Renting a villa in SE Asia, whether it is in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines or Indonesia is now becoming a popular option for those looking for more luxurious and secluded accommodation. Villas tend to have all the advantages of 5-star resorts without the need to share space or swimming pools with screaming children or other guests.
Renting is the perfect option for large groups of friends who like to meet for holidays and be with each other. Even though the overall price of the property per night seems expensive, once it is divided up between everyone it is often cheaper than staying even in a mid-range hotel. Many people rent villas for weddings or other family celebrations as well as it allows everyone to be together but still have their own space.
A lot of people have invested in properties throughout Asia over the last few years and many do not plan to live in their houses, at least not on a permanent basis. They are therefore happy to rent them out, and many websites are based around this very premise. This means there are a lot of properties to choose from, although the most popular tend to be located either by the beach or in the cooler hills.
Villas range from sleek modern designs to traditional buildings with lots of teak and scattered antiques. Many are large, offering up to six or even eight bedrooms which is ideal for families or large groups of friends. They generally have a swimming pool, garden and vast amounts of space so that even if many people are sharing the villa some privacy is guaranteed.
Researching the price and conditions is an important part of the process when planning to rent a villa. Some rental agencies or owners will lower the price if not all the bedrooms are required for example. Many will offer free airport transfers and the use of a daily maid and a live-in manager.
A live-in manager is a real bonus, because s/he will not only arrange the house for you but also happily provide tips on where to go and what to see. They can arrange sightseeing tours, car hire and even shopping trips. This takes a lot of the stress out of the holiday experience.
The higher-end villas will also include a full-time chef. Although this seems like an extravagance it actually can work out to be the cheapest option. Dining out does tend to use a large part of any holiday budget. A chef will cook exactly what you want and will do the shopping for you. Although you pay for the food, s/he will go to local markets and shops guaranteeing that the price is not high. Many properties have menus for you to select from, but the best chefs are able to make exactly what you desire without even resorting to a menu.
So, if you are travelling to SE Asia as a couple on a budget renting a villa may not be the best option. But if you are travelling with friends or family then it is definitely something to look into. In these economic times many owners are willing to lower the price, especially for longer stays. So do get in touch with them directly if possible and try to negotiate a better deal. The only problem with renting a gorgeous property on the beach or on a verdant hillside is that it becomes very hard to leave.