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Recognition by Conde Nast Traveler
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Recognition by Conde Nast Traveler
Making it onto Wendy's list of Villa Rental Specialists is no mean feat. Wendy goes beyond even the most demanding clients' queries to establish who really knows what about villa rental. We're extremely proud that Adam Coats made the grade. Adam's role involves visiting some of the most beautiful properties in Europe and beyond. Whilst this might sound like the perfect job, it involves far more than swimming in the pools and sleeping in the beds (although this is also part of his job!). Villa rentals are especially popular for family vacations and so Adam is particularly conscientious about checking the swimming pools for depth marking and safety features such as pool alarms as well as observing any potential hazards such as drops in the gardens or open staircases. A villa ideal for a college reunion of adults may not be quite so suitable for a family with a toddler. Adam is well versed in matching guests with the perfect villa for their individual requirements, whether they're looking for a romantic bolthole or a palatial venue for a family reunion. We asked Adam more about his experience as a villa rental specialist:
Of all of the villas in your portfolio, which is your favourite and why?
For me it’s Villa di Panzano in the Chianti area of Tuscany. The setting, the views, the fact that you are surrounded by vineyards and rolling countryside is hard to beat. Once you’ve tasted the housekeeper’s cooking you won't want to leave! Alida makes an amazing lasagna and a chocolate dessert with a crunchy shell and a melting chocolate heart..
What makes the perfect villa?
It’s more about the setting and the scenery than the bricks and mortar of the villa itself for me. Great views, peace and quiet and a feeling that I am a million miles away from anything else. I love the attitude to dining in Europe - it's based on fresh, seasonal produce and meals are never rushed, but rather taken time over - a villa needs to have great dining areas, therefore, inside and out.
If you could go on a villa vacation with anybody in the world, who would be on your guest list and why?
My wife & kids obviously (just in case they are reading this!). If they weren’t available, I would opt for a chef, a sommelier and a comedian – food, wine and laughter guaranteed. If Liz Hurley was available to serve the food then all the better.
What’s the most unusual request you’ve ever received from a client?
"Is your villa suitable for ‘swingers’?". I didn't feel qualified to reply.
What is the most commonly asked question from your clients?
"Which villa do you prefer?" People like to get an impression of a villa and this is often difficult to answer as it can be very objective. I try to ask lots of questions to establish what is important to a client, whether it's views, pools, activities for children - every client and every villa is different so it’s a matchmaking process. Client's priorities also change over time. My own priorities have changed since I became a parent and I am sure most people find the same.
Do you handle emergency situations for your clients?
Yes, though I am fortunate in having strong operations teams located in all of our main destinations. For example, a set of clients were unlucky enough to find themselves in the south of France last year when the floods hit near to St Tropez. All the electrics in the area went out and they were unable to open the electric gates from their villa. Until the problem was resolved their local A&K Host came along throughout the day bringing them bottled water and even slices of pizza that would fit between the bars in the gates!
Which region did you most recently visit and which villa really stood out?
I was in Andalucia this week. I stayed in a super cool and funky beach front apartment near to Marbella where you could listen to music whilst you showered and even choose the colour of the lights around the bath. Austin Powers would have loved it!
Do you get to check out all of your villas?
I try to see as many as possible and head out a couple of times per year. We have a strong team and together we cover the ground and see all the properties. It's invaluable to know the villas first hand, not just to know the layout and the specifics, but also to have a sense of the villa and its surroundings. I have seen many villas ‘on paper’ and then been totally blown away once I have visited them first hand as its often difficult to capture the scenery in images.
If you could trade your job with anyone else in the world, who would it be?
A professional golfer. Travelling the world being paid to play golf in beautiful places – I think I could just about cope with that.. In the meantime I'll be content lingering over inspections at some of our villas which have golf courses close by . I Tigli in Umbria is probably my favourite - it looks out over the Antognolla course and you can take golf buggies from the villa direct to the greens - the perfect holiday!
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