Olympics Bring Boom to Luxury Rental Business

By Tee Cardaci, Contributing Reporter

The view from the penthouse of one of Holidays In Rio's properties, photo by Arnaud Bughon.

The view from the penthouse of one of Holidays In Rio, photo by Arnaud Bughon.

It was only a matter of hours after the announcement awarding the 2016 Olympic games to Rio de Janeiro and already Juliana Guzman from luxury apartment rental companies, Holidays In Rio and Rio Exclusive began fielding inquiries from the global elite and their representatives.

While luxury hotels such as the Copacabana Palace and Fazano carry with them a certain cache, according to Guzman an increasing number of global A-listers are opting for the space, privacy and exclusivity that only a private rental can offer.

With penthouses in Ipanema featuring sweeping views and private infinity pools to secluded villas in Joatinga complete with their own staff, Guzman along with her Parisian partner, Arnaud Bughon, have quickly established their brands as the source for those seeking the finest in accommodation when visiting Rio.

“The World Cup and the Olympics are obviously world class events and our clients are excited about the opportunity to entertain friends and business associates in a setting befitting of such events. This can be difficult to accomplish in a hotel.” Bughon continued, “We can provide our clients with exclusive properties that even the finest hotels in Rio could not begin to match.”

But even Guzman and Bughon seem slightly taken aback by the amount of early interest in their properties.

“As residents of Rio, we know what an exciting and vibrant place this is. It seems the rest of the world is ready to join in the party and they don’t feel that six years in advance is too soon to start planning,” said Bughon.

Holidays In Rio co-founder Juliana Guzman, photo by Alex Bensimon.

Holidays In Rio co-founder Juliana Guzman, photo by Alex Bensimon.

When pressed for names of those jet setters that might be heading to Rio for the Olympic games, Guzman showed discretion but did allow this:

“I will say that we had one supermodel, a few Hollywood personalities and the owner of an American professional sports franchise that were among those seeking reservations and more information on our properties. But I won’t say any more than that.”

Guzman and Bughon founded their company (Rio Exclusive Imobiliária LTDA, as it is officially known) at the beginning of 2007. Soon after they began to focus their attention on the high-end market, which they felt was potentially strong but was not being served at the time. They have since put together a multi-lingual staff from around the world chosen for their backgrounds in tourism and hospitality as well as their dedication to costumer service. The number of apartments they now manage has grown from three small units in Copacabana to more than sixty properties in Ipanema, Arpoador, Leblon and beyond.

The number of services the companies offer has also grown from simple concierge services and private drivers to everything that might by required for a visiting dignitary.

“Whether it is meeting your private jet at the airport with a security detail, secure car and motorcade to securing special event tickets or a helicopter to Búzios for dinner, there is not much we have not already arranged for others and will be happy to arrange for our Olympic guests,“ explained Sales Executive Mike Rollins.

“Although we do focus on the high-end market, we can still accommodate everyone from individuals on a modest budget to larger groups wishing to stay in a property featured in Architectural Digest. No one else in this business in Rio de Janeiro can say that,” General Manager Jessika Arroyave said with a smile.

4 Responses to "Olympics Bring Boom to Luxury Rental Business"

  1. Reed  January 9, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    We rcently returned from Rio where we visited for five days over Christmas. The apartment we rented through Gringo Management was an EXTREME disappointment.
    1. Limited, dated and rusting furniture;
    2. Dishes and cooking utensils consisted of 1 bowl, 2 plates, 2 cups and saucers, no coffee pot, one small pot and two well-worn fry pans unsuitable for use;
    3. Linens consisted of two bath towels and threadbare kitchen linens;
    4. The bed was douyble size (advertised as queen) with s fitted sheet that did not fit making it necessary to sleep on an uncovered, stained and ripped mattress;
    5. A propane stove that did light for use;
    6. No hot water in the unit with the exception of the shower which had open exposed wires to heat the water as it entered the shower head, conducive to electrocution upon contact–David’s response was “90% of the apartments in Rio have no hot water!”;
    7. No batteries in the TV remotes; AND
    8. Most seriously of all, a very unclean, bug-ridden environment;
    9. Finally, the air conditioning did not work and we were forced to move to a hotel–two phone calls to David for repair were not retunred and the problem not resolved.
    Other couples in our party who had also rented from Gringo had apartments with full amenities, facilities and comforts with full view of the beach in Copacabana at only $10.00 per night per couple more than our cost.
    We emailed David with our concerns with no reply, not even an apology.

  2. Mike Rollins  January 21, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    In response to this first comment left by Reed, I want to point out that Gringo Management has nothing to do with Rio Exclusive (www.rioexclusive.com), nor Holidays in Rio (www.holidaysinrio.com).

    This article in the Rio Times was written about Rio Exclusive and Holidays in Rio, but we are in no way affiliated with Gringo Management – they are a separate company who we have never dealt with, they just happen to be in the same industry. I can assure you that anyone who uses Rio Exclusive and Holidays in Rio will be greatly pleased with our professionalism, quality and attentiveness to guests’ needs.

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