SOURCE: BeautifulPlaces Inc.

BeautifulPlaces Inc.

BeautifulPlaces Inc.

September 08, 2009 14:18 ET

BeautifulPlaces First Villa Vacation Company to Receive a Travel Weekly Magellan Award in 'Luxury Hotel/Resort' Category

Award Opens Door to Industry Recognition and Standards

SONOMA, CA--(Marketwire - September 8, 2009) - BeautifulPlaces is the first luxury villa vacation company to receive a Travel Weekly Magellan Award in the luxury hotel/resort category recognizing the high standard of excellence in its villa portfolio, concierge services, and guest amenities.

"This is a breakthrough achievement for BeautifulPlaces and for luxury villa rental companies worldwide. It is an honor to be the first villa company to receive a Travel Weekly 2009 Magellan Award. Villa vacations have finally come of age becoming part of the mainstream vacation accommodations mindset. Now travelers can select a villa for their vacation with the same level of confidence and quality standards found in a major hotel," commented Patrick Smith, Founder and CEO of BeautifulPlaces.

BeautifulPlaces (www.beautiful-places.com) represents an exclusive portfolio of villas and estates in the major wine and resort regions of the world -- France, Italy, Mexico and Northern California (Napa and Sonoma). In addition, BeautifulPlaces offers a full range of personal concierge services and specializes in creating custom epicurean adventures for their guests with unique experiences and hands-on culinary activities.

"We created BP in 2002 to satisfy the travel needs of the sophisticated traveler who wanted to experience the distinctive lifestyle of a region -- to feel like an instant native. To date we have created special lifestyle experiences and journeys for more than 9000 guests -- many of whom return year after year with family and friends," added Smith.

Smith is quick to emphasize the importance of recognizing standards in the villa vacation industry and helps to educate travelers on the differences between "vacation rentals by owner" (RBO), a standard vacation rental management company (VRMC) and a luxury villa hospitality management company.

RBO -- rentals are done directly with the home owners. While the number of vacation rentals available has grown exponentially with the Internet, there are few standards, few guarantees, limited local assistance and often no recourse -- so there are often problems and risks.

VRMC -- there are over 5,500 vacation rental management companies in the US. Renting from a VRMC provides rental guests assurance that the property they are renting is what they expected, is well maintained and that there is someone available to answer questions and sort out problems -- at a minimum. Others offer a limited selection of services for guests. These vacation rentals are largely self-catered which helps keep costs down.

LVRMCs -- cater to the high end villa travel market offering select portfolios of fine homes that must meet and maintain the highest standards; dedicated concierge services, offering one-on-one consultations to plan custom experiences and lifestyle activities (culinary, wine, sports, cultural, and spa) plus handling all personal and travel needs on a 24/7 basis.

About Travel Weekly/Magellan Awards:

With entries from across the U.S. and around the world, the Magellan Awards is the premier awards program honoring the best in the travel industry. To view this year's winners go to www.travelweeklyawards.com.

About BeautifulPlaces

BEAUTIFULPLACES (www.beautiful-places.com) fulfills the dreams of travel enthusiasts inviting them to experience the wine country like a native with villas in the top wine, culinary and resort regions of Northern California, France, Italy and Mexico. BeautifulPlaces takes experiential travel to a new level by arranging custom epicurean, sports, spa and cultural activities immersing the guests into the quintessential lifestyle of the destination. All services are tailored to meet the individual traveler's requests and budgets.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Arlene Winnick
    Email Contact
    310.274.6430

    BeautifulPlaces Inc.
    539 First Street West, Sonoma, CA 95476
    800-495-9961 or 707 996 0266