Q & A Wednesday: Sabrina – How do you pick your Luxury Villa Rentals in Italy?
Well, with over twenty years of experience in the Luxury Hospitality field and Luxury Hotel Business I certainly take many factors into consideration.
First of all, I would like to give you a bit of my background.
I got my Bachelor in Hospitality in Italy in 1995 and received a certification in Food & Beverage Director. I am also certified Leadership in Hospitality that I mastered in the USA when I worked for Hyatt.
I was hired by Astoria Hotel as Front Desk Manager in Udine and after three months (seasonal contract) I was hired by a small chain based in Bergamo. We still had the booking planner, pencil and rubber at that time. I worked as reservation manager for a short period of time and my boss trusted I was super qualified to have the managerial role in his team. At that moment he assigned me a nice hotel in Cavi di Lavagna Cinque Terre (Liguria Italy) the Hotel Astoria in 1997. I worked as my first time as the general manager I was 21 years old. In Italy when you work for a small chain as a general manager you also are committed making sure everything is good. You don’t only manage the operations but you also jump and put yourself in each department so I get all the things perfectly managed. I can tell you that I had a great team.
I ran also a beautiful luxury hotel in Iseo that at that time was recently opened. In the USA I started at the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis as Front Desk agent and ended up been a troubleshooting manager for many hotels for Hyatt chain from Florida to Massachusetts.
I was called the Queen of the Hospitality. I am proud to say that I really give and leave my touch in what I do.
When inspecting hotels and properties I always keep the same rules. I managed my first property when I lived in Costa Rica because I found the same common issues when I helped guests to book a rental: cleanliness, politeness and tidiness.
I may sound picky but I don’t see any difference between renting a suite in a hotel or a villa.
A luxury villa rental needs to have the same standards.
I came back in Italy in 2014 and I know Italy is known as the hospitality/Dolce Vita reputation well I can tell you that during the years this attitude has slightly changed.
While luxury hotels keep improving and adding amenities to increase and give the best experience to the guests, luxury villa rentals don’t seem to keep always this same rule.
Sabrina Luxury Collection is based in Pordenone a small town near Venice (30 minutes by train) and it is also my hometown. Yes, I started from here and after many years traveling around the globe, I decided it was time to be back. Raising my children here it feels great. You take the train in Pordenone and in 30 minutes you are right in Venice St. Lucia train station.
I started taking and exploring the rentals market in Italy as soon as I landed. I still have villas inspected in Costa Rica in my collection.
While for other destinations I work with onsite manager and professionals that always provide updated videos and pictures of latest inspections and renovations and also video skype walkthrough, in Italy this is not the procedure…so I chose to travel around and inspect the villas. I do because I need it and also if my clients ask me to.
I also work closely with property managers on site in the different regions however I ensure you that sometimes I can’t trust them either.
After having inspected villas back in 2014 and 2015 I also inspected villas couple of months ago and also a couple of weeks ago from Lake Como area to Tuscany and Puglia.
I can ensure you that the collection I will release next couple of days is the top quality.
I understand vacation rentals are preferred because travelers want to live like locals most of the time and search for more privacy. It is true however in some cases but you always have to make sure there is the on-site manager ready to answer you also at midnight.
There are places that are located in remote areas that having a full staff available can be only a possible thing and bring you the best ways to enjoy your stay.
I step in places: the first thing I do is I breath in and I love to smell nice clean and fresh air. I like when a team member waits for me even if I am late or I ask to go through and open every single door of the home.
I like to pop in and call last minute if I have a booking request and create the site inspection last minute.
I evaluate everything that a 5 Star Hotel has and yes there are not many luxury villa rentals in my collection in Italy but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. I also consider the location, price versus services offered, I also make sure that the rate will not have extra surprises like electricity consumption or A/C use.
If you are reading this and you are an owner of a luxury retreat in Italy and we have not met yet and you feel you should be on the Top List please email Sabrina@sabrinaluxurycollection.com I will be on my way inspecting a couple of properties in the Amalfi Coast in the next couple of months so let’s schedule also yours!!!
Be ready to know the Top Luxury Villa Rentals List in Italy.
As always I like to hear from you please leave a comment below.