Check into the English “un-hotel”
Greg Marsh likes to think of his company, onefinestay, as something between a home swap and a hotel-booking agency for high-end London vacations.
After all, house swaps can be a lot of work to organize, while boutique hotels don't give the option of cooking a nice meal at home. Onefinestay combines the best of both concepts, operating like a hotel (with room service, an on-call concierge and free WiFi) but with "rooms" (from $190 a night) that range from a penthouse in Clerkenwell, to a seven-bedroom estate in South Hampstead, to a houseboat on the Thames.
Before you arrive, onefinestay operatives swap out the sheets for percale linens, replace half-empty bottles of Suave with White Company toiletries and stock the kitchen with basic staples like coffee and tea. They also lay out guidebooks, maps and an iPhone (which you're welcome to use for the duration of your visit) loaded with videos about the history of the home, its furniture and artworks, as well as local intel.
Launched just last year, onefinestay now has more than 50 luxe, private apartments in central London, with plans for expansion to a second major city in the works.
For now, your Mayfair pied-à-terre awaits.