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What is a villa?

A villa is a house that you can call your own during your stay, and usually comes with features and facilities – a lush garden, a pool, spacious bedrooms with en suite bathrooms – to help you make the most of your rest and recreation time. If you're a traveller who prioritizes privacy and comfort above everything else, a villa might just be the perfect vacation pick for you.

Why should I stay at a villa?

Staying at a villa is all about sitting back and unwinding. If you opt for a luxury villa in the countryside, you can expect to spend your days chilling out by an outdoor pool and soaking up the sun. If you're staying in a plush resort, you can book yourself a refined villa where you can enjoy your privacy and manage your own timetable, away from the crowds in bars and on the beach.

Where do you find villas?

Villas are not as common in Canada as they are in the US, where you can choose from beachfront lodging in California or the Barrier Islands of North Carolina, but you can find them in the urban mileus of Montreal as well.

There's an abundance of villas across Europe, where they're a popular choice for families or groups travelling to the beaches of Andalusia, the islands of Greece, to Rome, or the hills of Tuscany. You'll also find them in Asian destinations such as Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. Also, a bit closer to home, you'll find many in Belize.

How much does it cost to stay in a villa?

The price you'll pay for staying in a villa will depend on its size and the range of amenities it offers. Obviously, a cozy 1-bedroom villa will be cheaper than a large 4-bedroom one. Villas that come with private pools and/or gardens are even pricier. Location is also a big factor – a villa that offers sea views or easy access to a golf course, or is within a luxury resort will cost a fair bit of money.

How to book a villa

On, booking a villa is the same as booking any other accommodation type. Just type in your intended destination, then sort the results according to property type. While you're doing your search, you can also check out flights and car rentals, and score great discounts by bundling your travel and accommodation together.

What do villas offer?

Villas are a good choice both for families and couples, as they offer the convenience of a home away from home. There are spacious villas with several bedrooms, which are perfect for large groups, and some also have kitchens that open onto dining terraces or patios with terrific views.

A villa in Santorini can be a perfect hideaway for a couple, and offers romantic perks like his-and-hers infinity pools. Most villas also have gardens, ample parking space, and plenty of indoor living space.

Villas vs hotel resorts

Villas and hotel resorts are both popular lodging picks in many warm, family-friendly destinations, so what's the difference between them?

If you're after privacy and flexibility, a villa is a better option for you. While a resort accommodation can offer butler service, a villa often comes with its own garden and kitchen. A hotel resort might have a complex of pools and outdoor facilities, but you can book a villa where you can relax in your own pool. Having a space all to yourself is possible if you opt for a villa.