One absolutely, fine stay
Though AirBnB remains the behemoth of the sharing-economy hospitality industry, Onefinestay’s more selective approach to the properties it makes available for rental through its platform has seen it quietly gain traction with the big-spending travellers who would ordinarily stay only in resolutely luxurious hotels. In its latest push for expansion since being bought by French hotels group Accor for £117 million (S$201 million) last year, the company has launched Onefinestay Collections, a new portfolio of homes in The Hamptons, French Riviera and other select destinations worldwide.
Now available to book, properties in The Hamptons have been secured in partnership with Bespoke Real Estate, which only represents houses valued at US$10 million (S$14 million) and above. Among the Collections homes available to book is three-hectare, nine-bedroom, 12-bathroom Meadow Lane Estate in Southampton Villa, which comes with a gym, pool and tennis court. Around 20 Hamptons homes are available for rental this year, with some available for the entire season at up to US$2 million (S$2.81 million) each.
A nightly stay at Meadow Lane Estate is priced at US$48,450 (S$68,000) year-round. Similarly statuesque properties are available in southern California, the French Riviera and Edinburgh, joining the company’s network of rentals in London, Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. The company’s portfolio is valued at approximately US$6 billion (S$8.42 billion) and each property is vetted before being approved for rental.
Among the distinctions customers can expect over the likes of AirBnB are a greeting and housing induction upon arrival as well as newly laundered towels and bedding put in place by professional cleaners.
Explaining why these new destinations were targeted, Onefinestay CEO and co-founder Evan Frank says, “These markets represent the finest in leisure travel, and have been servicing seasonal occupants for generations. Our model will bring new energy and innovation … and truly elevate the experience in this community."
The move beyond the company’s previous city bases to more conventional extended-holiday destinations sees it more directly take on the plethora of discreet, high-end rental agencies already specialising in letting out exclusive holiday homes and villas in some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive destinations. Among them, Firefly Collection offers a handpicked collection of villas and luxury ski chalets; Ultravilla provides its members with a curated directory of villas, lodges, boats and private islands; and emerging Edge Retreats specialises in villas averaging £10,000 (S$17,000) a week in 50 destinations ranging from St Barts to Santorini.