Episode 58: Villas of Distinction

Villas of Distinction

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Have you ever thought about renting out a villa for your vacation?

It probably sounds too expensive, so you’d rather go to an all-inclusive resort, right?

Well, Steve from Villas of Distinction is here today to talk about the benefits of staying at a vacation home rather than at a resort.

Not only will you have the entire vacation home to yourself and your travel group, but you can arrange to have every imaginable service at your disposal during your stay. The best part? Your value for money is actually higher for a vacation home than it is for a resort.

If that sounds too good to be true, Steve will settle all the doubts you may have.

Here we go:

[03:06] Villas of Distinction

Villas of Distinction has been in business for 31 years.

They have around 4,000 luxury properties in 52 destinations all around the world.

Their goal is to create the ultimate vacation experience, which sets them apart from the big name vacation rental companies – think AirBnB, HomeAway, BRBO, etc.

[04:22] 4,000 fully-vetted quality properties.

One of the things that sets Villas of Distinction apart from AirBnB, for example, is that they have over 4,000 properties that are fully-vetted for quality. AirBnB has around 7Million homes in their inventory, and those properties aren’t vetted, inspected, or quality-guaranteed.

With Villas of Distinction, you can be rest assured that they have a rigid checklist for every one of their properties to ensure that they provide only the best to their customers.

[05:18] Experiences.

Villas of Distinction doesn’t just want to provide a place to rest your head at night – they aim to create the best experience.

This includes a team of concierges that works with travel agents to find and curate the best vacation experiences at the destination.

How is this different from AirBnB experiences? Those are typically a few experiences at the destination that you would do with a group of people. If they don’t have the experience you want, you simply can’t have it.

With Villas of Distinction, if you want a Reggae band to play at the villa for your grandma’s 95th birthday, you can have that.

[06:54] 24/7 customer care.

Emergencies don’t have office hours.

That is why Villas of Distinction has your back – they have at least one person in every one of their destinations that can assist you, and they also have an 800 number in North America.

With AirBnB, you’re most likely going to call the homeowner in an emergency – but will they answer the phone at 3AM? They might, but it’s not guaranteed.

[07:46] Financial Integrity.

Villas of Distinction are bonded and insured, they’ve been profitable for 30 years, they’re preferred partners with every major travel advisor consortium in North America.

With AirBnB, your money goes to a homeowner, and they can do with it as they please.

[08:13] Your best interest.

If you call to book a home through AirBnB, the only obligation the homeowner has is filling their home, whether or not its the right one for you.

Villas of Distinction has your best interest at heart. If you want a specific experience, they will suggest the places that best fulfill your needs and give you the ultimate experience.

[10:48] Covid tests.

For those travelers who want to leave the US for their vacation, it’s well-known that you need a negative Covid test to re-enter the US.

Many places offer a Covid testing service on their property, but travellers are often limited to finding places that offer this service for convenience.

With Villas of Distinction, you are guaranteed this service at all of their properties. They will arrange a private medical practitioner to do the test at the villa and provide you with the necessary documentation on time. Some of the villas provide complimentary testing, while others provide it at a cost.

[12:16] Pricing.

If you’re thinking of going to an all-inclusive resort, here’s a value comparison:

The Villa Nona in Orlando is a villa with 12 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, private pool, theatre room, squash court, indoor basketball court, a game room with a two-lane bowling alley, and a private entrance in a gated community. You can expect to pay around $1800 per night for all of that, and you only have to see the people that travelled with you.

At the Grand Floridian Resort, you pay $750 per night for a bedroom and a bathroom, and you have to share the resort with everyone else that’s staying there.

If you book Arrecife villas 23, 24, or 25, you get a 6-bedroom villa with a chef, butler, and housekeeping staff – and you pay between $14,000-$25,000 for a whole week.

If your Villa doesn’t come with a staff, Villas of Distinction can add staff if that’s what you want.

[16:05] Destinations.

You’ll have a hard time finding a dream destination where Villas of Distinction can’t assist you.

They’re in 52 destinations, including Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, the US, Central America, the South Pacific, South Africa, Thailand, and they’re still expanding to more destinations.

[17:43] Maintaining a high standard.

The vetting process is rigorous – Villas of Distinction has a 65-point checklist that each property has to uphold in order to stay in their inventory. If a property doesn’t keep up with the high standard, it’s simply removed from their list.

If Steve won’t stay at the villa, it’s not good enough. He looks at the neighbourhood, how the outside of the villa looks, the cleanliness, the maintenance, the water pressure with multiple showers running, whether or not there is sufficient seating, cutlery, crockery, good enough WiFi, acceptable TV and entertainment, superior bed comfort, linens, and even hidden garbage disposal areas.

The villa has to be clean, safe, and provide every comfort that a customer should want during their stay.

If there is a customer complaint about a villa, it’s immediately removed from their list, and the homeowner is given an opportunity to rectify the situation, after which they’re added to the list again. If it isn’t rectified, they’re removed from the list permanently.

If a customer doesn’t like their accommodation, Villas of Distinction will offer them alternate accommodation or compensation if there’s nothing else available.

Since the pandemic, villas have become much more popular, and back-to-back rentals have caused a few problems with having enough time to fix damages caused by customers.

[26:45] Safety and security.

If you’re looking at rather going to a resort because it seems safer, Villas of Distinction has you covered in their vacation homes.

The majority of their villas are in gated communities. They also have alarm systems for the added peace of mind.

In Jamaica, the tourism department requires all vacation rentals to have a nighttime security guard to walk the property. If high-profile guests want to hire their own private security, Villas of Distinction will help with that.

Other than the security systems that are put in place, guests have to also do their part and remain sufficiently vigilant – if you’re going to leave your wallet in your shoe on the beach, that’s on you.

[29:16] Cooking and cleaning.

All-inclusive resorts give you the freedom to enjoy a vacation without worrying about cooking or cleaning.

With Villas of Distinction, you’re given that freedom, and so much more.

Not only can you enjoy no cooking or cleaning, but you can have personalised services tailored to your every need. You can have a chef who prepares your meals with your specific requirements every time – and you only have to tell them once. You can have your laundry done every day, your room cleaned, and you can have your personal butler bring you drinks at the pool if your heart so desires.  These can be arranged even if the villa you’ve chosen doesn’t already include those services.

You also don’t have to pay restaurant prices for your food and drinks. At a resort, the food you’re getting will come from the restaurant, which makes it significantly more expensive than store-bought food.

[33:14] Tours and excursions.

With all-inclusive resorts, there are excursions available for all the guests, but they’re typically limited to the demand for the specific excursions.

With Villas of Distinction, you can enjoy the same excursions if that’s what you want to do, or you can go to the lesser-known places and have a completely unique experience.

If you don’t want to leave the villa to go to the excursion, they can bring the excursion to you. That spa service from across town? Have the massage, manicure, and pedicure in the comfort of your villa.

[36:16] Minimum or maximum stays.

Your minimum and maximum stay is dependent on the destination and the season.

In high season in Italy, the minimum stay is one week. Villas in Las Vegas can be yours for one night.

The average is 7 nights for a 5-bedroom rental.

Before you book, make sure you know what the minimum requirement is.

[38:01] Deposits and payments.

For those who want to pay upfront, here’s some good news: the deposit is due at the time of reservation, and it’s 50% of the total. The other 50% is due 90 days prior to your stay.

Sometimes during the festive season, you could be expected to pay 100% at the time of reservation.

Once you’ve paid in full, it’s non-refundable.

It’s always strongly advised to purchase travel protection – you may need it to cover you if your plans don’t work out. Villas of Distinction offers their own travel protection.

[41:09] The top benefits of staying in a vacation home.

The most important thing you can do is seek out a travel advisor. Don’t try and do it all on your own.

The cost of staying in a villa is lower per dollar per room than staying at a resort. At a villa, you have all the extras such as a media room, dining room, living room, and other amenities for yourself as well.

Your food and drink expenses will be significantly lower at a villa compared to at a resort – you’re not paying restaurant rates.

Villas of Distinction creates the experience that the guest wants and not what’s best for business – you don’t have to be limited by what a homeowner on AirBnB can offer you.

There are so many benefits to staying at a villa versus going on that cruise or staying at a resort.

If you were unsure before, I hope this episode has enlightened you and given you enough reasons to go out there and book your own vacation home with all the services that your vacation requires.

As I always say: it’s about what you want to experience while on vacation that matters.

So, make your next vacation nothing less than the perfect experience for you.

If you want to check out more about Villas of Distinction

Website:          https://www.villasofdistinction.com

Instagram:       https://instagram.com/villasofdistinction

Twitter:            https://twitter.com/distinctvillas

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/villasofdistinction

Pinterest:         https://www.pinterest.com/Distinctvillas

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