THE INTERVIEW SERIES – DAVID SIAUVAUD – OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, VILLAZZO

June 21st, 2018
David Siauvaud

In our ongoing series of interviews, we exclusively speak to David Siauvaud, Operations Director at Villazzo. With more than seven years experience in the hospitality trade, David worked for a number of leading hotel brands before joining Villazzo four years ago.

Here we exclusively catch up with David about this role at Villazzo and the importance of customer service.

Q: You’ve studied in Ireland, worked as a head waiter in hotels in France, been a product manager in Mexico, and now head up operations for Villazzo in Miami. Tell us how you made the leap – both in terms of the role and location!?

I’ve always loved to travel and my studies have taken me far. I’ve found that working in several countries has excelled my career. It has given me a wealth of experience and the opportunity to discover other cultures and their approach to hospitality for a well-rounded view.

Q: Tell us a little about your day-to-day role.

As with all things Villazzo, good customer service runs through the company. As such, my role centers around bringing all the departments together to make sure they run smoothly, and customers remain at the heart of what we do. Maintaining a consistently high service worldwide is integral to this role. Overseeing the company financials is part of the day-to-day running of the business, to ensure budgets are managed too.

Q: From your time in hospitality, you witnessed first-hand the importance of good customer service. How do you deliver this to an online audience?

In the digital time we find ourselves in, immediacy is everything. Being able to respond quickly and helpfully is very important to our customers, and being reachable is key to the industry.

Q: What does Villazzo offer that a five-star hotel doesn’t?

When customers book a luxury vacation home with us, they can enjoy all the trappings of a five-star hotel, with the added benefit of complete privacy and a totally tailored experience. Everything is arranged as the guest desires, and that makes us special.

Q: You’re extremely well-travelled with a love of luxury – how does this help you in your role?

It’s a great advantage to understand guests, both on a cultural level and in their language. It allows us to connect more easily with customers and help anticipate their needs.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Ah yes, last minute requests are always fun! But it gets the adrenalin rushing and our team are brilliant at rising to the challenge – never failing to please. As mentioned before, I’m always ‘on’ and available, which means the business must always come first, but that’s not a problem as I’m passionate about what I do!

Villazzo Team

Q: What makes Villazzo stand-out from its competitors?

We have a really dedicated and passionate team that live and breathe hospitality. We share a common love for welcoming guests to our own houses, so it’s a pleasure to welcome guests to the beautiful luxury vacation homes we offer. It’s an extension of what we do!

Q: If you had to pick a destination for unrivalled luxury, where would you choose?

Dubai does luxury like nowhere else! They have an innate understanding of how to treat customers, offering everything they could desire, and then some! Personal helipads, private chefs, gold-drenched four poster beds – no request is too ambitious.

Q: Do you have any insider tips for online rental bookings? (e.g. specific requests, days that are cheaper than others?)

Surprisingly, the longer you stay the more affordable the trip. And don’t be afraid to make requests prior to your stay. After all, we’re here to deliver a five-star experience and want you to have the best vacation.

ESCAPE THE CITY AND HIT THE BEACH THIS SUMMER!

June 14th, 2018
Beach

Summer is officially here in all its glory and it’s time to book that much deserved get-away! For those of us that work in the city, an escape to the beach with a luxury villa rental may be just the tonic you need from overload burnout. Research has found that taking a vacation is good for your performance at work. That’s not all, there’s many health benefits associated with going to the beach, from the minerals in sea water to the calmness of the environment.

As if you needed an excuse to hit the beach, we’ve made it even easier, picking out our favorite global gateways for the ultimate relaxation. Just add a luxury villa rental in to the mix and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a five-star break!

Shell in a Caribbean Sea

St Barths – for Nothing but Beaches!

Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, St Barths takes pride of price with 14 picture postcard perfect beaches to discover. Amongst its most famous is Shell Beach in Gustavia – a great location for cliff jumping, snorkeling and cave diving. For a polar opposite experience, Flamands is not just the largest beach on the island, but one of the most pristine with stretches of glorious white sand. This is the go-to beach for sunbathing and romantic walks. It’s also within easy reach of Villa Liliana in nearby Anse des Cayes, providing all the trappings of a St Barths luxury vacation home with your own private pool to plunge in to.

Grace Bay

Turks & Caicos – for Beach Life at its Best

Swap the hustle and bustle of city living for the ultimate chill in the Turks & Caicos. Home to 40 coral islands, leading luxury villas, shops, restaurants and beaches for days, this is luxury living at its best! Grace Bay is probably the most known beach, boasting 12 miles of unadulterated bliss. While Long Beach Bay has all the right ingredients for the perfect beach – privacy, turquoise waters and impossibly white sand. For a great escape with complete tranquility offering some of the most decadent yet exclusive luxury villa rentals on the island, look no further.

Palm trees on the beach

Palm Beach – for Beach Within City Limits

Known for its glitzy upscale settings, providing the bliss of beach within city limits, South Florida seduces with its luxurious surroundings. Palm Beach is popular with holidaymakers seeking the refuge of the beach, but with boutique shops, restaurants and all the benefits of city life within reach. Like something out of Baywatch, Oceanfront Park Beach is one of the closest beach settings, complete with its own lifeguards, as well as beach chair rental. With so much space to enjoy, this is a great destination if you’re looking for a large luxury vacation house too.

So, there you have it, three of the most seductive, exclusive and charming beaches for when you want to escape the city.

For luxury villa rentals within reach of the best beaches in the world, book your get-away now with Global Luxury Villas.

FIVE OF THE BEST LUXURY FAMILY VILLAS IN EUROPE

June 7th, 2018

The long stretch of summer is the most popular time of the year to book a family break. With excitable kids to entertain, Europe ticks all the boxes for the perfect family get-away. For great beaches, delicious food, plenty of cultural sights and blissful weather, look no further.

A happy holiday starts with the perfect setting. Many families opt for a luxury villa for rent, since it provides privacy, peace and quiet and a home-from-home.

Here’s five of the best vacation homes on offer this Europe, available to book now!

Villa Cynthia

First Class Fun

High-rollers won’t feel out of place in Marbella. By day, take your pick of two enormous heated pools (one indoors, one outdoors), or take a stroll to the beach, there’s many to choose from. Conveniently located near the local golf club, and Casino Marbella, there’s plenty to occupy big kids, as well as younger ones! There’s no shortage of family-friendly restaurants either, serving up traditional Spanish food. Or stay in a first-class vacation home such as Villa Cynthia with its huge open-plan professional kitchen, and hire your own chef for a special night in. Situated in the tranquil settings of El Paraiso, the 10-bedroom 10-bathroom sanctuary is the perfect get-away for large families.

Villa Adele

Historic Haven

Ideal for families with older kids that want to explore its rich history, Sorrento in Italy perches high above the cliffs. Take the Amalfi Coast for breath-taking vistas and Michelin star restaurants, or head to Capri and Pompeii for archaeological sites – it’s certainly an enriching place to visit. Base yourself at Villa Adele, to be central to the action. With five bedrooms, its own wooden pizza oven and Jacuzzi pool, it’s no wonder they call it ‘La Dolce Vita’! For an added extra, you can hire your own boat to explore the coast in style.

Villa Perla

Country Chic

Whether you’re here for the surf, sunbathing on the beach, or enjoying walks by the harbour, Saint-Tropez in France is the ultimate all-round destination. Stay in style at Villa Perla – your very own luxury vacation villa. Great for the kids, the luscious grounds offer plenty of space to run around in, with an inviting pool to cool down afterwards! Boasting five bedrooms across two levels, an open plan kitchen and shaded terrace area, it feels like your very own private hotel!

Villa Zalika

Pamper in Porto Cervo

Bathe in luxury and enjoy the finer touches that this fashionable district in Sardinia has to offer. What better way to relax with your loved ones than taking time out in a truly decadent luxury villa rental, with seven bedrooms to enjoy. Its large heated pool is great for children, and its perfect size dining room and lounge offer plenty of room for get-togethers. Despite its remoteness, Villa Zalika is reassuringly close to the local beach, golf club and marina, for fun day’s out.

Villa Raven

Blissful Balearic Bolthole

When all you want is sun, sea and luxury, Ibiza is the island to turn to. In the peaceful area of Cala Cona, you’ll find Villa Raven, an expansive bungalow accommodating up to 12 guests for the perfect extended family stay. Great for young kids, it comes complete with cot beds, and well-tended pathways for strollers. There’s also plenty of shade, as well as a divine swimming pool. A great place to kick back and entertain, the property is complete with a fully equipped kitchen, cinema-quality entertainment in the lounge and an indoor gym. Should you ever want to leave, the local beach is but a stroll away!

For the ultimate family get-away this summer, Global Luxury Villas provides luxury villas throughout Europe.

Harper’s Bazar Arabia Bride – Beach Bunnies – June 2018

June 1st, 2018
Harper's Bazar Cover
VILLA VERONICA Cala Jondal, Ibiza

Overlooking the only bay in Ibiza designated a nature reserve, Villa Veronica is a honeymoon destination of Hollywood A-list proportions. Located just moments from the infamous Blue Marlin and some of the island’s finest restaurants, newlyweds booking this sprawling, five-bedroom luxury private property can enjoy their own underwater disco and bar with sub aquatic pool, as well as a rooftop hot-tub, spa and gym. Treated to a bespoke ‘5-Star VillaHotel Experience’ that includes a lifestyle organized by its own private hotel manager and his expert team of hand-picked staff trained to pamper, a personal in-villa butler/concierge, private chef, and on call limousine service are all included in your dream holiday on the magical White Island.
From Dhs 35,000 a night; Villazzo.com Read the rest of this entry »

Saint-Tropez, Summer’s Coolest Hotspot!

May 31st, 2018
saint-tropez luxury villa

Film stars and royalty, families and friends – Saint-Tropez is an all-inviting destination that must be visited once, and is sure to lure you back time and again.

Put on the map thanks to Brigitte Bardot in ‘And God Created Woman’, visitors trickle in from mid-May onwards. This signals the start of summer for the French coastal town, when temperatures reach 22°, rising throughout July and August.

If you’re thinking of planning a chic get-away with sun, sea, shopping and seafood high on your list, then book early to secure a luxury villa to rent in Saint-Tropez.

Villa Victoria

Chic Sleeps

Effortlessly fashionable, the French Riviera has long attracted the jet-set community who enjoy the exclusivity of a Saint-Tropez luxury villa. And it’s easy to see why. With plenty of hilltops bathed in trees and greenery, it’s the perfect setting for luxury and privacy.

Saint-Tropez villas offer great variety too. Whether you’re looking for the perfect beachfront villa to soak up the sun, a stylish hilltop retreat for sweeping views, or a charming home-from-home for all the family – there’s something for everyone.

Nikki Beach

May and June

When Saint Tropez welcomes tourists in May, many come for its glorious but not too-hot temperature. This is also a great time to visit before the bustling crowds embark.

Ideal for a day trip, you may time your visit with the International Cannes Film Festival (18-19 May). Neighboring Cannes is only an hour and half by car, with great bars and VIP parties to enjoy. You’ll be glad of your luxury vacation rental in Saint-Tropez to retreat back to!

There’s plenty of cultural attractions too, from the Exhibition at the Annonciade museum (free entry), to the Spring Music Festival (April – August) in the renaissance cinema.

Pampelonne beach provides the perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming. Be sure to swing by Club 55 or Nikki Beach and do as the locals with an ‘Aperol Spritz’!

Le Voiles

You won’t want to miss the ceremony of some grand regatta events, the first of which is Les Voiles Latines Regatta (24-27 May), followed by the prestigious Giraglia Rolex Club (8-16 June). This is a haven for yacht men and women, especially in the Ponche quarter and Old Port.

 

Women Shopping

Luxury Living

The French are known for their great food and drink, and this is particularly celebrated in the Côte d’Azur, eating like a king wherever you dine!

Michelin star L’Olivier offers stunning food in its charming garden. Likewise, La Vague D’or has made quite a name for itself serving up culinary seafood masterpieces. Luxury doesn’t have to be five-star though, as Le Kikouiou demonstrates with al fresco dining and hearty pizzas. Alternatively, the Place des Lices is a fantastic market where you can scoop up local produce to enjoy back at your luxury rental villa.

On the note of shopping, the triangle between the Place de Lices, Rue Allard and Rue Gambetta is the place to go for designer shops. Here you can find everything from Louis Vuitton to Chanel. You are in Saint-Tropez after all!

Looking for a luxury vacation home in St Tropez? Look no further, Villazzo curates the finest villas around the globe, coupled with outstanding service for the ultimate luxurious get-away.

THE INTERVIEW SERIES – HANNA TALAIE – GENERAL MANAGER, VILLAZZO

May 24th, 2018
Hanna Talaie

No-one knows luxury travel better than Hanna Talaie, General Manager of leading online luxury villa booking Villazzo. With more than 11 years’ experience in the industry, a degree in International Business and Management, international experience working and studying in both Germany and the Netherlands, and a passion for travel, she gives us the lowdown, in our first in a series of insider interviews.

Q: What does your role as General Manager involve?

I’m responsible for managing all departments across the business, to make sure they run smoothly and to offer support if there’s an issue. Our ethos is to deliver to the high standards our loyal clientele expects. At the same time, we need to make sure we differentiate ourselves as market leaders.

Q: Villazzo is known for its commitment to customer service, how do you achieve this?

As cliché as it sounds, I love coming to work. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by a great team who enjoy what they do. Our clients are at the heart of our business, and we prioritize their every need and requirement to ensure we take great care of them. Our approach is to offer guests the attention and experience as you would give your family – simply the best of the best!

Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?

It’s fair to say that we self-impose very high standards. Our biggest challenge is to exceed our own set goals and to make every stay better than the previous for guests. We stay up to date when it comes to technology and trends, especially since the hospitality market is ever-changing and highly competitive.

Q: You’ve worked for the company for eight years, what makes Villazzo stand out from its competitors?

We are very price competitive, have a full local operations team with dedicated concierge services and have exclusive contracts in some cities. But most of all, we go above and beyond customer expectations to provide a hotel-like experience, with personalized services for guests. This ranges from little touches like premium towels and bespoke toiletry selection, to a white glove Butler service. We make the impossible request, possible – a challenge we love to take on! Villazzo only employs people with a ‘Yes’ attitude, who will care for guests and go beyond their expectations.

Q: What qualities do you look out for when appointing properties for Villazzo?

Location, location, location! That aside, to fit in with our luxury vacation rental portfolio, properties must be very well maintained and the interior needs to be clean, new and wow. We only consider properties that have a property manager to ensure we have an immediate contact.

Q: You’re well-traveled, where do you choose to vacation?

Anywhere that I can gather cultural knowledge. I have a bucket list of places that I am intending to see. I was recently in Iceland; the next trip will be Japan.

“The feedback we have from clients is overwhelming and I strongly believe they feel the extra TLC they receive from us.”

Q: Do you have any insider tips for online rental bookings?

The longer you stay in a property, the better value it becomes, as the nightly rate goes down. Of course, our business is seasonal and much like hotels, there are on and off-peak times to travel. Outside of the holidays and school breaks, you can usually bag a better bargain! I have also seen lots of online fraudsters, so always advise using a reputable online rental company such as Villazzo, where you can speak to an actual person too.

Q: Are there any travel trends you’re noticing at the moment?

Yes, people are moving away from the traditional ‘plan a holiday’ method, and being more spontaneous and last minute. We’re also noticing that short stays are growing in popularity, allowing visitors to move around more, and weekend getaways are very ‘on trend’ too.

Q: Finally, why do you recommend someone reading this should book their luxury travel villa with Villazzo?

Villazzo has a very detail-oriented team that thrives on pleasing customers. We enjoy welcoming clients from all over the world, for every type of occasion. We have a very knowledgeable, motivated team who will create a memorable and bespoke stay for your trip. The feedback we have from clients is overwhelming and I strongly believe they feel the extra TLC they receive from us.

IBIZA – EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SUMMER HIT!

May 17th, 2018
Ibiza by Night

In time honored tradition, the end of May is an important time for Ibiza… it’s when the opening parties begin and the island opens for business!

Once a haven for hedonists and 24hr party people, the magical island has seen a transformation over the past few years, catering to a more discerning crowd. Visitors are no longer resigned to package holiday hotels, with a demand for luxurious Ibiza villa rentals hidden like gems throughout the island.

With so much to offer, the fashionable ‘White Isle’ attracts an eclectic European crowd of beautiful people, dance music aficionados and hip holidaymakers.

When to visit

When to visit

Heating up from May onwards, Ibiza’s weather peaks in July and August, before starting to cool down in September. For many, the start of the season is signaled by the opening party weekend, around the last week in May.

The BBC Radio 1 weekender (first weekend of August) has also become a popular and busy time for the island, with superstar DJs and big-name bands playing to a young ‘up for it’ crowd.

Villa Veronica

Where to stay

To complete the Ibiza experience, seek out a stylish abode offering peace and respite from the crowds.

Vacation homes in Ibiza get booked up quickly, so it’s wise to plan ahead. For decadence, style and unadulterated chill out, Villazzo have some of the most luxurious villas on the island. Favorites include properties with private pools hidden in acres of mountains and ultra-modern villas for those that appreciate finer taste in luxurious settings.

Opening Weekend

Opening Weekend

Day clubs, beach clubs, hidden secret night clubs, huge expansive clubbers clubs and all that’s in between. Ibiza’s music scene is unsurprisingly one of the best in the world!

As such, the International Music Summit (May 23-25) takes place here annually, to discuss the future of EDM (electronic dance music), which coincides with the start of the season.

For style and substance, Ushuaia is a mega open-air venue, bringing the beautiful people to party by day. It kicks off from 19 May, but the one to look out for is ‘David Guetta’s Big Opening Party’ on June 4 (tickets from €50).

The self-titled ‘heartbeat of the island’, Pacha invites a fashionable VIP crowd to its 3000-capacity venue – still the only place where clubbers wear high heels! Open for locals from the start of May, the big opening nights to look out for include a set by Fatboy Slim on 18 May, and the opening of ‘Pure Pacha’ on 26 May.

For sultry deep house and all-round Euro vibe, Playa d’en Bossa’s ‘Hi Ibiza’ opens its doors from 26 May, with ‘Glitterbox’ opening on 1 June, with Roger Sanchez, Basement Jaxx and Dimtri from Paris on the decks.

Bambuddha Grove

Live it up

Aside from the party scene, there are many smaller venues across the island to enjoy. Hidden in the hills, KM5 is a great place to drink and dine, while Bambuddha Grove offers an exceptional experience of dining under the stars.

Don’t be surprised if you bump in to a celebrity or two at Blue Marlin, El Chiringuito or Cipriani as well.

People watching is one of the favorite sports in Ibiza Town, perfectly within reach of the super yachts frequented by the rich and famous.

For a complete listings guide, be sure to check out Ibiza Spotlight.

Looking for a luxury villa for rent in Ibiza? Look no further, Villazzo curates the finest villas around the globe, coupled with outstanding service for the ultimate luxurious get-away.

FOUR SPOTS FOR REST, RELAXTION AND TOTAL LUXURY

May 9th, 2018

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to a vacation for some much-needed time out. More than just topping up your tan, rest and relaxation is imperative for productivity and rejuvenation. As such, wellbeing travel has come to the fore in recent years, with stunning spas, tranquil luxury villa rentals and revitalising settings to help aid the ‘R&R’ process.

However, the ultimate break requires the ultimate retreat, and to help inspire, we’ve compiled our top four luxury destinations for those seeking chic chill.

Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy

Picture postcard views of rolling hills, vast vineyards and sun-kissed skies make Tuscany one of the most idyllic settings for a relaxing break. For those that enjoy unwinding through art, there’s plenty of landscape to paint, while those who enjoy cultural walks or love Italian cuisine are spoilt for choice. If seclusion is what you’re after, then its remoteness makes it highly desirable. Luxury villa rentals in Tuscany are often nestled in rugged mountains and charming countryside retreats.

Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

Where party and peace come together in natural harmony. The spectacular island of Ibiza is home to some of the most luxurious villa rentals offering elegance, beauty and the ultimate in chill. Without having to leave your property you can soak up the sun, lounge by a salt water pool and enjoy sundowners with the best view in the house. The island also has its fair share of secluded coves, fitness retreat and detox camps, as well as the blissful island of Formentera awaiting your discovery.

Ontario

Ontario, Canada

When it comes to getting away from it all, Ontario offers an exciting alternative from the daily grind. By night, luxurious lodges provide the perfect setting to unwind, while the great outdoors await discovery by day. Spanning 400 acres, High Park is a great starting point to explore with nature all around. Of course, most tourists come for the Great Lakes – some 250,000 in total, offering undeniable tranquility while getting back to nature at the same time.

St Barth’s, Caribbean

When only five-star pampering will do, bathe in the complete luxury and transformative settings of St Barth’s. Alcove beaches with pristine white sand and calm aqua waters offer unrivalled views for beach lovers, or you may prefer to sip cocktails from the privacy of your own pool. St Barth’s, after all, is known for its high-end heavenliness, with luxury vacation homes, daytime yoga sessions and divine eateries awaiting your visit.

If you’re in search of sun, sea and luxury, then Global Luxury Villas to discover your dream vacation today!