At a time when travellers are increasingly choosing to stay in private homes instead of hotels, AltoVita has begun renting luxury apartments with ‘lifestyle services’ such as babysitting, personal training, daily housekeeping and catering. Globetrender speaks with founders, Vivi Cahyadi and Karolina Saviova, about how AltoVita is doing things differently.
What is AltoVita?
AltoVita is a one-stop shop lifestyle and travel solution for modern frequent travellers, looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle when abroad.
Our aim is to allow guests to seamlessly book quality accommodation with curated à la carte services such as grocery shopping, personal training, beauty treatments, private chefs, dry cleaning, storage, medical advice, airport transfers, childcare and private jets.
When did it launch?
AltoVita launched its collection of verified homes in January 2018, followed by the launch of its services across 31 destinations in Europe in August 2019.
How many properties does AltoVita list?
AltoVita has a portfolio of more than 3,000 properties across 31 destinations in Europe ranging from London and Paris to the Cote d’Azur and Swiss Alps. We have a further 5,000 apartments and villas that will go online this year.
Why is it innovative?
Serving the new era of frequent cash-rich, time-poor travellers means that brands need to focus on providing personalised, intuitive and socially relevant services.
Currently, there is no end-to-end solution ensuring a hassle-free trip from accommodation booking to in-destination services to check-out.
As per AltoVita’s focus group survey of 200 frequent affluent travellers, more than 80 per cent agreed that they have to compromise their lifestyle when travelling, especially during extended stays and business trips. Unhealthy eating habits, impersonal accommodation and a lack of exercise have been flagged as the main pain points.
AltoVita brings innovation by delivering a seamless hospitality experience through an “e-concierge”, as well as local curation and personalisation. We integrate with selected professional property managers and service providers to create a “lifestyle marketplace”.
How does it aid and enhance your lifestyle?
Imagine you’re new to a city, say Paris or Stockholm, and you’re there for a few weeks. You’d start looking for online grocery, members’ clubs, local gyms and even nannies.
Instead of doing all the research and subscribing individually, AltoVita gives you an end-to-end solution where you can find all services in one place. We do the hard work of curating homes and services, and pre-negotiate rates.
Does it offer things that a hotel wouldn’t?
Hotel rooms are often not suitable for extended stays or even for family needs. The lack of space, privacy, and possibility to control eating habits are among the issues highlighted by AltoVita’s focus group survey.
Although hotels provide restaurants, laundry services and concierges, they are often very expensive and the offering is limited. The new era of frequent travellers who are tech savvy and want to have full control over what they consume, prefer digital solutions and value-for-money choices.
Instead of traditional calls or human interaction, modern travellers prefer to use live chats, WhatsApp or online booking journeys. AltoVita addresses the needs of modern travellers through technology and the curation of relevant in-destination content.
What inspired you to launch it?
We are both frequent travellers who live across different destinations. Vivi used to split her time between London, Tokyo and Jakarta, and knows first-hand the struggle of settling into a new city.
The need is no longer for sightseeing or finding the coolest restaurant, but rather the basic needs to carry on with her routine, such as the possibility of renting out the same property in a familiar neighbourhood, where to store seasonal personal belongings, how to do online grocery shopping, where to sign up for yoga classes, where to get contact lenses, and which co-working space to go to.
She saw similar problems among her friends with children whose needs encompass extra cleaning, trusted childcare, temporary nurseries and how to source baby equipment.
Karolína loves travelling and discovering new cultures. As a frequent traveller, she is also aware of the difficulties, especially when it comes to finding quality accommodation and creating a real home abroad. When posted on an extended project abroad, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key, because one often has to contend with stress and loneliness.
Exercising is a great way to fight these negatives, but it’s not easy to find the right gym (you often need to be a member) or sign-up to classes, without any local knowledge or recommendations. As a journalist, I was always on-the-go and travelling regionally with early and late evening flights.
Karolína would have loved to simply order food prior to arriving/returning to the apartment, as she was tired of eating out all the time.
Through AltoVita, our goal is to share the right and meaningful local knowledge and services on one platform. We see AltoVita’s role as a trusted partner on the road, enabling travellers to design their stay and maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.
How much do AltoVita services cost?
AltoVita spends a lot of time to negotiating with service providers so that the prices you see on our website are reasonable. While we often see hotels and property management providers putting large mark-ups on add-on services, AltoVita’s aim is to deliver them at a fair price. Our target markets are financially savvy customers and we want to offer them value for money services.
What do you predict for the future of home rentals?
The home rental market is rapidly growing at 7 per cent CAGR by 2022. With the rise of Airbnb Luxe, OneFineStay and Luxury Retreats, there is a clear future for professionally managed quality rentals combined with in-destination services.
What are your plans for expansion?
We will continue to expand to the rest of Europe and bring our services booking journey alive to allow our users to digitally process booking and payments of services from their phones and iPads. Once we have Europe covered, we plan to expand to key cities in Asia such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul.