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Making a stranger's house your home

Friday, Nov 25, 2011 - 02:13

Nov. 25 - Staying in a new city, many people look for a hotel. But those who like their home comforts can now turn to One Fine Stay, a business which rents out luxury private homes for short stays. Hayley Platt reports

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A personal welcome from Tiffany the concierge. But this is no hotel, Swiss businesswoman Claudia Itschner is staying in a stranger's house while in London for business meetings. The apartment is one of around 200 luxury London homes which are increasingly taking business away from hotels. Greg Marsh is Chief Executive of One Fine Stay. He says his business is a cross between a boutique hotel and a holiday letting agency. SOUNDBITE: Greg Marsh, CEO and Co-Founder, One Fine Stay, saying (English): "In almost all cases One Fine Stay properties are people's primary residences, they're places that people have really invested part of themselves, they show the personality of the owners and the character of a city and that's a lot of what the guests who stay with us and stay in those properties are looking for." SOUNDBITE: Claudia Itschner, Businesswoman, saying (English): "Coming here to London is not my home town but if I can stay in an apartment where I feel it's a home not an impersonal hotel it makes me feel better." The tenants - or rather the guests - receive a welcome pack of drinks and snacks just like they would in a top hotel. Their beds are made for them by a team of house keepers. And there's always someone on hand in case of emergencies. UPSOUND: "Good afternoon you're through to One Fine Stay, Stephanie speaking how can I help?" A one bedroom apartment in central London costs around £200 a night - rising to several thousand pounds for larger accommodation. It can be a lucrative way for a property owner to earn extra cash. SOUNDBITE: Greg Marsh, CEO and Co-Founder, One Fine Stay, saying (English): "Very typically for someone with a nice central city apartment, maybe it's a million pounds apartment that could mean earning as much as 40 or 50 thousand pounds a year if they're away for extended periods." SOUNDBITE: Claudia Itschner, Businesswoman, saying (English): "It's about the same price then if I go to a hotel, it depends on the apartment and location that you choose but it doesn't make any difference." One Fine Stay may not be big enough to worry the top hotel chains quite yet. But with home comforts like these it is a trend they may be wise to watch. Hayley Platt, Reuters

Making a stranger's house your home

Friday, Nov 25, 2011 - 02:13

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