Stanislas Helou has joined the LIV Hospitality Design Awards Jury panel, bringing years of experience in the Luxury Rental Market. Working previously for “Luxury Retreats” and “AirBnB”, Stanislas is now the Head of Supply Europe for OneFineStay, acquired by Accor Group.
Could you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from?
Citizen of the world! I’m French with Lebanese and Polish roots and have lived in 8 different countries throughout my life. Thanks to this, I speak 5 languages and understand a variety of cultures.
What inspired your love for Design and why did you choose the Luxury Rental house/villa industry?
I studied Hotel Management at Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland (the top two best hotel management schools in the world) so it gave me the base needed to work in different management positions in luxury hotels in New York City, Crete, London & Barcelona. Entering the world of luxury villa rentals was completely new to me six years ago, but, if you look at the big picture, it’s a parallel world where my experience, leadership skills, and love for luxury personalized service would fit in perfectly.
You have recently joined OnfeFineStay, a platform dedicated to luxury short-term rental part of Accor Group, ad Head of Supply. What are your main responsibilities?
My two main responsibilities are handpicking the correct destinations in Europe where we’d like to rent luxury villas to our distinguished guests as well as striking partnership deals with villa owners to market their beautiful properties onto our platform.
What makes a “great” luxury rental property? What are the key elements or Key criteria you are looking for?
First of all, the property has to be luxurious in and out in regard to its destination. We cannot look at a villa in Miami the same way you’d look at a villa in Tuscany. We have a 250+ point inspection report that helps us handpick the properties that fit our portfolio and that we know our guests will love. An overview of the design of the villa is important. Is it well decorated? Is the garden well taken care of? What’s the bathroom vs bedroom ratio? And then we look into the tiny details such as making sure there are enough red wine glasses for the entire number of guests that can fit in the property or if there are quality pool towels. Our guests can trust us completely.
In terms of Interior Design/Architecture, have you noticed any particular recent trends in the Luxury Rental market?
Not so much a trend, but I see that owners take pride in either decorating their beautiful villas themselves or selecting an interior designer who understands their taste and that can decorate their properties the way they like. Each villa has its own ‘’wow’’ thing. It could be a staircase designed by a famous architect, a piece of art, a large infinity pool with a glass bottom, or an indoor booking ring.
Do you mind sharing what your are passions outside of the design world?
Education is something I hold dear to me. I’ve been teaching different classes to Bachelor’s and Masters’ students in hotel management schools in Switzerland and Spain for over four years now. Being part of the education of the leaders of tomorrow is a special and honourable feeling.