Our research staff conducted two tests in the search for a luxury home to rent.
We compiled a comparison of four luxury vacation rental services: Inspirato, Luxury Retreats, ThirdHome Rentals, and HomeAway Luxury. We wanted to determine which of the rental services had the most homes to offer at the lowest price.
Also, we wanted to answer the question, if we join Inspirato will we always be able to travel where we like? The answer is no, see below for why.
First, An Overview of Each Rental Site
As a luxury travel club, Inspirato requires membership to take advantage of its rental services. Basic membership begins at $10,000, and this includes the full services of the personal concierge with six-month advanced bookings. Inspirato is known for its quality of properties and excellent customer service.
Luxury Retreats is a “fully integrated hospitality company” as opposed to a listing site. Luxury Retreats offers 24-7 personal concierge services through a hotline number listed on their site, and it also thoroughly vets its listings to ensure you only see properties that meet their standards for luxury.
ThirdHome identifies itself as a luxury property and travel club. It caters to both vacationers seeking to rent a luxury home and owners of second homes looking to list these homes for rent. In exchange for listing their homes, owners also get to exchange time in their homes for stays in other members’ homes.
HomeAway Luxury is a curated listing service for vacation homes with a convenient and user-friendly website and reservation platform. The company does not vet its listings, but it does make up for this by informing the user if the property is under professional management.
Sampling the Properties
For our first test, we chose a popular rental destination: Maui, Hawaii. We chose November 5 – 12 as our desired date range because those dates are outside the peak season. The following were the vacation home requirements:
- Five-star quality
- Five-star reviews
- Three or more bedrooms
- Sleeps eight or more
- Professional photos
- Near the beach
- Upgraded interior
- Resort setting optional
- Less than $4,000/night
Here are the results of our findings:
|Number of Listings
|Average Listing Price
|$2,342 / night
|$1,675 / night
It was surprising to find that Inspirato and ThirdHome had no availabilities for the selected dates. These dates being four months away, we thought that would be enough time to secure an open slot.
Based on the results, HomeAway Luxury is the clear winner with the greatest number of listings at the lowest per-night price. Although their homes are not thoroughly vetted, all the rentals they presented are professionally managed and meet the given requirements.
Sample Number Two
Next, we applied the same requirements to try to find a luxury vacation home in Orlando, Florida. We moved our vacation dates to December to allow an additional month for availability to open up.
These were our findings:
|Number of Listings
|Average Listing Price
|4, only resort rooms
|$1,150 / night
|$570 / night
Again, HomeAway Luxury was the clear winner with over 50 accommodations meeting our requirements. These properties are all premier partners of HomeAway, and all scored five-star reviews from vacationers.
While on the surface, these results might look conclusive, we must consider the fact that world-class vacations rely on more than just a limited number of factors.
As with a lot of things in life, vacation planning is personal. If you need help making decisions about what to do, where to eat, and how to get around and then securing the necessary reservations, then Inspirato or Luxury Retreats may be the choice for you. Their always-available personal concierge services are priceless for doing just that.
If you want to stay at a luxury home and you enjoy the details of planning a vacation and meals, and if you want the security of knowing your reservation for the luxury home is secure and in place, then Third Home is a competitive choice. Its basic concierge services for travel put you on the right path toward planning your adventure.
If options and low price are your priority and if you are willing to plan every aspect of your trip, then HomeAway Luxury lets you do just that. Their website is user-friendly, and their reservation platform is easy to use. It also puts you in direct contact with either the owner or the property manager, so you can talk to them directly if you have any questions or special requests.
We hope you found this review helpful. Please add your comments below and let us know your thoughts.