Posts Tagged ‘definitions’

Your Primer On Villas Definitions

Do you know what is a villa? Well, often it is a small community-like structure of similar-looking residences, perhaps for retired folks or for vacationers to enjoy.

But most frequentlky these days, the word means a detached home that you can rent (a vacation rental) when on holidays.

What is the difference between a villa, a vacation rental, a holiday rental, a gite, a chalet, a cottage, a holiday cottage, a self-catering home, a vacation home and a holiday home?

In reality, no, the words mean almost the same thing. Of course, a cottage or chalet unquestionably implies a rustic lodging way out in the country, and maybe even up in the mountains, but not on a suburban street.

“Holiday” is the word British travellers refer to what American travellers refer to as “vacation”. A holiday home is really just a vacation home with tea and crumpets. And “self-catering” is how the British and Australians (g’day) refer to any vacation rental where you have to arrange your own nourishment, so that is true across villas, cottages, etc.

And if you go to France, you can call all of them “gites” – although more specifically, a gite is supposed to mean a rural cottage or a barn conversion, and the word is occasionally used in reference to youth hostels – just to confuse the unsuspecting traveler.

A villa, as used in current vacation rental marketplace, is typically a somewhat upscale suburban house. For example, a Costa Brava villa might be a sumptiously groomed house in Girona or Figueres, and it might be equipped with a pool or even a hot tub.

A villa in Costa Blanca might be a recently build brick bungalow, also equipped with a pool of course, in a modern neighborhood of Alicante.

Of course, the word “villa” could refer to any detached vacation rental home, so read the description carefully and review photos to make sure you know what “villa” means in this case.

Although most villas come equipped with a full kitchen, be alert for the word “kitchenette”. It is the “ette” that makes the difference, and it likely means a counter with a full or half-sized stove – perhaps just a microwave for heating up dinner and an undersized refrigerator (maybe even a bar-sized fridge). Don’t expect a full dining room if you see “kitchenette” in the description.

What do you make of “sleeps six”? Well, we own a five-person tent. One person fits in comfortably. Two people fit in easily. A third person can squeeze in. Persons four and five can lie across the first three bodies (careful to make sure not to get kicked in the face at night).

Same goes for villas. Find out how many bedrooms, how many beds and what else they are counting (Two people on a sofa bed? Two single-person folding cots?)

Often you might have read “just steps from the beach”. Some of them will be 22 steps from the beach. Other villas will be 2020 steps from the beach. Find out which one you are looking at, before you opt to rent it.

What is the difference between “private pool” and “pool access”. If you can’t guess the difference, you probably deserve “pool access”. Consider it a learning experience.

There are lots of other words related to villa rentals, but these will get you started and avoid the most common confusions that people often have.

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