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February 22, 2010updated Feb 08, 2013

Abercrombie & Kent Villas Builds On Strength Of Its Parent

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

New York, New York – Abercrombie & Kent Villas is seeking to take renting a villa to a new level for elite travelers by utilizing its parent company’s infrastructure in key markets. In an exclusive interview with Elite Traveler, Managing Director, Villas, Charles Stephenson outlined how its routes as a global luxury tour operator are giving it the upper hand in creating unique programs.

A&K, Stephenson noted, is know for its luxury tour programs, many of which are custom made for high-net worth individuals. The company, he said, is able to often offer exclusive experiences due to its network of offices in the places it sends its customers. Those offices have local relationships that provide off hours private access and VIP treatment for sightseeing, shopping and exploring. The local offices often are called on to put together events, particularly celebrations for customers who want to create a special event vacation for anywhere from 10 to 1,000 friends and colleagues.

On the villa front, Stephenson said he has grown his division to feature 135 properties across France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal of which approximately 60 percent are exclusive to A&K.

Being part of A&K Stephenson says brings options as well such as chartering a yacht and villa and having A&K handle all details to provide the consumer with a full start to finish vacation. He also noted the company handles private jet charters either to and from the villa or for some customers who want to make side trips during their stays. An example he cited was a customer renting a villa for several weeks in St. Tropez who wanted to visit St. Moritz, a flight of under an hour by private jet between St. Tropez and the private jet Engadin Airport in Samedan that handles flights for the Swiss mountain resort.

Other examples of utilizing A&K network includes the ability to bring top chefs to villas to create private dinners and the ability to create multi-country vacations using a villa rental combined with visits to various cities and stays at five-star hotels where the company already has relationships.

Stephenson further told Elite Traveler the company is planning to expand its footprint, which could include winter ski among other things.

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