Beyond Airbnb: 5 Home Rental Services That Feel Like Luxury Hotels
Renting an apartment or doing a home rental when you travel makes sense when you’re with your family; unlike hotel suites, apartments offer separate bedrooms, additional bathrooms, and living rooms that allow you all to spend time together. Plus having a kitchen where you can stash snacks and relax over a coffee without worrying about waking anyone is a priceless bonus.
Not as appealing? Dealing with “sharing economy” online services where you rent someone’s home with no guarantee of cleanliness, amenities, or services, let alone knowing whether they’re truly family friendly. The solution? Concierge style home rentals with portfolios of curated properties.
These companies offer hotel-like services – from stocking apartments with luxury toiletries and plush towels to making dinner recommendations and booking tours with local guides – so you’re guaranteed a five-star level of comfort. Here are a few of our favorite finds:
We love these “Perfect” home rentals (also available in Provence, Italy, and England) for their stylish design that makes it feel like each flat is straight out of a Parisian architecture magazine. That’s not to say they don’t welcome families. The tres chic Bordeaux two bedroom, two bathroom, duplex we recently stayed in not only had fabulous Eiffel Tower views from almost every window, but also was stocked with clever kid-pleasers like brightly colored plastic kitchenware for tots, a pack-and-play stashed in the closet, nightlights, and even a gate at the top of the stairs. Another perk: Sheets worthy of any 5-star property, so popular they’re sold on their website for luxury lovers to use at home. We were also impressed by their thorough neighborhood recommendations and relationship with a “perfect” car service for stress-free airport transfers. An added bonus, says Madelyn Byrne, the founder of Paris Perfect, “Guests can truly feel as though they are living as a Parisian: getting a baguette and croissants each morning at the local boulangerie, buying produce from the open-air markets, and putting together your own wine and cheese tasting in your apartment.”
Offering luxury private rentals in 180 destinations around the world, onefinestay manages a large collection of contemporary, family-friendly properties in residential neighborhoods near kid-centric attractions, playgrounds, and parks. They offer 24/7 concierge help for everything from how to work appliances to booking private chefs, butlers, and babysitters. One OFS city pied a terre we like: Warwick Gardens II on the edge of London’s Kensington Gardens. Not only is the location great for kids, but the residence is perfect for large families, with six bedrooms, two of which are set up with cribs and nursery supplies, five bathrooms, and plenty of space to stretch in the living room and brand new kitchen with sky-lit breakfast room.
Kid & Coe
Kid & Coe has properties in most major cities around the world as well as unique countryside locations, all focused on being family friendly, offering personal concierge services and thoughtful extras such as high chairs, changing tables, and real cribs. The easy to navigate website even includes potential drawbacks so parents know exactly what to expect. One property we’d be happy to call home: The Yinneburra Street Residence on Australia’s Sunshine Coast, which not only includes two sets of kid-friendly bunkbeds, but also a corckscrew slide that leads from the top deck down to the ground below (so cool!), where both a private pool and direct access to a golden sand beach await.
Although you’ll have access to 350 private residences around the world, Exclusive Resorts isn’t a rental company but a members-only destination club. You pay a one-time joining fee, receive a membership to the club, and then select the number of days you wish to travel per year. Members are assigned an Ambassador and Concierge for each trip who create a seamless and luxurious experience for families arranging all activities and details; in other words, you just show up. One top pick with kids, Sea Island, Georgia, where all accommodations are 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath, 3,700 square foot units, and included family activities range from archery and salt marsh kayaking to kids’ only nature camp and movie nights.
The newly launched Rentyl offers guests a consistent standard that delivers the essence, look, and feel that guests expect from resort style accommodations with the perks of getting an entire home. It originated in the Orlando/Kissimmee, Florida market with its luxurious Branded Vacation Home Resort, Encore Resort at Reunion, and includes The Bear’s Den at Reunion. They will also be introducing Margaritaville Resort Orlando in early 2019 featuring large cottage houses ideal for families. Through Rentyl and Encore Resort at Reunion you can even rent NFL Legend Dan Marino’s house. Other resort-like amenities you can enjoy in your home rental? An at-home chef service or home delivery service.