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karameli May 26th, 2006 06:31 AM

Has anyone rented a fabulous 9+ bedroom villa? (Anywhere!)
We're looking for a fun vacation idea for a family trip -- 26 people. One option is an all-inclusive beach resort, but the other option is a huge villa somewhere. So, that said -- has anyone stayed at (or know of) a clean, well-kept, nine-or-more bedroom villa that's close to fun activities? It can be anywhere. The trip is still in the early planning stages, so I'm open to ANY ideas! Thanks :)

Stephie May 26th, 2006 06:35 AM

Wow! Even if there were such a villa, I think 26 people together on vacation in one house would drive people crazy. A little seperation might be a good idea, although you of course know who you're traveling with. Consider whether or not anyone of them could get on your nerves after a few days. Are there children? I just envision mass chaos with that many, but you know them.

Good Luck!

kleeblatt May 26th, 2006 06:38 AM

Definitely go for the all-inclusive beach resort. Although the villa sounds nice, I wouldn't even bother getting one without hiring a cook and a cleaning lady with it.

karameli May 26th, 2006 06:42 AM

Well, I have found two -- one in Mexico and one in Ireland. There are loads of 9-bedroom houses in the US, but we're trying to flee the country for this vacation ;) If we can't find a villa that would be fun/exciting/far away, we'll go with the original AI plan.

mclaurie May 26th, 2006 06:45 AM

Have not done it but sounds fun. Budget will be an issue. There are a few interesting places on this website

South of France and Tuscany would be 2 places that would have what you want. 9 bedrooms for 26 people sounds a bit....cramped. ;)

Viajero2 May 26th, 2006 06:49 AM

A cruise purchased way ahead of travel (for best prices) is your best bet. Talk to a carnival, RCCL, etc.. sales rep for group rates, which they all arrange for. People can drive/fly to departure port and you do not have to worry about activities nor cooking, cleaning, bathrooms, etc....

mclaurie May 26th, 2006 06:55 AM

I was reminded by schuler's comment (which I agree with, a cook and cleaner is nec. for this and probably doable) that friends used to rent a large place (but not that large) in Puerto Vallarta, Mex. that came with a cook/caretaker. I think there'd be places in various areas of Mexico.

This is the size place people also rent for a wedding. What you might also look for is a small inn where you'd take over the entire place. But then the issue is whether you'd prefer having some outsiders around.

surfmom May 26th, 2006 06:56 AM

What about 2 or 3 houses/villas adjacent to each other? (or within walking distance)

Our family goes to the beach this way - each family has their own house and that way, we each have our own 'space' to go back to at the end of the day...

Rolo72 May 26th, 2006 07:02 AM

How about Casa de Campo in Dominican Republic? You can rent 2 or 3 five bedroom villas. Each villa comes with its own butler and cook and golf cart to drive around the resort. There are 3 golf courses on the premises. Been there a couple of times on company trips and its really nice.

ekscrunchy May 26th, 2006 07:17 AM

Two ideas: is the site for a very highly regarded rental agency.

The most recent issue of Conde Nast Traveller has an article on all you need to know about renting a villa in Europe with a list of vetted agencies.

For that many people you should consider renting with daily household help

karameli May 26th, 2006 07:32 AM

It won't be TOO cramped because lot of them are kids. (That probably makes us sound even more crazy.) This is just siblings and their kids, so needless to say, with 26 of us we're used to things being loud and crowded.

That web page had some incredible villas...I'm going to look into prices. Thanks!

karameli May 26th, 2006 07:36 AM

Wow -- I forgot to refresh before I replied to McLaurie. Thanks for ALL the great replies! I hadn't thought of a cruise -- that would be a fun solution of we could talk the boat-phobes into it. It's worth a shot!

I'll search VRBO and see if I can find the PV house. And the suggestion of a few adjacent villas (or condos in the same complex) could definitely work too. Thanks for the suggestions!! This helps A LOT.

Mimar May 26th, 2006 07:37 AM

Have you looked at Lots of villa info there.

pantelia May 26th, 2006 08:08 AM

In looking through the 2005 La Bella Toscana brochure (I wasn't able to find this property on their website) I found Villa Mucellena (12 miles from Siena).

The description says..."a large villa divided into seven suites and a detached communal building. There are a total of 13 bedrooms with will accommodate 26 persons and an extra 4 persons can be accommodated in extra beds or on settees which convert to beds."

There's a large swimming pool, a children's pool.

It looks like there are a total of 12 toilets, in a combination of shower rooms and bathrooms.

It states in the brochure that the prices for up to 30 persons range from 5100 Euro in low season to 8500 Euro in high season. For a precise quote, contact [email protected]. There's also a cautionary deposit of 500 Euro, which is refundable, less the cost of breakage and damages.

Hope this helps!

janisj May 26th, 2006 09:32 AM

There are several castles and manor houses in Scotland that would be perfect.

Just 3 represented by the same agency - but there are many others.

Also, all over the UK are complexes were several farm bldgs or a stately home have been converted to very nice rental cottages. One of these might be good since you'd all be together but not "together" under one roof 24/7.

Maribel May 26th, 2006 10:19 AM

Just a resounding second to ekscrunchy's recommendation of the current Conde Nast Traveller issue, which lists Wendy Perrin's top villa rental agencies. A friend, Mary Vaira, of El Sol villas, made the list.

For 2 weeks last June, we were invited to join a friend's month-long rental in Provence. The villa was rented from Just France in Berwyn, Pa (, an agency that also made the CN magazine's vetted "top rental agencies" list.

Our villa, Mas de la Dame, (which on the web page is listed as "Mas du Destet") between St. Remy and Maussane in the Bouches du Rhone, slept 20 comfortably. The upstairs sleeping quarters of this huge home, consisting of 10 bedrooms, were divided into two wings. My friend, her 6 children and 2 nannies slept in one wing, another couple (close friends) and I slept in the other, and the wings were closed off from each other, separated by a parlor. We had a great deal of privacy, which for us was extremely important.

You'd want a property large enough to have a measure of privacy in your sleeping arrangements and certainly with plenty of bathrooms! Ours had 7 1/2 baths, with a very large shower room for the children.

Because this villa was on a wine/olive grove estate, we had plenty of opportunities to wander off and explore on our own.
The pool was large enough to accomodate all of us at the same time, with a shaded pagoda-like terrace for lounging, an adjacent pool house with barbecue, fully stocked small kitchen and w/c. There were tennis courts and even a gourmet shop (selling the estate's wines/olive oils/tapenadas) open (to us and the public) every day!!

I second the need for a cook/cleaning staff/caretaker to make your stay stress free.
This rental came with a wonderful caretaker couple who lived in the house next door; the wife was an accomplished chef (had even cooked for Chirac) who spent 3 hrs. a day preparing our dinners with the ingredients we provided her (we fixed our own breakfast, and lunch was taken on the road), and the husband
cared for the grounds and maintained the pool. We became very fond of their company, and they often joined us for dinner. The house had a formal dining room, a breakfast room and outdoor dining. A couple came in each morning to change the bed lines/towels, and we also had a laundry room to take care of our personal laundry and ironing.
This villa, although quite expensive, was a true slice of Provencal heaven. Van Gogh had painted a view of the house and "my" bedroom! I feel very fortunate to have been given this unique experience, that I could never have afforded on my own.

See pics here:

cw May 26th, 2006 12:10 PM

The Parker Company has some large villas in Italy( See for instance, SIS144, a Tuscany villa, called Family Reunion which is made up of a main house and two cottages.


karameli May 26th, 2006 02:40 PM

THANK YOU!! I'm going to check out all of these...thank goodness for long weekends! ;)

brotherleelove2004 May 26th, 2006 02:51 PM

The way most of the nicer accomodations are designed on the island of Santorini in Greece, with rooms all having outside entries and being serviced by a housekeeping staff, you might be able to reserve all or most of a small hotel or apartment complex. Many have self-catering kitchenettes. Check in the most beautiful village of Oia as well as Fira, Firostefani and Imerovigli for ideas. If you want immediate beach access, check on Kamari Beach and Perissa Beach. If there are children involved, the Meltemi Hotel and Resort on Perissa Beach has a waterpark attached to their facilities.

nytraveler May 26th, 2006 05:49 PM

Don't know your price parameters but there are several company (if you google) that rent out luxury villas around the world. Have looked at some of them for fun wile searching m=for a amore moest place for us. there are quite a few on the riviera, in the Loire and southern Spain - esp Puerto Banus near Marbella.

Be aware that the houses that big are usually luxury that come with full staff (maid, cook, gardiner at the least) and that you will need to rent quite a few cars for so many people. (I recall one place on the Riviera that was absolutely gorgeous - around $40,000 per week a couple of years ago).

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