So with all eyes on the Love Island villa this summer, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are considering villa holidays, especially villas in Spain.
After eight or so weeks of watching a group of people laze around on comfy day beds, dive into their own private pool, and cosy up on a night around a toasty fire pit, and it’s only natural to wonder whether a villa would be perfect for your next getaway.
Ai Helisa Villa in Greece
But are villas really better than your usual hotel holiday? We’ve rounded up all the pros and cons of each so you can decide which best suits you for your next glorious getaway…
- Depending what board you go for, you obviously have the option to have your meals catered for – whether by going all-out with the All Inclusive option or just something like Half Board. With the former, that usually means on-site restaurants and beautiful buffet spreads, with mountains of bread, pasta stations, pizza stations and a whole counter for desserts. This has to be one of the best things about a hotel!
- Holidaying with others. Sometimes it’s nice to meet new people on holiday – we’ve all made those holiday friends at some point! Couples meeting other couples and enjoying drinks together on an evening, or the kids making new best buddies by the pool. It’s nice to get to know others sometimes.
- Bigger hotel grounds – this totally depends on the hotel you choose, as this may not always be the case. But many hotels have lush expanses of garden areas that are lovely to stroll through, with elegant water features and lush palm trees at every turn. Much nicer than your normal views at home!
- More facilities – again, depending on the hotel you go for, some hotels may have much more on offer in comparison to a villa. From multiple pools to water slides, a spa, an onsite shop, multiple restaurants and a gym.
- Hotel rep – your stay in a hotel also means you’ll usually get a rep to go through things like what the hotel can offer, local excursions and day trips, and are also there to speak to about any issues you may come across.
- Entertainment – most hotels will offer some entertainment programme, comprising of things that could range from singers to dancers, comedians and magicians.
- Kids entertainment – many hotels, such as Holiday Villages, can offer a variety of kids’ clubs and activities – such as football, archery, swimming lessons and even high rope assault courses.
- Holidaying with others – sometimes this is a drawback. It’s not always ideal staying in a busy hotel if you just want to sit back in peace, and not have to make small talk with Vera about her brother’s friend’s sister’s dog.
- Adjoining rooms – in most cases, your room will join on to another holidaymakers’. The amount you hear from next door will depend on how thin the walls are and how considerate your neighbors are.
- You have to share the pool – so there’s may be a chance of a kid bombing in next to you, or you not being able to get a few lengths in as there’s one too many people in that morning.
- The lunch-time/dinner-time rush – there’s nothing worse than a cramped dining room with queues of people spiraling around a buffet.
- Food and drink expectations – you might have everything included, but what if the food is blander than you’d like, or the cocktails are all a bit same-y? Like it or lump it, you’re stuck with it for the rest of your holiday.
- Hotel entertainment – let’s face it, sometimes it can be a bit hit and miss! We’re talking about the same cheesy singer night after night and those foreign kids’ club songs that gradually wind you up as the days go on…
Villa vs Hotel – Spain
- The privacy! Forget sharing your holiday with others, you can wander around however you like without ever feeling conscious of other eyes on you. It’s just your own space, for you and your family (or friends).
- It’s a home away from home – you don’t need to waste time ‘gathering your bearings’ like you usually would, trapsing around the hotel grounds figuring out where things are. Your villa is a much more homely affair! With a living room, bedrooms and your own kitchen, it’s like having your own slice of property abroad. And that’s something we’d all love!
- One of the main pros – your own private pool! Splash as much as you like, or relax in total peace and quiet. And there’s no restrictions like what times you can go in and whether you’re allowed a drink in the pool!
- You get to do all your own cooking – and this is a good thing for many people! In All Inclusive hotels you’re limited to eating as and when the dining room dictates, with certain hours available for each mealtime. With a villa, you can pick and choose when you eat to your own schedule. Plus, you can head to the grocery store like a local and try out all the things you normally wouldn’t when staying in a hotel! You’ll be able to cook up some delicious dishes with fresh, local ingredients. It’s even better for those who have food intolerances such as gluten or dairy, as they can cook all meals to suit their dietary needs without having to rely on what a hotel would provide, which may be quite limited.
- It’s your accommodation AND a venue. Got a big birthday to celebrate or a special anniversary coming up? What could be more special than hosting your own party abroad! More than just a hotel room, you can host your own BBQs in the sunshine or al-fresco tapas feasts.
- It’s unique – the thing about hotels is that they can all look a bit samey, with identical rooms. But villas are like homes! They’ll have more personal touches and you can choose your villa based off your own personal taste – whether you’re after something a bit rustic with old-style charm or a modern masterpiece.
- They’re great for groups! Be altogether in one place, all with your own bedrooms. You can get compact villas with two or three bedrooms right up to massive mansions that have eight or more!
- Your private pool likely won’t be as big as the ones you’ll find in hotel resorts. You’ll only have the one, whereas hotels can have multiple pools.
- You have to do all your own cooking – for many people this isn’t part of a holiday; they want to be waited on hand and foot and have their food prepared for them, not do it themselves. But it all depends if you go for an independent villa or a villa complex with onsite facilities – the latter may have restaurants or chefs on site that will cook up a storm in no time!
- If you are staying in an independent villa, obviously you’ll need to bring food items away with you or do a bit of a food shop when you get there. Exciting for some – not so much for others.
- Unless you’re staying on a complex of villas which provides cleaning services, you’ll have to tidy up after yourself too. But most villas should be stocked up on the usual products you’ll need throughout your stay.
- With stand-alone villas that aren’t part of a shared area (where there may be a clubhouse) there’s no provided entertainment – so make sure to come prepared. Maybe bring along a few board games; they’re perfect for a few drinks and a laugh on an evening!
Villa vs Hotel – Portugal
So which way are you swaying? There’s no doubt both have their advantages! Swapping from your usual hotel getaway might be a great idea if there’s a few of you going, as there’s nothing quite like having your own slice of sunshine for you and your loved ones to enjoy together.
There’s some great last minute deals kicking about for villas and hotels at the minute – with villas sometimes working out slightly cheaper than a self-catering hotel!
Whichever you go for, find your perfect holiday and save with Holiday Hypermarket.