Where the luxury of a hotel meets the comforts of home
A small Australian enterprise is shaking up the luxury accommodation market, while a behemoth hovers in the background.
The convenience and amenities of a luxury hotel combined with the space and privacy of a private home – that’s the promise of Australia’s first ‘home hotel’, Luxico.
As with many great ideas, the inspiration came when existing options fell short of expectations – in this case, founder Thomas Ormerod couldn’t find suitable and interesting holiday accommodation for his family.
“We loved hotels, however it was too difficult once the second child came along. We hated the sterile feeling of serviced accommodation and we just couldn’t find places to stay with lots of personality,” he says.
Since its launch four years ago, Luxico has added properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Palm Beach and more coming in Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast and Port Douglas. Revenue grew by an impressive 45 per cent for the 2016/17 financial year.
The advantage of staying with Luxico compared to other holiday home rental sites is in a number of extra services, Ormerod says.
Hosts greet guests on arrival at their luxury digs, and are always at the other end of the phone if a guest wants transport, tours, shopping or even something more extravagant such as in-house dining with a top chef.
Alternatively, if you have a luxury home sitting idle for a period of time, Luxico provides additional support to help prepare it for short-term rent.
“We try to take the stress out of it and have a whole number of processes to ensure the homes get looked after,” Ormerod says.
An app is being designed to help fix logistical issues for both guests and property owners. “It’s really going to allow for real-time updates whether you’re a guest or a owner, from property management issues to organising guest experiences. It’ll allow for total connectivity.”
Luxico may not own the space for long, with rumours that Airbnb is about to move into the luxury home hotel space – although Airbnb would not confirm such a move.
In a statement to Robb Report, it said: “We’re continually experimenting with new ways to create meaningful experiences on Airbnb. We don’t have any more to share on the new things we’re test-driving but we have a few exciting projects in the works.”