I loooove resorts; few things make me happier than revisiting an old favorite to see how its changed, or scoping out a new resort. But hotels aren’t the only means there are a few spectacular villas on the market, offering a different spin on the luxurious experience. For example, Villa Manzu at Costa Rica comes with a garage full of surfboards and kayaks along with family staff, and guests can get out and play in the Pacific.
To me, the villas offer a feeling of location, with exquisite views great views and outdoor space to enjoy the place, and furnishings and artwork that reflect the area and the personal taste of the owner. Villas are best for smaller destination weddings (or bigger ones, in the event the villa homes the wedding or close family), or for travel with friends. They’re also perfect for families with kids, providing everyone a central hangout area and also privacy when they would like to retreat to their bedrooms, like this alluring master suite at The Private Reserve in Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives, said to be the largest overwater bungalow on the planet.
In addition, I believe that luxury means excellent company, therefore I adore villas which come with hands on help, be it room service, nightly turn-downs or services. So I was eager to get the chance to discuss some of my favorites. The planet spans, from a villa at a Caribbean hotel to a one-bedroom enclave at Bali that would be perfect for pair of honeymooners. And all of them include all of the perks of a hotel stay.
Keep these tips in mind as you research, if you’re considering a villa rental for a particular occasion.
- Be sure it’s party-ready. If you are thinking of holding a wedding or celebration there, make sure they accept private events. A few villas limit amusing altogether, or charge a hefty fee, although many do.
- Work with a wonderful concierge. Villas at hotels are ideal, since they come with everything the hotel offers, plus extra privacy. But there are neighborhood concierge companies who will do everything out of pre-stock your fridge to bring into a chef for dinners, or get you VIP access to local hot spots. Do not do it all yourself; this is supposed to be vacation!
- Beware the safety deposit. These are usually pretty hefty and designed to defend the home owner, and that means you need to look out for yourself by taking photographs of the space once you first arrive–particularly if anything jumps out as potential harm or marks they could blame you for later.
- Get cancellation insurance. Because of their limited nature, most villas have stricter cancellation penalties than hotel rooms, which are simpler to rebook if a guest is a no-show. I always suggest travel insurance for villa rentals, just in case something unforeseen happens and you have to cancel your trip after the penalty period kicks in (generally 30-60 days prior).
- Be wisely skeptical of the photographs. This is where getting professional help is key. Everyone can photoshop out the walls that are peeling, or crop the picture so that you can’t see that the house is beside a highway. For a short excursion, DIY rentals are fine, but for a special occasion with the villa owner as well as a company who’ll look out for you. And as always, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Are you thinking of a villa lease for an occasion or group travel? Let’s chat!