BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY—The rise of home-sharing was a direct result of guests wanting authentic experiences in the places they’re visiting—to live like a local. But luxury guests expect more than a great design in a great location—they also expect exceptional service. But how to marry the two? Enter Masterpiece Estates by Oetker Collection, launched this fall.
Featuring grand houses and unique estates steeped in history, Masterpiece Estates offers properties for completely private use, but which also have a host and team available from the moment of arrival until guests leave. The host will serve as personal guide, arranging activities tailored to the guests.
“Knowing our guests is key. Then we can tailor their experience,” said Frank Marrenbach, CEO, Oetker Collection. “It is the impeccable team and the charming host—an expert in both the house and the area—that will make their stay so extraordinary. They will be welcomed into the warm, luxurious surroundings of the estate where a dedicated team instantly will take care of their every need.
“At Oetker Collection, hospitality is a way of life,” he continued. “Our true passion has always been setting new standards as hosts of choice, offering meaningful experiences in extraordinary locations that linger in your heart long after you have crossed the threshold of your own home. The landscape of hospitality is constantly on the move. Therefore, you have to be carefully tuned in to the needs of your loyal guests. The incomparable peace, the faultless service, the exquisite surroundings—these are what make our Masterpiece Estates so remarkable.”
The first three properties are all located in the United Kingdom—Glen Affric Estate, sited centrally within the Scottish Highlands; Farleigh Wallop, about an hour outside London; and Hound Lodge at Goodwood Estate.
“Before an estate can be included in the collection, there is careful consideration to the offering. It was very clear from visiting these three estates that they shared our same values and standards for ensuring that guests enjoy the most magical escapes. The three estates included in our launch were selected as they were equally as wonderful, but each provided something different so as to provide guests with a broad choice,” the CEO said. “Farleigh Wallop is the epitome of a quintessential English country estate, located in the beautiful Hampshire countryside with good connections to London. Glen Affric Estate is a stunning Highlands estate surrounded by breathtaking views. And Hound Lodge at Goodwood Estate is a magnificent English estate, home to world-famous racing events with an unprecedented sporting heritage.”
The selection process was quite rigorous. “Every home in Oetker Collection’s Masterpiece Estates collection is handpicked,” the CEO said. “We choose properties that offer a unique history and outstanding, yet private location, each exclusive to Masterpiece Estates. Additionally, each property is a private home with an expert estate host—someone who personifies the heritage and character of the destination. Bespoke activities, beautiful interiors and sumptuous meals in a completely private setting are characterized by the impeccable and charming service you would expect from the Oetker Collection.”
Additionally, he said, “We select ‘healthy’ houses. The aesthetic of the properties is already pristine and we will not compromise on that.”
Why did the company add properties in the U.K. first? “[It] is famous for its grand estate homes and love of country pursuits; it is part of the culture, so it seemed to make sense to start there,” Marrenbach said. “We do nevertheless expect to expand into Europe quite quickly.
“The collection of estates we offer will be expanding very shortly, which we are really excited about,” he continued. “We are exploring Europe—of course, France, but it could also be a very nice dimora in Italy, a fabulous country farm in the Americas or a unique lodge in Africa. The Masterpiece portfolio will count approximately 20 estates.”
Feedback has been positive, Marrenbach said. “We have received many inquiries; some are specific, looking for venues for weddings, birthday parties and family gatherings. Other inquiries have been to find out more about the estates and what is on offer,” he said, noting that the ideal guest is someone looking for authenticity. “We are delighted that the offering has attracted interest from a very diverse global guest base. There is something for everyone to enjoy, whether it be an exciting activity or a peaceful retreat. The all-inclusive pricing for exclusive rental of the estates has been well received as a competitive package for group gatherings of friends, families and corporate events.”
Going forward, Marrenbach expects experiences like these will only increase in popularity. “By visiting the estates, guests can get a real feel to enjoy life in the country, and to see how the estates are all working to preserve the countryside,” he said. “We can only see that the desire for guests to visit such authentic locations and to experience the rural ways of life will increase.” HB