Ever since Rocksure launched its first Property Fund in 2006, they’ve have had a tremendous focus on service. Each villa in their funds had its own cook and housekeeper, as well as having expert local travel planners to assist the discerning members. This philosophy has carried over to the new travel and lifestyle club, The Rocksure Club.
“The global travel industry has become simply too vast – driven by the internet, increasing wealth in developing as well as developed countries, and intense competition among tour companies – and the inevitable result is a commoditization of the industry”, says David Rogers, a doyen of the industry who, together with business partner Charles Stephenson, an ex-Abercrombie & Kent managing director, has watched all this happen over the last decade. “For every action, there’s a reaction“, says Rogers, “and it’s only natural and to-be-expected that sophisticated, cultured, well-travelled, high net worth individuals should want a private boutique organization to provide for their needs.”
That’s exactly what David and Charlie have created with The Rocksure Club : a Private Members’ Club, based in the glorious Cotswolds of England, with an extremely well-educated and well-travelled team of specialist advisors offering a very carefully--selected array of travel and lifestyle experiences. Members pay a very modest one-off joining fee of $340 and an annual membership fee of just $1,700 and arrive in a different world.
“The relationship is based on trust,” says Rogers. “If you want to gather your family together at a villa in Tuscany or Provence, you don’t want to search through a thousand properties on the internet. You want to provide your requirements and then be guaranteed perfection. It’s as simple as that,” he continues.
Gorgeous though the world’s best hotels can be, there’s a tremendous increase in the number of families and groups of friends who want the space, freedom, peace and security of a private rented property, whether it be a villa, a ski chalet or a large apartment. SherpaReport has seen this increase flow through into the growth of destination clubs. Such private properties are a core of The Rocksure Club’s offering in Europe. A private Villa is wonderful IF the location and views are glorious, the beds are comfortable and with top-quality linens, the bathrooms and kitchen are modern and well-equipped, there is daily housekeeping, a wide-screen TV, WiFi, a top-quality music system, some books and games, a large heated swimming-pool, and a terrace on which to dine out under the stars – and if a Cook is available if requested. That’s what The Rocksure Club villas are all about.
Not that the Club is limiting itself to Europe. The Club has in-house expertise on the whole continent of Africa and the islands of the Indian Ocean – Mauritius, Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Maldives and Sri Lanka; and similar expertise on Central and South America, especially Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Chile and Argentina. And very shortly, an expert on Asia will be joining the team, with special knowledge of India.
The Club will also be offering all kinds of lifestyle experiences, from concerts to kite-surfing, cultural immersion and adventure across Europe, Africa and the Americas. These will be both off the beaten track and in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations.
For example, you can currently join a small party of members and their guests to visit the Puccini Opera Festival (13 – 16 July) near Lucca in northern Italy, to attend performances of Tosca and Turandot at the open-air Theatre near the Maestro’s home. In 2019, there will be a trip to off–the-beaten-track Transylvania, hosted by Anthony Bay, and health and fitness Retreats at a Chateau in the Dordogne Valley.
All members of the Club are automatically enrolled in The Rocksure Wine Society. The Society showcases and makes available the best selections in local wines, bringing the most deliciously palatable local wines to your vacation accommodation and your table. In mid-October, you can travel with other members to the pretty village of St Emilion near Bordeaux, to taste and learn more about the fine wines produced by the nearby chateaux.
And, the Club is creating an App which will provide members with a range of proven restaurants and unusual places of interest in such wonderful places as Venice and Vienna. All these places will have been recommended not only by the Club’s local experts but also by peers through the private members-only “Guest Book”.
Prospective members can get a guest login to the website for a limited number of days. This lets you see the range of properties, provides further details of the Club and other fee categories, and more details on the experiences.