We’ve seen it work for high-end apparel, organic groceries, and fitness gear—but are commitment-free, monthly subscription services the future of travel? Brothers Brent and Brad Handler, co-founders of 9-year-old luxury travel company Inspirato and its recently repriced Inspirato Club and Inspirato Pass, would venture to say yes.
“After founding Exclusive Resorts and exiting the business, my brother Brad and I remained interested in luxury travel and the idea of creating amazing experiences for affluent consumers, but at a more affordable price point,” says CEO and co-founder Brent Handler. “We partnered with Brian Corbett [CEO of Ross Aviation] and Martin Pucher [managing partner and president of Dahlgren Duck] to create a private club that combined the luxury, space, and character of private vacation homes with warm, personalized service and a host of rich resort amenities.”
While the travel industry is still reeling from the impact of the pandemic, Inspirato has reported subscribers returning in recent months—June saw its most bookings on record—and at last count, it had more than 18,000 members. Those members, Brent believes, are finding comfort in not just the flexibility, but also the service, quality assurance, and broad inventory the club and pass provide.
In the last year, Inspirato Club and Inspirato Pass have adapted to offer lower, month-to-month fees that can be cancelled anytime—as opposed to long-term commitments at an annual rate. Previously, the club operated on an annual dues structure and came with a hefty initiation fee of $10,000 to $30,000. With the new model, the initiation fee has been replaced with a $600 enrollment fee and a subscription of $600 per month. Plus, Inspirato Pass holders are now enrolled in the club free of charge.
Here, a look at how the company is catering to a new era of travel.
For a monthly fee of $600 (plus a $600 enrollment fee), Inspirato Club offers access to more than 300 luxury, single-family homes and more than 800 top-tier hotels and resorts around the world—think Aman Resorts, One&Only, and 1 Hotels. Bear in mind, the nightly cost of staying at these resorts and estates is separate from the monthly fee.
So what does that fee cover? Put simply, access and service—access to Inspirato’s portfolio of vacation homes and hotels and personalized service from a team of hospitality pros who handle pre-trip planning details and coordinate with on-property concierges. Additional member perks include privileges and discounts with partner brands, exclusive invites to events and excursions—from safaris and cruises to Wimbledon, The Masters, and the Kentucky Derby—Cadillac vehicles at select vacation homes, weekly promotional offers, and access to private flights through a partnership with private aviation service Wheels Up.
Described by Brent Handler as the first-ever luxury travel subscription, Inspirato Pass costs $2,500 per month—and promises no further fees, taxes, or nightly rate charges. On any given day, pass holders can access more than 100,000 luxury vacation homes, hotels, resorts, and location-specific experiences. Like the club, Inspirato Pass unlocks hundreds of luxury homes, hotels, and resorts in more than 200 locales. Want to get away for President’s Day next February? At press time, Inspirato Pass could access nearly 2,000 trip options between February 11 and 15, 2021.
As for logistics, a minimum of seven days is required between a check-out and a new check-in, and vacations can last up to 60 days. According to the company, pass holders travel every six to eight weeks for an average of four nights per trip. Inviting friends to join? Pass holders can bring along as many guests as their accommodations will allow, but guests have to cover their own airfare (just like pass holders).
Newly added destinations in Inspirato’s portfolio include a private ski-in/ski-out Marmot Ridge estate in Telluride, a seven-bedroom retreat at the WaterColor Resort on Florida’s Rosemary Beach, and Auberge’s White Barn Inn & Spa in southern Maine. While top destinations vary by season, Brent notes that current favorites include Los Cabos in Mexico, Vail in Colorado, and Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
Looking to the future, Brent has an eye toward building Inspirato’s portfolio, particularly in the U.S. and Mexico. “We’ve seen an unprecedented demand for that since March,” he says. “Our real estate team is working around the clock to identify new homes that meet our standards as well as negotiating deals for larger units at well-known luxury resorts and hotels.”