Top 10 Villa Rental Companies
By Suzanne Bopp
We travel for many reasons, not the least of which is to experience a new way of life. Whether shopping for groceries at La Boqueria in Barcelona, or taking an evening stroll through Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan neighborhood, it’s thrilling to blend in with the crowd and live like a local—if even for a moment. And there’s no better way to immerse oneself in a destination than by renting a private villa or apartment.
A villa rental or house swap offers three major advantages over a hotel: space, privacy, and value, says Stiles Bennet, president and COO of villa rental agency Wimco. Consider a family of four in a hotel: parents in one room, kids in another. "They meet in the hallway, or hang out by the crowded pool," he says. "They’re not really having a family experience."
Whether you’re looking for a self-service rental company or a full-service booking agent that can arrange every detail, these are some of the top rental providers in the industry. You'll also get the best villa with our tips on how to rent a villa.
This full-service company specializes in the Caribbean, where they offer about 800 villas on 14 islands. Wimco regularly inspects all the properties it lists.
Properties: About 1,450 in the Caribbean, Europe, and Nantucket
Weekly Rates: From about $3,000
Book It: Wimco.com
Villas of Distinction
The properties in this full-service collection range in size from one to 20 bedrooms (and include Necker Island, Richard Branson’s private island); most come with butlers, maids and chefs. The company will arrange everything from your car rental to pre-stocking your villa with groceries.
Properties: More than 2,500 in the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, and the U.S.
Weekly Rates: From about $3,000
Book It: VillasofDistinction.com
This full-service company was founded by an American family who lived for several years in Provence and knows the villa owners personally. The website offers extensive regional information, from suggested travel itineraries to the resumes of local private chefs for hire.
Properties: About 100 in Provence, France
Weekly Rates: From about $2,000
Book It: FranceVacationVilla.com
Villas of the World
This full-service collection features inspected and rated properties—based on amenities and services—from two to five stars. The site’s search function allows you to search villas by parameters including price, which is handy if you know your budget but not where you want to go.
Properties: More than 3,000 worldwide
Weekly Rates: From about $2,000
Book It: VillasoftheWorld.com
This full-service vacation rental company has been in operation for nearly 30 years. The website allows searches not only by location but also by number of bedrooms, or the presence of a swimming pool or a piano, or other popular keywords.
Properties: Over 25,000 worldwide
Weekly Rates: From about $750
Book It: VillasIntl.com
This award-winning, full-service booking agency is known for its deep range of rental properties and extensive local knowledge, and offers personal consultations to match a renter with the appropriate rental.
Properties: About 550 in Italy and England
Weekly Rates: From about $800
Book It: VillaEurope.com
This full-service company specializes in luxury beach vacations and provides local contacts at every destination. Villa Luxe donates a portion of its proceeds to charities that support the local communities.
Properties: About 500 in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica
Weekly Rates: From about $1,500
Book It: VillaLuxe.com
Italian Vacation Villas
This full-service company is owned by an American couple who have been traveling around and living in Italy for over 30 years. They have visited every property and can offer advice on local restaurants, cooking schools, and wine tours.
Properties: More than 450 across Italy
Weekly Rates: From about $600
Book It: VillasItalia.com
HomeAway Vacation Rentals
The self-service website allows you to view available properties, then puts you in touch with the owner to work out the details. After your vacation, you can post a review of the property to help other renters.
Properties: More than 260,000 worldwide
Weekly Rates: From about $500
Book It: HomeAway.com
TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals
The self-service rentals website has acquired or partnered with existing companies like FlipKey.com to offer a worldwide rental stock. The site features reviews from renters, and connects potential renters with property owners or management companies.
Properties: More than 100,000
Weekly Rates: From about $500
Book It: TripAdvisor.com
Photo Credit: Christian Wheatley Media, Inc./iStockPhoto
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Member Comments (9) Post a Comment
I am slightly gutted that we are not on there! how ever very pleased for these sites and one day http://www.vip5star.com will be up there with them.
Important for potential renters to know difference between villa listing company and villa management company. Managers are there 24/7 and offer services and assistance before, during, and after you travel. We've rented from http://beautiful-places.com 2 times in 2 diff locations and are planninig a third visit this summer. Big not necessarily better in this biz.
The websites mentioned in this article are beautiful, not sure why people are saying they dot work very well. Not sure why Fodor's didn't list LifeandStyle.com. My wife and I used LifeandStyle.com last November to book our villa rental in St. Martin and we couldn't have been any more happier! We looked at many other sites, including a few mentioned in this article before finding them and we'll only use them in the future. We will be booking our next villa rental in St Barts with them next!
This list is very good. Unfortuantely most of the agents do not have Croatia as destination in their offer. For Croatia we used domestic agency www.orvas-hotels.com
Hi Suzanne. You've put together a great list here. I've found that some of the most impressive and luxurious villas can be found at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida. There's a fantastic selection available to view here: http://www.thetopvillas.com/reunion-resort-rentals/
Best wishes, Alex
If your going to stay in Orlando, Fl in the Reunion Resort DO NOT USE TOP VILLAS.COM they mislead you and do not return phone calls and the management company that runs the property is in partners with them. We stayed at one of their properties the was new. We were the first to stay and the day after we called Jeeves Management the company that runs it and we had problems with the dryer, lights, water, celing fans and nothing was ever done the whole week until Friday when we called because the lighting fixture in our master bath shower fell out and smashed on the floor with glass all over the shower. The manager came out named Sharon and had an I don't care attitude. We showed all the problems we had and she said that construction was behind and was just completed a few days before we got there. Which also explained why TOP VILLAS did not even get us pictures of the actual home we were staying in untill the day before we got there. We even called TOP VILLAS
...and TOP VILLAS did not care either. All they had to say was they would look into it. Sharon from Jeeves told us because of the delays they had no time to have the owners (which is a local investment company)stay there to test the place out. We were "gunea pigs". Well for $11,000.00 we should not be that. The dryer for example was not conected properly. The exaust hose had a cap on it and we could not dry cloths or towels (which we did not have enough and were told oh well) for 15 people 2 towels each and with no working dryer, well you can figure out the rest. Use any other company but do plenty of research before you do. But do not use TOP VILLAS!!
Suzanne Bopp (author of this article) you should be ashamed of yourself. How have you arrived at the list? You give no indication/justification for your selection which removes any credibility or journalistic integrity from your work immediately.
I wasted my valuable time checking each and everyone of the sites you listed and each and everyone one is a awful. Terrible user experience (I am an Account Director in a digital agency so I know a good website when I see one) and awful search functionality.
From an organisation with a strapline of 'Travel intelligence' I expect better. While I'm at it your own website also offers a very poor user experience - you wanna get someone to call me about that.
I had to register just to get this comment on here...I will promptly be deleting my account.
Terrible waste of peoples time, thanks for nothing.
I concur with gary2012 do not use TOP VILLAS if you are staying in Orlando. After they have your money good luck ever getting any kind of response from them or receipt for your money. Loads of complaints on the Central Florida BBB and TripAdvisor.
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