Experience-driven travel is all the rage these days, and the trend is multiplying as post-pandemic travel explodes around the world. Travelers want genuine adventures that make them feel like a local, connected to and engaged with the community they are visiting. This is an ideal time for travel advisors to recommend villa vacations to their clients as an alternative to traditional resort stays. Here’s why…
1. Live like a local.
“Guests love the ability to travel with all the conveniences of ‘home,’ giving them the ability to ‘spread out,’ as they say - and it makes them feel not only more comfortable, but gives them the chance to live like a local,” says Michelle Andersen, director, Private Client Group, Admiral Travel. “We all know today’s guests are experience-driven, so we provide that additional element.”
In a villa, travelers are not just tourists in a hotel. They can experience the destination more authentically, from the base of their temporary home, say, a villa in the Tuscan countryside or a New York City apartment that is all their own for a weekend, a week, or a longer stay.
Villa vacations also offer more variety in destinations because the guests can get closer to the exact locations they want to visit, unlike resorts that are typically limited to one or two destination areas. For instance, if the traveler loves skiing, they can enjoy ski-in/ski-out access from the back porch of their villa. Or if they are looking for extra privacy, they may choose a villa on a private island or in a gated estate.
Furthermore, “the villa environment offers uniqueness … not to mention great locations around the world,” adds Mark Gerling, owner, Gerling Travel.
2. Together yet apart.
In a villa, there are plenty of shared spaces to spend time with travel companions as well as private spaces to retreat to when needed or wanted.
“I use villas for many families traveling together, so in this way, they are staying together but each has their own space. They also love the concierge amenities, kitchen, and special services offered with another villa,” notes Andersen.
3. The privacy.
Most travelers want at least some privacy while on vacation. For others, privacy is one of the most important aspects of the entire experience.
Gerling, for example, specializes in booking travel for celebrities and athletes. Privacy is a must-have for his clients, “young athlete clients who don’t want to be seen or bothered while on holiday. For example, this week is the NBA All Star break, and many players want to go away for a few precious days with friends and family. They ALL requested villas verses hotels, even over luxury hotels with decent privacy. They want to have meals prepared for them, have space to chill out and watch the ocean waves, listen to some music of their liking, all of which they can’t do as easily at hotels - and then have the option to venture out if they want,” explains Gerling.
4. Amenities and personalized service options.
With a villa, “you can select all the elements that are important to you, like a pool, A/C, chef services, number of bedrooms, location, etc.” says Carolyn Farha, travel advisor at Direct Travel.
This allows for a more customized travel experience. Many staffed villas provide personal butlers, chefs, laundresses, housekeepers, and more, upon request. The full-service concierge teams also stand ready to help with reservations, excursions, and other needs.
5. Better value.
Bedroom for bedroom, villa pricing is comparable to resort pricing, plus guests can take advantage of the extra private spaces and amenities – like kitchens, pools, game rooms, and more. All things considered, the overall value is better at a villa.
“Villas are typically less expensive per person than hotels of the same caliber,” notes Farha.
And “for anyone staying five nights or longer in a destination, villas afford so much added value - and they heighten the experience. They are far more personal than a hotel stay,” says Andersen.
When booking villas, it is important to have dependable industry partners. “Working with our villas partner is invaluable,” says Andersen. “They have prime personal knowledge of their inventory, and we can narrow down the choices quickly for guests. With a series of carefully crafted questions I ask of guests (or as I like to call it, my fact-finding mission), I can take the running commentary right to our team - and voila, signed, sealed, and delivered.”
FROM THE SPONSOR:
Villas of Distinction is a full-service villa experience provider that has been a leader in the industry for more than 30 years. It recently won its seventh consecutive award as “Best Villa Rental Company” at the annual Travvy Awards, voted on by the travel advisor community. Villas of Distinction offers an exclusive portfolio of approximately 3,000 luxury villas in more than 52 destinations worldwide, including the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, and beyond. Each villa is vetted and inspected to meet strict standards, and Villas of Distinction fully stands behind its properties. No matter where your guests go, they will enjoy striking accommodations, private amenities, and exemplary service with incredible value. Each reservation includes a personal villa specialist and concierge to take the guesswork out of your client’s getaway, and every detail of their villa vacation is customized to their wishes. Let us welcome your guests to a world of luxury and convenience unlike any other.