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The Luxury Villa Letdown: How Concierge Services Fall Short of the Mark

Searching for a luxury villa with concierge services? What you see isn’t always what you get.

If you’re fortunate enough to be a luxury world traveller, then you know that the addition of concierge services to luxury villa rentals is becoming more and more of a selling point for villa rental agencies. As luxury hotels become increasingly more “corporate,” villa rental companies are looking to capitalize in the decline of personalized hotel services by promising professional, hands-on concierge services for the duration of your stay in a private luxury villa.

When you think of “concierge services,” most likely you have visions of attentive, polite professionals who arrive to your room at your beck and call to fulfil any last-minute need or impulsive whim that strikes your fancy. Or, perhaps you imagine an exquisite spread of fine wines, champagne, Iranian caviar, and fresh fruit waiting for you as you return to your room. Maybe even dedicated turndown services, chauffeurs, butlers, chefs, and other service personnel come to mind when you imagine your next luxury villa stay that is supposed to include true concierge services.
Unfortunately, what you imagine and what you get are two completely different things.

The Reality of Concierge Services

The vast majority of concierge services you’ll encounter when renting a luxury villa fall way short of the mark compared to 5-star hotels. Instead of a well-dressed, polite, professional on-site concierge, you’re more likely to get an unshaven “gopher” named Gaston who arrives at your villa 40 minutes after you’ve called him, sweating profusely from the hot mid-day sun in St. Tropez and the fact that he has three or four other “concierge calls” to take care of all over town.

And you can forget the fantasy of arriving home to your luxury villa with an exquisite buffet or attentive butler waiting to serve you. Upstairs, the beds won’t be turned down, the bathroom will not be ready, and dinner will not be prepared.

In fact, the lack of hands-on service will feel less like a luxury vacation and more like home. Or, if you’re accustomed to hands-on service at home, it’ll feel even less than home.

The fact is, luxury villa concierge services are nothing like the attentive service you’d receive in a luxury 5-star resort. This is because concierge services are not pro-active but re-active. Generally, they operate out of a small, dingy office in the center of town that is filled with dirty vacuum cleaners, cleaning supplies, and crates of cheap giveaways that bear no resemble to the level of quality that luxury travellers are accustomed to.

Similarly, concierges are not trained, refined hotel professionals, but rather are under-qualified amateurs who were more likely bike messengers in the past than concierges at the local Ritz-Carlton. In short, these concierge services cannot give you the level of service that they promise.

What to Look For in Luxury Villa Concierge Services

Sadly, there are few concierge services for luxury villas that you can rely on to give you that personalized touch that you are looking for. Be sure to avoid luxury villa rental agencies that use third party concierge services, or ones that offers few details on the kinds of services that are included in their rental fees. Many of these luxury villa rental companies throw around the word “concierge” to enhance their company profile, when in fact that they little to offer.

Instead, look for luxury villa rental companies that have their own in-house concierge services and state exactly what it is they offer. What you’ll want are concrete details, such as a full-time butler, welcome champagne and a buffet when you arrive at your villa, daily reliable housekeeping services, chefs, and more.

In addition, only a concierge service that invests its own resources into the villas that it rents out can really offer you a hotel-like experience. Look for luxury villa rental companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars worth of luxury goods and service personnel to take a luxury villa into a private luxury hotel experience and that don’t “nickel and dime” you over every detail.

Don’t settle for less. Do your homework and know for sure you’re getting top-notch concierge services before you make a decision.