Give Airbnb a run for its money

When travelers think of vacation rentals, they almost always think of Airbnb. The easy-to-use site, founded in 2008 and now with over a million listings worldwide, is the first stop for many tourists, which means properties are bought up quickly, especially at major events such as concerts, games and lectures. Still, a handful of new contenders are working to disrupt the vacation rental market by targeting specific types of travelers, whether they’re families with kids or jet-setters looking for luxury villas and airport transfers by helicopter. Below is a guide to some of the upstarts and, at the end of this column, a reminder of some veteran sites that too often end up in Airbnb’s shadow. As any family with children knows, staying in a hotel room can be expensive and crowded. This brilliant site, which was introduced in 2013, offers kid-friendly rentals with kid-friendly rooms and amenities. For example, an ad for a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom apartment in the SoPi district (Sud Pigalle) of Paris for 320 euros (approximately $ 355 to $ 1.11 per euro) per night (plus site reservation fees, which are 3 to 15% depending on the type of property and the cost of booking plus cleaning fee) says it can accommodate up to four adults, one child and one infant. The ads are aimed at parents with details such as’ a large kid’s room with a single bed, cradle, toys and books’ and ‘lots for the kids including a Maclaren stroller, high chair, children’s toys and DVDs ”. However, there are few properties in every city: a search for rentals in Miami in March, for example, yielded only three results, including one where the price was on request and another on Hibiscus Island – with a “leafy courtyard filled with flowers, great for a game of hide and seek” – which cost $ 3,700 a night (it includes four bedrooms and bathrooms, a dock, and a heated pool with ocean views). You don’t have children but still want to stay? The site is designed for families with children, but ultimately it’s up to the owner.

Pros: Stylish and spacious properties suitable for children. Cons: Limited inventory; low customer reviews, making it difficult to gauge how likely you are to be happy with a particular home. This month, Preferred Hotel Group, which represents 650 properties around the world, featured this site for those looking for luxury bungalow, villa, and condominium rentals (some with private pools and free car services) in hotels. and upscale resorts, without paying to join a club vacation program. On the site you will find a handful of rentals in places such as Ireland, Italy, Spain, Tanzania, Switzerland and Hawaii as well as lists of amenities such as fitness facilities or rooms. accessible to people with disabilities. You can also filter for categories such as “style” (including “trendy”, “romantic”, “stately”, “eco”, “tranquil”) and “interest” (including “food and wine”, “friendly”). , “honeymoon”, “LGBT-welcome”) A recent search found a three bedroom villa with balcony overlooking a golf course at the Kildare Hotel Spa & Country Club in Dublin for 1,500 euros per night ( for four nights in March), Wi-Fi and breakfast included.You can also make last-minute spa appointments and schedule airport helicopter transfers, depending on the location.

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