Ong Chin Huat speaks with John Blanco, CEO of Afini to discover more about the unique and bespoke journeys available to its members and why having a sushi chef on direct-dial is essential for a stress-free vacation.
Need a millionaire’s mansion to house your family over the school holidays in Bali? How about a super-luxurious chalet in Niseko to experience skiing on its famed champagne powder snow? Or maybe a well-appointed townhouse in an exclusive neighbourhood in the heart of Sydney?
The trouble and headache of trawling through the internet in search of such top-tier 5-star properties are finally over. Afini is here to alleviate the stress and provide a solution. It’s a members-only luxury destination club that crafts customised and bespoke accommodation and vacation at exceptional hotels and managed residences around the world so your journey is taken of care the minute you leave your own home.
Redefining luxury travel in every sense of the word, Afini is the first luxury destination club in Asia and it is specifically catering to affluent and demanding travellers who expect nothing but the best. Whether its high thread count Italian bed linen which will ensure you fall into a peaceful slumber, a free flow of Cristal Champagne or the services of a shiatsu masseurs you require, the dedicated team of lifestyle consultants at Afini will ensure that all your requests – from the biggest to the most minute ones will be catered for and delivered without a hitch.
With a worldwide portfolio of over 25 properties across 12 destinations and counting, each residence will also have an on-site concierge who is available to assist in organising, planning and executing any itinerary and activity a member of Afini so wishes, ensuring that their stay is smooth and stress-free.
Apart from luxury chalets and villas in its portfolio of properties under its management, Afini has also secured exclusive partnerships with iconic hotels for times when a hotel stay is preferred, ensuring that members have access to a wide range of only the best properties and locations. As Afini controls and manages its residence collection exclusively, members can book these properties at nightly rates averaging 15 % – 45 % below market rates, which is another advantage of joining Afini.
Headquartered in Singapore, CEO and co-founder of Afini, John Blanco has over 20 years in the luxury hospitality industry and he sits down with Luxurious Magazine to talk about this new luxury destination club and what it has to offer.
LM: Could you tell us about Afini?
JB: Afini is a bespoke luxury travel destination club that crafts customised journeys for its members at exclusively managed residences and iconic hotels across the world. We offer top-tier service and amenities at an exceptional value.
LM: You are positioning Afini as a Luxury Destination Club, can you tell us about some of the services and experiences Afini is offering their members?
JB: First and foremost, the service we provide is end-to-end. Members are paired with a personal lifestyle consultant who will oversee that every component of their holiday is prepared prior to departure promising a hassle-free vacation. Each residence has an on-site concierge who will ensure that every detail is perfectly executed and assist with any additional requests. Aside from the countless touches tailored to a member’s preferences, each Afini residence will have a range of luxurious amenities such as Rivolta Carmignani bed linen and Ashley & Co toiletries, as well as locally sourced and roasted coffee beans for the standard in-house Jura coffee machines.
LM: How many residences do you have currently in your portfolio and in which cities and destinations?
JB: We currently have 25 residences across 12 destinations including Koh Samui, Bali, Phuket, Niseko, Sydney, Sri Lanka and growing into Europe and the Americas.
LM: Do you plan to grow this number in the near term?
JB: Absolutely. We have a property team that is continuously sourcing new properties around the world in both established destinations like Paris and Tuscany, as well as emerging lands to discover like Croatia and Iceland.
LM: Can you tell us about a few of the properties Afini offers to their members?
JB: The Rocks (Sydney) and Lighthouse (Sri Lanka) are both unique homes full of character with ideal locations to explore their respective destinations. The Rocks is located a few steps away from the Opera House and all the best dining and shopping opportunities. The Lighthouse property is located within the walls of the historic Galle Fort and is a stone throw’s from all the fort’s charming boutiques and eateries, as well as from the stunning beaches of Galle. We recently signed on a sexy villa in Koh Samui, with stunning views over the five islands and housing its very own cinema.