level of flexibility, whether they specialize in short stays of 30 nights or less, or long term rentals of a year or more.
How is the company developing in 2021/22? Why are you diverting your attention from the cities?
We take a very selective approach to the homes we add to our portfolio. We don’t aim to grow too quickly or boast the largest collection of homes, we want to carefully build an organized collection of homes and experiences that complement each other.
Following a continued increase in demand for private and secure travel experiences, the expansion of our villa collection beyond cities is a testament to our commitment to expanding our footprint through iconic lifestyle destinations.
We are currently expanding to 14 new destinations in Europe and the United States. Including the launch of several ski destinations across Utah and Colorado including Aspen, Jackson Hole and Park City.
However, cities are always a priority for us – Los Angeles, for example, had its best year in terms of bookings. Services such as a helicopter ride to a private island for lunch and in-villa services such as party dinners have also become increasingly popular as guests still want indulgent experiences, while limiting contact. with the others.
Tell us about your new ski chalet offer
Our new cabins will provide guests with access to some of the world’s most enviable ski destinations in the Rocky Mountains including Aspen, Vail, Castor Creek and Steamboat Springs in Colorado, in addition to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Park City, Utah.
The crown jewel among mountain destinations in the United States is Aspen, where the onefinestay team will unlock experiences in the chalets and beyond, from snowshoe tours that explore the natural beauty of Aspen to organizing events. ‘ski butler’ service that brings the ski shop to guests for personal amenities or have a local chef cook up the ultimate alpine feast in the chalet – there is something for the whole family to enjoy and discover the best of Aspen.
What are your ambitions for growth as a company?
We aim to make onefinestay the preferred luxury and ultra-luxury private rental brand in the world, with an exceptional collection of curated properties in the world’s most desirable destinations. We want to be recognized for exceptional quality, personalized service and for unlocking access to the best experiences in the best places for today’s modern traveler.