Buying things is overrated. Or rather, going through the lengthy process of buying is overrated. Ease-of-access and convenience has become king—after all, when was the last time you physically went to rent a video instead of selecting something on Netflix? Apps like ClassPass have also streamlined the process of heading to the gym. Pay a flat monthly fee, pick any class, anywhere, and show up.
So it only stands to reason that the trend would spill over into our travel habits. Enter the Inspirato Pass, which works much like having a Netflix subscription would. Only instead of choosing between a new series and a movie you’ve watched about a dozen times, you’re choosing between a honey-hued medieval villa in Florence and a beachside bluff estate in the Virgin Islands.
The main benefit of the Pass is that for what is essentially a monthly flat fee of $2,500—with no nightly rates, taxes or fees—guests will have a sprawling range of homes in over 200 destinations to choose from at their fingertips.
Aside from Inspirato Pass’s portfolio of luxury homes around the world, the Pass also allows guests to reserve stays at larger chain hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons.
At the Pass’ base tier of $2,500, guests can only have one active booking at a time. To chain together more than one vacation home at a time, they offer two higher tiers at $5,000 and $7,500 per month, which allow members to have two or three bookings active simultaneously.
You can also share your Pass with your significant other at no extra cost, though extending it to your family comes with a fee that ranges from $500-$1,500 per month, depending on the purchased tier.
A personal vacation advisor will be provided for all pre-trip planning needs, while on-site concierges and daily housekeeping will be available at all their properties.
Inspirato Pass is the first travel booking platform to offer a Netflix or ClassPass-style subscription service; While Airbnb’s new Luxe option takes the brand’s initial concept and ratchets up the luxe quotient by a thousand, and Marriott International recently launched their new Homes & Villas platform, their price plans function like any hotel booking would.
With the Pass, booking a luxury getaway at the drop of a hat has never been easier. You’ll have to source for your own flights and entertainment, though, since the Pass only offers lodgings and a select roster of activities.
The Pass’ flat-fee structure may be appealing to guests, but less has been said about the hidden costs behind the glossy pictures of snow-drenched resorts and remote villas.
Airbnb has been criticised in the past for raising rents in neighbourhoods that it operates in, pushing out citizens in favour of short-term tourists and accelerating gentrification. The same criticisms could also apply to Inspirato, since many of its properties include villas in cultural centres and homes in private enclaves.
Since Inspirato Pass has just launched this month, it’s unclear whether it will prove to be a sustainable model, and whether it’s susceptible to the same trappings that befell Airbnb. Perhaps, like Netflix and ClassPass, it would revolutionise the way we book vacations—only if it lives up to its lofty ideals.