French Riviera Summer Reflections
Now that it’s October and the summer is well and truly over here in the French Riviera (although the sun never seems to stop shining), it’s time for a bit of reflection.
It’s been interesting to say the least. The weather was fantastic as usual during the summer months and all senses were certainly reinvigorated simply with just the rush of the morning sun coming up along the Mediterranean sea with all the surrounding scents and sounds of life.
Then there was the vast choices along of beaches to go swimming and sunbathing daily if you wanted, along with an extensive amount of hiking trails for people to explore and be enveloped by nature either by way of along sea or by making your way up the mountains enabling one to take in the many expansive views.
The Coronavirus has certainly brought in a whole new way of living. Speaking with friends and business associates, you could tell people are planning their best to focus on life ahead with the virus situation around and definitely you got the sense this summer that people are very much making such plans with what truly makes them happy. It’s actually been inspiring to witness as it slowly has already been coming into fruition for some.
One thing that was quite noticeable was this summer oddly seemed more pleasant, more local, more natural and overall calmer.
Usually the summer months slowly build into a chaotic pace with visitors and locals trying to take in as much as possible of the region. But this year, with the lock down only being lifted about the middle of May bringing in a late start to the season with the following weeks having more restrictions being released and some surrounding countries being allowed to cross the France borders, there didn’t seem to be a mad panic in daily life.
This summer things seemed to be very true to the surroundings.
When it came to luxury villa rentals, it was a completely different way of working than in the previous almost 10 years. We are used to people booking a year, six months even a few weeks ahead for a property for their holiday but because everyone had to wait for the green light from government officials first for when the Coronavirus restrictions were lifted. It became a new process for everyone daily. This summer our property rental partners and ourselves experienced a whole new way of doing things, one being where clients were booking usually less than 24 hours before arrival. The shortest time period we had was 9 hours with the longest time period being about 48 hours. But it all got done. The villa owners we work with were thankfully also on board with the last minute bookings so it was nice to see everyone pulling together at all hours as a team. Another thing that happened was many were asking for a 'virus discount'. We are used to negotiating rates on our clients behalf anyway but this year demand was so strong, especially in areas such as Saint Tropez that owner's rates were usually the same or in some cases if a demand for a specific villa and time was strong enough rates would go up. It was remarkable to witness. Overall clients seemed to be very happy upon arrival, many saying they couldn't imagine a summer without being here and were glad to be away from whatever Covid19 situation was taking place for them, even if only for a week or a month. From what we saw, everyone was abiding to restriction safety rules in every regard possible.
Summer 2020 certainly felt like a time of reflection and will certainly be memorable for many, even with the stress of the Coronavirus, overall it has been wonderful to see people’s true character’s come to light with their hopes and aspirations.