This Could Be You
That golden ticket, the winning lottery number, getting your ticket called at a raffle – it can feel almost too good to be true. You feel like the luckiest person in the world. With Home Exchange, that feeling can happen just by checking your inbox.
HomeExchange’s over 65,000 listings across the world include amazing castles, private beaches, and architectural wonders that most people only see on the pages of a magazine. These stunning properties are not available to rent, even for wealthy A-listers, but, as a member, you can briefly call home.
You may think that the owner of a ten bedroom Swiss chalet would only want to exchange with a similar caliber location. Au contraire! Not only are these members open to a multitude of destinations, they sometimes send you the inquiry. Whether or not you cash in your winning ticket is your prerogative, but as these five members on the HomeExchange team can attest, opening that email can make you pinch yourself with amazement.
A Week-long Dream
When Katia X. first received Jose and Alex’s exchange request, she couldn’t believe her luck. With jaw agape she scrolled through images of a huge Mediterranean-facing terrace in a gated community on the hills of Ibiza, Spain.
“Their home was clearly worth much more than my ‘very normal,’ apartment in Brussels,” said Katia. “So my first reaction was, ‘Are you sure you want to exchange with me?’”
After confirming that they were indeed very keen to visit Brussels, she immediately accepted their offer. Katia spent a whole week in the dream apartment, in an idyllic location. Every morning she felt like a queen as she sipped her coffee on the beautiful terrace facing the sea. When she returned to Brussels, she found her apartment cleaner than ever, with a nice thank you note “that’s still on my fridge” and some flowers on the table.
“That’s the kind of experience only HomeExchange can offer: true hospitality and the possibility to stay in wonderful homes.”
All the Rooms had Fireplaces
“The house itself looked like one of the homes you see in decoration magazines,” said Mirey. “The owner of the house had collections of local objects everywhere in the house, like Frida Kahlo matchboxes, green glasses, and a variety of classic Mexican skeleton sculptures.”
She strolled through the tiled garden, the three different living rooms, and the five separate terraces each with views into the city. “The bedroom alone was as big as my flat in Istanbul!” she exclaimed. The terrace with on open jacuzzi was impressive, “but the most amazing thing was that we had a cook and a cleaning lady come every single day to take care of us for free.”
Fresh flowers adorned every room, and on the day of arrival she found a big jar of fresh orange juices, a big bowl of guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and mexican soup in the fridge.
The owners of the home have yet to visit Mirey in Turkey. “It really shows our members’ generosity!” she says.
All in Good Company
Last summer Éva C. drove from her home in Budapest, Hungary down to Cadiz at the very southern end of Spain. It would have been about 3,000 km (1,900 miles) if she had taken the straight way, but instead she organized side trips to incredible exchanges.
Near Carcassonne (France) she reached out to a listing in the little mountain village of St-Hilaire, hoping to do some hiking. Pat and Roger accepted her offer and Éva became their first Home Exchange guest. She spent five fabulous days eating breakfast in the garden opposite the ancient abbey, swimming in their pool, and sharing glasses of the locally-produced champagne on the veranda.
“They even took me to Carcassonne on July 14th for the fireworks from the castle,” said Éva. “However, what I most enjoyed in this exchange was the company of Pat and Roger, whom I later hosted in Budapest.”
The One that Could Have Been
“I was really surprised when I received that HomeExchange request from Cape Town,” says Pilar M. “I couldn’t believe they wanted to exchange their charming historic house with an immaculate garden and a heated pool for my small flat in Cordoba(a little town in the south of Spain).”
While the timing didn’t work out for an exchange, the inquiry left an impression. “I was delighted knowing that a family in Cape Town, on the opposite side of the world, not only had known about my little city but wanted to visit. These are the kind of surprises that only happen with HomeExchange that make me love it so much!”
The Most Wow Listing
Cook Islands? Rujana L. had never even heard of the place when she received the inquiry. “I needed to take a map and search for a few minutes to find the Cook Islands, as they really are at the end of the world,” said Rujana.
The members were interested in visiting her seaside home in Croatia at Island Hvar. Even though she wasn’t able to accept the offer; she regularly recounts the feeling of amazement she felt while looking at their pictures of crystal clear lagoons, soft white sand, and too-perfect-to-be-real palm trees. “Their place was the most WOW listing I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t even contact them first!”
So, where would you like your “golden ticket” to take you?