Javier Cedillo-Espin, Chief Executive Officer – onefinestay exudes confidence on the success of company’s ‘unique model’ which is a growing web of carefully selected luxury vacation homes at best available locations in major cities of the world. These handpicked homes, located at posh addresses, are increasingly becoming the choice of the discerning guest, seeking an unmatched vacation experience amidst top notch luxury. We speak to the head of onefinestay to understand trends in the segment and the road ahead for the luxury vacation rental home venture of AccorHotels. Excerpts from the interview:
We understand that you are scouting for opportunities in the Asian market and intend to make a foray sooner than later. What are your expectations from the Asian market?
onefinestay is committed to being where our guests want to travel to which currently consists of over 200 destinations across six continents. We have a presence in Asia through working with trusted partners in Indonesia, Thailand and Japan, and continue to announce new destinations in Asia and globally, though we have nothing specific to announce at this time. We are extremely popular with outbound luxury travel guests from Asia, for example, China and India and look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the Asian market.
AccorHotels is perhaps one of the first major hotel groups to venture in to luxury rental home space. Many industry stakeholders view this as a model aimed at competing with the likes of Airbnb. What is your USP and what differentiates Onefinestay from other such models operational in the market?
onefinestay is renowned in the hospitality industry for our pioneering model, and exceptional portfolio of homes and destinations. Our key differentiators can be distilled into three parts. Firstly, a unique model and a true luxury experience – we are one of the only companies that provides an individualized experience from booking through the stay, for both guests and homeowners.
Secondly, the best homes, the best destinations – we have an unmatched and growing portfolio of over 10,000 of the finest exotic villas, mountain chalets and country piles, as well as private homes and apartments in world-class cities spanning 200 destinations in six continents.
Thirdly, personalised luxury – our recently launched concierge service and loyalty program – ‘Higher Living’ – offers guests a tailored stay with extras like airport transfers, grocery deliveries, and even theater tickets.
‘Higher Living’ is basically aimed at a more fulsome experience for consumers? Is it aimed at creating that visible product differentiation than the rest?
onefinestay’s model has always been focused around an elevated experience and high-touch service for our guests. ‘Higher Living’ which is set to launch the beginning of March is a formalisation and extension of this via a full concierge programme and includes the industry first of making it standard for all guests not just whilst they are in stay but for a full year after their stay.
Take us through some trends in Europe and the USA in the luxury rental space. Where do you see more traction for the segment? Also, what future do you envisage for the segment? Why do you think consumers would choose luxury rental homes over luxury hotels, especially with not so competitive rate slabs?
We see ourselves as complementary to hotels so there are occasions when a luxury hotel is just right for a guest and occasions when a home is exactly what a guest is looking for. There are many practical reasons why guests would choose a home, for example we are a perfect fit for families and large groups, or for someone who wants to explore a particular neighbourhood. But bigger then that, the role of luxury brands is being redefined. Once guardians of good taste and purveyors of status symbols, the role of 21st century luxury brands is to create a unique experience, for all their customers, that transcends the ordinary.
onefinestay’s over 10,000 homes in the most incredible destinations combined with our high touch service model gives guests an experience they won’t find anywhere else.