Best Of The Best 2006: Quintessential Experience
Quintess, a newcomer among destination clubs, has catapulted to the forefront because of the coveted locations and consistently high quality of the company’s homes. But cofounder Ben Addoms says that his members want more than a great view; they want to be part of the local tapestry. To that end, the Boulder, Colo., firm furnishes its homes in regionally appropriate styles and hires on-site hosts with insiders’ knowledge of the areas, which currently range from Aspen to Paris.
Founded in September 2004, Quintess comprises 14 properties with an estimated average value of $4 million. The company’s collection includes a resort home on Aspen’s Red Mountain, an apartment on Paris’ Avenue d’Iena, a casita in Cabo San Lucas, and a New York penthouse overlooking Central Park. By the end of this year, the club plans to increase its offerings to include residences in London; Tuscany; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Kiawah Island, S.C.; and Lake Tahoe, Calif. (The company is leasing a four-bedroom townhouse in Lake Tahoe while it searches for a permanent residence.)
Most of Quintess’ properties are freestanding four- to five-bedroom homes that average from 4,000 to 5,000 square feet; city apartments are typically smaller. Guests staying in a Quintess home enjoy the services of the club’s local host, who can stock the house with groceries, schedule restaurant reservations or enlist the services of a private chef, and arrange tee times, spa treatments, and other activities. Quintess also offers (at no additional charge) a year-round concierge service that can make travel plans for members—regardless of whether those plans involve visiting one of the club’s homes—or provide more specialized services, such as ordering a pair of shoes from Milan or arranging an anniversary party on St. Thomas.
Membership is by invitation only, and initiation fees range from $175,000 for 15 days of access (without holiday usage) to $345,000 for 30 days (with guaranteed holiday access); annual fees range from $12,000 to $21,000. Prospective members can join by being sponsored by an existing member or by meeting with one of the company’s founders.