"It all started with a glass of spilt milk!"
We at RentAvilla believe in representing only the best, we make regular trips to France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, England, Mexico and elsewhere to inspect properties and meet with owners.
In the past thirty five years we've sent thousands of satisfied travelers abroad! On a regular basis we find new properties and experiences to meet your changing needs so we can better serve you.
We try to be sensitive to what travelers like and need, and strive to satisfy. Our properties are as unique as you are and finding the right fit is what we are here for! The RentAvilla family believes in family vacations and making them just what they should be, fun, relaxing, and full of discovery and unique experiences! We aslo specialize in special events such as corporate travel, weddings, family reunions, birthdays and more.
How we can pride ourselves on being a pioneer in holiday rentals
de Ricard family in Paros, Greece
One of the first holiday rentals website:
our first website went live in 1998
As the saying goes "Don't cry over spilt milk!" That's exactly what Hilde did! As an Austrian living in the United States, Hilde (The founder of the company) traveled a great deal with her son. Staying in hotels was particularly challenging with a small child.
Spilled glass of milk
When her son spilled a glass of milk in a hotel restaurant and she was then asked not to return with her child, Hilde decided she had had enough and was going to find a better way, so for her masters degree in business, she chose to write her thesis on a new "family friendly" way of travel.
Thus, in 1983 Rent a Home International was born. She ran the business until 1999 when she retired after a skiing accident. During her career, Hilde helped many families avoid the frustrations she had endured!
Rentavilla was born
The business was taken over by present owner Emmanuel de Ricard in 2000. Being a Frenchman from the Cote d'Azur, and father of two, Emmanuel thought this would be a golden opportunity to keep his European ties and help people do the thing he loves most? Travel!
The company name was changed to RentaVilla.com, and since 2000, Emmanuel and his staff have dedicated themselves to finding just the right places for people to spend their precious vacation time, their company retreat or other events.
We provide personal service, we are not robots
Since we at RentAvilla believe in representing only the best, we make regular trips to France, Italy, Spain, Greece Portugal, England and elsewhere to inspect properties, meet with owners, and experience the local culture.
In the past thirty five years we've sent thousands of satisfied travelers abroad! On a regular basis we find new properties to meet your changing needs so we can better serve you.
We try to be sensitive to what travelers like and need, and strive to satisfy. The RentaVilla.com family believes in family vacations and making them just what they should be, fun, relaxing, and full of discovery!
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
Emmanuel is the heart and soul of RentAvilla. Born and raised in Southern France, he has a deep-seated love of travel that makes him perfect to lead the company.
An early passion for travel
When he was just 13 years old he spent a month in West Virginia in the U.S.A. as an exchange student. When his friend Michael reciprocated the following summer, the two boys backpacked for an entire month. After camping and staying in youth hostels in Paris, Germany, the French Alps, Italy, and Corsica, he was forever hooked on traveling the world!
He came back to the United States in 1989 to study business for two years at the University of Eau Claire in Wisconsin where he met his wife Cori.
Bit by the travel bug
After school the two of them spent a year in France, a year and a half in Japan teaching languages, and then took the opportunity to get an "Around the world ticket" which took them for five months to Asia, the U.S., and Central America. They then moved back to Toulon where he joined the family flag making business as the Production Manager.
But after four years both he and Cori were ready to go again. They decided to take their year old son Yohan and move to the States. They had never been to Seattle, but had heard great things about the area. So when they arrived in 1998 they rented a camper for two weeks and toured the Pacific Northwest, finally deciding to make Seattle their home. Immediately he found a job as a Sales Agent at a company called Rent A Home International (which later became RentaVilla.com). It was a perfect fit with his language skills, travel and business experience. The rest is history!
Emmanuel has always been excited about linking people with other cultures by sending them to properties that immerse them in local culture.
Linking people and cultures
He sees this as an emerging, growing trend not just for Americans but for an international market. His vision is to increase property choices, expand to other popular regions of the world, and yet keep the hands-on quality control of a small family business.
Travel is a big part of our future, previewing properties and meeting owners and managers. We want to continue to cater to individuals but also accommodate corporate groups for conferences, seminars, and team building excursions.
Since our website and our blog are our greatest connection with the public, we will continue to stay abreast of the latest technology to keep it user friendly, thorough, and fun. Even though Emmanuel is working very hard to lead the company, he does enjoy tennis, soccer, art and litterature.
Cori de Ricard, Property Manager
Corinn (Cori) is our Marketing Director and handles new properties. She and Emmanuel have been married for almost 24 years and have two adorable children, Yohan (20) and Tatiana (18).
Raised in Wisconsin, the two of them met as students at the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire) when he was an exchange student from France.
An American immersed in European cultures
She has traveled extensively and speaks Spanish and French fluently. Her experience as a school volunteer (PTA, Room Parent, etc.) has advanced her gifts of organization. Her present hobbies are travel, cooking, entertaining, and yoga.
She's very excited to become more involved in the everyday business of RentaVilla.com and has lots of fresh ideas to help inform the public about the quality rentals we offer.
Hilde Freeman, Founder
As we will celebrate our 35th anniversary this year, 2018, at RentaVilla.com, it is appropriate to introduce the founder of the business, our close friend and adviser Hilde Freeman.
It was in 1983 when she received her Master's degree in Business and chose to write her thesis on a new concept for travel. Even though she always loved travel, she found it especially frustrating to "hotel it" with small children.
Strict rules and minimal accommodations simply didn't meet the needs of families. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to rent a home or apartment when you went on a holiday? This would promote comfort, cultural exchange, and self catering.
And so "Rent A Home International" was born. Even though the name has changed to RentaVilla.com, the business has been thriving ever since.
Hilde retired from the business in 1999 after a skiing accident and has since taken up painting where once again she has succeeded. She has sold many paintings and was recently featured in the Women's University Art Show in Seattle.
Cory Crocker, Web Developer
Cory is a key support staff at RentaVilla.com. A personal friend of Emmanuel's family, they met in 1986 as foreign exchange students.
Cory has spent his time and energy securing a degree in architecture and developing his own business in the same. He's also a computer expert and fantastic web advisor (www.webkey.us).
Always itching to travel, he takes every opportunity to zip to London or Florida or Texas to see relatives or lead tours. Recently he traveled to London and Ireland for RentaVilla.com to interview owners and photograph villas and apartments.
His recent RentaVilla.com accomplishments have brought videos to our website and the publishing of our popular electronic newsletter.
Perrine Roux, Paris Manager
Perrine is our resident staff member in Paris and also personally manages several apartments there.
Having lived in the City of Lights since her marriage to Yves many years ago, she's a great resource for RentaVilla.com and our clients. Her familiarity with the sites of Paris and her interest in art, design, and fashion, make it fun to visit with her.
She and her husband often entertain in their lovely apartment in the city, and their two grown daughters and son drop in often to sample their Mom's good cooking.
Kim Helland, Property Data Specialist & Newsletter Manager
Kim Helland has been working for RentAvilla since 2007. She has always been an avid traveler and spent much time abroad and therefore has a good understanding of other cultures and countries.
Kim works with all of our new owners and current owners in order to keep the property information up-to-date for our website and she adds new listings once she has collected all of the information.
Kim is a mother of two and enjoys keeping active with hiking and camping, yoga, kayaking, cooking, and cheerleading for her tireless soccer players.