You spend countless hours and tons of money planning the perfect getaway, opting for a vacation rental over a hotel in the hopes of a more authentic travel experience. Upon arrival, you realize the apartment that looked so great from the website shots doesn’t have warm water, the provided bedsheets include a mystery stain, and the home itself is located rather unceremoniously next to a dumpster on a sketchy street about half an hour from the nearest convenience store.
Sound familiar? While the concept of renting a holiday home is an enticing one, providing travelers with a more local perspective than they might get at a hotel, the lack of quality control and security associated with renting a place from a stranger is enough to deter many from booking. Which is why Oasis, a home rental company launched by Parker Stanberry in 2008, is so unique.
Oasis markets itself as “home-meets-hotel,” offering a hospitality concept that meshes the comfort of staying at home with the serviceable perks of booking at a hotel. Think: in-person check-in and check-out, exclusive perks, unlimited wifi, clean linens…. You even get the little bottles of the beauty toiletries we all love (and steal) from hotels.
For Stanberry, who started his career in finance before moving to Buenos Aires and finding the inspiration for Oasis, the company is a culmination of his passion for travel, design, and hospitality. Noting that companies and foreigners were buying properties in the Argentine capital to rent out to visitors, he saw a gap in the global market and went from there. Today, Oasis properties exist in 22 cities and three continents—and with plans to expand to Asia and Australia in the near future, the company’s not slowing down anytime soon.
“I was trying to bring international hospitality expertise, brand standards, and a real dedication to service into the world of apartment and home rental," says Stanberry. "No one was doing that then, and even now no one is doing it on a global scale.”
Those brand standards are able to remain consistent across all global properties due in no small part to regional Oasis teams, which are on the ground in each city to visit, vet, and photograph every single property you see on the site. Where Airbnb guests are pretty much at the mercy of hosts who might either not speak the same language or not be easy to reach, the worry and stress is essentially eliminated with Oasis.
As for the vetting process, the company is picky when it comes to which homes they allow to be listed on the site—so travelers can expect the same quality control no matter where they stay.
“We definitely have a design point of view,” says Stanberry. “We go for modern, clean design and confirm that the building itself is nice and meets our standards. After all the first-level items check the box, there’s a pretty intensive checklist of 60 or 70 items to make sure that the linens are quality, there’s an appropriate amount of place settings per person, and all the appliances are functioning.”
Design and architecture fans in particular will appreciate the properties—from a stunning Buenos Aires apartment that looks straight out of Paris to an unreal estate in Punta del Este built by renowned architect Martín Gomez—but there’s another aspect of the company that sets it apart from its competitors. Beyond its status as a vacation rental company, Oasis also offers unique experiences and exclusive perks to its guests in every city.
In each home, there are “bonus” levels you can pay extra for, like a fridge stocked full of local goodies, a “MegaBar” (which we can all agree is better than a mini bar), or even a private driver. Certain cities like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro have an Oasis members club, which guests can use to unwind by the pool or get work done in the library.
And perhaps the company’s most innovative feature, “Sidekicks” are a combination of city guides and hotel staff that Stanberry refers to as “Concierges 2.0.” They are readily available to every Oasis guest, helping with anything from providing power adaptors to recommendations on the coolest under-the-radar wine bar in the area. Offering both logistical assistance and more in-depth guidance on activities that will make your travels extra memorable, Sidekicks are incredibly useful to people who are visiting a country for the first time and can only rely on dated Yelp reviews for so much.
“We find people who are really able to speak to our brand and who are oriented towards giving our travelers the chance to optimize their experience,” explains Stanberry. “We screen for knowledge and passion for their city, looking for folks who really are going to know what the great out-of-the-way spots are.”
Your Sidekick can also set up individualized itineraries for you, often including discounted or even free perks like a complimentary Barry’s Bootcamp class in Miami or 25 percent off a massage at a Barcelona spa. Oasis’ extensive city guides offer even more insider info, making living like a local easier than ever.
Which is why, while Oasis caters to a myriad of traveler needs from business to leisure and from large groups to solo travelers, the person who will most appreciate what the company has to offer is someone who is ready to be fully immersed in the local culture. If you're looking for an all-inclusive luxury resort where you don't ever have to leave the premises, look elsewhere. Oasis is just as much about getting its guests to experience their host city as it is about providing high-quality accommodation.
“[The Oasis guest] is a savvy international traveler,” says Stanberry. “Folks who are curious from a cultural perspective when they travel and want to be placed in the up-and-coming neighborhoods; who take the time to find an out-of-the-way restaurant, and who are interested in spending extra time getting a better feel for the culture of the city.”
Consider this a whole new way to experience the cities on your 2018 travel hit list.
Book your stay and get more info on the activities specifically available in each city at oasiscollections.com.