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 Q&A  MELIE DUNOD,

Co-Founder and CEO, August Collection

Melie Dunod is the  CEO and Co-Founder of Europe-based co-ownership holiday home company, August. Since its inception in 2019  August’s collection of houses has offered families from all over the world the chance to own a 1/21 share of five holiday homes instead of just one. August’s diverse collections of stunningly beautiful properties are located in some of the most sought-after destinations such as the French Riviera, Tuscany, Mallorca, Chamonix and Barcelona. All August properties – ranging from apartments, villas and houses - have been beautifully curated by top interior designers and architects and are maintained and serviced with the same convenience as a luxury hotel. August’s innovative technology-enabled platform will match co-owners based on similar holiday ideals and coordinating travel schedules in order to ensure that each co-owner gets use of the five properties for an average of 12 weeks per year.
Due to ever increasing demand, August has recently launched a new ‘Premium Collection’ of five properties of villas, farmhouses, and a chalet in the French Riviera, The French Alps, The Cotswolds, Mallorca and Tuscany.

 

What inspired you to get into the luxury travel industry?
Travelling has been part of the way I live for many years and has always been a big source of inspiration My co-founder, Nico,  and I, we are the getaway experts. We love to travel, to jet off to somewhere that’s the opposite of our everyday life. We love to immerse ourselves in other cultures, to see, hear and smell the beauty of a faraway place - this is where we get our energy from. We may work hard, but knowing we can switch off and escape to another world makes it all worth it. So building a brand that creates homes providing authentic and unique experiences for our customers was something we were eager to do.

What is the single most defining thing about August?
We’re more than just an excellent vacation. It’s an immersive experience - from the unique interiors, to the vistas of kaleidoscopic landscapes, to the dedication to wellbeing.
Our homes are designed holistically, taking into consideration how we want our guests to feel when they arrive and throughout their stay. They will leave feeling nourished, accomplished and inspired.

 People are not scared to travel anymore, but they are definitely ready to invest more in their lifestyle.

What are you most proud about at August?
Our community! Our co-owners are our best inspiration and support. They are all very well-travelled and design literate of course, but also very family centred. They share our values of togetherness and community and have been extremely supportive of August. They love introducing new co-owners and don’t hesitate to share their experience. They are involved in making our community even greater. We feel very fortunate. 

What does August have in store for 2022 and beyond? 
More homes, more locations, more families, more experiences.

What does a holiday home need for it to stand out from the crowd?

Two things.
A sense of place. What’s a home without a heart? Our August holiday homes must be beautiful, but it’s important that they have resonance and meaning. After all, the more connected we feel to our surroundings, the happier and calmer we are. It’s our job to design homes that can be appreciated, but our purpose is to design homes that evoke emotion.
A sense of history. This is why in every August home, you’ll feel a curiosity for its past and an appreciation of its roots. We strive to preserve the existing features as much as possible - what's a better backdrop to a space than the original tiled flooring or majestic windows?

How do you think the luxury travel industry is evolving following the Covid-19 Pandemic? Have guests’ demands/needs changed?
Many of us have realised the importance of spending quality time with our loved ones. Having places where we know we feel at home, and where we can get together and invite family and friends. People are not scared to travel anymore, but they are definitely ready to invest more in their lifestyle.

 
What is your personal litmus test for whether a hotel is worthy of the 'luxury' tag? 

Attention to detail, and care.  I need to feel special and cared for. This is what makes the difference. 

What are your favourite hotels/resorts, and why?
If I need to name one , then The Four Seasons. I like how each of their hotels is considered in line with its environment, each providing a unique experience. They also have a great consistency - you always know when you are in  a four seasons and you find the same level of high service and excellence across all their establishments.

What is your favourite city to visit?
Istanbul - there is something so special about this place.

What is your best restaurant experience?
When I think best restaurant experience - I think about a place where I have the best memories. It is more than just the food. For me it is about the place, the people, the atmosphere and … the food! 
My favourite one is a tiny tapas restaurant - Enoteca - in Cadaques. Cadaques is a little fisher village in the north of Spain and it is home to such incredible little restaurants that are innovative and yet so authentic. After all, you should know that this is my favourite place in the whole world so I am for sure biased! 

 
What is the one luxury travel experience you will never forget?

Sailing around Bora Bora … 

What is first on your 'where to next' wish list?
Brazil! 

What is the most important thing (travel-wise) that money CAN buy?
Comfort. From selecting the best airlines to staying in the best hotels. But this does not necessarily mean you’ll get the best experience, but it can help! 

What is the most important thing (travel-wise) that money CAN’T buy?
Meeting the right locals along your trip that will take the time to give you the best recommendations or just tell you stories about the place. This really is the difference between good and great trips.

Luxury Link: www.augustcollection.co.uk

Posted 09/03/2022

 

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