Frequently Asked Questions
Ltd., has been renting vacation villas and apartments in Europe since 1994, when
president and founder Kit Burns launched the company's Italian division from the
living room of her Bryn Mawr home. Since that day, Doorways has expanded its services
to include rentals in France, Spain and a few top villas in London and the Caribbean
as well. Our staff, too, has grown — and we have moved to a more spacious office— just down the street from the original. But Doorways' most essential and definitive
characteristic remains unchanged: our staff is still committed to offering a uniquely
personal touch in helping you plan your ideal independent travel vacation. We
are proud of this commitment to first-rate personal service and believe it sets
us apart, among rental agents.
What is "independent travel?"
first and foremost to travelers who are thrilled by the prospect of "living as
the locals do" in a delightful European locale — enjoying the novelties of a
foreign climate and culture while making independent choices on a day-to-day
basis about where to go and what to see or do. This is the essence of the "independent
travel" tradition, also referred to as the "self-catering" vacation. (For
travelers seeking full-service accommodations, including housekeeping and chef services, Doorways offers a number of very special
serviced properties; please inform us of this preference when you first contact
us.) Years of experience have shown us that the most precious service anyone can
offer the independent traveler is information — information about every aspect
of the travel and rental experience, including the minute details of what to expect
at the villa, the train station, the museum, or car rental office. We also tell
you what to look forward to: the breathtaking botanical garden, tucked away and
overlooked behind a crumbling wall, or that amazing gelato shop just around the
But can't I get information from a guidebook?
Yes, and no. Certainly not the kind of detailed, personally directed information
our staff is qualified to provide. From your first contact with Doorways, you
will find yourself in very attentive and capable hands. To begin, one of our well-trained
European specialists will guide you through the important process of selecting
just the right property for your trip. Whether your party is one of friends or
family, or a group celebrating a special occasion or planning a professional workshop,
we are eager to help you find the ideal accommodations among our exceptional selection
of distinctive accommodations in Italy, France, and Spain. Because we have visited
each of the properties we represent, we can speak to you about each one from personal
experience. In addition, we will be happy to put you in touch with a client who
has previously stayed in the very residence you are considering.
else can I expect in choosing Doorways?
addition to offering valuable one-on-one advice about train reservations, rental
cars, drivers and guides, cell phones, hotels and travel insurance, our
staff will provide you with our own travel tips and restaurant guide, a list of
books and films you might enjoy in preparing for your trip, a newsletter
and even special suggestions for traveling with children. All of these materials
reflect our many years' combined experience as enthusiastic travelers, as well
as the wonderful feedback we continually receive from satisfied clients. Doorways'
network of valuable contacts extends to our many property owners as well. Working
directly with the owners whenever possible, we seek to create an atmosphere of
hospitality that will make you feel instantly at home, both while we assist with
your arrangements and once you have arrived at your European destination. We are
confident that this comprehensive and attentive service is the primary reason
why so much of our business comes from returning customers and their friends.