While perched from its seat at the crux of hip and luxury, Jetsetter didn’t want to let sites like Airbnb and HomeAway have all the fun! Today, Jetsetter is launching its foray into the villa business called Jetsetter Homes, a collection of over 200 curated, verified homes from around the world that will be available through exclusive prices.

“As anyone who has researched and booked a vacation home knows, the process is archaic and time consuming compared to hotels, flights and rental cars,” said Drew Patterson, Jetsetter founder and CEO. “Jetsetter makes the research process fun by providing beautiful photography, including our revolutionary 360-degree tours which transport the user into palatial homes and fabulous infinity pools around the world. We help members make an informed decision by providing unbiased first-person reviews from Jetsetter correspondents as well as robust sorting and filtering tools. And, of course, we streamlined the booking process with instant booking capabilities.”

Jetsetter is one of the first sites to launch live booking capabilities with such a large, global inventory. The homes will be available for rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, located in such places as the Caribbean, Mexico, American West, California, France and Italy. Bargain hunters will want to review the homes in the flash section of the site, which like Jetsetter’s vacations are available for a limited time while availability lasts. There will be about 5-10 homes per week on sale in flash at prices 20-50% off. Jetsetter says it requires a minimum discount of 20% lower than any other site for inclusion in its sales.

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One of the aspects I love about Jetsetter is the beautiful, high res photography for all of its properties with straightforward reviews that include a reliable mix of the good and the bad. And this quality remains the same for its Home inventory. It beats going on Craigslist because you don’t need to email the owner about availability, go back and forth over price or worry about money in general, Jetsetter takes care of all that for you. And in celebration of the launch, more than 50% of homes from the Jetsetter 24/7 collection will be 10% off until Oct. 12.

Jetsetter is betting that its affluent, educated membership will keep villa owners’ doubts at bay regarding the safety of their homes. “No one is paying this price point to smoke crack and bust through walls with sledgehammers,” says Kellie Pelletier, PR for Jetsetter. ”Plus, unlike Airbnb, these homes are not residents away on vacation. These are vacation homes and are furnished as such. While there are certainly nice furnishings in these homes, the owners don’t have their passport and credit cards lying around so renters can steal identities. There will also be a security deposit collected post booking. That deposit will be paid directly to the Jetsetter partner.”

Screen shot 2011 09 12 at 8.58.21 AM 520x333 Jetsetter launches its foray into vacation home rentals with Jetsetter Homes

With funding and incubation support from Gilt Group, Jetsetter launched in September 2009 with 15 employees. Now 2 years old, it’s grown to 88 employees in New York, Las Vegas and London. To date, the company has booked over 375,000 rooms in over 70 countries. While the company won’t release official numbers, at $250 a night (most of Jetsetter’s hotels are north of that), that’s 95 million in gross bookings in two years time. The company plans to launch its first UK site later this fall.

We interviewed Jetsetter CEO Drew Patterson this April, when the company launched its first iPad app. Check out the story here.