2009 savings on villa rentals
European villas have always offered value, especially if you’re traveling with a group. Here, four companies that promise exceptional savings in 2009.
* Carolyn Grote, founder of Ville et Village, a boutique agency with some 250 properties throughout France and Italy, believes Provence offers the best bang for your buck in France, since the area has an abundance of villas. You can score the four-bedroom La Ferme, outside St.-Rémy, for $3,488 a week in July (an 8 percent discount compared with last year’s rates).
* Spain-Select has a “Great Deals” section on its website for properties that typically cost no more than $130 per person per night during high season. At press time, we found Torre Blanca, a three-bedroom seaside villa on the Andalusian coast, for $1,615 per week (six-person maximum).
* California-based RentVillas has more than 1,600 properties in eight European countries, and connects you with previous renters for unbiased opinions. Among its best bets this season: the five-bedroom Villa Bodamia ($1,294 per week), in Islamlar, Turkey, with views of the Mediterranean.
* The two-year-old Dream & Charme, in Milan, rents luxury villas throughout Italy. While its “Dream” properties tend to be pricey, the “Charme” options are softer on the wallet, especially in areas such as Umbria and Puglia, which generally go for 20 to 30 percent less than their Tuscan counterparts. Case in point: the five-bedroom, five-bathroom Villa 0186, in the Umbrian countryside, which rents for $4,265 per week—or just $121 a night per bedroom.