Travel: Airbnb al­ter­na­tives for trav­el­ers look­ing for some­thing luxe

Up­start rental sites ful­fill niche trav­el­ers’ luxe needs.

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - News - By Alyssa She­lasky

As Grace, my “guest ex­pe­ri­ence spe­cial­ist,” ex­plained how to op­er­ate the air con­di­tion­ing, my mind drifted to coffee ice cream. Days ear­lier, af­ter book­ing two nights in a one- bed­room Mi­ami apart­ment via Oa­sis Col­lec­tions (oa­sis­col­lec­, which of­fers a per­sonal concierge and VIP treat­ment at places like Soho House and Soulcy­cle, I got a ques­tion­naire. It asked for my fa­vorite drink (Cham­pagne), ideal Fri­day night (TV binge­ing), and dream mid­night snack—thus, the coffee ice cream.

Oa­sis op­er­ates in 16 cities in nine coun­tries and has ag­gres­sive in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion plans. It did $17 mil­lion in book­ings last year, says spokes­woman Carolina Ramirez, but it ex­pects to more than dou­ble that in 2016, all on the premise that trav­el­ers like Airbnb but want more re­fine­ments than an air mat­tress.

My apart­ment, which cost $360 a night, had a sleek white-leather daybed, a pri­vate bal­cony with in­cred­i­ble views of South Beach, and a stash of rom-com DVDS. The owner and I never had any con­tact—grace ar­ranged com­pli­men­tary pool ac­cess at the Raleigh ho­tel, just across the street. And while the open kitchen was stocked with Sprite and Pep­peridge Farm cook­ies, there was no Häa­gen-dazs. Alas, the ques­tion­naire was meant to help them un­der­stand the type of per­son check­ing in, not a means to in­dulge my ev­ery whim. <BW>

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