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Interviews

Interview with Mitch Willey, Founder of Time and Place

June 18, 2013 -

For the past twelve years, Time & Place has provided luxury vacation rentals across Europe and the Americas.

Guests enjoy extremely elegant properties without the hassles of hotel check-ins or long-term lease agreements. Time & Place requires no membership, and their concierges are chosen for their ability to deliver exclusive access and ultimate experiences. For discriminating travelers, Time & Place always provides a unique vacation experience.

We interview Mitch Willey, Founder and President of Time and Place, on the occasion of their re-launch today, offering more glamorous locations and customized services.

Why did you start this company?

Eleven years ago, I had a number of vacation homes but I was finding it wasn't a great experience as a homeowner. Still, when you're travelling, there's something about your own kitchen that's so attractive. Truthfully, some days I just want a simple meal with some fresh produce that I bought myself that afternoon.

That's why I created a really an excellent ownership alternative that allows people to visit, and really own a home with a share that reflects their actual usage. Not many people use their second home all year. It's the evolution of luxury travel, but it's more than just making dinner reservations and staying in an immaculate home with a gorgeous design. It's creating adventures for people: fishing for blues or bike trips, being creative. So when people come they're having an iconic experience.

What do you mean by an “iconic experience”?

You're a guest and you're looking to book in Barcelona. We have local concierge who contacts you immediately on reservation: What's the purpose of your trip; how much time do you have; is this business only; are you just trying to get away? Because we can cultivate exactly the experience our guests crave, Time and Place creates a once-in-a-lifetime, unique moment in the most fascinating locales.

If you want an educational trip, we plan that with an after-hours museum tour, complete with your personal docent. If it's a culinary objective, you'll meet with a private chef in your own apartment.

But guests also want to experience their destination like a local right? I want to know what the city is actually like too.

You're right, which is why the concierges are the heart and soul of time and place. For me, it's less about the real estate than it is the service. That's why I have never advertised and hired a concierge. For this role, key to the success of Time and Place, I have personally discovered someone very special in every single instance.

Let me give you an example. My wife and I stayed in the Buenos Aires penthouse, Recoleta Refined, in the chic and trendy Palermo neighborhood. Thankfully, our Buenos Aires concierge Ariel, had the flavor of a local with the tastes of a gold medal chef. One evening, he took us to Casa Coupage, a culinary speakeasy with no external signage. With Ariel's translation and gentle nudging, we felt included in the natural experience. We enjoyed first class cuisine in a private atmosphere and Ariel made brilliant food and wine suggestions.

What's next for Time and Place?

Well first, we're looking to expand where we already are because we need more inventory. Our guests have responded enthusiastically to the Time and Place experience and we're striving to serve everyone who's interested in say, our Nantucket estates. So I'm constantly out there, visiting properties. I'm not necessarily looking for palatial mansions though, and that's actually a common misconception. A house can be colossal and be a bit boring at the same time. Time and Place homes need to have a wow factor--sometimes that's an astonishing history, architectural prestige or remarkable privacy--but I know it when I see it.

But we're looking also looking to new destinations in Europe and the United States, so if we're not in your favorite city yet, we may be there soon. Since relaunching under Club Holdings LLC and our sister company Quintess, Time and Place has announced our initiative to offer more than 200 unique destinations by the end of 2013.

More information: www.timeandplace.com


 

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