Elite Escapes

11 super extravagant homes you can rent for your next trip

Karla Cripps, CNNUpdated 15th December 2015
(CNN) — It's a Sunday night.
You're sitting at home, glass of Henri Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru in hand, scrolling through Airbnb listings in pursuit of the perfect home to rent for your next trip to the Mediterranean.
"No, no, no!" you scream at the screen in frustration, knuckles turning white as you grip the stem of your Chateau Baccarat glass.
"These properties simply will not do!"
Fear not, dear luxury lover, for the rise of the online sharing economy hasn't left you behind.
In recent years, several luxury-focused sites have been launched to allow owners of multi-million dollar properties an outlet to rent out their mansions, villas and penthouses to their wealthy counterparts for the short term.

When a five-star hotel just isn't exclusive enough

Among these is Australia-based LuxeHouses.com.
The site has close to 100 properties up for rent, as well as private jets and yachts and a concierge service.
CEO Jessica Kirkpatrick, who founded Luxe Houses in 2011, says she was inspired after a period of living and traveling through Europe.
"Loving the space you're in is so important for me," says the 34-year-old entrepreneur.
"Four years ago I began renting my own house and realized there was a strong business concept. Then many colleagues from my earlier career in banking had houses for sale and traveled regularly, leaving their mansions vacant and letting me manage their rental interests.
"That's where Luxe Houses started."

Who uses a service like this?

A lot of business is repeat clients and referrals.
"Guests at this end of the market are demanding an exclusive, experiential holiday experience," Kirkpatrick says.
"It's not only about magnificent homes with the wow factor. Travelers are seeking privacy, space and true luxury."
The other obvious question -- why are wealthy people opening up their homes to strangers?
It's not only about the cash, says Kirkpatrick.
"Owners are primarily motivated to rent homes for money, but some also like showing off and sharing their properties; others like to drop names of people who have stayed in their homes," she says.
"We have a huge focus on permanently available holiday houses now so for people who have invested in properties it can be a very lucrative way to earn an income from their asset."
In addition, the Christmas/New Year period is peak season, when many luxury home owners go overseas to ski, providing a window to rent their houses.

What does it take to make the cut?

Though Kirkpatrick wouldn't share an exact "your house must be worth XX dollars" benchmark, she did say there's an obvious standard that needs to be met.
"We choose owners who understand the brand and want to be a part of the experience we are building," she says.
"The properties we choose are in line with our guests' expectations and we only accept those that allow us to exceed their expectations by way of location, views, facilities, furnishings, design and style."
Curious about which types of properties do make the cut?
Check out the gallery above for a look inside 11 homes now available for rent on Luxe Houses.