Even if you have rented a villa in the past, you probably have questions about costs and how they might compare to a hotel stay. Here are some points to consider:
One of the many things that sets villa rentals apart from hotels stays is the savings for groups. The more people staying in a property, the greater the savings per person. Average mid-level price ranges for small rentals (2 people/1 bedroom) are $1,000-$2500 per week. A medium-size rental (4-6 people/2-3 bedrooms) is $2500-$4000 per week. A large rental (8+ people/4+ bedrooms) is $4,000-$8000 per week, depending on the quality of the property and the season.
The weekly rental price of a countryside villa varies according to season. However, the rental prices of city apartments may not fluctuate as much. Although the price/season breakdowns vary according to property, here is a general guide:
- High season is generally July and August (although, June and September are sometimes included), the three Christmas weeks, and the two Easter weeks. During these periods, prices are highest and crowds are largest.
- Mid-season, or shoulder season, is generally June and September. This is a good time to travel because the weather is warm, but not yet hot.
- Low-mid-season, or low-shoulder season, is generally late April through May, and again in late September to late October. This is a good time to travel, thanks to milder weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices.
- Low season is generally January to the end of April (except during Easter), and late October to Christmas. Prices are at their lowest during this period, though conversely, due to cold weather, heating costs (which are usually extra) must be factored in. See below for more details on heating.
With very few exceptions, all linens and bath towels are included in the rental price. In some cases, utilities (such as gas and electricity, but excluding air-conditioning and heating) are included in the price.
What’s NOT Included
With some exceptions, air-conditioning, heating, gas, and electricity are metered according to consumption and are not included in the rental price. This is because energy costs in Europe are much higher than in the United States. In particular, the laws governing the use of heating are restrictive in the interest of energy conservation. For example, in Italy heating is generally only allowed from the 1st of November until the 1st of April, although this can vary. If your property has a working fireplace, it will be stated in the description whether you need to request and pay for firewood.
Most of our properties are privately owned, so the provisions in the house will vary according to owner. Some villas are well-stocked with basics such as salt & pepper, dish soap, bath soap, paper towels, and toilet paper, while others provide the bare minimum. It’s always a good idea to pack a few small spices, and then plan to stop at a grocery store en route to your villa on Saturday (since smaller stores are usually closed on Sunday).
A Final Cleaning fee applies to most of our villas. This amount covers the cost of cleaning following your departure. Usually, this amount, in addition to any stated extra charges not included in the rental rate, is deducted from the security deposit (paid in Euros upon arrival), which is returned to you upon departure. The total amount of both the security deposit and the final cleaning fee will be specified at the time of booking.
What Savings Can I Expect?
Unlike hotel rooms, all properties are equipped with a furnished kitchen and amenities such as a stove and/or oven and refrigerator. This makes it possible to store groceries and prepare meals both simple and elaborate, therefore eliminating the added expense and hassle of eating out for three meals a day! Calculate that this also includes incidentals, like snacks and drinks. Imagine the pleasure of enjoying a good bottle of wine and local meats and cheeses on your private terrace at the end of a long day of sightseeing! While of course a similar experience could be had at a local bar or café, you’d pay twice the amount (even three times in a touristy locale), and there would be no gorgeous vista or sunset to admire—let alone privacy and space.
If you’re traveling with children, the convenience factor of a villa is extremely appealing. Not only do you have the ease of a kitchen for quick, inexpensive meal preparation and snack storage, but you have the added bonus of ample room for young ones to run around and expend some of that boundless kid energy. Villa rentals provide a degree of flexibility that hotel rooms do not! In this case you may not save a calculable amount, but you certainly gain peace of mind and sanity–which, as only a parent knows, are priceless.