Every year millions of Americans travel to Europe. On a trip to Italy a couple of years ago , a friend of mine complained about the service and food at the Hotel Castello del Nero, featured in many best hotel lists around the world. When you pay 500 euros a night for a hotel that is sub-standard- aside from the excellent spa, it is hard to not think about going somewhere else, the next time you visit the region.The lapses were due to a departing chef, but the trouble is , with the Luxury Hotel Industry facing difficult times, there will be few opportunties for such excuses.
We have definitely seen a tough consummer- led reppraisal of the market. Interestingling, signs of a real shakedown can be seen in the generally robust market for private villa rentals. According to Elegant Resorts, a UK- based Luxury Tour Operator, the company’s villa bookings remain consistent with this time last year , with strong demand in 2010 for France, Italy & Portugal as well as the Caribean. Meanwhile, hotels and resorts have seen a 4 percent drop over the same period ( albeit with a growth in the last minute requests).
Edward Marquis, chief executive of the Villa Book, another UK-based rental agency focusing on France, Spain, Italy and Greece, says that November has been his best month in the past six. For hotels and resort owners, it’s been the other way around.
San Francisco-based Luxury Travel Consultant2, a Luxury Tour operator focusing on France, Italy and California , said that” more and more people want a different approach to travel and for some time new clients have become increasingling intolerant of poorly delivered Luxury: The company instead offers something one-off, unique. Good Villas- great villas – have totally unique atmosphere, which is becoming less and less common with hotels”.
Terrorist attacks in Munbai, a few years ago, in which the attackers targeted guests at the city’s most famous hotels, may also drive demand for the relative anonimity of a rented villa.
Some of the best villas are well prepared when it comes to security, as evidenced by Villa Delle Delizie, a newly renovated property on Lake Como that became for rent for the first time in the summer of 2008. San Francisco-based Luxury Travel Consultant2 took a group of clients to celebrate Thanksgiving 2010, at Villa Larienella on Lake Como, a 19th- century villa ( 7,000 sq ft, plus 15 sq ft. covered terraces outside) set on 5 acres of private gardens with superb views of the lake. The villa is located between Villa D’Este and Georges Clooney’s residence in Laglio. We had 14 guests and the tour included:
Villa Accommodation ( Double Occupancy)
Private Chef ( Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Thanksgiving dinner)
Drivers / Tour guides ( Transfers, Touring the region) as well as boat rides across the lake
3 Complimentary bottles of wine included for dinner
One week stay ( 8 days / 7 nights) $ 2,800 per person.
Lake Como is not cheap, but it is pretty good for spending one week in a luxurious villa.
Today, very few people in these cost-conscious times would pay a 100.000, a week rental fee that is required at Villa Delle Delizie. It is the search for value for money that is likely to push villa rentals up the holiday hierarchy in 2011.
Private Villas have other less obvious crunch-friendly benefits. Guests who are not on a tour do not have to go out every night. Extras , such as spa treatments, don’t come tumbling down to your end-of-stay bill with a villa. And most of the time food is charged at market prices.
San Francisco-based Luxury Travel consultant2’s owner said that people do not always know what to expect from a villa and get intimidated because it is not part of their approach to vacationing abroad. People always think hotels, no matter what, so it is our goal to explain to them that going on a tour with a group and staying in a villa is the same as staying in a hotel, a few differences apply. As what was told earlier , when you go as a group on a group tour and stay in a villa, everything is included and there is no ” Oh my god! it is way beyond my spending limit”, it is fairly straight forward( No bad surprises). Two years ago on a tour to Provence, Luxury Travel Consultant2 planned a spa day for a few of the guests and arranged for the men to play golf . Playing golf was not included, so the owner called a few golf courses and asked the drivers to take some of the guests to the golf course ( Free transfers ) and everybody was happy. Our chef catered the spa day with wonderful fresh food and later on that day, a sommelier came over to the villa and we all tasted wonderful local wines from the Rhone region . The villa was extremely comfortable with double occupancy and we also had a guest house and two swimming pools.
The economy may make people think outside the box and they may become more creative regarding group travel and start trusting a different approach. Nothing is more luxurious than having a private chef, guides and drivers at your service while vacationing in the South of France.
Luxury Travel Consultant2 in collaboration with le Chateau, ” La Bastide du Luberon”, invites you to a one week vacation ( 8 days / 7 nights) in Luberon, Provence.
Holidays in the vineyards
Chateau Accommodation ( Double Occupancy)
Drivers / Guides ( Transfers, Touring the region)
Cultural, Gastronomy & Wine Tour
TGV train ride ( Round trip)
Complimentary wine ( dinner only)
One week stay ( 8 days / 7 nights) $ 2,700 per person / 10 guests are invited.http://www.luxurytravelconsultant2.com/holidays_in_the_vineyards
Visit us online at http://www.luxurytravelconsultant2.com