Wendy Perrin’s 8th Annual Worldwide Guide to Foolproof Villa Vacations
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 firstname.lastname@example.org – Wendy Perrin
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).
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!
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.