Luxury Vacation Houses catching up in India

The buying of  plush villas and renting it out on a daily basis is the hottest trend catching up in Goa and in the hills of north India. people are buying plush villas and apartments with service support for self-use and also renting out on a daily basis.

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Neelam Kumar looks for her private space when she is holidaying but inopportunely, that is at times unavailable even in a five-star hotel. This venture for her own space and corner has led her to buy and furnish a flat in Goa, one of the country’s hottest luxury vacation spots, which she rents out when not living there herself.During peak season (December-January) an apartment can cost around Rs.15,000 per day. In November the rent is around Rs.10,000 and during off season, the rent hovers around Rs.7,000, Neelam Kumar said.

Unlike independent houses, which are rented out to tourists, mostly foreigners, where they need to fend for themselves, these are independent apartments with full support systems similar to that of a hotel. “Washing clothes, making breakfast and some room services are taken care by well-trained staff which are employees in the apartments.

“People like holiday homes by the sea or in the mountains. Hence, Goa is a potential place for the business to thrive,” Varun Nagpal, managing partner of Vianaar Constructions, which has six projects in Goa, including two under construction, told IANS. Nagpal who entered Goa around six-seven years ago said: “Youngsters look at it from an investor’s point of view.”

Taking a cue from the West, these luxury holiday apartments are flourishing in India. “People go over there to enjoy life. Goa has everything. Elderly people come over here to relax while the youngsters come to have fun by the beach,” he said.

Sameer Karan Mutreja, director of Scapes, told IANS: “This industry of luxury vacation rentals has been going on in an unstructured manner. Goa is the mo st popular destination. After Goa, people look at the hills like Kasauli or shimla  (in Himachal Pradesh) and areas near Ranthambore and the Corbett National Park.” Mutreja said customers often feel that their private space is compromised in big hotels.

Scapes has one property in north Goa at Vagator and is building another one there. It also has a property in Shimla. Mutreja is now looking at roping in a professional service management chain from Thailand to service these apartments. He said the consumers earn 8-10 percent more rental from these luxury villas. “Innovation is the only way that one can survive in these turbulent times.”

However, Garish Oberoi, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of North India, said the sector is still unstructured. “It is in the budding stage. It will take some time to take off in India. It may need organised hotels and hospitality chains to come into this business to take it forward.”

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