Finding Out about the Vacation You Deserve
Today we'll be talking to Sylvain Roullier, Managing Director of The Luxury Signature - this year's best Villas Rent Service in Asia according to Luxury Lifestyle Awards, and your ultimate partner in the search for an exquisite private vacation.
Sylvain, we heard that you've been all over the world and have experience in such famous tourist destinations as St. Tropez, Courchevel and Bora Bora. Why did your choice eventually fall on Asia? What is so unique about this region to you?
There is something incredibly unique about Asia and the destinations we focus on that makes you want to discover, explore, and experience them: from the spectacular climate, amazingly friendly people and breathtaking landscapes to the rich culture. The islands of Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia are mesmerizing and are also home to some extraordinary luxury villas, and the ski resort of Niseko in Japan is the powder capital of the world. The cool, contemporary chalets there have to be seen to be believed. They are really special.
What is the trend regarding secluded vacations nowadays? Are people seeking more or less of that each year?
We are leading busier and busier lives, and in the digital age we are constantly overwhelmed so much, that privacy and being able to truly get away from it all have become the ultimate luxuries in life. Not only that, but nowadays people travel more than ever before and know what they want. The trend is for more personalized, customized vacations and a home-away-from-home retreat stay, where you’re not sharing your infinity pool with other holidaymakers and where you can enjoy 5-star service that suits you and your vacation lifestyle.
What are the main age groups and nationalities you are targeting?
We are definitely seeing an increase in millennials, particularly from within Asia, who are interested in experiential luxury and who travel frequently. However, I’m often asked about this, and the reality is that we live in such a global world today that luxury appeals to clients from all over the globe - from Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Europe and America. Likewise, the type of traveler is perhaps surprisingly varied too. We welcome a lot of families, friends traveling together, and corporate retreats, as villas and ski chalets suit this mixed group dynamic. Many couples are also looking for a romantic getaway. Villas offer many features - from private dining with your own chef to an in-villa cinema, entertainment room, spa and gym, We even have a villa with its own tennis court next to an in-villa nightclub space, as well as many that are beachfront hideaways. What they have in common is that they are all dream properties.
How hard is it to find the right staff to meet your needs? Do you have a big HR team or do you prefer to recruit personally?
Our ethos is delivering personalized service that is all about going that extra mile to connect with our customers and find out what they are looking for. We have a small dedicated team, whom my business partner and I have personally selected to fit into our corporate culture - individuals who understand the required approach and expectations of working in a boutique and highly specialized travel company dealing with high-net-worth customers.
How intense is the competition in the region? What are your strategies for remaining #1?
The Luxury Signature was founded in 2013 amidst competition, and since then there have been new businesses that have come and many that have gone as well. We are a niche business though - a premium villa rental company, and we focus on quality rather than quantity. We have strict requirements for properties to be listed and we personally cherry-pick the best items to be part of our exclusive portfolio. Every place has to excel in terms of design, location, facilities and 5-star guest experience, as well as ambiance and maintenance. Before a villa is added to our listings, our team stays there for firsthand experience to assess the service of the staff and make sure that every detail is up to our high standards. Our customers are discerning and come to trust our recommendations. This personalized approach is not so much a strategy as the core of The Luxury Signature and what we stand for.
This year you triumphed in Luxury Lifestyle Awards, becoming Asia’s #1 Villas Rent Service. Why did you decide to participate in the competition, and how are you planning to deliver this new achievement to your clients?
This is the second time we won a Luxury Lifestyle Award and it is just as wonderful and as important an acknowledgement. The awards are highly coveted and highly respected within the industry and are a hallmark of quality that our clients can immediately relate to. We proudly display our achievements, be it on our website, at the end of an email or in articles about The Luxury Signature. Meanwhile, our commitment to delivering the highest quality holiday villa vacation rentals and second-to-none service to our clients continues as it always has. It’s an integral part of our mission and who we are. Business is about people.
How are you planning to expand in terms of geography? For now, it’s Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. But what else can we expect in the future?
There is always the temptation within travel companies to go bigger, to expand further, and to widen the focus. However, this can sometimes dilute excellence, so we want to develop in a more organic way that doesn’t compromise what we have achieved so far. We are looking at other destinations, to bring the more luxurious stays to our loyal customers and new clients in the future. However, right now we are happy to be known as respected specialists in luxury vacation villa rentals and chalets in Asia, and the Luxury Lifestyle Award is a perfect way to begin 2018.