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Why Rent A Villa in Pattaya?

The default choice for most people going on holiday in Pattaya is to book a hotel.  This can guarantee a certain standard if it belongs to one of the big name chains however the cheaper independent ones can be a bit of a gamble with very variable levels of quality and comfort.  High end hotels provide a suite with a very small kitchen and sitting room but why not extend the concept further and rent a whole apartment or villa? If you are staying more than a few days then renting a house or a villa for your stay this is usually much cheaper for given level of quality plus you have the freedom and independence to have a genuine home-from-home.

What are the benefits?

You can find one-bed apartments and condos to rent but if you are going with a group of friends or family then taking a decent sized house is much nicer and more fun.  You have both the room and privacy to do your own thing, to cook if you want to or make a snack without having to order expensive and slow room service and not to be annoyed by intrusive hotel staff.  You also have better security since staff aren’t going in and out of your rooms each day helping themselves to your things or stealing your valuables.

What are the downsides?

You don’t have a front desk there to send maintenance or room service the minute you require something.  However if you pick a property with a host who lives nearby who either speaks Thai or who has a partner who does then service can be just as good or quicker in the case of any accident or maintenance.  A good host will almost fulfill the role of the hotel concierge and book taxi’s, tours, days out, car hire etc for you.

As with hotels the furnishings, decor and furniture can get a bit tired so go for something that has been refurbished and/or redecorated in the past 2 years.  Many house owners don’t have a great taste for style and will often skimp on things like paintings and good quality furniture due to the up-front costs required.  They don’t use professional interior designers like hotels do so do look carefully at the photos of the accommodation closely before you book it.  Poor quality photos are a give away since if the owner is not willing to invest in using a professional photographer then he certainly won’t have invested in quality furnishings, applicances and furniture.

Having your own private pool and gardens is great but proper maintenance doesn’t come cheap so watch that you don’t end up in a place with dirty or unclean pool water or overgrown gardens.  Worst still if the correct levels of bacterial control are not in place then the pool can lead to infections and visits to the local hospital.

Where do I find the best villas to rent?

The starting point is obviously Google which will bring up all of the usual suspects in terms of on-line booking agents ie Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Booking.com, clickstay, homeway, ownersdirect etc who pay a lot of money to Google to be in that position and as with all advertising ends up being paid for by the end-consumer.  To give you an idea their fees are 10-25% of what you pay to the property owner in addition to whatever fees they charge you.  Further down on page 2 and beyond – if you can be bothered to scroll that far – you will find the independents who will give you a better deal by passing on the booking fee to you.  The downside is that you have to book directly with them and pay them direct with no agent to appeal to if something goes wrong.  The way around this is to read the reviews but also check to see if the property is listed with the big agents since they are more likely to be reasonable and customer orientated.  You are additionally protected from scams by using a credit card (even though you will have to pay an extra 2%) or paying with paypal (3% fee).  If you are convinced that you are dealing with the genuine owner then direct bank transfer is cheapest.

The best way to get a feel for the market and prices is to visit a few of the big on-line agent’s sites and do some searches.  You can then check to see if the one you want has its own site -a lot do – that you can save yourself the booking fees giving you a welcome 10-20% saving to start your holiday with.

To be continued….