By Irene Aviles
Seriously? Rent a Villa for a business trip? Why? I’m glad you asked!
First, it’s important to define a ‘villa’ so your mind doesn’t go straight to a grand historic estate in Italy or France. Private Trade Winds defines a villa as any property in a highly sought-after vacation destination, offering superior upgrades with respect to beds and bedding, and all the comforts of home, with living rooms and kitchens, plus the service and amenities of a 5-star hotel. This means that a villa could be a 1-bedroom condo or condo-hotel, a 2-bedroom residence or specialty suite at a hotel, or a 3+-bedroom unit or home in a branded resort community. Of course, the term ‘villa’ also includes the grand, historic and restored estates typically found in Europe, (we refer to these as Classic Villas), but for the sake of this article in regard to business travel, we will look at more modern villas. City access would most likely be important to business travel, so condos and hotel residences would be your best option.
The following is a simple breakdown of the Pros and Cons of booking a Villa for Business Travel:
- Hotel service you are accustomed to is still available
- Likewise, hotel amenities you are accustomed to are also still available
- Wifi and printing access
- Easy food items and snacks conveniently placed in your villa kitchen, purchased on your behalf prior to arrival, so Room Service is not your only option
- Camaraderie and networking opportunities to watch the game, movies, or the news
- The ability to debrief in a quiet place after meetings, or to brainstorm in a comfortable home-like environment
- More relaxed options for dinner including take-out, room service or even a personal chef to prepare your meals
- The privacy of having your own bedroom and bath
- A spacious living area to enjoy alone or with fellow co-workers
- Typically, villas are more cost effective than booking multiple hotel rooms
- You might not like the idea of sharing any type of space with a co-worker
At Private Trade Winds, we always opt to travel in villas for business, and I can tell you firsthand that we get a lot of work done. It’s a great environment for networking and building team unity, and we also find that we have time to relax and enjoy our surroundings. Although we have sent many groups on Executive and Corporate Retreats in villas, we often get rave reviews from clients who book our villas for regular business trips.
Consider the experience shared by one of our clients after a recent business trip to New York City, where she stayed with a fellow co-worker in one of our villas:
After a long flight, the two women arrived in New York City in the early evening. They checked into their condo-hotel and took a brisk walk to Cafe Fiorello, a local Italian restaurant in Lincoln Center recommended by the Concierge. The food was delicious, and the walk back absolved them of the guilt they were feeling for the decadent dessert they shared. Upon return to their home-away-from-home, they had a quick debrief in the living room, and each retired to their own bedroom, where turn-down service had been prepared, and enjoyed a private evening to read, watch TV or retire for the night.
Each woke up at different times making their own coffee and choosing breakfast items they had requested prior to arrival. The early bird enjoyed the fabulous view of Central Park from the floor-to-ceiling living room windows, while the not-so-early-bird, came out for a quick hello, grabbed a cup of coffee and returned to her room to prepare for the day, later emerging for breakfast. They went about their long day of meetings in the City and returned “home” to order dinner from room service and discuss the day’s events. Just what was needed to catch up on a little jet lag. Each retired to their private rooms for a good night’s rest. Again, turn-down service was very much appreciated and the little chocolate on the pillow was a nice touch.
Early bird went for a run in Central park, and the other went for a quick work out in the hotel gym. Both agreed to meet for a breakfast meeting in the hotel’s restaurant, then decided to divide and conquer to get their work done for the day. Later, at the recommendation of the Concierge, they enjoyed a wonderful steak dinner at Del Frisco’s on Madison Avenue, with seating that overlooked Radio City Music Hall. The medallion fillets with mushrooms and gorgonzola butter were to die for. The server, anticipating their night, asked if they planned to see a show, and scheduled each course to get them out of the restaurant on time. They were off to the Richard Rodgers Theatre to see Hamilton, with tickets secured from the Private Trade Winds’ online ticket booth. The play went beyond their expectations, and the night out was ended with a giant slice of cheesecake from Junior’s. After a long day, having separate rooms was very much appreciated, because a little snoring was bound to take place!
Each woke up at different times and enjoyed their own breakfast. A pre-ordered gift pack of bagels was delivered to the villa for a client visit, and they left and went about their day. A short stroll brought them to Landmarc for a lunch of grilled chicken sandwiches. It was a short work day, so the afternoon was spent at the awe-inspiring, yet humbling site of the World Trade Center. The museum is a must-see and a few hours should be spent taking it all in. The evening meal was enjoyed at Eataly with dishes of Lasagna, and Spinach Ravioli in Lemon Butter Sauce with Pistachio Nuts. The wine pairing was perfect with each dish, and another night came to an end by walking around the multi-level mall. Upon return to the villa they shared a glass of wine reflecting on the fact that this trip didn’t really feel like ‘business’ at all, but a fair mixture of work and vacation. Retiring to their separate bedrooms put an end to the final night of their stay.
It was a successful, effective and yet relaxing business trip! Both travelers reported to us that they felt their time was used in the most effective manner by being able to share a living space where they could talk more and still have meals and time to socialize and relax. They reported that they had less stress as they felt that they didn’t have to meet in the lobby or a coffee shop by a certain predetermined time to have meetings. They also enjoyed having room service but not eating alone which was great. Both reported enjoying a fine dining meal in their sweat pants! Aside from having to attend outside meetings in a timely manner they could communicate in a more casual way and didn’t feel constrained by time, or as overall tired as other business trips. The company manager said they saved money from booking separate hotel rooms, and the experience was positive for all.
So, as you can see booking a villa for business really is the way to go. If you happen to bring family along as another opportunity to mix business with pleasure, a villa is ideal. With so many options in the Private Trade Winds’ portfolio to choose from, isn’t it time you tried a villa for business travel?
Contact Judy Sweetland at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!0