Determined to fill the gap for travelling families without skimping on the finer things in life, Alexandra and Tom Ormerod created something between the finest hotels and the comforts of home.
“After we had children, we quickly found out that hotels were dead to us,” Alexandra told The CEO Magazine . “We were quite appalled by the alternatives – there was a lot of apartments and there wasn’t a lot in between.”
The family from Melbourne, Australia, made a sea change from the city to the picturesque Mornington Peninsula. It was when they rented out their house that they realised the high demand for quality suburban properties, prompting the inception of Luxico.
“Luxury isn’t the stuffy service mantra of the past with white glove service. People remember the little things – it’s not always about helicopters and hot air balloons," – Alexandra Ormerod
The luxury home hotel business allows guests to experience the decadence of a five-star hotel in the comfort of a multi-million-dollar home.
Acting as the middle-man, Luxico works with homeowners and guests – 27% of them repeat clients – to provide a trusting service for all involved.
“Australia isn’t used to renting its homes, it’s more common in the US,” Alexandra says. “Our service is to give people peace of mind, give people trust and look after the guest and homeowner.”
Almost 200 of the properties listed through the home hotel company will now be available on Airbnb Plus as well as its bespoke 24/7 concierge service.
“With the launch of Airbnb Plus, Luxico are the perfect partner to support this premium offering in Australia,” Australia and New Zealand Country Manager Sam McDonagh says. “With more and more Airbnb guests seeking homes that boast personality and seamless design, the addition of Luxico’s concierge service will help attract and meet the needs of luxury travellers on our platform.”
Luxico – which has averaged 40% year-on-year growth since its 2013 launch – is just one of five professional Airbnb partners worldwide, which makes the collaboration even more thrilling.
“It’s really excellent being acknowledged as a professional partner,” says Alexandra. “We’re an exclusive supplier of private homes and residencies. We’re different to booking companies or hotels.
“We need to re-educate the travel market and provide a better service than hotels.”
With a dedicated concierge for each property, the home is prepared with items including toy boxes, stocked pantries or games depending on the guests’ requirements. Homeowners are given peace of mind with following inspection reports incorporating 400-plus photographs.
Vigilant property checks ensure holidaymakers receive the finest facilities in homes worth between A$2 million to A$20 million.
“We’ve lost track of how many steps there are to qualify for Luxico,” Alexandra says. “It’s about one in six that make it to the Luxico list.
“We want to walk the fine line of it not being someone’s house and it not being too sterile.”
Similar services operate in clusters in Greece and Italy but for Australia it is one-of-a-kind offering. The collaboration with Airbnb – which reportedly has more than five million listings globally – will allow Luxico to crack the market as all its properties qualify for Airbnb Plus.
“The private home share economy is disrupting hotels and real estate industries and it’s interesting we’ve recorded complete growth,” Alexandra says. “Luxury travel is all about personalisation. It’s an experiential market. People are looking for bespoke experiences and beyond.”
The travel company sets itself apart by not only showcasing otherwise unobtainable homes across Australia’s east coast, it gives guests freedom and time – Luxico’s definition of luxury.
“Someone else orders the groceries and a private chef can come and cook dinner for the family,” Alexandra told The CEO Magazine . “Luxury isn’t the stuffy service mantra of the past with white glove service. People remember the little things – it’s not always about helicopters and hot air balloons.”