Probably one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences is making people’s dreams come true. Lisa Bruno, a co-founder of luxury rental company Tripwix, knows this first-hand. Since 2016, she and her team have enjoyed finding and vetting the best homes in the most gorgeous destinations for sophisticated travelers, turning their dream vacations into reality. Tripwix’s win at this year’s Luxury Lifestyle Awards was the perfect excuse to talk to Lisa about her love of travel and how her hobby became a successful business as well.
Tripwix – Barbados
Luxury Lifestyle Awards: You and your partners founded Tripwix over five years ago. What preceded that period? Tell us about your background and experiences before Tripwix.
Lisa Bruno: My life as an international interior designer and ardent traveler has turned me into an addict for beautiful places, exquisite details and authentic experiences. My two fabulous partners; Miguel Carvalho with over 20 years working in the five star luxury hospitality world with companies like Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons and Francisco Bessa who hails from the worlds of banking and winemaking bring very different viewpoints and knowledge.
LLA: How did the idea for Tripwix come about?
LB: My love of travel and privacy led me to rent private homes. Since childhood, my family has rented holiday homes. The concept of experiencing a new reality, a home in another country immersed in another culture, the ability to visit a local market and try my own recipes or celebrate special moments with friends in lavish style has always appealed to me on all levels.
Tripwix – Greece
Unfortunately, as the private home rental business has grown, and mammoth online platforms have become household names, the whole world is trying to cash in on a trend with no concern for quality.
After multiple shattered expectations and broken promises, I realized the private home rental market was a little like a roulette game. So, in true ‘’I can fix this’’ mode, I thought starting a company that delivered on its promises and exceeded expectations would be a great way to pass my time…!
LLA: How would you briefly describe the concept of Tripwix?
LB: Simple. We do what we say we do!
Tripwix looks for exceptional properties, partners with caring homeowners, inspects homes and delivers category choices from ultra-deluxe retreats (those super special places on earth few get to experience) to family finds (happy kids/ happy parents) to stay n go’s (that quick weekend away in a small group or couple by the beach or in an urban environment)
Tripwix – Douro, Portugal
Our reservation staff listen carefully to what our guests are looking for.
Finally, we guarantee the end experience thanks to our on-the-ground-team of wonderful, warm local people who can trouble shoot, arrange that Instagram moment, handle emergencies or invite you for a drink in that off-the-wall place you’d never find on your own.
LLA: What is your position at Tripwix, and what does it involve?
LB: Tripwix is a horizontal company with amazing people who jump through hoops to make good things happen for each other and for our guests.
My passion is to inspect homes. I have an extremely enviable job; I spend weeks visiting fabulous homes in jaw-dropping locations and then get to write about them and share my experiences.
LLA: What criteria must a property meet for you to add it to your portfolio?
LB: No two homes are created equal, but I look for uniqueness, whether in interior design, architecture, location…. Preferably all three.
Tripwix – Douro, Portugal
Above all, I look for love – it makes the world of difference!
LLA: You and your partners have created a large team, including all of your ambassadors in different countries. How do you always manage to meet your high standards of service?
LB: In short, we don’t… I cannot lie. These are private homes that are owned by individuals and offer a uniqueness that cannot be found in a hotel or packaged environment, and as such, problems arise: AC goes out, power fails… basically, life happens. What makes the difference is the way these “unexpected experiences’’ are handled. Local Ambassadors and professional maintenance teams can make or break an unexpected challenge. Tripwix has an exceptional crew of experienced, fast-acting, no-nonsense individuals who make lemonade out of lemons when they need to.
Tripwix – Positano, Italy
LLA: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your years at Tripwix?
LB: My biggest frustration is getting our message out there. Tripwix is a boutique operation, but I want the world to experience our style of hospitality.
LLA: What are the biggest changes in the travel and luxury rental industry in recent years that you could highlight?
LB: In the past, people would spend years attending hospitality schools to learn the art of hosting. Nowadays anybody can list, describe and host their own home. There are no standards attributed to, nor training applied, to private home rentals nor property management; it’s free for all and few agencies are doing it well or for the right reasons.
LLA: Which destinations do you find most attractive and promising in terms of luxury rentals and exciting experiences at the moment?
LB: Luxury has very different meanings to different people. Destinations I find exciting are relatively unknown. I like that slightly off-the-beaten-track feel of discovery and exploration but many of our guests prefer the tried and tested luxury of icon destinations. Good services are hard to come by in lesser known areas and expectations may not be met; it’s important to know what guests really want.
Tripwix – Mexico
LLA: To our knowledge, Tripwix is not the only business in which you are involved. Could you tell us about your other activities and hobbies?
LB: Tripwix is actively developing its property management scope, both for private homes and developments.
Luckily my favorite pastimes of travel, design, food, and wine are covered on an almost daily basis with my Tripwix activities. As I said, I have THE best job in the world.
LLA: What do you see as the key to Tripwix’s success in general and its recent win at the Luxury Lifestyle Awards in particular?
LB: A fabulous, multi-talented, multi-cultural, multilingual team of amazing human beings who are 100% dedicated to doing the absolute best job they can to deliver the absolute best guest experience possible.
Tripwix – Algarve, Portugal