We have Airbnb to thank for making it easier to find an actual home away from home whether we're in Copenhagen or Cape Town. While the home sharing platform allows strangers to open their doors to holidaymakers, new player Stay One Degree adds a twist: you can only book beautiful homes directly to and from your network of friends and mutual connections.
Though it sounds limiting at first—playing on the six degrees of separation idea, renters must have a mutual connection to the owners—it's actually liberating. "Many of the homes on our site are a labour of love. For the homeowners, it offers peace of mind that those staying appreciate the place, while travellers also get a more personal experience because the connection is stronger," shares co-founder Thomas Bennett.
Ultimately, what Stay One Degree does is add trust to the equation as well as a dose of exclusivity. You can see it in the calibre of homes: from castles in Scotland, restored heritage properties in Italy to luxurious beach homes in Seychelles, it's certainly a group of friends you'd like to be part of.
Thomas Bennett (TB) We visited Tangier and stayed at the beautiful home of model Jacquetta Wheeler. She is a friend of a friend and I had heard of her house but without Stay One Degree I would not have had the opportunity to connect with her and her place. The house sits in six acres of immaculate gardens overlooking the Bay of Tangier with lots of space for our children to explore. They have wonderful staff to pamper you and Jacquetta shared all the best local hotspots—we explored the souks, shopped in the Medina and rode on camels before retreating to the villa for more incredibly delicious Moroccan food prepared by the chef. A fabulous holiday!
TB We are going skiing soon in the Sierra Nevada in Spain, Europe's most southerly ski resorts. It is only a two hour drive from our home in Sotogrande and you can see the sea from the top of the mountains. In the spring you can ski in the morning and then retreat back down from the mountains to play golf in Marbella, explore The Alhambra in Granada or head to the beach. There are not many places in the world where you can do this.
(Related: The Tatler 10: Best Ski Resorts in the World)