Luxury villa rentals in St. Tropez, Marbella, Miami Beach, and beyond offer the privacy and exclusivity that you cannot get from even the most expensive 5-star hotel. But is the risk of picking a “luxury lemon” worth giving up on a reliable luxury hotel experience?
Wherever there is sand, sun, and sea in the world, you’re bound to find a crop of luxury villa rentals to choose from. Whether it’s St. Tropez, Marbella, Miami Beach, or Ibiza, you can always find a huge selection of amazing rental properties that span traditional to contemporary architecture and that will put you in the middle of the action and nightlife as well as the middle of nowhere. For those who have a already made a few trips to these exclusive vacation havens and have tried out a few different hotels, the prospect of having their own private luxury villa seems like the next logical step in experiencing the ultimate luxury vacation.
However, with luxury villa rentals, there is always an unknown quantity — or, more specifically, an “unknown quality.”
Luxury villa rental companies are notorious for showing only the best aspects of the luxury villas they list. Sure, they might show a bunch of photos of a villa’s pristine pool, charming terrace, and well-appointed master bathroom. But they fail to show how the plasma TV doesn’t work, or how the villa’s wall that faces the seaside is crumbling, or how the bathroom hasn’t been renovated for 25 years.
I recently read an article about “how to choose a luxury villa rental in Tuscany.” The writer told a hilarious yet tragic story about how once he had chosen a majestic Tuscan villa to stay in, thinking that it would be a single-family luxury vacation rental. When he arrived, he was dismayed to find out that the villa, “had been carved up into apartments with thin dividing walls.” He paints a miserable Tuscan vacation in that villa, saying, “One doesn’t go to Italy to be woken by renditions of Take Me Home, Country Road – at 6am, in German.”
This writer’s article, as well as many others who write about the luxury villa rental market, go on to list all of the due diligence required to ensure that what you see is what you get when choosing a luxury villa rental. In order to ensure a high quality villa rental, writers suggest so much comprehensive research and scrutiny over a property that you would be completely exhausted by the end of the search! Some writers suggest finding a contact in the city that you want to stay in and paying them a small sum of money to independently check out the villa rental you are considering. Another writer suggests that you “pack a small tool kit and a cache of batteries in various sizes (for TV remote controllers, torches and the like; never presume a villa’s inventory will be complete).”
Who is going to pack a tool kit for a vacation in a luxury villa rental?
The only way you can truly assure yourself an amazing villa vacation experience that lives up to your expectations is to work with a luxury villa rental company that visits and hand-selects the villas that it offers. If you use this criteria to select luxury villa rental companies to work with, you’ll find that there are very few of them in the world today who can vouch for the properties that they list on their websites.
For example, Wimco Villas, which is one of the largest luxury villa rental companies in the industry, offers this vague explanation in the “About Us” section of their website: “Each [Wimco] staff member is required to visit several of our vacation destinations each year and familiarize themselves with the villas and hotels there so they can serve you better.” How many is “several,” exactly? Which villas listed on their site have been visited and inspected, and which ones have not?
Other luxury villa rental sites, such as Jetsetter, use a small logo on their property pages to show prospective clients which of their properties have been checked and visited by a staff member and which have not. This is a much more transparent way of finding luxury villa rentals that you can trust to live up to what is posted on a website. Of course, it also limits the number of “safe” luxury villa options to choose from.
However, smaller, ultra-exclusive villa rental companies, such as Villazzo, guarantee their entire list of luxury villa rentals. Companies like these hand-select the properties they offer, and usually maintain an office in all of the vacation destinations where they offer luxury villa rentals. This is by far the best way to find the luxury villa of your dreams, since you can be assured that the villa has had a thorough walk-through and is determined to be a property that lives up to the high standards of the company that lists them on their website.
So, the next time you go in search of a luxury villa rental online, remember to look for a company that offers the best guarantee of quality, and the largest selection of luxury villas that have been hand-selected and approved. Stick to this approach and you can be assured that you won’t have to bring a toolbox with you on your next vacation!