Vakajoha can be resumed in a few words as a “dematerialised form of a hotel” in places which are timeless as regards their genuineness and aura.
The owners of the places are exceptional persons.
We offer the same services as those provided by top range hotels, in original and atypical places, with particular focus on regional products.
We always consider the client as a traveller, never as a tourist.
This is a way for the traveller to apprehend the present moment in inspired and inspiring places, and to feel as close as possible to local life.
Filled with intimate atmosphere, these places give the impression of being protected against time running away too fast.
Vakajoha is a challenge, a kind of arm wrestling against uniformity which is proposed to us.
First of all, Vakajoha is the contraction of VAnessa Kristel and KAren JOHAnna.
We are two French sisters, but most of all we are “Third Culture Kids” or “Global Nomads”.
This expression was invented by Ruth Hill Useem, an American sociologist, in the 1950’s. It refers to persons who spent a significant part of their childhood and/or youth in one or more countries being different than those of their parents.
Our history has started in Saudi Arabia, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Great Britain and Switzerland.
Our house has been an airport for a long time.
We know what numbness fells after a travel, and what it is like not to know what country you wake up in.
We have had a chance to travel, not as tourists, but as expatriates.
All these travels led one sister to study in a hotel school in Glion, Switzerland, while the other one became a graphic designer in the United States and obtained American nationality some time later.
Thanks to Vakajoha, we have brought together our skills. Vanessa deals with the operational part of hotels, whereas Karen is in charge of graphic design and marketing.
We have been trained in “small” luxury hotels, often independent, that are big as regards their reputation.
- The Oberoî Bali, Indonesia, The Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- Hyatt Regency Paris Madeleine, France, Hyatt Group
- Grand Hôtel Miramar, Corse, France, The Small Luxury hotels of The World
- Le Relais Christine, Paris, France. The Small Luxury Hotels of the World
- Le Domaine de la Coquillade, Gargas, Provence, France, Relais & Châteaux
- Hostellerie du Petit Manoir, Morges, Swiss International Hotels
Because being a well-rounded host, ready to anticipate your expectations, is a profession, we have decided to apply the standards of luxury hotel industry which we have acquired in prestigious structures.
Therefore we are not a real estate agency, but authentic hotelkeepers. We are proud to show you our know-how and values in Vakajoha.
- The Vakajoha staff welcomes you with a smile, speaks fluent English and wears smart uniforms. Clients are welcome until midnight (upon request, but free of charge)
- A chauffeur expects you at your arrival at the railway station or airport (upon request and against extra charge); in other cases, you will arrive directly at the place of your Vakajoha stay.
- Chambermaids have been trained according to the standards of luxury hotel industry.
- A housekeeper checks every Vakajoha location before your arrival.
- A Vakajoha concierge service is available from 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. every day (an urgency number is made available during these hours). It will deal with every request you may have (flower shop, booking in a restaurant, etc…) and it will be glad to guide you during your entire stay.
- Satin and cotton linen comes from a laundry working exclusively with top range hotels of the region.
- You will find organic and high-class products to welcome you in your room, such as: slippers, bathrobe, nail file, sewing set, dental set… These services are the same as in luxury hotels.
- We will make available for you a concierge service handbook called “Travel Diary” including all the best address references of the region, carefully selected by Vakajoha.
- The ephemeral newsletter “Events Diary” will keep you informed of the events of the moment (outings, exhibitions,…).
- “Small Hollow” Basket (a picnic basket including regional products offered on the day of your arrival).
- Safe, TV, Internet Wifi,…
The Vakajoha concept does not create anything new. It just adapts a heavenly housing to the expectations of demanding clients who wish to have top-range services.
We operate according to a “sharing economy”, which is healthier for future generations.
More than that, when you rent Vakajoha houses, you support small local craftsmen who are the bearers of traditional skills.
But the most important is that we are happy to transfer part of our profits to local Swiss associations.
We all wish to reduce chemical inputs in our lives.
- Toiletry articles come from an organic soap works.
- Our key rings come from leather craftsmanship located in Blonay.
- Our staff’s uniforms and the bath towels are made of organic cotton, our household products have the ECOCERT certificate, but we also prefer to use natural products such as black soap or white wine spirit vinegar.
- Various picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products are prepared to welcome you on the day of your arrival.
“Small Hollow” Basket (free picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products)
Gourmet “Aperitif” Basket for 1, 2, 3… persons (picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products, against extra charge)
Delight “Breakfast” Basket for 1, 2, 3… persons (picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products, against extra charge)
“Family Clan” Basket for 3, 4… persons (picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products, against extra charge)
If you are travelling alone with your children, we will be glad to welcome you at the railway station or at the airport in order to help you out (upon request); in this case, you will have to book in the same way a transfer from the airport or railway station by limousine.
VAKAJOHA puts freely at your disposal:
A folding bed, a high chair, a changing mat, a bath for babies, baby phones, a bottle warmer, toys, a baby play yard, a baby bouncer.
Organic baby toiletry articles, nappies, organic baby food (against extra charge).
Our concierge service will also be happy to offer you a certified babysitter, upon request during your stay.
We invite Swiss artists such as painters, sculptors, drawers to contact VAKAJOHA.
We would like to exhibit your works in Vakajoha Houses and to offer them for sale to our clients.
Please be ensured that we will not make any profit out of the sales.
The entire price of the work will be transferred to you directly (except for the transport costs) because our aim is to promote Art and local creativity.
We wanted to create Vakajoha in order to promote places that are changing, places that reveal the environment, experience and taste of a person.
A house is like a biography of its owner, reflecting its passions, interests, memories and past. It is some sort of a person’s portrait.
People fascinate and inspire us. We are galvanized by nuances between cultures and we want to maintain them. We give a great meaning to difference and individuality. Details preserve beauty.
Besides, in spite of all the luxury hotels in which we worked, we never found a place where one could be warmly welcomed as a traveller can be after a long journey. Actually, showing hospitality is giving away a bit of yourself, opening wide your home, showing benevolence.
We invite you to contact Vakajoha if you own a place on the Lemanic Arc, in the area of Genève, Nyon, Morges, Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux.
We have gained twelve years of experience in luxury hotel industry, at the lodging service (reception, booking, housekeeping). We are not hobbyists and we know all the facets of our job.
We call our clients at least 4 times between the booking and their stay.
We ask you to make your apartment or house available for rent at least one and a half month a year. We generate costs for the pictures, styling, booking software, its release on-line, so we need to have the place made available at least a minimum.
Like any hotel business, we collect tourist taxes, VAT and we transfer them back to the relevant institutions. We are as transparent as any other top-range hotel and we reject any financial opacity. Good competition is fair competition.
We use extranets (such as: Booking.com, Expedia, HRS) as well as a PMS (a management software for the hotel industry) and a hotel booking engine (connectivity to GDS: Grand distribution system, to travel agencies across the world) in order to guaranty full transparency of prices and availabilities of Vakajoha houses.
Your future clients pay together with the booking, by credit card or by transfer. Vakajoha transfers back to you the amount of every rent, at the end of each month, after the clients have left. The revenue gained from your clients allows you to go for a trip or to reinvest the money in your lodging.
We also take pre-authorizations on credit cards of the clients staying at your house. It allows a business to check the validity of the payment card and the solvability of the client, without withdrawing any money from the account. It is more or less a kind of bank guarantee.
We use and apply Yield Management to increase the profitability of your property. In order to optimize the fill rate of your house, we fix its price according to various parameters, such as: surrounding events, time of the year, competition, type of property. Price is flexible and can vary every day (except that there is a floor price). Yield Management is a technique allowing to calculate, in real time, the best offer and the best prices to optimize profits.
A minimum of 3 nights, no fixed date of arrival. We do not rent your house for a week from Saturday till Saturday, but rather for a minimum of 3 or 4 nights according to the type of house. The date of arrival is never rigid.
We apply package prices on apartments (Business Package, Gourmet Package, Lovebirds Package, Family Tribe Package, Sport & Chic Package…). We work together with the best top range service providers of the area.
Those service providers will also offer you discounts as owners.
Example of package:
Transfer from/to the airport or railway station in a limousine
Bottle of champagne and delicacies from a renowned chocolate maker of the region
Supper in a well-known restaurant of the region
Free public transport card valid in the entire town
Delight “Breakfast” Basket for 2 persons (picnic basket with organic or regional products)
Your clients are welcomed by smiling, bilingual Vakajoha staff wearing uniforms. Clients may arrive until midnight (upon request but free of extra charge).
Our various picnic baskets with organic or regional products are offered to your clients on the day of their arrival.
“Small Hollow” Basket (free picnic baskets with organic and/or regional products)
Gourmet “Aperitif” Basket for 1, 2, 3 persons… (against extra charge)
Delight “Breakfast” Basket for 1, 2, 3 persons… (against extra charge)
“Family Clan” Basket for 3, 4 persons… (against extra charge)
Concierge service: We offer a concierge service and organise limousines, florists, cookers upon request. We make available for your clients a concierge service handbook called “Travel Diary” including all the best address references of the region, carefully selected, as well as an ephemeral newsletter “Events Diary” informing of the events of the moment (outings, exhibitions,…).
Chambermaids: Chambermaids have been trained according to the standards of luxury hotel industry.
Linen: Satin and cotton linen comes from a laundry working with top range hotels of the region.
Organic and top range welcome products: Organic top range cosmetic items, slippers, bathrobe, nail file, sewing set, dental set… These services are the same as those applied in luxury hotels.