Why a villa is better than a hotel is a question often posed – “my friends rented a Croatia villa and said it was much better than a hotel, so should we look for Croatia rental villas instead?”
by Saron Lease 14th March 2023
It’s an individual choice, but to assist we set out the pros and cons to the debate below.
Benefits of Villas
One of the many benefits of Croatia rental villas is the diversity on offer. They come in a variety of locations, sizes, settings and styles. You can choose whether you like a more remote location, one in the heart of things or somewhere in between; sea edge or countryside. Everyone can be together in a villa, but individuals can retreat to their own room for a bit of down time away from the group.
Smaller villas are perfect for the nuclear family or a small group of friends. Larger villas can accommodate multigenerational groups. These usually have large socialising areas perfect for evening meals together after a day of everyone doing their own thing. Some villas have a mix of double, twin and single rooms, giving you flexibility over sleeping arrangements. Often older teens don’t want to share beds, so this flexibility is very useful. Some have family rooms accommodating a couple plus a baby or small child. Others have a ground floor en-suite room perfect for more elderly grandparents. Sometimes villas are arranged as apartments. These can be great for families wanting to holiday together, eat and spend time around the pool together, but needing some privacy too.
You are in charge over your day
Renting a Croatia villa with pool of course means you can always get a prime spot beside the pool – no getting up at ‘stupid o’clock’ to secure one! Because villas are self-catering, you also have the option to eat out, to cook or have a takeaway – when YOU want.
Eating out or in
Eating at a Croatia restaurant is a lovely experience. Choose a sea edge eatery to get a stunning sea view, perhaps timing your meal to indulge in a ubiquitous glorious sunset. Whether eating out or in, the local fresh produce will most likely be organic. Some of the best wines will be on offer or grab bargains at the local vineyard or supermarket. Your villa host will give you tips on the best varieties to suit your taste or may even bring you some to try.
Restaurants will cater for every pocket, but also have a look at the local bakery (Pekara) for tasty traditional bakes and pizza slices. Pizza restaurants usually do takeaways, and self-catering means you can save money too. Having a villa allows you to eat together and eat your choice of meal. You can eat what you fancy when you fancy. Most villas have a BBQ, either gas fired, or a proper wood fired one. Croatians are the masters of the BBQ – your host will help you if needs be.
Have a chef for a special meal
The ultimate treat at your villa may be to have a chef to come in and cook for you for one meal or more. He or she’ll give you some priced up menu suggestions, will buy the produce, cook, serve and clear up afterwards! Some luxury villas are more boutique-style where you have a concierge to organise everything for you, to shop, have all or some meals provided.
Villa – compromise and save money?
Most Croatia rental villas have restaurants and beaches that you can walk to, but it can be particularly cost effective if you are prepared to compromise on location. Villas that require a taxi or bus ride to the beach and or restaurants will be cheaper. Often the reduction in the villa price will allow the budget to stretch to hire car for the whole or part of the week. Or maybe the compromise on location will come with more villa amenities. Also, some villas have extra beds that can either be put into bedrooms or into lounge areas. Using these extra beds (usually noted in villa details as +1 or +2 etc) means that you can take a smaller villa than you might think you need, and at less cost.
Most, but not all, villas rent from the Saturday which can be the priciest day to fly. A top tip is to fly a day or so earlier when flights are cheaper then transfer to your villa on the Saturday. Spend the extra nights in a cheap hotel or apartment in the nearest old town and enjoy the bustle and culture before your villa break – the best of both worlds!
The hotel option
Hotels are a good option, particularly if you’re only staying a few nights, or maybe there are just the two or three of you. They are often in prime spots, but room rates can be quite steep. If you’re taking the family, prices can mount up.
Some hotels can accommodate family groups in interconnecting rooms, but often the rooms mean that families are split up. This is particularly the case if your party is an extended family group. Rooms may be some distance apart too, meaning that you are nowhere near the rest of your group. Sometimes the only places you can get together in any comfort are the public lounge areas or around the pool if you’re lucky to find space.
If you have children
Evenings are a problem when you have children. You must either stay in your room with the children, or children miss their bedtimes to stay up with the parents. This may be OK for the odd night, but maybe not for a whole week or two. Grumpy tired children do not make for a restful holiday! Some hotels provide a listening service, but it can be hard to relax in case things go wrong. Plus, you are usually confined to the hotel!
When it comes to eating, children are often hard to please and some hotels may not have flexible menus to please everyone.
All-inclusive hotel option
These have their benefits. As long as you don’t leave the confines of the hotel you know how much everything is costing. However, this can be very limiting, and for most people a foreign holiday is all about experiencing another culture. To some this is in meeting the locals, experiencing supermarkets and different foods. For children, experiencing another culture will enrich them socially, their outlooks, expand their language. It will certainly help with that back-to-school essay ‘What I did on my holidays’!
In an all-exclusive you will not likely get to try the local cuisine as it will be mass catering. Usually, it will be a buffet option and often only providing international bland food. Also, all exclusives are generally multinational chain hotels. It’s a known fact that these don’t benefit the local economy to any large extent as, for good reason, guests confine themselves to the hotel, so do not spend outside the hotel.
As Croatia villa specialists, we are probably a bit biased towards villas. You know what you like and what will suit you best. We hope we’ve given you some pro’s and con’s to mull over to help you choose between Croatia rental villas and hotels. What matters most is that you come to Croatia and savour it!
Feel free to search through our villas. If you don’t find what you want there, do have a look at our ‘By Request only’ villa portfolio. Alternatively, just give us a call or email us and we’ll find a lovely Croatia villa for you.
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