Hong Kong: Hotel group Mandarin Oriental has partnered with luxury vacation rental membership platform StayOne to launch the new Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Homes division, joining the growing list of hotel brands diversifying into the home rental space.
Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Homes launches as a branded collection of hand-picked, luxurious private villas and mansions, which will be closely aligned with the exacting standards of exceptional service and hospitality experiences driven by the Mandarin Oriental brand.
StayOne co-founder and CEO, Jorge Munoz, told Skift: “Once you are a Ferrari fan, you’re almost agnostic as to what product they have. You want to have a Ferrari.
“I’ve always believed that those silos were going to come down, whether it be hotels and holiday home rentals or with home swapping and home sharing. There are different verticals within the accommodation sector, and there is space for all of them because the needs of the same guests vary, depending on the occasion,” he added.
The initial selection of eight homes on Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Homes are located in popular destinations throughout Europe. Each property underwent a strict vetting process to ensure it fulfilled the 700 Mandarin hotel brand standards, ranging from cleanliness and safety to concierge-like services, housekeeping, and other services such as in-house private chefs.
James Riley, group chief executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, told the same publication: “These handpicked luxurious homes fit naturally into our portfolio and their locations provide opportunities for our guests to combine a hotel visit with a villa stay and explore more of the destination in different ways — but all with the assurance of the Mandarin Oriental reputation. We look forward to working with StayOne to identify many more perfect homes to include in the collection.”
StayOne [formerly Stay One Degree] – which advertises its collection as “the finest one per cent of holiday homes” – is also working closely with the hotel group to identify and select homes that suit the differing needs of its customers, with homes being recruited from the existing StayOne platform. The best locations are chosen according to their secluded intimacy, family-friendly attractions and “party scenarios”, according to the company.
Offering an inventory of 4000+ homes in 250 destinations to members in over 70 countries, StayOne remained quiet on expansion plans but a global rollout is expected in due course.
Ahead of a broader expansion, Munoz believes that Mandarin Oriental Exclusive Homes will cater especially to families and groups travelling for leisure purposes, while business travellers will be more inclined to stay in Mandarin hotels where extra space is not as necessary. It also means that potential guests will have a wider pool of accommodation options available to them, as opposed to just a hotel stay.
After launching in 2018, StayOne received an undisclosed “strategic” investment from Mandarin Oriental in December 2020. At the time, the luxury holiday home rental membership firm said that the funding would be used to accelerate the expansion of its global accommodation portfolio, develop new products including a new app and website, and expand into new markets.
The push for stringent quality control has been heightened in recent years as more hotel companies venture into the home rental space. Platforms scaling their inventory rapidly run the risk of moving further away from their expected hotel brand standards as more properties are onboarded.
Marriott entered the space with the launch of its Home & Villas platform in 2019, while Four Seasons [Four Seasons Private Retreats], Accor [Apartments & Villas, having previously acquired onefinestay in 2016] and Relais & Châteaux [Villas by Relais & Châteaux] have all followed in expanding their accommodation offerings by unveiling their own rental brands.