Where to Stay

Turks-CaicosWhile the vast majority of tourists still choose to stay in hotels, villas are becoming an increasingly attractive option, as many tourists seek to steer off the tourist track and live like locals. There are benefits and downsides to each form of accommodation and whether a hotel or villa is a more suitable option, depends on your preferences as an individual.

Villas

Perhaps the biggest draw card is that they are often located in authentic local neighbourhoods, whereas hotels are traditionally located in tourist hot spots and inner city locations. When staying at a villa you get a real taste of what it’s really like, to live in a different city or country.

While staying in a villa you effectively immerse yourself in another culture. For example, if you’re staying at a villa in the French countryside, you could life like a local and practice your French, by picking up fresh grocery supplies from the local market and bakery. Prices for items such as food also tend to be lower in local communities as they are not inflated, to take advantage of tourists.

Villas are also an inexpensive option, if you’re looking to book a long term stay, or accommodation for a group of people. Many families and groups of couples choose to book villas out for a few weeks at a time, as the total cost split between each person is far more reasonable than the cost of a hotel.

Many tourists enjoy the privacy that staying in a villa offers. There are no intrusive employees or loud guests to worry about. The downside however, is that often you have to do your own cleaning and cannot rely on the expertise of staff to help you plan your sightseeing, or find the best local restaurant.

Another downside of renting a villa is that they’re often located miles away from tourist attractions and sometimes there is little to do in the immediate vicinity. However, if you’re more interested in relaxing than sightseeing, a villa may be the perfect choice. If you choose to book a villa, perhaps look into hiring a rental car as public transport may not be available.

Hotels

Perhaps hotels biggest draw card is that they’re almost always located in prime inner city locations, or by the seaside. When staying at a hotel it is unlikely that you’ll need a rental car as most locations you’ll want to visit will be within walking distance and public transport is widely available.

Often hotels are the best choice for single travellers as they often offer discounted rooms for singles. It may also be easier for single travellers to meet new people and make friends as hotels often organize special social events.

If you don’t speak the local language, a hotel might also be a smart choice, as most hotels will hire staff who can speak fluent English.

Another advantage of staying at a hotel, is that they offer a wide range of facilities and services. Most hotels will have an on-site gym, swimming pool, bar, restaurant and spa. At a hotel you will also be able to order room service and will have you room cleaned professionally, daily.

The biggest disadvantage in staying in a hotel, is that most hotels have a similar atmosphere and instead of experiencing the city or country you are visiting, you’ll most likely find yourself surrounded by crowds of tourists. Of course where there are tourists there are also inflated prices and you may find it’s harder to stick to a budget staying in a hotel, than if you stayed in a villa.

The choice is yours

If you’re planning your next vacation, definitely consider both villas and hotels as possible accommodation options, as each has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. The right choice, depends on your individual preferences and what you look to get out of your holiday.

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