The travel industry is changing, and along with it are the mindsets and expectations of the everyday traveler. The 5-star hotel, once the luxury experience that we all craved, has now seen its reign challenged by the steady rise of private villas offering relaxed vacations where wellness and independence are prioritized.
Families and large groups traveling together have particularly found villas to be quite appealing -- why pay for separate hotel rooms when you can get a house and stay together? Some luxury villas are also located in exotic locations, providing beach access and even personal chefs. Still, hotels have their charm - serviced rooms, housekeeping, concierge services, etc. So which one should you choose? Whether you’re trying to decide between a hotel and a villa or simply seek clarification as to what’s the difference between them, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice:
You’re probably already familiar with the basic layout of a hotel room -- bed, bathroom, TV, closet space, mini bar, and sometimes a balcony. Extra beds are usually available for families and some hotels even offer rooms with interconnecting doors. Depending on the hotel’s rating, you might also have access to shared facilities like a pool, lounge, gym, and restaurant on the premises.
A private villa is like a standalone home, complete with a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, veranda – basically, everything you’d expect from a private home. Many luxury villas that you’ll come across on a safari have a private pool. Villas come in many sizes; from an intimate one-bedroom villa to a large mansion with enough bedrooms to accommodate more than 20 people.
Now that you understand the fundamental distinctions between a hotel and a villa, which one is best for your needs? Well, obviously it depends on what kind of traveler you are:
A hotel room can perfectly meet the needs of a solo traveler. Everything you need to enjoy your stay is provided, including meals, laundry services, and sometimes even local transportation services. Go out into the wild during the day and retire to a magnificent feast waiting for you, as well as spa and massage services, to soothe your aching muscles after a long day. On days you don't feel like hitting the great outdoors, stay in bed all day and order as much room service as you need. It’s the perfect dream vacation.
This is not to say that a villa doesn't suit the solo traveler. But the exclusivity of private villas means that it can get pretty lonely staying in such a place without having anyone with whom to enjoy the various luxurious facilities available.
Welcome to a new life together with your spouse. Now that the wedding is done, you’re all about privacy with your partner, which makes luxury villas the natural choice. Since it's just you two, you don't even need extra large spaces and simply enjoy the coziness of a villa with all the amenities. Go out and enjoy the day or stay in all day long, the choice is yours. You get to own every part of your honeymoon and retire to some lavish creature comforts and facilities. If you are able to snag a villa with its own chef, even better. You don't have to worry about meals and the chef is most often willing to oblige your culinary requests.
One the other hand, hotels can also make for an unforgettable honeymoon experience. Many establishments even go the extra mile to make your honeymoon feel as amazing as it rightly should. Plus, the prospect of room and concierge services means you and your spouse don't have to worry about this aspect all through your stay.
Definitely go for a villa! Hotels are a great choice, but not many of them are equipped to accommodate families with kids or large groups. Some even have a strict no pet policy. The best family-friendly hotels offer fun activities for the kids, as well as feature kid-friendly designs like interconnecting rooms. If you’re traveling with the extended family, it can be quite challenging (not to mention costly) to book an adequate number of rooms in the same hotel, let alone on the same floor.
A private villa eliminates all these worries, providing plenty of space and privacy. This means you don’t have to worry about the kids getting bored or bothering other guests staying in the adjoining rooms. Everyone has their own personal space, but there’s also plenty of communal areas for enjoying your time together.
Now you know what to go for. Get in touch with us today to discuss the right accommodation options for your adventure here in Africa.