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Origins-Guide-Ubud unique luxury hotel
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When setting out to develop The Origins we wanted to consistently find interesting and authentic stays. If you’re like me, I find it easy to book and stay at my favourite hotel brands because I know what I’m going to get. They represent quality and a certain type of experience. Why can't vacation rentals be the same?

A vacation rental company the hotel lovers can appreciate

For finding a vacation rental, it’s a little more complicated. There are a huge number of wonderful and unique residences out there, but the risks are high as it’s difficult to assess quality and select from the huge array of homes. We think we can change that.

The villa rental market has achieved strong growth – at 12.4%p.a. over the last 9 years. The major booking and stay platforms have dominated the booking space. Whilst the market is growing the complexity, entry of single home-hosted stays and evolving space is creating room for a stronger branded experience. The Origins is our answer to helping guests seamlessly find a unique collection of luxury rentals. Fear not hotel lovers!

Who do you look to for a signal of quality in the vacation rental space? Honestly, I’d love to know

I’ve researched the vacation rental market extensively and I still draw a blank. There are aggregators and property managers but a brand that represents a quality stamp? We’ve seen a few examples of brands that aspire to do this but then the allure of market aggregation and continual supply takes over. 

OneFineStay started off down this path however was acquired by AccorHotels in 2016. If you’ve seen the company recently it seems pretty clear they’ve moved to more of generic aggregator role than a unique and refined purpose when it started in 2009. And the new strategy doesn’t seem to be paying off for AccorHotels with a $288m impairment charge in 2018 from two acquisitions.

Granted AirBnB has introduced service tiers (Plus and Luxe), however our hands-on research has shown us that there are significant quality ranges within the tiers. Just today, we rejected a residence listed on AirBnB Luxe listing as the reality didn’t match the online expectation.  

A recent Skift Report has highlighted “the luxury sector of this growing ecosystem is particularly vibrant.” Developing a brand of consistency and quality is our aim. This will take time but we are committed to making this happen and telling the stories of our unique stays.

What’s wrong with the AirBnB's of this world?

When most people think of vacation rental aggregators, AirbnB, VBRO and HomeAway come to mind. If you’re anything like us, you may identify with the following pain points:

1. Decision fatigue – there are thousands of choices but it’s hard to know which is the right one;

2. Multiple listings for the same property – It might be less common in city locations but check out any holiday destination and you’ll be surprised who you might find yourself dealing with; 

3. Expectation vs. Reality – The photos can look great, but you can’t be sure of the details until you’re touching the sheets and running fingers over window sills. My example from today is not uncommon and gives me further evidence that aggregators aren’t solving this despite their claims;

4. The pitfalls of a floored rating system – guests have different expectations, levels of experience and knowledge of a great stay. That’s not to say a guest’s opinion isn’t extremely important, it’s just hard to discern the baseline expectations behind their review.

In addition the rating system is fundamentally floored. AirBnB hosts consistently receive higher ratings than hotels reviewed on TripAdvisor. What generally happens is the worst stays get rated significantly below average however both truly exceptional and mediocre stays get rated very similarly, between 4.5-5 stars. How do you discern what’s actually the best?

5. Mixed stay experiences – the level of service from host responsiveness, to quality to inclusions vary significantly. Hosts at villas and residences range from highly trained professionals through to people looking to make some easy cash who have no experience in the hospitality industry.

Just thinking about the above has already got me anxious. And let’s not get started about the nation-wide scams uncovered by Vice Reporter, Aliie Contie. If you can find out how to contact someone at AirBnB, good luck.

These issues tend to steer us risk-avoiding, quality loving aficionados toward branded hotels. However, a hotel stay is not always going to cut the mustard

Villas and residences have a number of benefits that make the stay special and unique. Frankly, there are times when a stay in a private home will fundamentally exceed the experience of a hotel.

I’m sure you’ve seen a few homes grace the covers of leading design magazines and blogs. Live a little. You can also experience some of these homes.

Some of the benefits include:

1. A sense of space and privacy – it’s your space, make the most of it.

2. Unique and authentic design – true individualism that comes from a passionate owner and designer to create a space that’s a one-off. We’ve always loved the ability to take a peak into a different lifestyle, to immerse ourselves and live it.

3. Spaces that cater for friends and families – helping to bring people together and create the right environment to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with one another.

4. An enviable array of amenities – a wonderful private dining room, alfresco entertainment space, private rooftop jacuzzi or perhaps your own spa. Most luxury vacation homes also come with staff. Did you say private chef?

There are occasions when a unique, from the heart, authentic stay is simply the best choice. Finding a brand that represents and signals out handpicked and unique stays is key.

The Origins Collection is our approach to identifying and signifying a great vacation rental

“A stay with a story to tell.” This is what drives us in selecting the best. We work with leading villas and residences to personally handpick our collection. At each property, we ask ourselves if we would feel comfortable to stay here with our friends or family. If we don’t, we pass. Then we focus on helping to tell the story of the property and connect you with your own.

Our role is to guide our guests over recommending one home in particular

Many specialists manage the underlying property meaning they are entrenched to sell and represent a collection. These collections are not ‘refreshed’ as regularly as one would like. We partner and work with our stays. As long as they maintain a quality we believe exceeds guest expectations we continue to recommend them as personally approved and part of The Origins Collection. Sounds simple, though this requires a lot of work behind the scenes!

We take a personal approach

We’ve recently launched a new version of our website. You’ll notice we’ve stripped back the typical villa listing elements and focused more on highlighting the emotional connection and experience behind a home. Whilst there is more to come (much more) we want to provide you with a taste of a beautiful stay. It’s as simple as if you like what you’ve seen, reach out to us. In an authentic yet seamless manner we’ll get a sense of what you’re looking for and have recommended suggestions for you. 

Simple. Efficient. And most importantly, it’s about your needs.

Reach out to us and access our Bali collection

What are the pain points you struggle with when looking for a luxury vacation rental?

As always I love to hear from you. Let’s chat.

Email me on Brett@The-Origins.com

Please keep in touch,

Brett

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Brett Diedrich

Brett Diedrich

Prior to creating the Origins Guide Brett was a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group where he worked across Europe and the Middle East. Originally from Australia Brett has lived in the USA, Denmark, Hong Kong and the UAE. These days you'll find Brett in Melbourne and regional Victoria shaping the Origins Guide and meeting hosts of unique homes. Brett enjoys spending time with his partner Johan, visiting friends and family (including his gorgeous niece Charlotte), exploring new destinations, places to stay and of course food.

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