There’s been a surge in subscription services in the last decade or so, with boxes of adventure gear, cheese, makeup, wine and everything in-between being delivered to customers’ front doorsteps on a weekly or monthly basis.
Now, Inspirato, a high-end travel company that first launched in 2010, is making a go of subscription-izing the luxury travel industry.
The first upscale leisure travel subscription service of its kind, Inspirato Pass gives members access to five-star hotel suites, more than 200 luxury homes and exclusive experiences like African safaris, European cruises or special sporting events.
“The conceptualization of Inspirato Pass was a natural next step in the evolution of the luxury travel space,” said Brent Handler, Founder and CEO of Inspirato, in a press release. “The Pass gives affluent travellers the freedom to book a wider variety of trips and experiences on a more frequent basis, without the burden of nightly rates all at tremendous value. Whether exploring accommodations or experiences for family, play, or business, Inspirato Pass offers something for everyone.”
And at $2,500 US a month, it’s definitely reserved for the “affluent,” but that’s Inspirato’s demographic. The Denver-based company, founded by a pioneer in the destination club space, has been servicing the luxury hospitality industry for a number of years.
Why the subscription model makes sense for travel
Unbooked inventory is one of the most prevalent issues faced by luxury travel properties, but high-end brands don’t slash prices because it can harm the brand. With a subscription service like Inspirato Pass, deals are brokered behind the scenes, so members, as well as the general public, don’t know exactly how cheaply the rooms are going for.
“We’re buying inventory from the hotel, and we’re paying for it, and the consumer is never seeing the price,” Handler said in an interview with Bloomberg.
It winds up being a win-win for both the guests and the hotel property.
What the US$2,500/month includes
One of the main perks for members is the ability to get a deeply discounted rate at a high-end property, like the Ritz-Carlton or the Mandarin Oriental. All costs, including nightly rates, taxes, and extra fees, are included in the membership fee as well as an on-site concierge and daily cleaning services. Things like flights, food and alcohol are all extra.
Another benefit is being able to globetrot each month. Rather than owning and visiting one vacation property in, say, Mexico, members can explore new places throughout the year.
They simply log onto the Inspirato Pass website and scroll through thousands of potential trips in more than 150 different locations around the world. Technically, stays range from one day to up to 60 days at a time and the list of experiences available updates daily. Members can make a new reservation as early as one week after their last reservation.
At the time of writing, however, most of the available trips ranged from two to seven days in duration.
Some of the more extravagant accommodations currently listed include a six bedroom seaside mansion in the British Virgin Islands, a seven bedroom home in Los Cabos, Mexico, and a six bedroom villa with a pool in Tuscany, Italy.
There are some restrictions
The Inspirato Pass allows its members the ability to travel to exotic, high-end destinations around the globe, but there are some restrictions. If you’re planning on bringing guests on your vacation, the membership holder and/or their partner must be present. This likely stops a group of friends or a big family from buying one pass and taking advantage of the perks.
That said, for an extra $500 per reservation, members can add more family members, friends or colleagues.
Another thing to note is that members have to commit to six months up front. Unlike your Netflix subscription, which lets you cancel at any time, the Inspirato Pass must be paid for six months. After that, members can choose to cancel or continue.
So, now that you know what and where it gets you: would you pay $2,500/month for a luxury travel subscription service?
Source: Beta Canada