Following its success in London and New York, onefinestay is now offering well designed homes in Paris and Los Angeles to travelers looking to live like a local, comfortably. The site does all the work for both owners and guests, once the owner's schedule is made available, onefinestay searches for an appropriate guest and sets up the owner’s home with the amenities of a hotel—fresh linens, toiletries, and an iPhone stocked with local tips for the duration of their stay.
Members, who include many designers and designers’ clients, can earn extra income from a home at times when it would otherwise be vacant—and they can rest assured the house will be returned in the same condition in which it was left.
onefinestay seeks homes that are located in safe, desirable neighborhoods and are available for at least four weeks per year. When visiting the home, onefinestay then looks to see if it’s “beautiful and characterful,” the kind of place a guest would choose to stay.
Onefinestay agrees on a fixed nightly rate with each host, and then charges a service fee according to stay length and seasonality. Some of the top members have earned over $50,000 through onefinestay in the past year alone.
Although the home owners remain anonymous, onefinestay has created a search function on the website that allows guests to find homes based on “Distinctive Qualities” such as an interesting owner, stylish property or architectural interest.
Greg Marsh, co-founder of onefinestay, came up with the idea in 2009 after returning from a trip to Pisa. While staying at a “dull airport hotel” he relied on a friend who had grown up in the area to show him around the less visited areas of town, creating a unique travel experience.
Then, the “no light bulb moment” came when he returned to London, he realized that all the lights were off—every single home along his street was empty, and when he was away, his own flat in central London sat vacant too. It dawned on him that there could hardly be a better way for visitors to see the city than to live like a local and stay in a real home.
onefinestay was launched in London in May 2010 by Marsh, Demetrios Zoppos, Tim Davey and Evan Frank.
“Ever since our launch in London, we have been deluged by demand for Paris and L.A.,” said Marsh. “It’s seriously exciting that we’re finally open for business in both cities as we take the next step towards our vision to let visitors live like locals, wherever they are in the world.”
This week, onefinestay launches in sought-after Paris neighborhoods including Le Marais, Montmartre and Batignolles. Distinctive options include decadent Haussmann apartments and contemporary houses, with prices ranging from €150 per night for a comfortable one bedroom apartment to over €700 per night for a grand four bedroom home in Le Marais. Guests will find the bathrooms stocked with L’Occitane en Provence toiletries and a locally sourced welcome pack that includes packets of Kusmi tea and Van Hoos & Sons coffee.
In Los Angeles, onefinestay has uncovered backyard hideaways, discreet bars and boutiques among the city’s eclectic neighborhoods. Launching with two dozen homes in Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Venice, Brentwood and Hollywood, the company is seeking to expand its portfolio in these areas. Distinctive options include creative bolt-holes and capacious houses, with prices ranging from $250 per night for a one bedroom apartment to over $2,000 per night for a four bedroom house in Venice. Guests will find the bathrooms stocked with Kiehl’s toiletries and a welcome pack of Urth tea and coffee alongside treats from gourmet marketplace Joan’s on Third.
onefinestay’s ambition is to have an unhotel in every major world city, with further international expansion plans underway in the coming months.