Villa rental owners usually take great pride in their holiday home being labeled as ‘luxury’. But what determines whether a villa is luxurious or not? Is it defined by a universal set of villa rental standards? Or is it all to do with guest experiences and villa property reviews?

Luxury may seem subjective but there are objective guidelines and checks villa owners can follow. Likewise, while each guest has their own concept of a luxurious stay, there are broad expectations which apply.

Holidaymakers may favor one luxury villa over another for a variety of their own reasons. Personal taste is a major factor, as well as what type of holiday the guests are looking for, where and with whom.

10 Checklist for Owners

Luxury is not a strict definition, but owners can rate their villas against our 10 point luxury villa checklist to pinpoint a property’s luxurious features and attributes:

1. Location, views, and vantage point – While luxury villas are about the property itself, the aspect and destination are all important. An amazing villa in a crumby location knocks points off. Privacy and an incredible vista add to the luxury rating.

2. Well-designed architecture and features – From modernist architectural wonders to ornate creations and indigenous designs; from the space inside each room to the entry to a villa; luxury can be about interesting architecture rather than boring square, box rooms with four walls. Think floor to ceiling windows, terraces and high ceilings, as well as beams, traditional, local materials and standout features.

3. High-quality décor and furnishings – A luxury villa has to look luxury. This means the design has to be high-end. A villa may have muted, earthy tones with soft sofas and minimalist furniture. It may be filled with works of art, designer pieces and hip creativity.

4. Excellent amenities – Housekeeping, private chefs and a concierge; laundry, spa treatments and fitness classes; the services offered in-villa can really boost the luxury level tremendously.

5. High-end facilities – An infinity pool with stunning views, hot tub, games room, cinema, gym and perhaps an in-villa spa are all luxury facilities. Even a high-end brand oven can be a symbol of luxury.

6. Impressive grounds – Villa holidays in sunny locations such as Thailand or Indonesia are as much about the outside as the inside. Sun terraces with day beds and greenery, such as landscaped gardens, need to be created with luxury in mind. If you think all sun loungers are alike, think again. From the plants to the patio furniture, luxury needs to flow seamlessly from indoors out.

7. In-villa entertainment – Many luxury villas have dedicated entertainment zones where guests can chill out and watch a big screen TV, enjoy a DVD and feel inspired by music to match the mood and occasion. The rule of thumb is that if a villa does have an entertainment system then luxury means brand-name and high-spec. In-villa entertainment may mean table football, pool table, or even board games, but the concept is the same – high standard, nothing shabby, only excellent quality.

8. State-of-the-art technology – If a villa does have audio visual equipment, then from enormous flat screens, to speakers and the latest video games only the latest tech gadgets are truly luxury. Some luxury villas seem to shun technology in the name of barefoot-in-the-sand sophistication. However, from the air-conditioning to fans, the kitchen, lighting and shower, quality equates to the most advanced.

9. Wonderful condition – Worn-out and tired looking; bland, standard and uninspiring; broken, under-par and dated; these are the luxury villa red flags. A cracked tile, broken shower and uncomfortable bed can degrade a villa’s luxury rating drastically. Maintenance is as extremely important as location.

10. Je ne sais quoi – All luxury villas have something special about them with its own luxury x factor. Other words that describe luxury include – unique; chic; sophisticated; designer; opulent; glamorous; elegant; refined; and spectacular.

What Does Luxury Mean to Guests?

A villa is only as luxury as a guest deems it to be. Does a villa create great comfort, a fantastic ambience, and a memorable experience? Luxury villa guests want to feel well taken care of, that the small details of their stay have been thought about. The design, décor and individual elements of a villa should all fit perfectly together to create an overall luxury vibe.

Related: Choosing the Right Luxury Villa for Your Holiday

From a low-key yet incredibly sophisticated retreat to a simple, yet stunning oasis, and opulent magnificence, luxury villas come in all shapes, sizes and styles.

How do you define luxury?