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Summer in Europe: Is This the Year You Rent a Villa?

by Pavia Rosati
The Rocca delle Tre Contrade in Sicily is exclusive to The Thinking Traveller. Photo courtesy of The Thinking Traveller.

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If you dream of summer vacation somewhere in Europe with your favorite people, you might be wondering if a villa is a better idea than a hotel. Time to figure it out.

Ask yourself what kind of trip you want to have. Maximum privacy or a big social scene? Is your service style anything you want, madame or just let me handle it? Are you happy to do a lot of research or would you rather organize your vacation with one (probably expensive) phone call?

Generally speaking, villas — a catchall term for all kinds of homes (because: Europe) – are a great idea when you: 

  • are traveling with a group and want your own dedicated space,
  • like a degree of independence,
  • don’t want to share amenities (pool, lounge, beach),
  • have budget for staff (cook, housekeeper, butler), 
  • or don’t have that kind of budget but are willing to assume a certain amount of risk and do some of the work.

Is a Villa a Good Idea?

Obviously, a villa affords more privacy than a hotel ever could. No strangers hogging the pool in prime time; no waiting for a server to bring your morning coffee. You can dance under the pergola until dawn and play your music as loud as you want. And it’s really fun to pretend that this photo-shoot-perfect farmhouse in Provence is all yours

Price is another pro: When you pool your budget, a multi-bedroom house can be more cost-effective than the same number of rooms in a hotel. And it’s probably obvious that the bigger the house, the more bells and whistles it can have — a pool, a wine cellar, a movie theater.

Multi-Destination Platforms vs. Destination Specialists

The villa market breaks down into two main categories: multi-destination platforms and destination-based specialists.

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