So You Want to Rent a Villa ...


When I was growing up, long before renting a villa became trendy, every other year my family vacationed with another family who had kids around the same ages as my siblings and I (see above photos of our Jamaican villa vacation - that's our wonderful cook, Miz Una, with my Mom in the market in 1969). On alternate years, my parents traveled with three or four other couples. My Mom (who managed reservations for VHR, WORLDWIDE for 22 years before she retired in 2007) planned these trips with the assistance of a local travel agent who worked with the only company at that time that offered villas in the Caribbean for short-term rental. Whether it was a get-away with family or friends, my Mother recognized that the villa concept presented the ideal accommodations in both situations.

When VHR, WORLDWIDE opened its doors in 1982, the idea of staying in someone's resort home was still in its infancy. There were only a couple of companies specializing in this type of travel. As such, much of what our company did in those early years was to create visibility for what we believe is the most rewarding way to experience the world. We continue to expend our promotional energy enlightening consumers and educating their travel agents about what we truly believe is the best way to visit another country, whether it be an island in The Bahamas or Caribbean, one of the many different nations of Europe or Central America, or a Mexican territory. It has always been our pleasure to encourage others to step off the beaten path a bit ... to mingle with the local populace more closely, amble through the produce stands on market day with the cook in Ochie (as my Mom did, above), buy fresh croissants at the patisserie on Rue Franklin, haggle with the vendors at the straw market in Nassau, and score just-caught fish and lobster on the dock when the boats return in Treasure Cay.

Not everyone is well suited to staying in a villa versus a hotel or resort. If you want to meet and be around a lot of other people all the time, then a villa is probably not your gig. If you need to be constantly stimulated with nonstop on-site activities and nightlife, then by all means choose larger, more populated accommodations - or even a cruise - with a plethora of things to do.

For those families, couples and friends who enjoy the company of each other, the villa concept is ideal. Where some people go on vacation to meet others, the folks who rent villas are already traveling with the people with whom they want to spend their time, and everything else - such as making new friends at the beach, bar or on a tour - is just gravy. This explains why renting a villa for a honeymoon (yes, we do have fabulous one bedroom villas!) has become so popular with our clients. It's all about the people and controlling the environment around you.

Residing in a villa is considerably less expensive than staying in alternative accommodations of similar quality. Surprised? Sure, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous lead us to believe you had to be a gazillionaire to rent one of those opulent beachfront estates, yet nothing could be further from the truth. While the per person cost of renting a villa can be half of what you would pay to stay in a room at a hotel or resort of comparable location and quality, perhaps the biggest savings comes with your food and beverage bill. For what your typical four or five star hotel or resort might charge one person for breakfast, you can usually feed an entire family at a villa. And if the villa rental includes the services of a chef or cook, Mom (or the family meal planner) gets a well-deserved break from spending her/his time in the grocery store and kitchen.

Many altar-bound couples have discovered that one of our larger villas offers the ideal atmosphere for their special day. There are no distractions or interruptions from unwelcome onlookers. If the villa does not come with the services of a chef or cook, we can find one for you or hire a local caterer to handle the culinary details of your event.

A number of our more capacious villas, with numerous bedrooms, provide an ideal atmosphere for small business meetings. Having everything geared to your schedule and requirements, without any outside disturbances, ticks off all the boxes of a successful corporate venue while allowing for a comfortable, casual environment where breaks can be enjoyed poolside and keeping a keen eye on the budget.

So we will inquire why you want to rent a villa. It's important to us that you choose the appropriate leisure or business environment to suit your needs. We will listen intently as you share your wish list, and ask you a few questions (where you want to go, activities you seek, atmosphere you desire), then guide you accordingly based on our experience. Among our staff are seasoned professionals who have many years of group travel planning under their belts. Our team will ensure that your vacation or special event will run seamlessly, with all the bases covered.

Because that's what we do, and we are constantly reminded by our clients that we do it well. Which is why, more than three decades after we arranged the villa reservation and accompanying travel needs for our first client in 1982 (who, as it turned out, happened to be a famous travel writer), we are still here to serve you, with pleasure.

#jamaica #villa #vacation #caribbean #family #grouptravel #honeymoons #destinationweddings

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