Wendy Perrin’s 7th Annual Worldwide Guide to Affordable Villa Vacations
On the following pages is everything you need to know to find your dream digs in more than 30 countries including whom to call and how to get exactly what you want for less. But first, a true story on renting a beach house (make that two) in Brazil by Features Editor Deborah Dunn, (Nice work if you can get it.)
THE REASONS TO RENT A VILLA, apartment, cottage, or castle are many: more space, more privacy, more authenticity – you get to live like a local, after all – and, when you can fill all the bedrooms, more value for your dollar. But how to guarantee that you villa is in a great spot? For that you need a specialist who will place you on the most secluded beach, the most charming street corner, or the hilltop with the prettiest views. So when Features Editor Deborah Dunn was headed to Brazil on holiday,I gave her an assignment: Put our Brazil villa specialist to the test – without revealing that you are Conde Nast Traveler editor, of course. Here is Dunn’s story of what she learned about how to find the right place at the right price. (For your own perfect pad, consult one of the rigorously vetted villa experts listed on these pages.) – Wendy Perrin
The Villa Pros
Let’s face it: Renting a villa can seem like a riskier proposition than booking a hotel room – but it doesn’t have to be. For the past seven years, we’ve been rigorously vetting villa renatl 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 appliacation and sending documents that include sample house books, driving directions, 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 time and time again. Forty agents made this year’s cut. Each has visited every home he or she represents, has slept in many of them, and reinspects them at least annually. They have cultivated local connections and use these on behalf on Conde Nast Traveler readers. Five are newcomers to the list- representing Buenos Aires, Florence, Turkey, and London (just in time to help you find a great crash pad for the Olympics). To read reviews of these agents or to post your own, visit condenasttraveler.com/travel-specialists. To nominate an agent for a future list, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now to the guide: Some agents have cottages, other fairy-tale estates; we’ve characterized their portfolios from one dollar sign ($) for the least expensive to ($$$$) for very expensive relative to the region. Unless otherwise noted, prices reflect one-week rentals. – Wendy Perrin
Hawaii Hideaways, Maui
250 properties (low season, $7,350 – $54,500: high season, $10,000 – $85,000)
OVERALL PORTFOLIO: $$$
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; email@example.com; hawaiihideaways.com).
We had a wonderful time at Sail Away and I recommended Hawaii Hideaway to dozens of people. You were a delight to work with and I will definitely use you again the next time we rent a home in the islands.
Like a Dream
Bliss doesn’t even describe our experience. It was almost like a dream. We are ready to do this again with Hawaii Hideaways – you guys are the best. Everything was perfect!!!
Outstanding Experience From Beginning to End
It was in an outstanding experience from beginning to end, I would work with Hawaii hideaways again in the future unquestionably. Sunny Madeiros was terrific with her recommendations of everything from leisure activities to restaurants and even equipment rentals.
Coral Gables, FL
Perfect Combination of Elegance and Comfort
First time to Maui (and Hawaii). This is a spectacular setting and the home is a perfect combination of elegance and comfort. I could stay on the lanai all day long and be happy. Of course there’s a ton of fun activities, but it was great to have Gull Cottage as our base to come back to!
Arlington Heights, IL
You’re Going to Want to Stay
Our family spent a splendid week in Kauai in early 2017, basing ourselves out of the Touching Green house. It’s in a great location, has everything you need, and is just lovely. The pictures don’t do it justice. You’re going to want to stay!
New Rochelle, NY
A Treasured Memory For Life
We had a wonderful time in Kauai! We remained in awe at the unimaginable beauty, both of the rental home, as well as Kauai itself. It will be a treasured memory for life. I hope we can come back and make more memories.