This Vacation Rental Company Makes Staying at Rental Homes Feel Like You’re at a Five-star Hotel
While rental homes allow for more privacy and the ability to stay with friends and family in one space, they can lack the convenience that comes with staying at a hotel.
Founders Bryan Fedner and Alex Goldstein started the company after their own experiences with unreliable home listings, renting a property through Craigslist in 2009 that was advertised as an eight-bedroom home with a pool but in reality was a three-bedroom home with a pool that was closed.
The situation led the duo to focus on first creating reliable home listings, starting by managing the homes of family and friends who owned properties in the Hamptons.
The company officially launched in 2014, and in 2015, began adding concierge services to allow renters to easily book private dinners, order groceries ordered and have them delivered, get transportation, enjoy home massages, book restaurant reservations, receive daily turn-down services, and more.
The addition allowed visitors coming into the Hamptons to have an intimate experience with the location, getting all of the insider knowledge and comfort of a hotel stay — but in a home.
In 2018, StayMarquis expanded from the Hamptons to include rental homes in Shelter Island, North Folk, Litchfield, the Berkshires, and Hudson Valley, eventually expanding to more than 305 featured properties today.
For the founders, a hyper-localized focus was essential, which is why they worked with local businesses, restaurants, and communities to provide the best in each location for guests — from surf lessons to reservations at restaurants that can often be fully booked.
For home owners who may not want to be as involved in the process, StayMarquis also incorporated a rental management service to prepare amenities like shampoos, check guests in, walk them through each property, answer neighborhood questions, and act as a point of contact throughout the stay.
The company's Elite program allows owners to get more hands on, with StayMarquis transferring communication to the owner once a booking is made, while the Marquis program means StayMarquis will facilitate everything from booking to check out.
Properties range from a starting price of $100 a night in the slow season to $285 a night during the peak season of summer. Concierge services are available to guests at all times. Neighborhood recommendations and restaurant reservations are usually free, while car and at-home massages have a 10 percent fee, and daily turndown starts at $60 a day or $30 per hour per person.
Private dinners include 10 different menus with prices starting at $50 per person.
StayMarquis also adjusts nightly rates depending on demand, providing great mid-week deals to travelers instead of keeping rates the same for weekend and weekday stays.
“Our biggest competition is owners that are doing this themselves, which means the experience depends on the whim of the owner,” the founders told Travel + Leisure. “We want to provide everything you need at your fingertips, from finding the place to getting intimately familiar with the area once you arrive.”
Properties range in their design and amenities, from fire pits and an infinity pool and spa overlooking the harbor in East Hampton to rustic farmhouse abodes and cottage-style homes equipped with their own kayaks for guests.
Travelers may have already come across a range of these homes, as StayMarquis is integrated into a range of home rental websites that include Airbnb and VRBO (with StayMarquis properties having the company listed as the host), but booking directly with StayMarquis can mean saving hundreds of dollars in service fees.
As the company continues to grow, the founders plans to expand to Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Fire Island, Vermont, and Jersey Shore down the line.