Villa Rental Or 5-Star Hotel, Pros & Cons

Villa Rental Or 5-Star Hotel, Pros & Cons

As a lifestyle manager to celebrities and billionaires, I’m often tasked with planning worldwide trips to exotic destinations. Every time I plan a trip with a client, invariably, we talk about whether we should stay in a 5-star hotel or a villa rental. Either choice has both benefits and drawbacks, so let’s look at the considerations.  

There are many advantages to staying at a luxury hotel, but you can’t completely appreciate them all until you’ve stayed in a luxury vacation rental and have them absent. Let’s examine the top considerations, along with the pros and cons of each.  


Unless you’re a billionaire, cost is always going to be a consideration, so the other 99% of us have to think about it. On a recent trip I took with a Forbes list family, there were five of us in the group. Starting our trip in Los Angeles, the local 5-star hotels charge about $1,000 a night for an entry-level room, so that’s $5,000 a day ($35,000 a week). It goes without saying that there isn’t too much wow factor for an entry-level room, even at a 5-star property in Beverly Hills.  

Villa rentral in Los Angeles, USA

On the flip side of things, there is the option of getting a luxury vacation rental. For that same $35K a week, we were able to get a mega-mansion up in the Hollywood hills with a sweeping view of the entire city. From a square footage aspect, the luxury vacation rental option of getting a villa is a no-brainer because it’s substantially bigger than five hotel rooms put together, and even has a swimming pool. At the hotel, of course, you must share a pool.  


Families are now vacationing with more luggage than ever before, and the last thing someone wants to do after a long day of traveling through airports is shlep luggage out of a car and carry it into your accommodation. With five people in our group – each with two large suitcases and two carry-ons – that’s a total of 20 bags, some of which were very large trunks.  

Peninsula Hong Kong bellman

At a full-service luxury hotel, a small army of bellman can make pretty quick work of 20 bags. Not only will they deliver each piece to the right room, but they will also open the luggage for you so that the unpacking process can begin.  

Peninsula Beverly Hills bellman

At a luxury vacation rental, unfortunately, it’s going to be every man, woman and child for themselves; and since bedrooms are usually upstairs, carrying the heavy bags up is no easy task. With that in mind, if you do decide to get a villa, be sure that it has an elevator so this aspect of your vacation won’t be so cumbersome.  


Having a concierge assist you with the planning of local excursions and eating out is an invaluable service. An experienced concierge knows the ins and outs of the city and can help travelers customize their experience when on vacation.  

Concierge service

When staying in a luxury vacation rental, travelers are heavily reliant on using Google to find out about options in the area. The very big drawback to that method is that “tourist traps” have spent heavily on SEO optimization often rank high in search results, so “hidden gems” that are only known by locals can easily go missed.  

Housekeeping & Room Service  

Last but certainly not least would be the additional support staff that exist at luxury hotels. Being able to pick up the phone and ask housekeeping to freshen up your room or bring more towels is invaluable. Likewise, ordering breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or snacks 24 hours a day in the comfort of your room is essential for almost any traveler on vacation.  

In-villa room service

When staying at a luxury vacation rental, the biggest disadvantage by far is not having the support staff that a 5-star hotel has, which includes security personnel. Most luxury vacation rental owners do have options in place to pay additional fees for private chefs, daily housekeeping and even private security guards, but that makes the cost skyrocket, and can even exceed the money you were trying to save by staying at the villa in the first place.  

In the end, each family must weigh the pros and cons of staying in a 5-star hotel or getting a luxury vacation rental.  

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