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An Introduction to Owner-Direct Lodging: Important Things You Should Know!

Thanks for using to book your vacation.

Renting private accommodation directly from its owner may be a completely new experience for you. If you are at all like the tens of thousands of guests who have already discovered's benefits and value, you also likely have some important questions and concerns that need to be addressed.

This section will give you invaluable tips for booking direct accommodations on this and any other site. Following these guidelines is in your best interest and will ensure a great reservation experience. They are also based on many, many years of experience and the minimum business standards that owners have agreed to as a condition of their vacation rental directory listing.


The Trusted Vacation Rentals Difference

Bluntly, there's a ton of vacation rental directories out there.

So why use

Because it's safer.

We're smaller, more secure and specialized, so you get the insider secrets & personal attention instead of a faceless form.

We're also completely independent and privately owned - so you're a real person to us, not part of an IPO or acquisition plan.

We're founded, owned and run by people who actually own and rent their personal vacation homes themselves, not by software venture capitalists seeking another IPO or financial windfall. Your vacation joys are our founding roots, inspiration and daily motivation.

That means that our primary concern is YOU - not media spin, share price or IPO posing.

Our big business differences from every single vacation rental directory worldwide reflect our concern and commitment for you:

  • No Scams: Verified Vacation Rentals Ownership - Ownership of every listing is verified and authenticated. You won't show up to a property that doesn't exist or wasn't authorized to be rented to you by the advertiser. Although some sites will give you some money back providing that you meet the long list of fine print eligibility requirements and sign up to their marketing mailing list,  it doesn't fix the fact that your vacation time was destroyed or erase the horrific experience of arriving to a destination and discovering that you are homeless.  We won't list risky properties, no matter how much money it costs us.
  • 100% Lodging Protection if Something Goes Wrong: Payment by Credit Card on Means You're Always Covered - You can and should ALWAYS pay by credit card, irrespective of what site you use. is the first and only vacation rentals directory in the world that requires payment by credit card. First, it ensures that each listing Owner passed additional verification steps to get a merchant account. That gives you and us more peace of mind.  Second, any Owner who is too cheap to pay the 2-4%  processing fee to offer you, their customer a basic service that gives you more convenience and security is likely also scrimping on their property and rental business. Your rest, fun and family time deserves better, so we won't take the risk on a listing that won't process credit cards. Finally, if something does fall through the cracks, you can reverse your credit card charges and get a 100% refund in the event of fraud.
  • Be Treated with Respect: Enforced Vacation Rental Standards & Guarantees - All listing Owners agree to vacation rental standards and guarantees that ensure a great guest experience. If they don't, we'll kick them off and make it tougher for them to do business elsewhere in the future.
  • Enjoy Accountability: Open Vacation Rentals Complaints Process with Consequences - We don't just dream up the standards - we actually follow-through with a public and open complaints process. If listing Owners don't make you happy after a legitimate problem, they'll get kicked off the site and reported to appropriate legal, licensing and tourism authorities. It will be harder for them to do future business.
  • Save Time: Fast, Fun, Easy & Accurate Search & Information - Your time is precious, so unlike other services, all calendars are up to date and property listing descriptions are detailed and accurate. That makes searching, comparing and viewing fun and fast. 
  • Get it Done: Instantly Confirmed, Guaranteed Online Vacation Rentals Bookings - For your security and convenience, every listing must accept credit card payments. Property listing details are so complete that you can book it instantly online with your credit card for a guaranteed reservation. Stop sending cash and cheques to strangers.  Those other directories aren't verifying ownership for each listing and their reviews aren't guaranteed to be posted by guests who actually stayed in the property.
  • Easy & Safe Payments: Vacation Rentals Payment by Credit Card - Every listing accepts credit cards for your convenience and security. If property listings can't get a merchant account to process credit cards, or are too cheap to pay for an important service that makes things easier or more secure for you, then you should be worried about the listing Owner. If something goes wrong, you have more consumer rights.
  • No Mistakes: Tracked Vacation Rental Reservations - All reservations are tracked online so there won't be any mistakes. You can retrieve and access reservation information at any time.

Guest Testimonials--Recommended by Frommer's Travel!

Since 1997, has been serving mountain travelers like you in search of a more personalized vacation experience. There is no better testimonial to the benefits of and owner-direct lodging than statements by our past guests, who number in the tens of thousands! Here are some recent comments, including excerpts from 2 articles published by Frommer's Travel!

From recent Frommer's Travel articles:

..One other excellent booking service is Allura Direct (tel. 866/4-ALLURA or 604/707-6700;, through which owners of rental properties in Whistler rent directly to the public (and you escape the 10% local hotel tax). The website has an excellent search engine, and offers lots of information and photos of numerous properties located throughout Whistler. Though owners are screened -- we encountered no problems and got a fabulous deal on a one-bedroom condo -- quality can vary, so we recommend you do your homework and book only with those owners who accept credit cards. (see full article)

....If you're on a budget, are traveling with a large group, or want a little more privacy and quiet, a great option in Whistler is to rent a private townhouse or condominium for the duration of your stay. Quality obviously varies according to the owner, but generally speaking, most lodgings are renovated often and kept in good shape. I highly recommend an online booking service, Allura Direct (, that showcases numerous available properties in Whistler and offers photos, details, and instant reservations capability. For less than the price of a night at most of Whistler's luxury hotels, I booked 2 nights in June in a one-bedroom condo (3 The Gables; ID #182 on the Allura site) that was spotless, a 5-minute walk from the heart of the village but incredibly private, and came with a washer/dryer, sunken living room with fireplace, dining room, jetted tub, full kitchen, and a private porch. In pricey Whistler, it was a genuine steal. (see full article)

From Jim L., first-time site user

Very simple, hassle-free, browse, reserve and payment service. Communication was prompt and the whole process reassuring.

From Victoria S., who stayed in property 114...

I would like to congratulate you on such a fantastic business. My partner and I have always used standard booking agents for our international trips. We are very impressed by the value, personable service and variety of specific unit availability that is offered by your company within an easy to use, secure and informative environment.

Dear Stephen and Anne (property owners)...

My family and I are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to rent your home. I used the alluradirect website to find and to book your place. I found alluradirect very user friendly, informative and quite simple to navigate. Booking your place was a snap. I received confirmation and return emails within seconds of emailing the request. I will definitely use alluradirect again and will recommend it to others.


Jim, a guest in Stephen and Anne's home

From Dominique...

I just wanted to tell you that using your website to reserve my vacation was really easy and fast. I will recommend your site to all my friends. The owner got back to me really quickly and in 24 hours I was all set.

From Kristie Wong, Mililani, Hawaii...

My family had another wonderful vacation using Allura. It's amazing how the years fly by so quickly. This is our 5th year doing business with your company and thank you for the wonderful condo's (nicely decorated and clean) and friendly owners. You too, have always been so helpful. Regards to Wayne & Sue (company founders & owners!)

From Ruben Hernandez...

I feel as though I should be the one thanking you! Our experience with both yourself and Allura Direct was an absolute pleasure. First, the responsiveness and help we received from the staff at Allura Direct was great. They were very helpful in helping us select a location that best suited our needs. Second, the condo we elected to go with was stellar! The location was great, the amenities were exactly what we were looking for and the interior was very well appointed. Finally, the overall customer service from yourself and Allura Direct made our overall experience unforgettable. Once again, thank you for allowing us the use of your home and we will surely recommend Allura Direct to our friends.

From Eric Thauvette...

This web site is probably one of the most useful and practical websites I've come across. This is a great idea and made our search for rentals incredibly easy. The details included were more than we were looking for and the site was easy to use.

If the actual rental lives up to the website (I have no reason to believe it won't), we will probably have an even better overall experience!

Well done!

From Matt...

We were deeply impressed that this direct owner rental system is great because owners treat guests like their own friends. We thank you again for your help and hospitable guide for us. I seem to be already satisfied even before I start packing my holiday kit!

From Jane...

Well, the website saved me hours of searching!! The ability to search and then refine my search was great. The info was easy to understand and follow. The response to my requests were within 24 hrs. But I still missed my preferred unit by about 4 hours!!

Thanks for your help.

Dear Sue Chappel...

I've booked with your owners for my large group over the last four years and your recent revision of your website is great!! I like the ability to key on "Development" and the ability to check "Availability" without wasting phone calls only to find out the dates I need are already booked. Great job!!!


From Dr. Norman Goldwasser...

Just a note to tell you how impressed I am with you web site. I am planning a family retreat, and have visited just about every site imaginable to find accomodations. Your site was far and away the most informative and user-friendly, and I have found that browsing through the various options, along with all of the comments, suggestions, and helpful information has convinced me that I will be using your service to rent the homes that we need, both now and in the future. Thanks for all of the work that you put into this. It certainly paid off for this satisfied customer.

From Gary Brock...

Thank you very much for your service and wonderful staff. I have booked through you many times in the last 5 years or so, and I find your service to be an excellent product.

From Welton Vo...

This is just to say that my stay was better than expected. everything went extremely smooth, and i was impressed with the setup. i would like to thank you for providing such an excellent getaway vacation spot, the location and facilities were nothing short of satisfaction, and I very much hope to be back soon.

From Jacqui, Geoff and Ben...

A quick email to thank you for hosting us in January - we had a wonderful time on our recent vacation to Whistler. Your apartment was perfect - great facilities, great location, plenty of space and just so warm and welcoming. Accessing the apartment when we arrived was a breeze. We found the information you emailed to us prior to our arrival as well as the advice that appeared on the fridge about facilities and contacts very useful.

Booking through the Allura Direct website was also very easy.

As I noted in your guest book - we'll be back!

From Jeannie Marino...

Thanks for supplying such a great site. I'm telling everyone!

Thanks again.

Hi to all at Allura...

Congratulations on putting together and operating such a fantastic service to both the end customer and the principals/service providers whom you serve


Frank Marcar

From Leonard Wei...

Hi. I just want to tell you that using your website to reserve my Whistler vacation was really easy and fast. I will recommend your site to all my friends. The owner got back to me really quickly and in 24 hours I was all set. I recently rented a ski property for this coming winter through the Alluradirect system. Great set up, cuts away a lot of waiting, and perfect for first hand rental decisions!

Hi Sue Chappel...

Thanks so much for your prompt reply, I love your web site.

I have had a very good look around at all the other sites, but feel yours is the best by far.



Hi Sue Chappel...

I started searching the web for information, especially lodging. I wanted to let you know that I kept coming back to Allura because of all the helpful information and the clear format. It sold me.

Allura is doing something right. Thanks, Sue.



From Marva...

I have booked reservations through your site before. I really love the site. Thanks.

From Ray Hunter, Network Consultant...

AlluraDirect worked very well for us, and also for some friends of ours who stayed in Glacier Creek, so it'll be our first stop if we do come back.

Once again, thanks.

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How to Book Owner-Direct Accommodations on

Booking accommodations on alluraDirect is easy, fun, FAST and safe!. Owners accept secure online credit card payments, most owners take live reservations on the spot with online payment, and most owners will respond to you within seconds, minutes or hours!

Here is how it works!

1-Search Accommodations - Start broad (search by date and accommodation size) and then narrow down the list with more specific criteria (like location and amenities). Your initial time investment will be worth it in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction!

General Tip

  • Searching by accommodation dates and other criteria is the best and fastest way to get exactly what you want and need! Most owners keep their information very current and owners taking live reservations have accurate availability calendars.

Time-Saving Tips

  • Send a Fast Inquiry and fill out as much details as possible-it will only to go owners who meet your exact needs.
  • Do a search and email the search results to yourself from the results page, for reference at a later time!

2-View Property Details-Just click on the View Property link from search results to view comprehensive photos, descriptions, booking info and more...


  • The quality of the property web site generally reflects the quality of the host. If their web site shows attention to detail, and offers you all the information that you need to make an easy booking on the spot, then the owner is probably going to show the same attention to detail to YOU and all other aspects of your vacation.
  • If a web site makes you pick up the phone to call them, or email them for more information or to make a booking, then take it as a buyer beware warning: there is something that they do not want to print and you should be asking yourself WHY? What surprises are awaiting you? Whatever is NOT in print is not a guarantee to you and owners are not obliged to honour what they have not published on their web sites.

3-Download the Property Web Page of the Property you are Going to Book-Before you book a specific property, download it into your computer so that you have a local copy of it for future reference. Ideally, you want a copy of the site before you book it, so that you have a copy of published rates, polices, amenities, etc. Simply right click on the page of interest, and choose SAVE AS. Save it onto your desktop, or some other easy place to find it.

4-Make a Formal Reservation to Book!-Owners accepting live bookings accept and guarantee your reservation on the spot with payment. Upon payment, your dates will be blocked off and you will receive instant booking confirmation. Click on the Owner's Reserve Now Button when you are ready to book; this is the fastest and safest way to ensure a very smooth, accurate and trouble-free reservation. The online booking system also documents your formal reservation, and allows the site to track your reservation status. Customer complaints rarely, if ever, arise from vacation rental operations accepting live bookings.

Owners not accepting live bookings typically respond to your Reservation Request within 1-24 hours depending on time zone differences. If you do not hear back from an owner, follow-up with them before booking another property.


  • Owners accepting live reservations have guaranteed availability & rates.
  • Always register your booking through the Reserve Now button. This tracks & documents your reservation in case of any problems.
  • Always pay online through the owner's site to ensure that your reservation is independently tracked from start to finish. If there are any legitimate problems, you can always reverse the charges on your credit card.
  • Most owners now take live, instantly confirmed reservations with credit card payment. Once you have booked, most will follow up with you personally to introduce themselves, and to thank you.
  • Owners who do not take live bookings, may want to confirm your desire to book their property before transacting the reservation payment, and will follow up with you personally upon receiving your reservation request, before blocking off their calendar and allowing you to pay online.

5-Receive a Reservation/Quote Letter, & Guest Stay Agreement: Get Everything in Writing-Owners typically send reservation letters, which outline the reservation and payment details, how to pay, their policies and the details of their reservation and check-in process. Make sure that you have everything on paper, and that you are clear on all aspects of the Owner's policies and procedures before you pay!

6-Submission of Guest Stay Agreement-Some Owners will require that you either date and sign the Reservation Letter, or the Reservation Confirmation letter, which also serves as a guest stay agreement.

7- Deposit Payment-Most owners require a 25% deposit, with balance of payment due 45 days prior to arrival. Almost all owners accept online payments through their property display pages. When you pay online, no one sees your credit card information, and the information is transmitted through a secure server.

8-Receive Reservation Confirmation Letter-Once you have made a successful payment, you will receive a reservation confirmation letter from the owner. Always ensure that you receive confirmation of your payments.

9-Balance Payment-You will make a final payment, either online, or offline.

10-Receive a Balance of Payment Confirmation Letter, Receipt and Check-In Information-Upon final payment, most owners issue a final payment confirmation and receipt , check-in and arrival instructions.


  • Always make sure that you receive complete check in information within 24 hours of making your final payment and ALWAYS before you depart for your vacation.
  • If you have not received check-in information within 24 hours of your final payment, or prior to departure, please contact the owner immediately.
  • Ensure that the owner has also provided emergency contact information for in-resort contacts.

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Tips for Booking Lodging on - Have a Great Reservation Experience!

Book Early-Our owners sell out quickly! Since most bookings on this directory are now live (instant), please note that availability changes by the minute. Once you find what you like, book it to avoid disappointment.

Use the Reservation System at all Times for Maximum Consistency-When you are ready to book, click the Owner's Reserve Now button. You will be requested to provide information that the Owner needs to accurately process your reservation. Both the Owner and our company are bound by Canadian privacy laws.

Pay Online for All Payments-This gives you security, privacy and convenience, and allows you to pay in the currency of your choice, in your time zone! Reservations transacted online are also tracked and virtually devoid of any human error. Almost 95% of all problematic reservations involve reservations where the payment transaction did not occur directly through the Owner's web site.

Pay on Time!-Owners will cancel your reservation if you fail to pay by their due dates.

Get the Right Documentation-Always get everything in writing, including the policies, with each payment.

Get a Copy of the Owner's Web Site at Time of Booking-Before you book, download a copy of the owner's web site onto your local computer, as previous described. This is part of proper documentation.

Make Sure the Property is Listed on it is not listed on, it is not subject to our review and complaint process.

Check the Availability Calendar-Has the owner added your reservation to their calendar? If not, then other site users think that it is still available, and your booking could be at risk of human error. Make sure that the owner blocks off your dates to ensure a smooth reservation experience.

How to Check the Owner's Legitimacy-Ask for references from past guests or call the local destination association to confirm their membership.

Get the Property and Check-In Information-Never leave home without the property access information and instructions. If you have received it within 24 hours of final payment, or prior to departure from your home, contact the Owner immediately.

Get Emergency Contact Information-Never leave home without first having the Owner's in-resort emergency contact information

Refunds-If an owner owes you a refund, take the cash in the present, rather than a future booking credit. They could sell the property in the interim and you will be out of luck.

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The Benefits of Owner-Direct Accommodations

Booking owner-direct is a fantastic alternative. You get a wonderful personal home and the personal hospitality of someone who knows a lot about the resort. Here are some other reasons:

More Value for Your Money/Affordability-You will pay less money as result of the elimination of middle agent fees, taxes and the nickel and dime factor!

More Space for Less Money-You will get more space for your dollar-thus giving you and your family and friends more comfort!

More Flexibility-Owners have more flexible policies like minimum night stays, check-in/out times, arrival and departure days, etc.

More Amenities-Book a personal vacation home with a full kitchen and all the personal extras and convenience items that will make your vacation sensational! Personal private vacation homes have the personal conveniences and extras not typically found in a standard sterile vacation rental offered through booking agents.

More Local Knowledge-Get great local tips and advice from an owner who knows the destination!

Personal Service-Your vacation home will have a dedicated customer service representative (the Owner) with no other guests, except YOU! Get more personal service! Standards, Convenience and Confidence
-Book on and get standards you can trust! Book online with your credit card for a fast and easy reservation.

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Why Book with An Owner-Host?

Clearly defined, public corporate standards -All owners and their contacts agree to a common set of standards and rules intended to consistently maintain high levels of service and accountability, and to protect you, the consumer. Please refer to our Subscription Agreement.

Confirmed, titled ownership- All Owners are required to provide proof of ownership documentation before their listing becomes active on

Value/Hospitality/Total Personal Service!-We offer some of the best properties and services, at a fraction of the price!

Informed and educated is a comprehensive vacation rental program that is focused not only on profiling properties, but also on training owners on how to be incredible hosts.

Facilitated, secure, convenient and consistent reservation gives owners and consumers the power of online payments for maximum consumer privacy, consistency and security. Most owners share a common reservation process in order to minimize unpleasant surprises and human error-related mistakes

Owner screening-All owners go through a screening and application process. Not all owner-applicants and their properties are accepted into the program.

You get what you see-All properties are extensively profiled on the Owner's personal web site.

Guest services-Access to discounted services such as lift tickets and ground transportation in our most established destinations.

Destination information-Access to travel planning tools on

Customer-centric focus-A corporate commitment to empowering the consumer. We want you to make the best personal decision about your lodging. We know that you are smart, and that is why we do not restrict your choices, we just organize them, let you customize what you see and what you don't see, and let you decide!

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Values, Accountability & Owner Screening

Please refer to our Vacation Rental Lodging Standards page.


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Disclaimer & Legal Terms of Use

alluraDirect Vacations, Ltd., is not responsible for and is excluded from liability and consequences stemming from all claims, representations or actions of its individual owners or service providers listed on will investigate all customer complaints as per its Terms of Service Subscription Agreement (TOSSA) and will follow through with the delisting of offensive businesses under the terms of the TOSSA, but will be held blameless and without liability except through the deactivation of offending property listings and owners from its web site as outlined in the TOSSA.

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