When it comes to vacations, deciding whether to opt for the expected comforts of a hotel or the relaxed conveniences of an Airbnb usually comes down to the guest and the mood of the trip.
For mother and businesswoman Alexandra Ormerod, travel has always been a priority – and she didn’t intend that to change when she and her husband Tom decided to start a family.
But with a little one in tow, the couple soon realized that the simple pleasures they once took for granted in a hotel room were no longer applicable for a young family.
“We have lots of family overseas… we are avid travelers and after our first daughter was born we quickly found out in our travels that hotels were dead to us and that was a bit of a shock” , Ms. Ormerod told news.com. to.
“We quickly found it very difficult to travel with a small child and to find accommodation of a higher standard than a serviced apartment.
“We realized quite early on that places like Europe and Asia had a more mature market than Australia, so there are a lot more villas to rent in different places. Whereas when you came to Australia, you did indeed have the option of having a holiday home that would be rented through a real estate agent and usually you were restricted to a coastal location and collect the keys to the local fish and chip shop because the office was closed.
Ms Ormerod said the ‘disconnected experience’ and ‘transactional approach’ to holiday home rentals in Australia meant customers ‘never really knew what they were going to get’ when they arrived.
With a background in advertising, Ms Ormerod said her work in travel and tourism as well as her husband’s involvement in property development and real estate meant they had identified a gap in the market for couples, friends and family groups looking for luxury options. end of holiday home market.
As a result, ‘Luxico’ – which essentially combines hotels and vacation homes into one – was born in 2013.
“Luxico was a bit of an obvious result,” she explained of the business, which is now worth nearly $20 million.
“We discovered that there was a real niche for designer housing that we identified as not really existing when Luxico was born.”
Having a home on the Mornington Peninsula, Ms Ormerod said many neighbors and Melbourne residents had ‘large houses’ in the area which were empty for most of the year. So she and Tom started renting properties in the area, which temporarily signaled a huge demand for beautiful, high-end homes.
“We found that there was a lot of demand for that price of $1,000 a night or more that was unserved,” she said.
“So we relied on that to try to meet that demand, and try to shift the experience from a transactional offering to a more hotel or hotel offering. [within a luxury home].”
Every Luxico stay comes with concierge service – essentially a local who “checks you in” at home. Each concierge acts as a point of call for customers, with no request too big, small or outlandish. Homes range from $250 to $15,000 or more per night.
“It brings the human element back into this vacation stay, and all of our concierges are local,” she said of the company, which exclusively manages $700 million in property across Australia.
“Additional services you may have – from chefs to butlers and specialist tours – are all part of the optional extras.
“But for the everyday traveler the feedback was that the concierge gave them some insider tips about the area…maybe he told them about an amazing hidden gem they wouldn’t have experienced otherwise and who made their holiday.”
While celebrity customers make up a large portion of the brand’s clientele, Ms Ormerod said “moms and dads” still account for the majority of bookings.
“Luxico is an end-to-end service, so we exclusively manage all the properties we offer,” she said, adding that if a family is looking to book two or three hotel rooms, a home turns out. be a better value.
“So we manage the customer experience not only through the booking process, but also the experience they have at home and even afterwards.
“So from slippers to towels to toiletries prepared the concierge goes there and supplies and prepares the house so if you are traveling with young children we will bring a toy box so they have something with what to play. It is therefore all these little touches that make the experience a continuation of the booking process.
“It’s more of a holistic experience, connecting you with local products, experiences and service providers that will build on this stay.”