Villa Rentals vs. Homestays: A Detailed Explanation

by Riya Bagaria
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Private villas and homestays are becoming increasingly preferred over hotels. The privacy, the space, and the endless amenities are some of the reasons why private spaces are fairly taking over the market. Not only are private villas more economical, with shared costs and premium features, but also they offer personalised service. Most often, private villas have caretakers, which only adds to the experience. 

However, more often than not, villa rentals and homestays are used synonymously. While private villas and homestays do have several common features, they are not the same. There are various subtle, minute differences that are often overlooked. While private villas offer luxe interiors, sprawling spaces and state of the art amenities, homestays, on the other hand, are everything cosy and homely. 

One of the main differences between a homestay and a private villa is that, when at a homestay, the interiors mirror the host’s values, and provide a wholesome, authentic experience. Whereas, private villas are designed to help you escape the monotony of everyday, and relax by the pool, enjoy at the spa and everything else in between. From the kind of meals to the types of services provided, these subtle differences are what make homestays and private villas what they are. 

Each providing a unique experience, here’s a simple guide to understanding the differences between a homestay and a private villa. 

What is the Difference between homestays & Private Villas?

Homestays Private Villas  
Presence of the owner The first and foremost difference between a homestay and a villa is the presence of the owner. The identifier of homestays is the presence of the host or the owner themselves. The hosts are sharing their space with other people. Guests are generally staying with the owner, when they opt to choose to stay in a homestay. On the other hand, private villas involve the owners absolutely trusting the guests with their homes. Meaning, the host is not present at the property, and the guests have the villa wholly to themselves. 
Interiors The interiors of a homestay are, as the name suggests, homely, cosy and everything else in between. The interiors echo the host’s style, personality and culture. The interiors of a private villa are totally in contrast to a homestay. Generally, villas are tastefully done with top of the line amenities catering to a niche audience. 
Meals Homestays are also home to some of the most delicious, local meals. The meals are generally fresh and home-cooked, offering the guests to enjoy the local cuisine at its finest. Generally, in private villas, guests have to cook themselves, if there is kitchen access, or in other cases, most probably go out or order in from nearby restaurants. 
The space Homestays are, more often than not, homes that are converted to accommodate guests. Hence, they are cosy, and have a certain personal touch. Whereas, private villas generally feature ample space and are luxurious. 
Experience While at a homestay, the experience is indescribable. The presence of the owner can lead to guests making unlikely friends, exchanging stories, and making loads of memories. While the experience at private villas is equally memorable, however, very different. Each villa is wholly, solely of the guests for a few days, hence they can make the rules and enjoy! 
Accommodation Homestays are also widely accommodated by students studying away from their home. It is a much more economical way of living. Whereas, private villas are more often than not accommodated by families and groups of friends looking to unwind and relax. 
Privacy As the guests are sharing space with the owner of the home, the guests have to adhere to certain ways of living and respect boundaries. While the guests are renting out private villas, they are incharge of what they can do and cannot do. The absence of the host means that the guests can really make the villa theirs for a few days! 
Number of people Homestays are generally ideal for solo travellers, couples or small families. They are comparatively inexpensive, since rooms are rented out instead of whole houses. However, private villas are generally ideal for large groups of people since the whole villa is rented out. There is much more space, many more amenities, hence, ideally it would not be viable for only one person or a handful of people. 

Villa rentals and homestays are not the same, but different. While both of them offer a starkly different experience, both of them are equally enjoyable and memorable. Each catering to a different niche, villa rentals and homestays are here to stay and grow.

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