HIGH LIFE FOR HIRE
Your favourite Bordeaux in your villa, a jet at your disposal – vacations have never been so luxe. Words: Cathy Hawker
Imagine arriving at your carefully chosen and much anticipated holiday villa to find the temperature-controlled wine cellar was pre-stocked with your preferred Bordeaux vintage. Or that one of the staff was a qualified yoga master, adept at your beloved ashtanga moves.
Holidays are precious and even for those with the very deepest pockets the perfect experience can prove elusive. So it’s no surprise then that in the highly competitive world of luxury holiday rentals access to the best-connected address books is essential to secure a flawless home from home.
Exclusive concierge companies like Quintessentially cater to this most demanding market, finding, stocking and staffing luxury rental properties from Ibiza to Verbier. They will organise a smooth journey – think private jet rather than Easyjet – and oversee a varied timetable of events to ensure holiday nirvana.
‘Our Elite members will rent villas and chalets rather than buy them as it allows them to go to several different locations and always be at the latest hot spot,’ says Georgie Sidwick of Quintessentially. ‘They also hire boats and planes because of all the additional costs and responsibility of owning one and although they probably already own their own luxury cars they might hire an amazing car for the weekend to play with a new toy.’
From cars to private jets, yachts to holiday homes, the way we look at ownership is changing. It is all part of the modern sharing economy, potentially worth £9 billion by 2025 according to consultancy firm PwC and even those who could buy outright are choosing to rent.
LUXE HOLIDAY HOMES
‘The wealthy rental market is certainly growing,’ acknowledges Glynn Evans, Managing Director of Ibiza Sotheby’s International Realty. ‘This summer a client wanted a property that included sea access, a professional chef, housekeeping staff, a personal trainer, wellness therapist, two luxury SUVs with drivers on call round the clock and an 80 foot yacht. They wanted a full itinerary including a surprise party for one guest with a firework display on the boat, a leading musician and a first-class DJ.’
And the budget for this week in the Balearic sun? ‘The budget was not discussed,’ says Evans discreetly. ‘There is merely an expectation of appropriate pricing which of course we ensure.’
Amy Redfern of Aylesford International Estate Agents has also witnessed this increase in high-end rentals over the past three years, notably in the South of France and the Balearics.
‘Weekly rental prices in Ibiza this summer climbed to over €100,000 for the most enviable homes while in France close to St Tropez I took an enquiry for a property with a total of fourteen suites for all of August for €600,000,’ she says.
Chalet rentals for winter skiing holidays also reach stratospheric levels. New this season with travel company Abercrombie & Kent is Shemshak Lodge in the heart of Courchevel. Weekly prices to rent this fully hosted five-bedroom beauty with its own Wellness Centre including gym, steam room and pool reach £134,000.
‘A&K Villas rents out some magnificent villas but we also have several high end properties rented out by owners actively seeking a buyer,’ says Robert Green of A&K International Estates. ‘Chalet La Clarte for example in the Swiss resort Verbier is for sale at CHF 32 million and in the ski season it rents for up to CHF 120,000 a week.’
Chateau St Tropez, billed as the finest private villa in St Tropez, is 300 metres from the port. It has eight bedroom suites divided between two houses, a cinema, 24 hour concierge and security and the weekly rent of €30,000 to €100,000 includes direct helicopter transfers from Nice airport.
For potential buyers who cannot decide on the location for their holiday home, perhaps a yacht is the answer. Hanover Private Office manages a £1.9 billion real estate portfolio across Prime London and the Home Counties for some of the world’s wealthiest families and is also involved in yacht charter and acquisition.
Through Hanover, hiring the M/Y Troyanda, a 50 metre (164 foot) motor yacht sleeping up to twelve in five ensuite cabins (including his and her bathrooms in the master suite) will set you back €250,000 for a week cruising in the Med in the summer and $300,000 for a winter week in the sunny Caribbean.
Over in Mallorca, Lorenzo Vila of easyboats has been in the yacht business since 1989, seeing first hand the increased demand at the top of the market.
‘In the past we would welcome the occasional ultra-high-net-worth individual but now there is a constant flow,’ confirms Vila. ‘Previously Mallorca was the preserve of the Brits and Germans but now we’re welcoming Swiss, Swedish, Norwegians, Chinese, Americans, all with deep pockets. Generally aged between 40 and 60 and wealthy through business, celebrity or a privileged family background, they come to escape work, escape the spotlight and switch off in the Spanish sunshine.’
Expect to pay €3,000 a day for a 15 metre (52 foot) Italian-designed Riva Rivale and €10,000 plus for a 34 metre (111 foot) superyacht he says. That price includes crew, insurance and home berth fees but excludes fuel, all catering and mooring fees in other ports.
The only Riva Rivale available for hire in Mallorca with speeds up to 40 knots and including a jet RIB for waterskiing and wakeboarding. Elegant and stylish for eight guests from €3,000 a day.
ARRIVING IN STYLE
Whether you choose a villa, chalet or yacht, don’t forget to include the cost of reaching your holiday home. Private jet passenger numbers have risen 11.3 per cent since 2006 with Ibiza and Mallorca being the two busiest destinations from London. In the year to July 2015, 50,000 aircraft were chartered for private flights from the UK of which 57 per cent were ‘on-the-spot’ charters through companies such as Victor.
‘People choose private jets to be in charge of their own schedule and to make best use of their time,’ says Clive Jackson, Founder and CEO of Victor.
Clients can request a quote through Victor’s app and prices paid range from £5,000 to £150,000 with a typical spend between £10,000 and £20,000.
‘Our customers comprise some of the world’s most dynamic ultra-high-net-worth individuals for whom flying private is a necessity not a luxury,’ concludes Jackson.