Always design-orientated, always immaculate – Onefinestay offers so much more than a home from home, says Olivia Williams
If you’re only vaguely thinking about a holiday, then be warned that browsing the Onefinestay website is almost certainly going to push you into ‘we have to go, we have to go now’ territory. As an upmarket home rental service it’s a kind of deluxe Airbnb – with many, many extra frills.
A British company that has expanded to Paris, LA, and New York, it now offers a dizzying portfolio of more than 2,500 homes, but what they all have in common is stylish, bold interior design and a lovely location. The decor in their properties is enough to send even the most ardent anti-Instagrammer scrabbling for their smartphone.
With some of the most exciting neighbourhoods on your doorstep these homes are the ideal base for a long weekend of getting to know a city ‘like a local’. Take your pick from secluded Brooklyn townhouses and Parisian Left Bank apartments or buzzy Manhattan lofts and downtown Los Angeles villas – wherever you go you can enjoy your chosen city in spectacular surroundings and get to know the place properly.
A little closer to home, London is no exception of course when it comes to exciting properties. Most of Onefinestay’s selection are in west and central London, but we headed up to north London for our visit. The house that we stayed in was a space-age glass and concrete extravaganza with a large garden and a huge open plan entertaining space.
Tucked down a side street in Primrose Hill, it was totally peaceful and offered an amazing location right next to the park. It was a cosy introduction to a fashionable part of town that would be hard to achieve in a hotel. I also visited two other OneFineStay homes, which also lived up to the immaculate design aesthetic.
The Onefinestay way of doing things is the most attractive home stay option because unlike with B&Bs, there’s no need to tiptoe around or share the house with anyone other than your own family and friends. As a very slick operation they organise an army of cleaners to clear up after your stay, immaculate White Company sheets, towels and toiletries for you to use, and an iPhone loaded with the homeowners’ recommendations that comes with each property.
You can also make domestic calls and international texts on the phone, and if you get into difficulties, you can use it to contact the Onefinestay staff at any time of the day or night with your problems, which is a great comfort when you’re abroad. There will be some of the owner’s belongings around but the breakable,valuable things they store away in tamper-proof cupboards in the property, which is also peace of mind if you ever wanted to rent out your own place with them.
Prices range per night from £200 for a one-bedroom flat to a large townhouse for £2,000. Of course, the more people you invite on your getaway, the cheaper a large property will be – a great excuse to make your next holiday a sociable one….
The Kingstown Road house, sleeping four, costs from £250 for one night. A pre-authorised card deposit of £1,000 and photo ID are required.