Renting a villa for a vacation sounds extravagant -- and it often can be. But whether you're treating yourself to the trip of a lifetime or sharing a villa with friends (which can be affordable) there are a number of websites where you can find just the right vacation home rental.
A villa can refer to everything from lavish compounds on their own private islands, to beachfront homes, castles, ski-in/ski-out properties, country estates and more.
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Airbnb is a well-known site for either crashing with someone at their home or renting homes and villas all to yourself. With Airbnb, you can search to rent an entire home in a certain price range. You'll usually have to pay a deposit and the page about each particular property will say how many people it comfortably sleeps.
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Another website, Luxury Retreats, offers 2,000 properties in more than 50 destinations around the world. And from the name you can probably guess that this isn't a site for deals -- but for lavish trips. Each property offers free concierge services to cater to your every whim, including things like arranging for groceries and maid service.
Joe Poulin, founder of Luxury Retreats, tells Mashable renting a villa can run the same cost as staying in a top-notch hotel.
"More often than not, it’s cheaper than a comparable luxury hotel," he says. "People may get shocked by the initial sticker price of a home, which can seem like a lot of money. But if you break down the cost of individual hotel rooms, three meals a day, beverage and room service costs, parking and all the other daily incidentals which come with a hotel, the villa rental will be the better deal. Instead of a 400 square foot room, you’re getting a 4,000 square foot luxury home."
Many of the villas include cooks and maid service, so the experience is still like you're at a hotel.
The amount of time you book a villa depends on the location and season. Villas in Palm Springs, Calif., and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, typically have shorter stay requirements, but a villa in, say, Barbados during high season might require a minimum of two weeks. Villas can also be rented for long-stay vacations, which lasts six months or longer.
The site HomeAway, launched in 2006, caters to families on vacation. HomeAway features people's vacation homes and are not shared with other guests. Many of the villas are located in top vacation destinations, but there are also rentals in urban areas like Los Angeles, for example.
Check out the gallery below to see pictures and prices of some of the villas.
Bali -- The Chalina Estate
The Chalina Estate in Bali rents for $1,050 per night on LuxuryRetreats.com. It has 7 bedrooms, 6.5 (6 ensuite) bathrooms and a pool.
Photos courtesy of LuxuryRetreats, HomeAway and Airbnb
This story originally published on Mashable here.