July 12th, 2014 |    mangotree

You are going on a vacation and need lodging. Should you stay in a hotel or rent a villa or house? What are some of the issues to consider?

Hotel Room: The size of the room can be an issue. Maybe you have two adults and two children or two couples vacationing together. Is the room large enough to add two beds for the kids or for the two extra adults? Would you have to get a second room? How safe are your valuables in a hotel room. The room is visited by the maid and you have to assume she is honest and won’t steal, but you can never be sure of this. Because there is no kitchen and usually only a refrigerator that is full of drinks and snacks, you will have to eat your meals in the hotel restaurant or some other restaurant outside of the hotel. That means always being dressed and presentable. Lets say the room cost is $85, You will be charged for any extra beds and then two or three meals for each of you each day of your stay. The cost may be as much as $85 for the room, plus $20 for each extra bed and then an average of $35 per person per day for meals….bringing your cost to $265/day for the four of you. Of course this will vary greatly depending where you eat, but let’s use this as an example. For hotel renting the cost is usually per day.

House Rental: This can be really nice and you might have a wonderful view and privacy. However, how secure is the house? Are you protected by a gate, dogs, care-taker? How far are you from convenient stores for food and supplies. In Costa Rica, most private home rentals are up in the hills so one of the biggest considerations is how is the road to the house? Who maintains it? Is it drivable in a Costa Rican rain? How isolated is it and is it a target for robberies should you leave the premises? How long is it available for rental? Are the owners snowbirds and will they be returning soon? While the initial cost of home rental is usually much higher, you will save the added bed expense and food costs unless you choose to eat out. Short term home rentals are much more expensive than longer ones. A house rental is a very independent option and you are pretty much on your own to resolve issues and find places. The cost for home rental is usually per month as short stays are not usually allowed.

Villa Rental: This may be your ideal bet. Most villas can accommodate more than the standard two persons, whether it be an extra bed, bunk beds for kids, or living room/sofa/bed combo. Most villa rentals are part of a complex, so you will have other people around but not above or below you or in a room with thin walls. The owner of the villa will most likely be on the site and will provide you with information to facilitate your comforts, desires and stay. You can expect privacy as well as far more security. The best part is the availability of a kitchen where you can cook and eat in your PJ’s, swimsuit or whatever. No need to dress up to go out. Think of the cost saved by buying and preparing your own food. Some villa establishments may even have a rancho facility for your gourmet or poolside ambitions. Inquire to see If the villa complex has a guard house and gate that is locked at night time for your comfort and safety. If so, you are in an even better situation. Why? Because you can leave the site to go and sight see or engage in adventure activities and not worry about the safety of your possessions. You can also opt for maid cleaning or not…your choice. Villa renting is like having your own little house on vacation. Again, the cost here is like the house rental…for a longer stay the price goes down. For the group of four what would the cost be? For a longer stay, cooking your own meals, the overall cost is going to be far less than the hotel. Compared to the house rental you where you are alone, you would have greater security and some comradely with other renters.

By Rosemary MacGregor

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