TOP HOLIDAY RENTAL COMPANIES
A quick random search for accommodation in Langkawi for a family of four turned up an eclectic selection of rentals, from rustic homestays to simple contemporary houses near paddy fields. HomeAway offers holiday homes to suit every price range and offers users the choice of two million properties in 190 countries. It’s part of the Expedia group and therefore has access to a phenomenal amount of travel information. If you’re travelling to France or Spain, the company also owns Abritel (abritel.fr) and travelmob (es. travelmob.com), specialising in holiday rentals in France and Spain respectively. One Fine Stay
Don’t get on this site if you’re planning a budget holiday because the holiday homes listed here are considered the finest. They offer rentals in a few select cities including London, Miami, Milan, Paris, Rome and New York, and they don’t come cheap. Obviously, you get what you pay for and One Fine Day prides itself on the fact that each property is vetted before getting selected; this way, only the finest properties are included. Book here if you’re planning a oncein-a-lifetime trip and although it’s pricey, these are homes that wouldn’t look out of place in any glossy design publication. The Luxe Nomad
Touting itself as Asia-Pacific’s leading luxury villa booking portal, it also aims to give guests the best online prices by working directly with owners. Besides the popular destinations like Bali and Phuket, the site also has properties in more interesting locations like Bhutan, Laos and even ski chalets in Switzerland and Japan. Don’t let the word ‘luxe’ put you off regarding price; if you book well ahead, there are some great deals to be had for truly spectacular villas.
Part of the TripAdvsior media group, the site offers 300,000 rentals spread across 11,000 cities globally. The advantage Flipkey has is that it leverages on TripAdvisor in terms of reviews and the sheer number of people that use it to get information on where to go and what to do. A search on properties in Bali (easily the most popular villa destination in Asia) turned up over 4,000 properties on the specified dates covering every budget, location and familyfriendly facilities. And, as users can see the TripAdvisor ratings on the listing straight off, you already know what you see and read is what you get. Don’t forget to tick the ‘Child Friendly’ box when searching.
Airbnb and Luxury Retreats
The go-to source for apartments and houses all over the world, Airbnb has recently acquired Luxury Retreats, which specialise in luxury holiday rentals around the world. This means that you can book anything from a trendy loft in New York, and a house made entirely of bamboo in Bali, to a luxe beachfront villa in Koh Samui with ease. Family-friendly options abound, and with many of the properties actually owned by families, you can be sure that the amenities will fulfil all your kids’ needs.