personal travel concierge Tag

If you haven’t visited the glorious City by the Bay in a while, fall is a perfect time! Ironically, autumn typically offers some of the Bay Area’s best weather, with daytime temps averaging in the mid-60s and nighttime lows in the mid-50s. Afternoons are usually clear, perfect for exploring one of the world’s most beautiful cities. California municipalities have enacted protective measures against COVID-19, but many businesses and parks are open — and are welcoming visitors with open arms.

Rely on Our Expertise to Plan Your Stay

Our Equity Estates residence has one of the best locations in the city, conveniently located within walking distance of North Beach restaurants, Fisherman’s Wharf and numerous landmarks. Our Local Host lives in the area and is an expert on where to go and what to do. Business hours, re-openings and transportation schedules are changing daily during the pandemic, so our Local Host can help you plan your stay — meaning you won’t need to worry about what is open and how to get around! We’ve created a sample three-day itinerary to give you some ideas on how to enjoy this fabulous destination during these uncertain times.

Day One: Bike Tour

One of the best ways to explore San Francisco is via bicycle, either under your own pedal power — or if you want to cover more distance without too much exertion, try an electric bike. You have several options for where to go. If you’ve never walked or biked across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this is a must-do. Book a bike tour with Bay City Bike and choose their “Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito Tour,” which begins in Fisherman’s Wharf. From there, you’ll ride along the attractive waterfront and enjoy stunning views of Alcatraz Island, cross over the city’s famous landmark bridge, and then roll into picturesque Sausalito. After exploring for a bit, you’ll hop on a ferry for a leisurely trip back to the Wharf.

Another fun option is to tour the city’s fascinating neighborhoods and sights on Bay City Bike’s “Streets of San Francisco Electric Bike Tour.” This four-hour tour takes you through North Beach’s “Little Italy,” around the Giant’s Oracle Ballpark, through the Mission District, past the famous “Painted Ladies” of Alamo Square, the Civic Center and more. Most of the ride is relatively flat, but you’ll appreciate the electric pedal assist that will make getting up steep Bay Area hills a breeze.

These are just a few of the guided tour options Bay City Bikes offers, so you’re sure to find a tour that fits your time allotment and interests. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent bikes and head out on a self-guided tour (the shop can provide you with maps and route suggestions). From your residence, you can walk to the bike shop in just 15 minutes.

Where to Refuel

Whichever tour you choose, you will work up an appetite! Since all the bike tours begin and end in Fisherman’s Wharf, you won’t need to walk far to find somewhere to tuck into a delicious meal. Open restaurants are offering outdoor dining (with limited indoor dining, depending on current health orders). Many restaurants on Pier 39, known for its playful, frolicking sea lions, are open with marvelous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Bay. The legendary sourdough baker, Boudin Bakery Cafe, is open (multiple locations), as well as Fog Harbor Fish House, Wipeout Bar & Grill and Pier Market Seafood Restaurant.

Tip: Check websites and call ahead to confirm hours since things change often. Many Bay Area restaurants have recently reopened for limited indoor dining, so it’s best to make a reservation.

Day Two: Explore Muir Woods National Monument

There’s no better way to spend a crisp fall day than exploring the 558-acre Muir Woods National Monument, one of the Bay Area’s last remaining ancient redwood forests. Walk among towering redwoods on boardwalks and paths that meander through the park as Steller’s jays chatter back and forth overhead. The main trail is an easy two-mile walk with minimal elevation change. Since 2018, the Monument requires online reservations to park a vehicle, so plan ahead — or let our Local Host do it for you!

A stress-free way to reach the park is via a shuttle. Operators such as San Francisco Shuttle Tours offers two options: a “Muir Woods with Ferry Cruise” tour that takes you to Muir Woods and then stops in Sausalito for an hour before returning to the city via ferry. The second tour is a full day of sightseeing, with guided walks in Chinatown and Golden Gate Park, plus multiple stops at almost every city landmark for photo ops. (Note: passengers are required to wear facemasks).

If you prefer a more customized, personal adventure, check out Bespoke Experiences, which offers private four to eight-hour tours in luxury vehicles. You tell them what you’d like to see, and they will plan a custom itinerary.

Where to Refuel

In addition to the multiple options we noted earlier around Fisherman’s Wharf, several notable Bay Area restaurants are also welcoming diners. Sotto Mare, a family-run, old-school Italian eatery just a six-minute walk from Equity Estate’s residence, has been wowing hungry patrons with its “Best Damn Crab Cioppino in San Francisco” for decades! For a more upscale night out, spend an evening overlooking the Bay and enjoying some of the area’s best seafood at the Waterbar. Another wonderful patio dining experience is Boulevard, which is housed in a historic building on the Embarcadero with sweeping Bay views.

Day Three: Golden Gate Park and Land’s End

No trip to San Francisco is complete without spending some time in these spectacular parks. To create more shared public space where residents and visitors can spend time safely outside, San Francisco has recently implemented a Slow Streets Program — and Golden Gate State Park is included. The program blocks off several streets throughout the city to vehicle traffic, making it easier and more enjoyable for pedestrians and bicyclists to move about.

If you’re not worn-out from your bike tour on Day One, renting a bike is a fabulous way to explore the 1,017-acre park’s lakes and meadows. A fun alternative is to glide around on a Segway tour (check first to see if tours are operating). Or simply pick up a picnic lunch at the Whole Foods near the park’s eastern end and spend the day strolling around, relishing the fresh sea air and appealing surroundings.

For an unparalleled experience, spend some time exploring Land’s End, which is usually less busy than the area’s more well-known parks. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Land’s End is on San Francisco’s northwest corner, overlooking the channel that flows under the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the trails that wind their way around rocky cliffs dotted with wildflowers and under cypress and eucalyptus trees. Prepare to be dazzled as you come around each turn when breathtaking views of the ocean, headlands, bridge and coastline greet you!

Be sure to save time to visit the Sutro Historic District, where six lavish saltwater swimming pools, restaurants, 517 private dressing rooms and arcades enclosed by 100,000 square feet of glass once existed. Now in ruins, the facility was a popular attraction dating back to 1894 and could accommodate thousands of swimmers at a time. You can still see the grand baths’ concrete remains just north of the Cliff House, an iconic restaurant dating back to the 1800s (temporarily closed).

Tip: Many parks are open, but some visitor centers and other indoor spaces are currently closed. For example, outdoor tours are open on Alcatraz Island, but no indoor tours are running. Check the park websites for the most current information.

Where to Refuel

Head back to your elegant Equity Estates residence to relax and order savory takeout from any number of restaurants such as Chong Qing Xiao Mian (just minutes away). If pizza sounds better, order from an award-winning North Beach institution, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Enjoy a glass of wine in the apartment’s lovely shared common garden area with a table firepit as you reflect on your wonderful three-day vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful cities!

Your visit to San Francisco with Equity Estates can be anything and everything you’ve dreamed about. If you are an investor with Equity Estates, contact your Personal Travel Concierge to learn more about your Napa Valley vacation.

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.