Airbnb alternatives: 5 very selective rental sites
THE LANDSCAPE vacation rentals is vast and unexplored. It’s easy to get lost in the search for a perfect beach house or mountain lodge, and between extraordinary demand and an incredible jumble of duds, it’s not that easy to find one. To relieve stress, niche vacation rental companies are curating collections, helping claustrophobic city dwellers find possibilities until that dream getaway. As travel anxieties continue to simmer, region-specific sites offer good driving options. “And people don’t just rent on weekends anymore,” said Jennifer Grimes, founder of Red Cottage Inc. in upstate New York. “Last March, it was as if a switch was flipped, short breaks to [long-term] exhaust properties. Renters don’t necessarily burn vacation days. When this is all over, people will go on vacation for six months. Hear hear! To help you find a place to hang your hat, here are five specialists:
The Catskills and the Hudson Valley, NY
Founded in 2007, long before the hickster revival of the Catskills, Chalet Rouge Inc. looking for houses with exceptional interiors. The collection of 52 properties – which is expected to grow 40% this year, according to the founder – ranges from rustic cabins to rural estates, almost all exclusively listed. Many have nature-viewing amenities: for example, a hot tub, an outdoor fireplace or pavilion, and a fitted kitchen. Homes tend to be far away, so they come with amenities like Wi-Fi switches for front lighting, so city dwellers won’t be panicked by the pitch black.
Example of List A: The three-bedroom Basecamp, like a modern Swedish summer house collapsed on 19 private acres in Saugerties, NY, from $ 500 per night, redcottageinc.com
Holly Williams is a musician (she is Hank’s granddaughter) and an entrepreneur (her store, White’s Mercantile, hails from Nashville and is now a mini southern empire). And she has a thing for houses. She finds historic relics to renovate – or “redeem,” as she puts it – with a modern, southern design aesthetic. To the three rental buildings that make it up White Room and Board portfolio, you will find a mix of her grandmother’s oil paintings with the striking black and white works of her husband Chris Coleman on paper, as well as leather club chairs, floral wallpaper, found objects in French flea markets, claw-foot tubs and sisal rugs.
Example of List A: Sweeney Cottage, an 1892 dollhouse in Leiper’s Fork, with a chic little kitchen with a mint green Smeg fridge, Bertazzoni stove and a doormat that says “Hello”, from $ 250 per night, whitesroomandboard.com
Beach houses with a green line
Modern life consists of six rentals in Venice Beach and Santa Monica managed by a local real estate and hotel company, with a focus on sustainability. Three of them are 100% solar powered and one, Amoroso Retreat, is on a pedestrianized street in Venice closed to cars and has a large patio in the desert.
Example of List A: Venice Place, a mid-century modern guesthouse with lots of glass and soaking tub that overlooks a cactus garden, from $ 297 per night, ecoboutiquehomes.com
A rewarding hideaway of the Hamptons
The eastern end of Long Island
Launched in 2016 by a couple of friends who grew up on Long Island, StayMarquis has grown from a portfolio of 50 homes in the Hamptons to some 600, ranging from a one-bedroom beach bungalow to a 10-bedroom estate. (Now in partnership with Homes & Villas by Marriott International,
StayMarquis offers the added bonus of reward points.) All are managed by a dedicated local team to take care of the details, whether it’s getting the board games out or setting up a fully wired home office. .
Example of List A: Shelter Island Manor, an eight-acre expanse with a three-bedroom house plus a three-bedroom carriage house, outdoor shower, and fenced-in pool, from $ 550 per night, staymarquis.com
Adobes with Italian linens
Santa Fé, New Mexico
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Owned and operated by Caroline Morgan, former executive assistant to First Lady Betty Ford, Aqui Santa Fe is a sophisticated operation with an emphasis on personalized service. “I’m very involved,” said Morgan, who meets guests at the door with keys and a basket of local consumables. There are roughly 11 homes, with what auction houses call significant works of art, prime yet private locations, and distinct New Mexico interiors. All have Pratesi or Frette linens, Etro toiletries and housekeeping.
Example of List A: Casa Ladera, a three bedroom immaculate adobe with a sunny library, doors hand-carved by Ernest Knee, outdoor living space and landscaped garden, a minimum stay of four nights, starting around $ 3,000, aquisantafe.com.
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