Caribbean Travelers Series – Renting a villa

New Caribbean Travelers Series – Introducing the Caribbean

Welcome to the new Caribbean Traveller’s Series ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ being featured here at The Caribbean Current Magazine. ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ is a series focusing on the every need of travellers looking to spend time in the region. This is the first post in the series and we are happy to have you.

Whether you wish to dance to rhythms of reggae, salsa and soca or you want to have some drinks garnished with little umbrellas as you watch the sunset from a beautiful white-sand beach. It could be that you’re looking for adventure and mystery or maybe you are simply coming on business, ‘Introducing the Caribbean’ is the only guide you will need to have a great time while embracing the uniqueness and character of the vibrant and dynamic region known as the Caribbean. Come – experience a region with pride in its unique history, stunning landscape and influential culture. Welcome to the Caribbean!


Introducing the Caribbean – Renting a Caribbean Villa

The only guide you will ever need

Are you planning a vacation to the Caribbean and need a great place to stay? You may be intrigued by the prospect of renting a luxury villa but daunted by the process. Look no further, as today we will be helping you to find a wonderful Caribbean home that matches your every need.

Image Credit: http://www.islandhideaways.com

Whether you are travelling to the Caribbean as a family unit, business group, or individually, renting a luxury Caribbean villa can be a great alternative to booking a hotel. This way, you get to immerse yourself in the charms of the local culture and truly enjoy your stay. Moreover, if you are looking for a more private occasion, a villa will provide more autonomy than any resort can.

Does No Room Service Mean No Service?
This concern is addressed as I believe it may be the number one deciding factor for many persons, regardless of price, location, etc. Many visitors prefer hotels for one major reason, room service. If you really don’t want to lift a finger, look to islands such as Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia or the Bahamas. Yes, you can relax in the tropical comfort of your own home with a personal staff to attend to your needs. Almost all villa rentals there include a staff with a cook, personal laundress and maid. Moreover, all you have to pay is the cost of the food; there is no additional cost for the luxury of having your own staff.

Image Credit: http://www.stbernardshillhouse.com/staff-services.html

Most Caribbean villas come with attentive staff, well trained to be discreet and unobtrusive. Still, try to find a villa with a long-serving staff, the longer the tenure, the happier the staff are likely to be.

Image Credit: http://www.caribbean-vacation-properties.com

Choosing the Right Caribbean Island to visit
While you will find villas to rent on virtually every Caribbean island, it is important to realise that some islands offer a wider variety of villas with higher quality when compared to others. Also, different islands offer different experiences. Price also varies considerably from one island to the next. Note however that this can be quite costly.

If your vacation involves a lot of travel around then Caribbean, then renting a villa in one island while travelling is an option. Islands offering excellent service include Barbados, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Martin, St. Thomas, St. Martin and Turks & Caicos.

Price – Too Expensive?
Many people believe villas are too expensive, especially when compared to hotels and resorts. While villas may be more costly per night, you need to remember that you are likely to get all the rooms at a flat rate. Furthermore, meals and drink turn out to be less pricey when compared to that of hotels. Moreover, you get a whole ‘mini-resort’ to yourself, your own pool, etc. Consider the privacy, nothing compares to having everyone under one roof, rather than spread out down the halls of a hotel. In short, villas cost less in the long run and give more value for your money.

Image Credit: http://www.islandhideaways.com

You have to decide whether you can afford a cute little cottage or a lavish mansion, it is completely up to you. Regional flights and ferries can add significant costs to your vacation therefore look at destinations with direct flights from your country of origin.

Best Villa Season
Villa high season generally runs from mid-December to mid-April. You can get bargains up to even half price on villa accommodation just before and after the high season. As such, it is smart to book your villa just before the high season begins. Do not wait around for last-minute deals, secure a villa early. High seasons occur every holiday, especially Christmas and even summer.

Image Credit: http://www.anamivillas.com/

Finding a Booking Agent
Even though you may prefer renting a villa directly from the owner, it is always a good idea to check with a booking agent to at least get additional information from a third party villa-rental agency. Not only is it simpler, but many agencies will meet you at your destination and help with air travel, car rentals, finding chefs, arranging tours, etc. Examples of good travel agents include Luxury Retreats, Jamaican Villas by Linda Smith, Hideaways, or Wimco Villas.

Firstly, do not leave your search until the last minute. Peak weeks such as those leading up to Christmas or other holidays are the best times to find a great villa. Begin with a budget and ensure that your basic amenities are taken care of:

  • beachfront or vast ocean view from a hillgolf, tennis or both
  • number of bedrooms
  • number of king-size beds, twin beds, cribs and high chairs
  • number of bathtubs as well as walk-in showers
  • Internet access
  • Pool
  • handicapped access
  • availability of nannies, drivers, masseuses

Some of these are must haves that cannot be compromised. Other features are simply up to your own preference. Facilities vary, but every villa will feature either a swimming pool or is located on the beach.

Style and Layout
The layout and style of your chosen villa is extremely important considering who you will be travelling with. If you are travelling with your spouse, you may prefer a romantic getaway. On the other hand, if you are travelling with infants and or elderly, you may prefer a small single-level accommodation.

Image Credit: http://www.islandhideaways.com

Villas offer a level of privacy, seclusion and personal service that a hotel often cannot match. Do what you want, eat and drink what and when you want, you are not constrained by hotel rules.  By Norvan martin

Read more in the series

 A Diver’s Paradise

Top 5 Snorkelling destinations

ABC Islands -The Caribbean’s Hidden Treasure

10 Must have essentials to pack for a Caribbean vacation

Quell the Myths from your mind

Top 5 Caribbean Cruises

Top 5 Caribbean Resorts

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