Elegant Hideaways: That and more

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HONOLULU -- Here's some advice for Hawaii-bound clients who'd like to live like they're rich, if only for a week: Call Debbie Morris.

Morris, an owner of an Oahu outfit that buys, then rents, luxury homes to average Joes who want to wax wealthy while on vacation, is aching to show them how.

Morris, who appropriately named her 3-year-old company Elegant Hideaways, personally chose each of the 100 luxury beachfront homes, resort villas and estates in the firm's portfolio on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui and Oahu.

But what really separates Morris' business from competition isn't just the upscale homes. It's the "lifestyle management" available to guests.

Anything visitors want can be arranged and brought into the home, according to Morris.

In-house massages and spa treatments; tennis lessons on the backyard court; a full-time chef; hula dancers; musicians; a guest lecturer; storytellers; butlers; daily housekeepers; a car and driver; and a yacht on-call are a few examples of the above-and-beyond amenities.

Plus pre-arrival grocery shopping ensures the cupboards and refrigerator are stocked before guests step foot in the house.

"People who rent houses are a different breed," Morris said. And vacationing in a neighborhood is a very different experience, she added. "[Visitors] appreciate it so much more."

The houses also are popular among celebrities because their availability helps them avoid the lobby, she said.

And the good news for agents is that the accommodations and the concierge services booked with the accommodations pay 10% commission.

An updated Web site lists the properties by number and provides detailed descriptions -- with photos -- of each one, including minimum stay, price per night and other services available.

Agents or consumers may also search the site by desired location.

If a family or a couple wants a certain number of bedrooms, a pool or air conditioning, for instance, those features can be checked off on the Web site to narrow the search.

A five-night minimum stay is typical throughout the year, with a 14-night minimum during the holidays.

Rates vary considerably, depending on the property. One house starts at $175 per night, while another -- a one-bedroom home on 11 acres on Kauai -- may begin at $395 per night.

The most expensive home runs $6,500 per night. Located on the beach in Kailua on Oahu, it houses 22 people in nine bedrooms with 10 bathrooms, and includes a private chef.

Morris said the Kailua home has worked out well for family reunions and vacations of multiple generations.

For more information, call (877) 254-8554 or visit www.eleganthideaways.com.

To contact reporter Katherine Nichols, send e-mail to [email protected].

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