As many of you know, I am a Private Travel Planner (or agent, if you prefer). I specialize in booking unique & luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime experiences for people who really want to upgrade their travels and do something special. I talk a lot about private islands and unique destinations, because they are more rare and unusual- and those are the things that catch others’ attention. However, just as exciting is helping my clients find the perfect Private Villas for their travels!
Private villas, or private homes, are one of my favorite ways to experience travel. They have a bit of everything: Style, privacy, and a whole lot of personality!
And that’s what I’d like to talk a little bit about today!
What is a Private Villa?
A private villa, in the travel world, is a house that is owned by a private party and available to be rented. Think of a villa as an upgraded house that’s more secluded from the public. A villa is typically grander, more luxurious, and more secluded than a house. They are set farther away from large populations and cities, and are often used for vacations and retreats, as opposed to just a place to sleep.
Most of what you see on sites such as Air BNB are vacation houses. Travelers pick the destination they want to visit and then look for a private home within the area… whereas, travelers who book private villas are usually looking for their stay to be more of an experience than just a place with a bed. They may be less concerned about the location and book based on the villa they would like to stay in!
Benefits of Private Villas Over Resorts
Private homes are an exciting way to get away from the over-crowding of resorts and enjoy a more private experience for you and your travel mates. The extra privacy allows you to really bond with your guests and loved ones while not having to deal with outsiders.
While villas are known for being roomie enough to accommodate large families, they are also suitable for more intimate stays as well. A private villa offers the perfect atmosphere for a romantic getaway or small family affair. You’ll be able to connect with your loved ones in absolute privacy and zero distractions in a way that you’d never be able to in a hotel.
Room for Everyone-
Some resorts may be able to accommodate family gatherings by getting everyone rooms on the same floor, or in the same wing, however, during certain times of the year this is not always possible. Many private villas are able to accommodate 10, 20 or even more guests! Allowing everyone to gather in the same place like this makes them the ideal place to hold a family vacation, reunion, or gathering.
The best part is that everyone can have their own rooms, and gathering spaces are more easily accessible. Children don’t have to wait for their parents to go down to the lobby to see their cousins or friends, they are free to safely roam the grounds at will.
One of my favorite things about private villas is how much personality they have! Unlike hotels, you can stay in 100 different homes and never have two that feel the same. Each one offers a different, unique atmosphere for you to get to know and love.
I have seen homes that give off laid-back beachy vibes, and ones that offer a more city-like crisp and clean experience. I’ve seen ones that are very modern, and others that are modeled after different historical eras. There are no limits to what you can find.
It’s true that one of the things travelers love most about resorts are the all-inclusive options that come with them. What you may not know, is that many private and villas can come with the same options and luxuries.
Many private villas around the world offer full-service either with their rentals, or as an upgrade. Options include private chefs, transfers, housekeeping services, spa services, and more! This allows travelers to customize the experience they are looking for without feeling like they are missing out on anything.
You will see more of this as a trend across the EU, and in Africa and Asia, but these options are still available with many private homes in the US as well.
If you start looking around at different villas you will notice a variety of added features that will really start to draw you in. For instance, I have seen homes with multiple pools and jacuzzis, movie theater rooms, bowling alleys, fitness rooms, saunas, full game rooms, wine cellars, and even karaoke rooms.
Depending on the location and time of year, your stay may also include bonuses such as private beach access, ski lift passes, or vouchers for local tours.
If you’re looking to for something really original and unique, or to keep the entire family entertained, this truly is the way to go! You don’t even have to leave the grounds for everyone to enjoy themselves.
Private villas can be found just about anywhere in the world- from major cities to quite country sides, ocean fronts to secluded forests, scenic mountains to tropical islands, and everywhere in between.
I currently am connected to villas on every continent except Antarctica (but I’m working on it!) This means that you can have the adventure you’ve always dreamed of in the destination of your choice! Just choose the backdrop you’d like and pack your bags to accommodate the atmosphere.
Health & Safety-
As you could imagine, private homes see less visitors than huge hotels and resorts. This means that they come in contact with far less germs than the latter. In a time where Covid is still a serious concern around the world, this is a major factor to consider. Your own private pool, jacuzzi, or beach will be far less crowded than those of a hotel… As will your exercise facilities, sitting areas, dining areas, and, well, everything.
If you’re looking for a way to still take a family vacation safely, this is going to be your best option! And like I mentioned, there will be plenty to do to keep everyone busy, even if you never leave the property.
So, What are the Drawbacks?
What are the drawbacks? Honestly, there aren’t many, but I do need to mention a few.
1. For instance, many of these homes, specifically the more unique or exclusive villas, will need to be booked much farther in advance than a resort. There are some homes in Utah and Colorado neighboring popular ski slopes that need to be booked almost 2 years out if you’re looking to visit during their busy season. Beach front homes are also scarce during certain times of the year. If you find a villa you would love to stay at you may need to be flexible with your travel dates or be willing to book further out.
2. Another drawback is that not all homes will be able to offer all the extras. Yes, private butlers, chefs, and masseuses make for the ultimate stay, but they are not always available with every home, or may come at quite an upcharge. To some this won’t matter, but if this is really something that would make your stay all the more special, talk to your travel agent to see what can be worked out.
3. And the final drawback I will add to the list is that some of these homes are really out of the way. When I say that they can be very secluded, I mean it. I once rented a home in Costa Rica that looked beautiful and was out in the countryside away from all the major tourist attractions. Turns out, we had to cross a flowing river to get to the place. Also, since it was quite a way from any larger cities or hotspots, no one in the area spoke English, and we spoke very little Spanish. (Obviously, this was our problem, not their fault… but it made it very difficult to get directions or hold simple conversations.) The place itself was lovely, though, and quite a unique and memorable experience!
Booking Private Villas
Now that I’ve got you all excited about booking a villa for your next trip, how do you go about actually doing it? That’s easy! Contact me! 😀
Ok, if you already have a travel planner you work with and love, you should book through them (I won’t be offended). This is what we do for a living, and once we know what you’re looking for, we will probably already have some great ideas for you in mind.
If you don’t have a travel planner that you already know and love, my info will be below, and I would be happy to get to know you!
The first thing you need to decide is if you are looking for a specific destination or experience, a place that will accommodate a certain number of people, or just something a little more unique and exclusive. Determine what aspects of the home you would like to have and what you can’t live without. If you absolutely need a fireplace in your bedroom, that’s something to let us know before we start planning.
I will advise against (as will just about any other travel agent) asking your travel planner to book something you’ve found on AirBNB. Not that there is anything wrong with the company as a whole, (I use if for myself occasionally) but there is just too much risk for agents. I have heard horror stories about cancelations without notice right before a stay, amenities not being included that are listed, the actual house not matching the description, and many other issues.
If you are open to leaving it all to chance, then, by all means, go for it. But if you are looking for a sure thing, let an agent find you the right home to fit your needs.
Let’s Work Together!
I would love to meet each and every one of you, and get to know all about your traveling style, and your dream vacation! So, if you’re ready to schedule your first travel consultation, please see my info below!
I appreciate you taking the time to read this article, and I do hope you’ve found the information in it valuable. Please remember to like, follow, and subscribe so that you never miss out on my travel tips and updates! Feel free to leave a comment below letting me know how I’m doing, or a topic you’d like to see in the future!
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