When Christian Jagodzinski, left, retired at age 29, having sold his on-line book business to Amazon, he took two years off to travel the world. 'I was travelling on rather a high budget', he explains. 'But when I rented properties I found that there were no guarantees of quality or service. You're working with estate agents, not hoteliers. Once they've got their commission, that's it.'
So he set up Villazzo to market what he calls 'VillaHotels'-high-end properties in cosmopolitan holiday enclaves including Miami Beach, St. Tropez, Marbella and, most recently, Aspen. He persuades the villa owners to adhere to certain standards - from swimming pools to Wi-fi- and then creates a local team to provide 'hotel' services in the properties. 'In a hotel the staff aren't in your room, but they're there at the touch of a button', he says. 'Villazzo uses the same concept: chef, butler, or babysitter- they're there when you need them.' The next locations to join the VillaHotel fleet are Paris and Courchevel.
Villazzo (020 8123 3375; www.villazzo.com)
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