In our youth, travel was all about hostels, guest houses, and homestays. It was fun exploring the world on a budget, meeting like-minded adventurers, and sharing stories over supper in cosy kitchens. Travelling like this was seen as the cool thing to do, and we didn’t even consider trying anything different. As we got older, wiser, and a little more financially secure, our tastes changed and we transitioned to hotels for a higher level of both service and style. It was infinity pools, butler service, and rooftop bars all the way. We thought that this was the pinnacle of our trip accommodation aspirations, and spent the next decade luxuriating in lavish retreats and boutique lodges all around the globe.
Yet a few years ago we discovered a whole new mode of holiday living and it’s opened our eyes to a world of possibilities when it comes to finding somewhere incredible to stay. Luxury villa rentals are the way forward if, like us, you crave sophistication whilst retaining privacy and independence. By hiring a villa you have your own space, there’s no-one else to hog the best spots by the pool, and sometimes there’s even a private chef on hand to rustle up your favourite dishes.
Whilst we do still grace hotels and lodges with our presence, now there’s a new contender on the scene. You’ll often find us holed up in a villa, tucked away in a remote jungle or on a misty mountainside, relishing our freedom whilst enjoying top notch creature comforts.
Here’s why we recommend hiring a villa on your next trip:
Benefits of renting a villa on holiday
As we get older, privacy becomes more and more important to us when we’re away. We don’t want to socialise with strangers who might not be on our wave length, and love spending quality ‘us time’ together to add a splash of romance to the holiday.
Villas are often standalone properties, usually with their own grounds or gardens, and sometimes a private pool which is always the icing on the cake. This means your nearest neighbours could be just a speck on the horizon, giving you all the peace and seclusion you desire. If you want a relaxing stay without having to contend with late-night hotel bars, noisy swimming pool games, and other people’s screaming kids, then a villa is just the ticket.
On the surface, a luxury villa rental sounds expensive, and just like with some hotels, there are properties out there that require a small fortune. Yet the costs of running a villa are often much lower than continually servicing a hotel, so you’ll be surprised at just how affordable it is to stay in one!
If you’re travelling with family or a group of friends, it can actually work out a whole lot cheaper to rent a large villa instead of forking out for multiple hotel rooms. Having a space to yourselves also allows for quality time together in a tranquil environment, without the pressures of the outside world and hotel meal times to dictate your day.
One of the joys of staying in a villa is that there is no schedule that you have to adhere to. You set the rules, and you can break them too! We always think that being flexible is the key to the success of a holiday, and this is something that villas serve up to you on a plate. You don’t even need to plan ahead – you can just wake up and see what you fancy doing each day. Have breakfast at 2 PM if you want, and eat ice cream for dinner!
Sun lounger wars at dawn will be a thing of the past too, with no competition to bag the best poolside spots from fellow guests. If you’re staying in a villa, there is no need to sneak out before breakfast to lay out your towel. Have a lie in instead. Some villas also offer a concierge service, so you can plan all your daily activities and sightseeing trips with ease, and often at the last minute.
Whilst you’ve turned your back on hotels and the services they provide, it doesn’t mean you have to go without if you rent a villa. Some properties are staffed, with a discrete team being on hand to look after you during your stay. It always amazes us how unintrusive villa staff are, often appearing from nowhere at precisely the moment you fancy a cocktail, or want to order some lunch.
Different villas come with different levels of staffing, so do check carefully before booking if this is something that’s important to you. For us, we don’t like a lot of fuss, but we do love a personal chef to do all the hard work in the kitchen for us, we are on holiday after all. Plus, as someone with a food allergy, not having to negotiate hotel buffets and mass-produced dishes in restaurants is a huge relief, and puts the pleasure back into dining. I just let the staff know of my preferences before we arrive, and the chef tailors the menu to my quirks without any drama.
Finally, let’s talk about security. It’s not the most glamorous consideration when it comes to holiday planning, but it’s one of the most important aspects of your trip. Villas usually feel much safer than hotels, thanks to the private locations and lack of comings and goings by other guests. Sure, hotels often have safes, but we’ve lost count of the number of times that they’ve not been secured to the wall, and could simply be carried out of our room. Plus many of them are far too small to fit things like laptops in, which yes, do sometimes come away with us on holiday.
Staying in your own villa helps gives you peace of mind when it comes to holiday safety, leaving you free to enjoy your trip without worrying about someone helping themselves to your stash of beer money or the camera that you only bought last week. We know, because we’ve been there!