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Revolutionizing the vacation rental industry with service and technology; Interview with COO of Sextant Stays, Brandy Canaley

Sextant Stays vacation rental

Founded in 2015, Sextant Stays is a next-generation hospitality brand that specializes in full building residences. Sextant Stays’ Chief Operating Officer, Brandy Canaley, shares more on the future of vacation rentals and travel, and how Sextant Stays drives better customer experiences with service and tech.

Tell us about Sextant Stays. What sets you apart from other hospitality brands?

In the traditional vacation model, travelers looking for a sophisticated and premium experience are forced to choose between two flawed options. They either have to stay at an expensive and impersonal hotel or privately-owned vacation rental, which is often unreliable and inconsistent. Neither could fully meet travelers’ needs, resulting in a disconnect between stakeholders including property owners, managers, and guests.

What makes Sextant Stays different is that we bring together the best of hotels and vacation rentals for travelers looking for a modern experience. We do this by controlling an entire building, not just a few units or floors. We then pair the experience with technology to elevate the standard guest amenity and service experience.

As a result, we provide guests a more professional, reliable, and safe stay while owners benefit from an overall improvement in the quality and value of their buildings.

Can you expand a little more on how your innovations are changing how we live, work, and travel? 

Our guest-centric approach is focused on creating a consistently great experience across properties and the cities where they are located. We’re hyper-aware of the changing industry and consumer demands, and we are elevating the vacation rental experience to match. 

For instance, a growing population of younger, more tech-savvy travelers can work from anywhere, which has only grown since the pandemic. This group wants to go to a different location not only for vacation but also to work and live. They want to be immersed in the environment, live like a local. As a result, they typically shy away from traditional, costly hotels and private vacation rentals.

Our fully-furnished apartments are more spacious, flexible, and respectful of our customers’ budgets. And because we own a whole building, solo travelers and groups large and small can feel more a part of a community — not like they’re infringing on someone else’s private space. They can also expect consistent, high-quality services and technology solutions that make it easy to check in and out, retrieve and use amenities, and enhance their overall stay.

Let’s talk about the technology you use. How does it create a better customer experience?

We leverage existing technology to create a hotel-like experience in a scalable and cost-effective way. 

To further enhance the guest experience, we partnered with Double Robotics to provide self-driving, two-wheeled videoconferencing robots as the 24/7 virtual concierge. To limit contact and accommodate guests whenever and wherever, Sextant agents are able to direct the robot around the lobby and interact with guests as if they were physically there. 

We partnered with 2ndKitchen, a virtual room service that enables businesses to serve food to customers seamlessly using custom menus from local restaurants. This collaboration provides guests with a convenient and delicious experience without having to leave their room. With the dramatic increase in takeout demand during COVID, this collaboration offers a convenient amenity for their guests. 

We’ve also partnered with the autonomous refrigerator company, Byte Foods, to provide guests with fresh food and drink options from local grocers like Rouses and Publix. Sextant properties in New Orleans also feature a Wine Emotion self-serve wine and liquor bar. This contactless bar offers guests a quick and convenient way to grab a drink,which they can enjoy in the lobby bar, the rooftop lounge or in the comfort of their own rooms.

We’ve partnered with national retailer, CVS, to give everything guests love about an on-site convenience store without the need for a large footprint. Sextant Stays guests can purchase over 70 items in a 10 foot wide health kiosk, ranging from cell phone chargers to toothpaste, all at affordable prices. 

How are your innovations in service and technology leading your industry forward?

Every property is purposefully designed to accommodate multiple travelers and provide a modern and sophisticated experience. Because we manage the entire apartment building or house, guests can stay in a more inviting and spacious environment, while getting top-quality customer and concierge service. In other words, our rentals combine hotel perks with the convenience of home for reliable, fast-acting, and personalized services and experiences.

It’s really about removing as many pain points and as much friction as possible from the customer experience. When our customers travel, they want to check in as quickly as possible, find a great place to eat, and map their next adventure or outing. They want to focus on who they are with and create great memories instead of worrying about the details. 

Sextant Stays is focused on providing the best experience possible. We’re pushing the boundaries on integrated virtual technology, vacation flexibility, live/work extended stays, and luxurious, spacious rentals that deliver the same quality of service and stay experience no matter where our guests are visiting.

How has Sextant integrated itself into the Miami and New Orleans communities?

Our team at Sextant has quickly reacted to tragedy and adversity in our communities.

As Hurricane Ida made its way across Louisiana, my Miami team and I made the 12+ hour drive to Louisiana and worked with FEMA, Amazon, Cox, Oschner Hospital, and The Salvation Army to support the NOLA community. Almost immediately, we were able to move hundreds of employees, first responders, and volunteers across 300 units without any power. 

When the Surfside tower collapsed, our team reacted quickly, on-boarding an entire building in 48 hours so we could offer the displaced victims of Champlain Towers shelter. In a matter of days, we were able to completely fill the building, carrying out our mission to support and help the local community. 

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