The word “luxury” is perhaps one that gets thrown around and used a bit too often in the world of travel and hospitality. With so much advertising and commercialization, the constant attempts to get your attention can be a little disorienting. When looking to rent a truly luxurious villa, it can be difficult to identify the right location, the right business to work with, and it can even be a challenge to know which of the huge myriad of claims to believe, let alone investigate.
In this post, I’m going to attempt to give the most detailed explanation possible about what we personally consider a “luxury villa,” based on a series of criteria and requirements which we have sourced from our guests experiences over the years. As a preference, we’ve decided to only highlight villas with a minimum of four bedrooms. This is not to say anything less is not luxurious; on the contrary, there are many stunningly opulent villas with any number of bedrooms.
We have traveled around Asia, mainly where our luxury villas are located such as Phuket, Koh Samui, & Bali, to inspect every possible luxury villa there is, test its services and interview owners and managers. We take all of this due diligence to ensure every addition to our portfolio is representative of the outstanding quality service we seek to provide.
1. FEATURES & AMENITIES
At the minimum end of the requirements spectrum, a luxury villa should feature a swimming pool, in-house staff, an adequately spacious living area, elegantly furnished dining area, a fully equipped and a state-of-the-art kitchen. These rooms should be designed and furnished with an exacting attention to detail and a dedication to opulence, equipped with every amenity and luxury expected of modern living, such as entertainment system and internet access (depending on location.)
Villas with something of a longer list of features are quite plentiful, with a huge selection of different options. Higher end villas often include a dedicated cinema room for the private movie theater experience, entertainment & games rooms, on site spa facilities, dedicated private gyms, liberally placed jacuzzis indoor and out, fully equipped offices for the business that can’t quit, kids areas with all the entertainment needed to keep the little ones occupied, tennis and basketball courts for the athletes and sports fans, and even private mini golf courses! These features and many more others are available, really driving home what defines a “luxury” villa!
2. STAFF & SERVICES
A luxury villa is no true luxury without a qualified and dedicated staff to run the facilities and create the environment of effortless relaxation which is the hallmark of a good guest experience. To keep everything up to snuff, a quality villa is staffed with maids and housekeepers, handymen and landscapers, chefs, the villa manager, the concierge to attend to individual needs and additional arrangements, and even additional personnel such as security, drivers, spa therapists, fitness trainers and more, depending on the facilities of the individual location.
To ensure the best stay possible, the staff must be devoted to the care of the villa and the satisfaction of the guests. While the guests may not communicate with the entire staff, they must all be friendly and cordial to the guests, personable in their communications and diligent in their work. They must also be able to communicate well in English or the guests preferred language.
One of the most important aspects of any villa is its overall design – in terms of architecture, landscaping, interior design, furnishings, etc. – all of these forces combine to create the overall atmosphere and experience of staying in a luxury villa. The best luxury villas are truly a spectacle to behold, with a unique character expressing itself in the overall aesthetic of the structure, its surroundings, and the interior.
Even if a villa passes all of the above requirements with flying colors, they can still find themselves lacking in a quality location. Our guests have a variety of different requirements for their location (such as proximity to certain locations, landscape preferences etc) but for the most part, we find the commonality is that the majority of guests are just looking for a quiet place to stay and rest comfortably whenever they want.
The most popular locations are near beaches and coastlines, or further inland but still near the ocean with a view, on elevated mountainous areas, adjacent to peaceful and beautiful rice fields, tucked nearly on a hill or cliff side, and almost always in a nice, relatively secluded area.
By far the most important aspect of a villa is its standards of maintenance. Even the most opulent and well built of construction will, given enough time and neglect, fall to shambles.
We understand the commitment of time, energy and funds which it takes to maintain a luxury villa and keep its name associated with quality, to remain a competitive entity in the business. As such, there is no standard by which to measure the quality of a luxury villa which is more potent than the quality of its maintenance.
There are quite a number of villas with great designs, with all the bells and whistles of high-end modern facilities and decadent amenities which have failed us in staffing, services, location, maintenance, or some combination of these factors. To really provide the optimal guest experience, it is essential not a single one of these details is neglected.