personal travel concierge Tag

If the allure of stunning white sand beaches, warm cerulean water and laidback friendly islands is beckoning you, put the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on your next destination list. Now more than ever, many of us are yearning to travel somewhere beautiful where we can recharge, enjoy time with our family and leave the daily stressors behind. Many destinations are off-limits to visitors due to the pandemic, but the TCI is welcoming U.S. visitors.

As of January 4, 2021, there are no quarantine requirements, lockdowns, or curfews. Visitors aged 10 and older only need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within five days of arrival, have medical insurance and answer an online health questionnaire. Restaurants, shops and attractions are open (some with reduced capacity and mask requirements). And unlike many tropical destinations that require several hours in the air and multiple airports, the TCI is a short two to three-hour flight from many airports along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Turks and Caicos

Day One

The TCI beaches are the #1 attraction here, so from either residence, our DMs suggest easing into your stay by simply walking out your door, and you’ll be on a spectacular beach in moments. At either residence, you can settle into a comfortable deck chair next to an infinity pool and admire the beach sand-free— or dig your toes in the sand and take a dip in the warm, crystal-clear tropical ocean. When lunchtime rolls around, choose from several friendly, tasty beachfront restaurants such as Da Conch Shack or Omar’s Beach Hut. Both establishments have tables right on the beach, so no need to change out of your swimsuit!

Since the world’s third-largest barrier reef borders the island chain, our DMs say the TCI’s second-best attraction is its fantastic snorkeling and diving. Spend the afternoon cruising with Caicos Dream Tours and let its friendly, capable crew take you to remote beaches and snorkeling spots — or if fishing is on your agenda, you’ve come to the right spot! The TCI is a renowned bonefish and deep-sea fishing destination. If you happen to visit a few days after the full moon, another option is to book a Glow Worm Sunset Cruise with Sun Charters. Each month this spectacular phenomenon happens when bioluminescent sea worms carry out a mating ritual by swimming in circular patterns about an hour after sunset.

For dinner, our DMs suggests Seven Restaurant’s private dining experience where you can dine on or near the beach — or indulge in their private Tasting Room five-course, paired wine experience. If French/Italian cuisine sounds appealing, head to the Michelin-starred Provence by Eric.

Sea Turtle

Day Two

If you’re interested in learning to scuba dive or you’re already certified, the TCI offers exceptional diving, and our DMs recommend a private charter with Dive Provo. Another option they like is a trip with SNUBA Turks and Caicos, a shallow water diving hybrid between scuba diving and snorkeling. You don’t need a certification or wear cumbersome gear — you can swim among the spectacular sea life as you breathe through a specialized mouthpiece attached to air tanks that float on the surface.

Once your morning adventure ends, it’s time to refuel. For a tasty lunch, look no further than Cocovan’s food truck (run by the fabulous team at Coco Bistro). Sit at one of their outdoor picnic tables as you enjoy their fantastic fish, steak or falafel tacos and “Big Mac” egg rolls. After lunch, explore Provo’s remote wetlands via private kayak tours with Big Blue Collective. They also offer standup paddleboarding trips, kitesurfing and other adventures. For a more relaxed afternoon, lounge by your pool or the beach until it’s time for “sundowners” (sunset cocktails)! For dinner, let The Kissing Fish Catering Co. prepare and serve you a fabulous feast in the comfort of your residence. If you prefer to dine out, this talented group also runs Bay Bistro, a wonderful oceanfront eatery where you can dine at a private table directly on Grace Bay Beach. For late night fun, head to Casablanca Casino and try your luck at blackjack, roulette, poker or slots.

Day Three

Horseback riding is a fun adventure anywhere, and doing a private ride with Provo Ponies offers an extra perk — in addition to a scenic beach ride, their horses love to wade into the ocean! The well-trained, friendly horses carry you safely into the shallow water, allowing you both to cool your legs off a bit. You’ll have worked up an appetite on this unique adventure, so for lunch, our DMs say head to Bugaloos Conch Crawl, a lively beachfront restaurant with daily live entertainment and outdoor games. They even have tables sitting in the shallow, calm water so you can cool your feet as you eat.

After lunch, grab one more chance to admire the TCI’s underwater paradise on your own or take a guided snorkel trip at Coral Gardens, a well-marked snorkel trail just offshore from the Coral Gardens Resort. You’ll likely see gliding sea turtles, scores of tropical fish and maybe even a barracuda. Keep an eye out for Jammin’ Gelato’s ice cream cart that cruises up and down the beach serving delicious, unique flavors. If you’ve had your fill of water adventures, end your third day with a relaxing spa treatment from one of the TCI’s many luxurious spas.

No beach vacation is complete without a sunset cruise, so let Island Vibes Tours take you on a private luxury cruise and sip rum punch, champagne, beer or wine as you watch the glorious sun sink under the horizon. For dinner, our Destination Managers say Coco Bistro is a must. Dine under swaying palms and cozy lighting as you sample some of the TCI’s best local cuisine.

Thompson Cove

Not One, But Two Fantastic Homes

Best of all, you have two fantastic Equity Estates’ residences to choose from — a luxurious four-bedroom penthouse condo and a fabulous six-bedroom private villa. The expansive 4,500-square-foot penthouse overlooks Grace Bay Beach, which frequently lands on “Word’s Best Beaches” lists. Fifteen minutes away sits Thompson Cove, a divine 7,500-square-foot beachfront home boasting six equivalent master suites with private terraces, a splendid infinity pool and vast amounts of living space. We interviewed our Destination Managers, who, along with our Local Hosts, are ready to help you plan a much-needed, fantastic getaway to the TCI’s primary island, Providenciales (aka Provo). To help you get started, here are their suggestions on how to spend three perfect days in this idyllic island paradise.

Equity Estates can help make your visit to the TCI a delightfully unparalleled experience. If you’re already an investor, your Personal Travel Concierge is ready to assist you with arranging a memorable vacation here.

If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or tap this link to schedule a call.

Why Buy One Vacation Home When You Can Own Dozens?

What motivates a buyer to purchase a second or third home for their vacations? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Investment and Vacation Home Buyers’ Survey determined that 42% of buyers are looking for a home base for personal vacations and a family retreat, 18% want to make the house their primary residence upon retirement, and 12% bought when a home was priced so competitively that it was “too good to pass up.”

If you’re considering a second home as a vacation residence, are you prepared for all the research, work, and costs (planned and unplanned) that can accompany such a long-term decision? Do you want to visit the same destination, year after year? Do you want to spend the first day of your vacation grocery shopping and getting the home up and running? 

Costs Associated with Second Home Ownership

  • Down payment
  • Ongoing mortgage expenses
  • Property and liability insurance
  • Utilities
  • Landscaping
  • Storm preparations (often at a moment’s notice)
  • Remodeling and refreshes to keep the value of your investment up
  • Cleaning services when the home is occupied and vacant
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Property taxes
  • Property management
  • Décor and furnishings
  • HOA fees, if applicable
  • Time management of all helpers and vendors

Real Estate as an Investment

Luxury real estate is a strong hedge against inflation and a haven from volatility in the stock market, especially during times of great economic uncertainty. Luxury real estate has shown strong year-over-year growth, and is considered a lower risk, higher reward investment regardless of where we are in the economic cycle. Inflation plays a significant factor as well.

Considering these details and the liquidation timeline for Equity Estates Funds, we believe Equity Estates provides a better alternative to purchasing a second home of your own.

Equity Estates home on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Pros of Investment with Equity Estates

  • A diversified real estate investment – we take care of finding, buying, and selling the vacation homes
  • Multi-touch concierge service that will take care of your every need like dinner reservations, private chefs, and pre-arrival grocery shopping
  • Daily housekeeping so everyone can truly relax
  • Best availability in the industry given we underutilize the homes so you can travel when the inspiration strikes
  • A collection of 60+ luxury residences in more than 25 countries so you’re not stuck with just one destination year after year
  • Achieve long-term financial goals
  • A hands-off investment that you can actively enjoy before divestment

Equity Estates Fund shares the actual expenses of owning and maintaining the homes with all the investors evenly. Annual Dues cover these expenses and are typically a quarter of what you’d spend on a vacation home of your own. Plus, there is no surge pricing on using your Equity Estates residences during the holidays. Each investor’s Annual Allotted Nights are usable anywhere in the collection, anytime of the year. These savings are yet another factor in your return on investment. 

Other vacation alternatives rarely include true equity ownership as our fund does, nor do they typically offer one-on-one personalized travel planning and concierge services. Our level of service and attention to detail truly makes traveling to your portfolio of homes both convenient and memorable.

Because we won’t make money on the sale of real estate until you do, you can rest assured that your investment is in skilled hands. We align with our investors and focus on their lifestyle needs and long-term financial goals. When we divest, proceeds are dispersed first to you, until 100% of your initial investment is returned, and then 80% of any appreciation thereafter.

We are real estate buying, property management, and customer service experts, highly experienced in caring for both our investors and the properties in their portfolios.

If you would like to review additional comparisons of Equity Estates to other vacation investment options, see our Comparison page.

Seeking Investors for Fund IV

In these times of stock market volatility, it’s a comfort to know that the luxury real estate market remains rock solid. When the markets rise and fall, we find buying opportunities that provide a return on your investment dollars.

Equity Estates handles every aspect of owning a luxury vacation home for you. Simply enjoy the perfect getaway and figure out where to go next. With close to 15,000 investor vacations under our belt and continued portfolio growth year after year, no other alternative comes close.

Fund IV is currently open to investors and slated to raise ~$50 million. The fund will acquire up to 12 vacation residences. A typical residence is located in a beach, mountain, leisure or city destination convenient to area amenities, attractions, and airports. Residences vary in cost from $2 million to $5 million and range in size from two to six bedrooms and 1,500 to 7,000 square feet.

If you’d like to learn more, please call our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or schedule a time to speak (all times listed are Mountain Time).

A photo diary of the perfect weekend in Napa Valley

An idyllic getaway for wine connoisseurs and foodies alike, Napa Valley is the perfect place for a weekend escape. Our travel concierges have curated the ideal itinerary to give you a peek inside some hidden gems in this picturesque region.

“We spent an incredible long weekend in Napa at Equity Estates’ property within the phenomenal Calistoga Ranch. The property is truly unique and exceptional.  It is extremely well located for both major attractions in Napa Valley– wine tasting and restauranting. The resort is architecturally impressive and the unit combines outdoor and indoor living harmoniously, giving the feel of  luxury and space. The service was first rate.Thanks to a fantastic effort by Stephanie, our EE Personal Travel Concierge, and Nora, the EE Local Host, we experienced the most unbelievable few days of wine tasting on record. They arranged visits to several wineries that have limited access and even arranged a driver for us to get around safely and comfortably. All in all, a fantastic property and the perfect place for a long weekend getaway!”  –Equity Estates Investor Steven B.

Day 1: Indulge in a spa treatment at Calistoga Ranch

This Auberge Spa is designed to leave you feeling relaxed and revitalized whether you opt for treatments alone, with your significant other or closest friends. You can’t go wrong choosing from the long list of massages, body restoration treatments and facials.

Dinner—Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

With an authentic farm-to-table menu, dinner at the Ranch will surely be one to remember. Long Meadow Ranch owns multiple vineyards which produce the wine served at the restaurant, as well as their own olive oil used in the kitchen.

Day 2: Morning Wine Tasting and Lunch

Stop 1: Turnbull Wine Cellars

Tastings include a look at some of their most special wines and current releases. From the winery you also get some of the most impressive views of Napa Valley.

Stop 2: Mumm

Their tasting includes a flight which offers an assortment of their sparkling wines or by the glass selections. Whether sitting inside or outside you’ll have stunning views over their winery.

Stop 3: Clif Family Winery

Indulge in a delicious lunch that perfectly pairs with Clif Family wines. With a large variety of wines for every taste, there is sure to be one that pairs with your meal and palate.

Dinner—Ad Hoc

An exceptional dining experience, the four-course menu changes daily resulting in creative, unique dishes from its five-star chefs.

Day 3: Brunch—Archetype

Offers a contemporary, out-of-the-box approach to classic Americana dishes. Their creative cocktails and wine list are chosen to perfectly pair with your dish at brunch.

Ready to start your weekend away in Napa Valley?

*Equity Estates is an equity destination club in its 13th year. This vacation home alternative is for accredited investors, offered via private placement.  A globetrotter’s dream with 60+ private luxury residences spanning more than 25 countries, Equity Estates’ mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns. Equity Estates Fund I sold out in 2012, Fund II sold out in 2016, and Fund III sold out in October of 2019. Equity Estates has collectively raised and effectively deployed more than $125 million and delivered over 13,000 outstanding vacation experiences.

Ever wonder what sets Equity Estates apart from competitors? For starters, our signature five-star service and amenities including extensive pre-trip planning, personal travel concierges, attentive daily housekeeping, personal chefs, local hosts and more.

Equity Estates prides itself on providing the best service in the industry for outstanding vacations in private homes. We combine the intimacy of a private residence with the service of a five-star resort. Each of your vacations are made ultra luxurious with the following standards:

LET US HANDLE THE DETAILS.

First Point of Service

Your Personal Travel Concierge- Imagine having someone whose full time job is to plan your vacations and take care of any detail you’d rather not. This dedicated person becomes your best vacation resource and gets to know all your wants and needs– from your favorite style of chocolate chip cookie to your least favorite meat on the deli platter.

Second Point of Service

Your Local Host- An expert in the destination you choose. Your local host allows you to enjoy yourself like a native resident, whether it’s your first or tenth time. These native tips about off the beaten path experiences and hidden gems set Equity Estates apart from the pack.

Additional Points of Service

  • Daily Housekeeping- The beds are made, the dishes are done. It’s time for you to truly relax.
  • Amenity Access- All Equity Estates residences are located in desirable, amenity-rich destinations, many in walking distance to five-star resort amenities like kids clubs, golf courses and fine dining.

No matter what destination you choose around the globe, you can rest assured that our service will remain the same. Sit back, relax and let us handle the details.

Have you ever wondered what makes an Equity Estates Personal Travel Concierge (PTC) an expert?

Two of our PTCs talk about their roles at the company, the destinations they manage and why traveling with Equity Estates is much easier than buying a second home. Their five-star service, years of experience and first-hand knowledge of destinations makes all the difference when planning a unique vacation tailored specifically to your preferences.

1.What makes you an expert on the destinations you manage?

Monica: I am an expert on the destinations I manage and the islands/countries they are located in because I have traveled to each property and have experienced firsthand what I recommend. The knowledge I am able to share with investors is an invaluable service that I love to provide. My investors that I assist know they can trust me when I make suggestions. I am constantly keeping up with new local trends in each destination by working very closely with our local teams at each residence.

Stephanie: I do a lot of online research to make sure I’m up to speed with everything going on in my locations. I follow restaurant and travel blogs and try to learn something new about each of my locations once per week. Whether it’s a new restaurant that opened in New York or a seasonal catch Grand Cayman, I love to learn new things. In addition to my research, I have deep relationships with the local hosts. They live in these destinations and are true experts. By speaking with them daily, I have learned about the “hidden gems” that are off the beaten path and not found on Yelp or in travel magazines.

2. What is the most special thing you have arranged for an investor?

Monica: I have been a part of planning for an engagement on Hilton Head Island, a 40th birthday bash in Costa Rica, a wedding in the backyard of our Costa Rican home and many other special birthday and anniversary celebrations over the years. It’s hard to choose just one!

Stephanie: I helped plan a surprise 50th birthday trip to Anguilla. I worked with the birthday boy’s wife during the planning, and she invited eight of their closest friends to surprise him at the airport on the morning of the trip. Once there, I arranged for a fabulous private chef, private sushi making lessons at the residence, personal training sessions at the villa each morning, massages and a full day boat charter including island hopping, snorkeling and a lobster lunch. Every detail was perfect!

“Our family has enjoyed many treasured events with Equity Estates—an engagement, a honeymoon, anniversaries, birthdays and cherished memories with lifelong friends. Equity Estates residences have furnished snap shots of some of the most joyous times of our lives.” – The Lockett Family of Austin, Texas

3. What is your favorite part of this job?

Monica: After six years in this position, I am very connected to many of the families I work with. I have become great friends with them and have visited their homes and even met their children. Nothing makes me happier than being a part of our investors’ lives. The relationships and friendships that I have established with our investors and our local teams are my favorite part of this job.

Stephanie: My favorite part of the job is speaking with my investors after they have returned home from an incredible trip. I love hearing the excitement in their voices when they tell me how amazing it was. Although I wasn’t there, I was a part of their vacation. These trips are some of the most memorable and happy times of their lives, and I love getting to be a part of that. I love my job!

4. What is your favorite Equity Estates location?

Monica: My favorite Equity Estates residence that I manage is the Hilton Head Island home. I love everything about it- the pristine oceanfront location, the décor and spaciousness of the home, the 100% bike friendly island it sits on, the restaurants, excursion opportunities and of course the beach!

Stephanie: My favorite Equity Estates location is Anguilla. The island and villa are both so special. The island sports just a handful of stop lights, no fast food, four or five boutique resorts, and no cruise ships. It is so relaxing and the people there are fantastic. The house itself is out of this world! It’s on the east side of the island which is very secluded. I can think of no better view than when you walk in the front door of our villa- you look out over an infinity pool and all you can see is the ocean, St. Maarten and St. Barths. It feels as though you have the entire island to yourself.

5. What does a typical day look like for you?

Monica: No day looks the same! I spend a lot of time on the phone with investors each and every day! I’m busy booking excursions, spa appointments and dining reservations. I work on property management issues that arise with the homes I manage. I am responsible for all things related to each property including: staff, budgets, house maintenance, inventory and managing the local teams. My number one focus every day is planning outstanding vacation experiences for our investors!

6. What do you think sets an Equity Estates vacation apart?

Stephanie: The PTC support is part of what sets Equity Estates vacations apart from a typical vacation. Having expert concierges for the destinations makes the trip planning process so much easier and more enjoyable for our investors. They no longer have to do research on restaurants, activities, etc. We take out the guess work, and the leg work. We pride ourselves on custom crafting each vacation.

Monica is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and has been a PTC with Equity Estates for six years. She is a graduate of University of Alabama. After college, she backpacked through Europe for six weeks and she hasn’t stopped traveling since! Her hobbies include spending time with her daughters, hiking, camping, reading, traveling and drinking wine with friends. She is passionate about fostering new experiences and filling her memory bank whenever possible.

Stephanie is a native of Douglasville, Georgia and has been a PTC with Equity Estates for nearly two years. She is a graduate of Georgia Southern University where she was a softball pitcher. She loves being outdoors and some of her favorite activities include hiking, biking and kayaking. She loves to travel—even if it’s just a quick weekend getaway to the North Georgia mountains, she loves to experience new things and new places as often as she possibly can.

Equity Estates is an equity destination club heading into its tenth year. This vacation home alternative is for accredited investors, offered via private placement.  A globetrotter’s dream with more than 60 private luxury residences spanning more than 25 countries, Equity Estates’ mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns. Equity Estates Fund I sold out in 2012, and Fund II will sell out by the end of 2016. Equity Estates has collectively raised and effectively deployed over $75 million and delivered over 10,000 outstanding vacation experiences. Equity Estate’s unique model could allow investors to travel for free for 10 years or get paid to travel, pending the appreciation of the portfolio when sold.