Neelam Kumar looks for her private space when she is holidaying but alas, that is at times unavailable even in a five-star hotel. This quest for her own space and corner has led her to buy and furnish a flat in Goa, one of the country's hottest luxury vacation spots, which she rents out when not living there herself.
"I have an apartment in Goa where I stay when I visit and rest of the time I give it out for rent on a daily basis," Neelam Kumar says. During peak season (December-January) an apartment can cost around Rs 15,000 per day. In November the rent is around Rs 10,000 and during off season, the rent hovers around Rs 7,000, she says.
It is an upcoming trend in Goa and in the hills of north India, where people are buying plush villas and apartments with service support for self-use and also renting out on a daily basis.
Unlike independent houses, which are rented out to tourists, mostly foreigners, where they need to fend for themselves, these are independent apartments with full support systems similar to that of a hotel. "Washing clothes, making breakfast and some room services are taken care by well-trained staff which are employees in the apartments."
"People like holiday homes by the sea or in the mountains. Hence, Goa is a potential place for the business to thrive," Varun Nagpal, managing partner of Vianaar Constructions, which has six projects in Goa, including two under construction, says.
Nagpal who entered Goa around six-seven years ago says: "Youngsters look at it from an investor's point of view."
Taking a cue from the West, these luxury holiday apartments are flourishing in India. "People go over there to enjoy life. Goa has everything. Elderly people come over here to relax while the youngsters come to have fun by the beach," he said.
Another builder in the same space, Sameer Karan Mutreja, director of Scapes, says: "This industry of luxury vacation rentals has been going on in an unstructured manner. Goa is the most popular destination. After Goa, people look at the hills like Kasauli (in Himachal Pradesh) and areas near Ranthambore and the Corbett National Park."
Mutreja said customers often feel that their private space is infringed in big hotels.