Imagine renting a private home but it’s managed like a luxury hotel! Luxury homes with resort like amenities and concierge services are becoming increasingly popular! So much so, even big time hotel chains like Mariott is trying to disrupt the home rental space with its own upcoming platform.
And why rent a room at a fancy resort when you can rent an entire private home of your dreams! Vacation home owners can hire a property management company to provide professional maintenance and concierge services for the ultimate experience.
These companies will feature these homes on major travel search engines like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, AirBnB, VRBO, etc. They are not to be confused with renting directly with the owner which is a different kind of experience. This post is to help travelers understand what to look for when renting a professionally managed vacation home to enhance their travels.
The Big Island, Hawaii has Rock Star homes that you can rent in its entirety for less than the 5 star resort hotels. For our 8th year Anniversary in 2017, we were feeling adventurous and decided to head to The Big Island for all the wild escapades and sites. It’s one of the very few places in the world where you can witness live volcanoes and oozing lava! Aside the amazing destination we experienced, the luxury home we rented was an absolute dream house in paradise.
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The Dream House
This $2 Million Dollar home has over 4,000 sqft of living space, it has always been my dream to have a house similar to this one. Ahhhhh, one day….
- 4 bedrooms, 2 Masters on the top floor and 2 Bedrooms on main floor
- All bedrooms en suite- each with its own bathroom
- There is a 5th guest half bath on the main floor for visitors and convenience.
- Large amazing and fully stocked kitchen with killer views and high-end appliances
- High Tech home that is solar powered.
- Great open floor plan with well appointed furniture, comfy beds, leather sofas, large flat screen TV’s, etc.
- 70 feet long pool and jetted plunge pool with LED lights
- Beautifully landscaped lawn
- Convenient location with incredible views
- Mandatory minimum 7 night stays for most luxury rental homes/villas
The house was located in a ritzy gated community in Keauhou Estates. It was just the 2 of us renting the home and we enjoyed being around the locals. Rotating bedrooms and deciding which fab room to sleep in each night was a fun game. This house could easily host a family of 6-8 comfortably. There were plenty of stocked sheets, towels, blankets if needed. It came with everything you would need for a home- all toiletries, cleansers, soaps, cleaning tools, and even laundry detergent. I love having access to doing my laundry on a trip so I don’t return home with stinky luggage.
Almost every room in the house has incredible ocean views. The location is ideal with a shopping center, grocery, convenience/drug stores just minutes away.
What’s unbelievable was the value of this fabulous $2 Million dollar home to rent. We only paid $499 a night for 8 nights in mid October’17. With taxes and cleaning fees, the total came out to be $646.25 per night and grand total of $5,170.
I’ve recently checked for 2019/2020 pricing and it’s now between $599-$770 per night before taxes and fees. It’s still an amazing value when you compare this 5 star rental to other 5 star luxury hotels and resorts in the area $900-$2,000 per night. The caveat to getting this value is the mandatory minimum night stay of at least 7 nights.
If you need local area information, tours, events, housekeeping, repairs, and even mobile massage- the rental includes professional concierge service! You are not alone to figure anything out that you may need inside or outside the home. There’s a guide book too that shows you how to operate everything in the home.
How to Rent 6 Tips
Have you ever had an underwhelming or disappointing rental experience? I’ve seen several friends whose AirBnB’s were cancelled last minute or were complete disasters upon arrival. Fortunately, we haven’t had a rental cancellation yet, but we once rented a whole condo through AirBnb where there was no direct leasing agreement with the owner. It was a very nice apartment, but some of the closets still contained her personal items and she accessed the apartment whenever she wanted to retrieve them. It was awkward to say the least.
When renting a home, extra precautions need to be in place to assure you are getting exactly what is advertised and that the accommodation will less likely be cancelled on you last minute.
1. Check the Property Manager
To prevent intrusions like our AirBnB experience, I prefer a professionally managed property where the owner is completely off the premises. When you travel though, still make sure to do your due diligence and checkout the companies you’re doing business with.
Luxury homes are generally managed by a reputable property management company who services the home, like a hotel, with professional staffing to clean, repair, and maintain the house. This one is managed by Kona Coast Vacations and provides a vacation rental agreement which spells out complete terms and details. Check out the company whose house you want to rent to see if they’ve had numerous complaints or issues in services. Not all property management companies are reliable or have quality services.
2. Read Contract and Fine Print
Please READ YOUR CONTRACTS and FINE PRINT! Too many get burned or disappointed because they don’t read. Make sure you read the contract for correct details of the dates, pricing, and important terms and conditions. It’s not always perfect and you want to catch it before signing it. Understand what happens to your deposits and payments in case you or they need to cancel.
Generally speaking, if a rental is professionally managed property with legally binding lease terms, then it’s probably a real vacation home and not just a hobby for the owner. This can mean less last minute cancellations on you. The contract will spell out when the home would be cancelled and its usually if its in a state of inhabitable conditions.
When you review your contract and invoice, check to see if they included an insurance fee. If it does, is it optional or mandatory? If it’s mandatory, you definitely want to know what it covers. If it’s optional, it’s a good idea to see if the insurance makes sense for your situation.
4. Read Reviews
I always read reviews about the place I’m renting and it’s property management company. I read as many testimonials as I can to get a general consensus of everyone’s experience with the home and property manager. I always get a good tip or two just reading the reviews. If a place doesn’t have reviews, it’s either really new and/or unknown. In which case, the reviews and reputation about it’s property management company would be crucial. If neither have plenty of reviews, I will not rent the home. Everyone’s risk factor is different. If you plan to bear the risk without real testimonies, be sure to ask plenty of questions.
5. Ask Questions
I generally always have some questions for the property team. This allows me to test and sense what type of customer service they provide. No matter how nice the place is, if the service is terrible I will not spend my precious vacation days dealing with it. This goes for large hotel companies too. I have found through plenty of traveling that each hotel has its own management style regardless of the name brand.
What to look for and ask with property rental management companies:
- Do they pick up the phone and return calls/emails in a timely manner? Communication is huge for me.
- How often is maid service? Some rental homes may provide service every 5-7 days.
- Is there a 24/7 emergency contact? A must when renting a house.
- May we have guests? There may be restrictions, especially if you want to throw a party.
- Do they have concierge service for local information on dining, activities, and help with reservations?
- Do they have any local partnerships for perks or discounts on food, tours, excursions, etc?
- Location. Is it convenient to access other areas and places you need?
- Will any scheduled maintenance be performed on the home while we rent it? Good to know so you’re not caught off guard if a repairman or service person is seen around the property.
- Is insurance included in the fees and is it optional or mandatory?
6. Price Check
Just like renting a hotel, rental homes can be searched on most large travel search engine you use. Most property management companies will post their listings on the most popular sites. Since many of these sites price match, you can pretty much use whatever platform you prefer to make your travel reservation. If you’re looking to save more money, consider going during low peak season.
For Hawaii, the off season is from May to mid-June and then after Labor Day from September to about mid-December. We were lucky our anniversary is in October and worked out in our favor. This saved us $200 a night and $1600 overall to rent this awesome house.
How to Book
We loved this incredible home so very much and hope you will too. To rent it and get a price match guarantee CLICK HERE for the GMH at Keauhou Estates 9 rental home! It’ll show you all the deets, area info, complete pricing and availability.
Enhance your travel experience and rent a home of your dreams.