The goal of this article is to help you decide and find the best villa that suits your needs and requirements including the people you are traveling with, and to ensure the booking process and your dream vacation will be as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
1. What’s my budget?
If this is not even a concern to you, then you may proceed to the next question. If it is, however, mind that villas with the same number of bedrooms, may differ in quality, design, facilities and amenities, services offered, and even the location. Thus, pricing will be different. To cut short your search process, if you are booking direct through the villa website, simply inform the owner or representative, about your budget. If you are booking through agents or booking engines with hundreds of villas listed on their website, filter the villas by price range to make your search easier and quicker.
2. How many people are traveling with me?
All luxury villas for rent have requirements for maximum number of guests allowed to stay at the villa. Some are willing to stretch the numbers at an additional cost, but others are not flexible at all. If your group exceeds the maximum number of guests allowed, then you may need to find two or more villas next to each other or in the same estate which is tricky as most of the villas operate independently. Having an agent that can help you sort out and search the right villa/s for you would be most convenient.
3. Am I traveling with kids, elderly, or disabled person?
If you are traveling with people that require special attention or with special requirement, make sure to ask the concierge or the villa representative if the villa is suitable for you. Some villas are built on a cliff that are not kid-friendly at all. If you’re traveling with a disabled person or someone on a wheelchair, look for villas with elevator or just a one-level villa built on flat land.
4. Is the location suitable for my needs?
Know where the villa is located, depending on your travel plans. If you’re traveling with group of friends and plan to party for as long as you want, then you may need a villa close to where the crowd is? If you want to relax and completely enjoy a quiet holiday with family or friends, then you’re better off in a peaceful area where you can only hear the sound of the waves and the surrounding nature. There are many luxury villas designed specifically as a perfect retreat destination mostly built on a private secluded location.
5. Is the villa equipped with the facilities and amenities that I need?
This is important if you plan to spend most of your time at the villa. Most luxury villas are equipped with a private infinity pool, fitness room, cinema room, games and entertainment room, spa, a private beach, tennis court, and many more. One may have all the facilities and amenities that you want, but may not exactly be the right location. Always consult with an agent who is based locally who knows the destination very well.
6. Is there a staff at the villa? If so, how many?
If you are searching for a luxury villa with minimum of 4 bedrooms, most likely the villa will have a dedicated staff. Otherwise, it should be stated on the website if none. There should be at least 3 dedicated staff (a villa manager, chef, and housekeeping). Other destinations, like the villas in Bali provide butlers, and drivers. Most luxury villas in Phuket provide a dedicated chef, but for villas in Koh Samui, it may come at an additional cost.
7. How do I know if the company I am booking with is legit and that my payment is safe?
First of all, you should at least see a person’s profile representing the company on the about us page. After your first inquiry or if you have corresponded with the company, research the profile of the people you are dealing with. If they are professional and legit, they should have at least a linkedin account/profile with real connections and recommendations. Look for some history of the company or the villas. Read some real reviews on Flipkey or TripAdvisor. Most importantly, if the company offers a travel/holiday insurance, then your booking must be in good hands.
8. Are meals or food included?
Meals are normally excluded in the rental. Although some villas offer free breakfast, the rest of the meals should be on the guests’ expense. The staff at the villa will be available to do the shopping for you and the in-house chef will be happy to cook the food for you. Some villas have service charge of 15% to 20% on top of the purchased items, but some don’t. You may also do your own shopping as desired.
9. Is airport transfer included?
Most villas offer a 2-way airport transfer as complimentary but others don’t. If it’s not included, you may opt to arrange your own transfer upon arrival at the airport, or ask the manager or villa representative to arrange it for you prior to your arrival. We would strongly recommend the latter.
10. Will there be other hidden charges?
The villa rental industry is one of the most transparent industries when it comes charges. Should there be a (++) sign indicated in the price provided, do not hesitate to ask what it is for. Some villas include their Service Charge and VAT on the rental. Otherwise, it should be stated during the booking process, and should not come as a surprise or hidden.