Luxury Travel Destinations Beset by Concierge Scams

Looking into luxury villa rentals with extra perks? Be careful who you sign up with

On the heels of the recent St. Tropez luxury villa rental frauds comes word that vacationers in high-end destinations are being preyed on in yet another way. According to The New York Post one Russian billionaire was duped out of 10,000 Euros by a concierge hired to make his time away the vacation of his dreams.

Most people who turn to luxury villa rentals for their vacations are looking for more privacy and luxury that your usual five-star hotel offers, but they also want the added perks of services like housekeeping and onsite laundry. Unfortunately, despite what some advertise, most luxury villa rentals don’t come with these extras. At best what you’ll find once you arrive is an estate agent who is generally unequipped to provide the kind of services that guests require. Another option is to hire an independent concierge service to fulfil your needs during your luxury villa rental stay, but even then it’s difficult to know what you’re getting and on what kind of a timeline.

The majority of people hoping for a memorable luxury villa rental vacation in gorgeous places like St. Tropez or Miami don’t want to have to worry about mundane tasks like cleaning or doing laundry, tasks that with most villas will fall squarely to them. If not that then the adventure of trying to find a housekeeper or cook in a foreign locale during high season will. Neither seems particularly appealing when one is hoping for a relaxing, luxurious getaway. Worse still is the reality that hiring a concierge service to fulfil your needs while you’re away from home can lead you to being duped out of large sums of money. There are many concierge horror stories floating around from harried concierges attempting to serve the needs of several renters at the same time to services promised but never rendered.

The Post’s recent story of the Russian billionaire is only the latest in a long line, although it’s no less shocking or egregious. When the billionaire returned to his St. Tropez luxury villa rental for the second year in a row he attempted to book a fireworks display to entertain his party of guests. When the Russian was told that the cost for this display would be 7,000 Euros more than the year prior (17,000 Euros in total) he began to get suspicious. Turns out that the concierge service he had hired the previous year hadn’t actually purchased a fireworks show on his behalf. The fireworks that the billionaire thought were for him? That was St. Tropez’s annual fireworks display, the bill for which is footed by the town itself.

So how to avoid a similar fate? Research is always recommended, but sometimes it is still difficult to know what you’ll be getting when you arrive in a foreign place. The best route is to get your luxury villa rental through a reputable company who can not only provide you with a beautiful property, but is well equipped with an onsite staff to handle a variety of needs. This VillaHotel concept pioneered by companies like Villazzo allows you the privacy and luxury of a rental villa paired with the services of a five-star hotel. No waiting around for a concierge service to get back to you, instead with a VillaHotel you will have a chauffeur to bring you directly to your villa of choice, a full-time onsite butler/concierge as well as housekeeping service, and amenities that range from Bulgari bath products and Frette linens to a fully stocked business center and in-villa gift shop. Truly, it is like having your own personal hotel–a perfect solution to the hotel vs. villa debate and an easy way to ensure that your luxury villa rental vacation goes off without a hitch and that your hard earned money gets you exactly what you want and what you pay for.

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