Perrin's People: March 2013 Issue
The Villa Pros
With the explosion of Vacation-Rental Websites, it's never been easier to find a house.It's also never been risker. How much can you trust the online description? Is the house really as nice as it looks in the photos? Does "a short walk to the beach" mean five minutes or five miles? Committing to a vacation rental sight unseen is one of the more nerve-wracking decisions you can make-especially if you're choosing a house not just for your family but for a long-anticipated friends' getaway or a family reunion, exactly the kind of trip where you need everything to be perfect. My advice? For sheer peace of mind, nothing beats the voice of authority. Tht's why for the past eight years, we've been rigorously vetting villa rental agents around the world-renting from them, accompanying them on villa inspections, interviewing them extensively, and hearing feedback from readers. Getting on our list of top villa specialists means filling out a 47-question application and sending sample house books, checklists used to evaluate properties, and at least one client reference. Staying on the list is even tougher: It requires proving user-friendliness, conscientiousness, and honesty again and again. Forty-one agents made this year's cut, representing properties in all our favorite destinations- from Tuscany to Turkey's Turquoise Coast. To read reviews of these agents or to post your own, visit condenasttraveler.com/villa-specialists. To nominate an agent for a future list, e-mail me at perrinfeedback@condenasttraveler.com - Wendy Perrin

Anne Pawsat-Dressler
Hawaii Hideaway, Maui
250 properties (low season, $7,350-$54,500; high season, $10,000-$85,000)
Overall portfolio: $$$
Pawsat-Dressler's sumptuous, mostly oceanfront Hawaiian villas come with the latest and greatest amenities (Bosch appliances and HDTV)and a 24-hour concierge who can line up everything from a private heli-hiking tour of Molokai to a pedicurist who makes house calls. Pawsat-Dressler, who lives part-time on Maui, combines intimate knowledge of the islands with type-A efficiency (808-878-8559; cntrvlr.com/anne).