Laura French rounds up villas for larger families.
Multigenerational holidays are booming, which means villa holidays are too. Peaceful surroundings, extra space, added privacy and the luxury of no one else around make rental properties an excellent bet for larger families wanting to spend quality time together.
The options are plentiful: from wood-beamed homes in Corsica to extra-modern villas in Costa Rica, baby-friendly spots in Menorca to ultra-luxe properties in Jamaica, we’ve found some of the best villas on the market to suit every taste and budget.
1 Borgo San Biagio, Italy
If staying in the remains of a thousand-year-old castle in the rolling hills of Tuscany appeals, suggest Borgo San Biagio. A hotspot for big families celebrating a special occasion, it’s made up of individual houses scattered across its very own hamlet, with wooden beams, stone walls and original fireplaces filling its casas, and an outdoor heated pool, large terrace and bubbling hot tub among its alfresco draws. Families can hire three of the six properties to sleep up to 10, or take over the whole place, which accommodates 20 people.
“The individual houses each have their own outside areas so guests can be ‘together’ but apart,” says CV Villas product manager Carolina de Capell Brooke. “It has a separate large kitchen for groups to dine together, and pizza evenings can be provided by the owners.”
Medieval hill towns, vineyards and truffle-hunting experiences are all within easy reach for those wanting to explore, but it’s just as acceptable to lie by the pool and bask in the serene, silent surrounds, where there’s no one to interrupt the views.
Book it: A week with CV Villas starts at £5,851, or £292 per person based on 20 sharing, villa-only.
2 Villa Elena, Menorca
If you have families travelling with babies and toddlers suggest James Villa Holidays’ new Baby & Toddler range, whose villas offer infant-friendly features including enclosed grounds, gated private pools and no steps.
Among its line-up of newly-added properties is Villa Elena in Menorca, a whitewashed, one-storey affair complete with private pool (with easy-access steps), covered shady terrace area and three bedrooms, sleeping up to six.
It’s handily located close to Cala Blanes – a family-friendly, wheelchair-accessible resort with a calm, shallow beach tucked into a cove – and Ciutadella, the former capital of Menorca, offering prehistoric sites and other intriguing spots for family members who want to add a splash of culture.
Sister property Villa Lucia is also just next door and has space for up to 12, making an ideal add-on for those wanting to bring the extended brood along.
Book it: James Villas offers a week from £609 per person, based on four adults and two children sharing from August 2, and including flights from Gatwick.
3 Paleokastritsa Beach House, Corfu
For clients wanting to enjoy their breakfast over an ocean view, suggest this postcard-pretty villa, set on the water’s edge with steps down to the beach, and a five-minute walk from a cluster of local tavernas and shops.
There are two double bedrooms with en suites, plus an open-plan living room and kitchen with sofa bed, but the real draw is the two-level annexe at the back, which offers an extra double bedroom and kitchen-dining area that’s ideal for grandma and grandpa.
Decor is colourful and traditional, and though it doesn’t have its own pool, guests can pop next door to use the huge, family-friendly one at Akrotiri Beach, at no extra cost.
All guests also get a day’s complimentary boat hire, enabling them to hop around the remote caves and beaches that pepper the area and are accessible only by boat.
Book it: GIC The Villa Collection offers seven nights’ self-catering from £754 per person, based on four sharing in low season with flights, car hire and boat hire.
4 Villa A Pinarella, Corsica
The French island of Corsica might not be the first place you think of for a family holiday, which is exactly where its charm lies. Mountains, valleys, forests and beaches give this idyllic island appeal for every age, and a villa makes an ideal base from which to explore it all.
There are plenty of options, but for a really standout setting look to Villa A Pinarella, perched on a ridge in the village of Monticello, overlooking bottle-green mountains and vast, opal ocean.
It’s traditional with wood beams and old-world furnishings, and it’s spacious in size with five bedrooms (three twins and two doubles) spread across a main house and separate studio, which has its own kitchen, bathroom and terrace for extra privacy.
Staring out over the landscapes from those terraces is idyllic enough, but for those wanting to get out and explore first-hand, suggest heading into the Balagne Hills. Here hiking, pony trekking and other activities await families of every age.
Book it: Corsican Places offers seven nights from £1,062 per person, based on eight sharing from July 28 with flights and car hire. The studio is available for a supplement.
5 Villa Mars, Turkey
Contemporary design, an abundance of space and two private pools overlooking the sea make this oceanfront property a hit for large, luxury-seeking families who value their privacy. It has four bedrooms sleeping up to eight, and a sizeable outdoor dining area complete with a built-in stone barbecue.
“It’s very spacious with fantastic sea views and it’s one of the ultra modern villas in Kalkan,” says Kathryn Coles, head of trade sales at Simpson Travel.
It’s a 10-minute stroll from laid-back resort Kalkan, where Ottoman houses, one-off boutiques and harbourside restaurants line narrow cobbled streets, and guests get a free hammam treatment and gulet boat trip at the nearby Kalkan Regency Hotel as an added bonus – not that they’ll need
it with these views.
Book it: Simpson Travel offers a week from £546 per person, based on eight sharing, including flights from London or regional airports, plus a week’s car hire.
6 Championsgate Villas, Florida
Florida is family paradise, full-stop, and for families travelling with older generations who want to dip in and out of the parks without constantly being in the heart of it all, a villa is an excellent option.
Funway Holidays recommends ChampionsGate, a sprawling, palm-lined complex in Kissimmee, about a 15-minute drive from Walt Disney World Resort.
Platinum villas here span four to six bedrooms, and several properties can be booked next to one another for larger groups. “This flexibility means that a multigenerational family can have their own accommodation if they like but still be near each other,” says Malcolm Davies, Funway’s product destination manager.
“This might suit older people who want to have more independence on holiday.”
All villas have private pools, and as an extra sweetener, guests get access to amenities at the Omni Orlando Resort next door – including a huge spa, two Greg Norman-designed championship golf courses, five restaurants and a bigger family pool complete with lazy river and water slides, for the best of both worlds.
Book it: Funway offers seven nights in a ChampionsGate Resort Home from £1,589 per person, based on eight sharing a five-bedroom property, including Virgin Atlantic flights from London on August 3.
7 Sundown Villa, Jamaica
There are plenty of options in the Caribbean, but for one of the most luxurious, look to Your Jamaican Villas’ trio of properties – the private homes of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International.
Among the three jewels in the crown is Sundown Villa, tucked into the exclusive enclave of Discovery Bay – a sugar-soft curve of white sand framing bright aqua water, believed by locals to be the spot where Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica in 1494.
The nine-bedroom complex sits right on the beach, with a main house featuring five en suite rooms, and a separate, two-storey villa with two rooms.
It boasts a huge freshwater pool with outdoor shower, and there’s plenty to keep kids entertained, with a Bose entertainment system, XBox 360, ping pong table, croquet and huge plasma-screen TV among the treasures.
Parents can be waited on hand and foot, with a full team of staff – butler, cook, housekeepers, gardener and night watchman – taking care of the duties, and optional spa treatments available from two private gazebos which sit right on the sand.
Book it: Nightly rates at Sundown Villa start at $1,808 per night.
8 Villa Belvedere, Costa Rica
If that’s not exotic enough, suggest Costa Rica, where wildlife-filled rainforests, soaring volcanoes and white-sand beaches are a haven for active families.
Among its most exclusive spots is Villa Belvedere, a huge, whitewashed property renovated in 2018 and decked out with modern, white-and-blue interiors spread across an impressive 3,000 sq metres of space.
Among its treasures you’ll find an entertainment room with a cocktail mixing station, a new outdoor bar and yoga platform set on the cliff-edge, and a shimmering infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
It sleeps 10 across five suites and sits in the Peninsula Papagayo, a 1,400-acre private peninsula in Guanacaste (in the northwest of the island) that’s a magnet for wildlife, with mile upon mile of empty beach and lush, tropical forest. Venture out of the reserve and you’ll find volcanoes, national parks and plenty more to explore in the region.
Book it: Nightly rates in summer (May to October) start at $3,200 with UltraVilla.
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