Luxury Retreats: AirBnB, But for Private Villas


Joe Poulin, Founder and CEO of Luxury Retreats

Luxury Retreats the vacation service that is basically the AirBnb of lavish villas and sprawling beach-front properties. The service has become popular with well-heeled clientele, and from the looks of the $16 million raised as of June, popular with investors as well.

The true draw of Luxury Retreats comes from their seamless meshing of the sharing economy, with offers incredible versatility, with more a more traditional hotel value: the concierge service. When a villa is booked through LR, a concierge agent becomes accessible 24/7. They make menus, plans outings, throw parties, arrange for wine delivery…TechCrunch reported on some of the more bizarre things that were requested — and fulfilled — with the concierge service: “a particular breed of duck [was transported] to populate the gardens of a home when a guest was missing the waterfowl back home…and full synagogue [was built] on the grounds of a home for another guest.”

Their concierges are billed as experts in the local area attractions, culture, and dining with impeccable attention to detail, transplanting the professionalism and knowledge of a traditional hotel concierge to this flashier version of AirBnB share culture.


As customers with deep pockets continue to enjoy ski vacations in Aspen or beach front relaxation in Maui, founder and CEO Joe Poulin does not appear to have plans to extend into lower price-points or any interest in guests looking for less lavish options. In fact, he is pushing the company the opposite direction, announcing last year a partnership between LR and WheelsUp, a private aviation company. From takeoff to touch-down, Poulin is delivering pure luxury.

As LR continues to grow, it will be interesting to see if they bump up against similar backlash that AirBnB has experienced. Short-term rentals offered by AirBnb have been creating some problems, especially for smaller communities, due to the influx of transient guests and homeowners who often rent spaces without the proper licensing.

Fort Lauderdale City Manager Lee Feldman told the Sun-Sentinel newspaper that for locals the problem with services like AirBnB is “[the] noise, it’s traffic, it’s parking, it’s sanitation. Basically [the problem is] the commercialization of residential property.”

Given that LR has a rigorous hand-picking process and seem to focus their attention on areas that are already tourist-heavy, we doubt they’ve left any room for the possibility of lawsuits or allegations of murky compliance with local renting regulations. All in all, if you’re ready $3,000+ a night to spend in an exotic location in a picturesque villa, Luxury Rentals seems to be the way to go.