London based, onefinestay has addressed these concerns and built their business’s foundation around exceptional quality, a strict code of hospitality standards, convenience, and transparency providing the assurance upscale travellers need. Starting with a vetting process, only 1 in 10 homes are selected based on design that is bursting with character and located in the best neighbourhoods, providing a highly edited charm filled collection. Homes are professionally cleaned and outfitted with onefinestay’s gorgeous collection of high-thread count bedding, towels and toiletries. On arrival, guests are welcomed in person by the local staff, titled “greeters” and given an overview of the property, an explanation of the neighbourhood, wifi passcodes, and an IPhone available for local calls and data, loaded with the home owner’s local recommendations.
A handy app puts the local team an arms distance away, like a friend who says, “We are here if you need us”, giving you the independence and confidence to discover this new place as if it was your own. Bookings can be made online or through your favourite travel agent. The online option is extremely easy to use with helpful information including large quality photos of each room, a complete overview of amenities and facilities available within the home, and a review of the neighbourhood, including photographs and a map. Our favourite feature is Home Truths found in each property description giving you the real story of the homes’ quirks and possible solutions the onefinestay team has already considered. This defines transparency and eliminates the anxiety of what you might be surprised to find on arrival. If you need extra help deciding which one is the best fit for you, a local team well-versed on the property and the destination are available to assist you.
Launched in 2010, onefinestay has focused on city centers and currently operates in six cities; including, London, Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, but locations will quickly be expanding in the coming years. In 2016, the company was acquired by Accor Hotels, which will help to accelerate their international landscape. Announced in February 2017, a Collections portfolio will add exceptional vacation home rentals to their offering focusing on the USA and Europe’s top leisure destinations, with the Hamptons being the first available.
For more information on onefinestay and to learn about the benefits of renting your home through www.onefinestay.com, please read our exclusive interview with CEO and Co-Founder, Evan Frank.
Interview with Evan Frank, CEO and Co-Founder of onefinestay
TL: How are the homes and apartments selected and the owners vetted by onefinestay? What is onefinestay looking for in a home or apartment in terms of style, design, and location.
EF: The majority of our homes are recommended to us by our existing homeowners who tell their friends about the onefinestay experience. We vet each of our homes before guests come to stay to ensure they meet our strict hospitality standards. We turn down 9 out of 10 homes, as they don’t meet our high standards. In terms of the style and design of the homes, our homes don’t have to be grand, but we look for distinctive charm and character, and we want guests to walk in and think, ‘I want to stay here’. Our offering includes everything from studio apartments to whole townhouses with the location of the upmost importance.
TL: The turn-key standardized hotel services make onefinestay a great solution for sophisticated travelers interested in a luxury home environment, but what about the service? What happens when guests require logistical “concierge” services like car service, guides, tickets to VIP events and restaurant reservations? Also, what happens when things don’t go right, i.e. the hot water suddenly disappears or you cannot master the TV remote? How does onefinestay address these types of guest needs at a moment’s notice?
EF: We have a local team that manages on the ground services in each city where we offer rentals. This team is on call 24 hours a day to assist our guests. The team is accessible through the onefinestay IPhone via an app, which is given to all guests for the duration of their stay. The app also provides local recommendations and information on how to use appliances in the home. Our local team can do everything from advise guests on how to use appliances in the home that they may be having difficulty with, send over the maintenance team to fix anything that may go wrong, or coordinate booking guests into the city’s top restaurants or VIP events.
TL: How does onefinestay address the lack of property facilities; including, gyms, spas and dining? What type of collaborations does onefinestay have with local service providers?
EF: We have relationships with local service providers and venues offering our guests exclusive access. For example, in our US markets, we partner with SoulCycle to provide our guests with two complimentary classes during their stay. Now that we are part of the Accor Hotels Group, we are also exploring opportunities for our guests to use facilities in partner hotels. For example, in Paris, during the recent festive period, we provided our onefinestay guests with exclusive offers to use Sofitel’s facilities and venues; including, free access to Sofitel’s fitness suite, complimentary champagne with a restaurant booking, and reduced pricing for spa treatments.
TL: Onefinestay originated with the idea of allowing sophisticated travelers an option to “live like a local” in a luxurious surrounding. Beyond the iPhone with local recommendation, how does onefinestay assist in connecting guests with the local culture?
EF: Working in various cities, our local staff are at the heart of our service. On arrival, guests are welcomed and the check in process is conducted by our local staff, our local “meeter and greeter”. In addition to providing an overview of the accommodations, the local staff shares the best insider tips for the local area and our guest services team can provide additional local recommendations. By staying in a home in the heart of the city and having a key to your own front door, a guest is automatically connected to life as a local, and by association the local culture.
TL: What type of traveller is most attracted to the onefinestay experience?
EF: Onefinestay is particularly popular for those travelling in large groups and those who are travelling for an extended period. Much of our new business comes from word of mouth, especially among our homeowner community.
TL: Onefinestay has two customers, one being the homeowner. Why should home and apartment owners register to be a host? What kind of support and benefits does onefinestay offer to the host to manage the rental of their property?
EF: We offer our homeowners a full-service product taking the hassle out of renting their home. This end to end service agreement includes; marketing the home, vetting the guests, cleaning the home before the guest arrives, locking up their valuables, and returning their home to its original (often cleaner state) once the guests have departed. We take care of all the logistics, leaving a simple task to the homeowner of updating their availability calendar, so we know when the home is available to accept guests. Our homeowners give us consistent feedback that the ‘peace of mind’ we offer is the main reasons our homeowners rent out their homes with us. Another benefit, and a great way for homeowners to network locally is through our exclusive monthly community events for homeowners. Finally, homeowners also receive special booking discounts for stays throughout our international landscape of onefinestay properties.
TL: With the 2016 acquisition by Accor Hotels, how will onefinestay address a loyalty program for travellers?
EF: We are still looking into a loyalty scheme with Accor Hotels, but we do not have any announcements at this time.
TL: One Fine Stay is a strategic member of Virtuoso and Signature Travel Network. For consumers who may not be familiar with these organizations, can you highlight how these alliances can impact their stay?
EF: Our guests trust experts in every walk of their lives from their hairdressers to their architect, and travel is no exception. They look to travel agents to advise them on the best destinations and accommodation options. If a guest books through a Virtuoso or Signature agent, there are exclusive offers and or benefits provided, such as a complimentary fridge fill.
TL: Onefinestay is currently located in key city destinations including London, Paris, Rome, New York, LA and Miami. How would you like to see these offerings expand in the next two years?
EF: We are aiming to be in 40 cities by 2020 with the expansion mainly occurring in the US and Europe.
TL: Finally, what is one word or phrase that you would use to describe the onefinestay experience?
EF: The finest homes in our favourite cities.
Photography provided by onefinestay.
Collections Destinations: The Hamptons with up and coming destinations including Southern California, the French Riviera, and Edinburgh. Reservations: https://www.onefinestay.com Owners Interested in Listing Their Property: https://www.onefinestay.com/homes/register
Collections Destinations: The Hamptons with up and coming destinations including Southern California, the French Riviera, and Edinburgh.
Owners Interested in Listing Their Property: https://www.onefinestay.com/homes/register