I used to read a story to my children. It was about an old lady who lived in a house that she complained was too small, 'My house is a squash and a squeeze' she said. She asked the wise old man for advice and he recommended that she take in an increasing number of animals, which she did. After a period of being trampled by cows and tripping over chicken and goats, she went back to the old man and complained some more. He told her to take out all the animals and then her house became spacious and peaceful. And then the old lady was happy. The moral of the story being, there's nothing like a period of yuck to make you appreciate what you have. Which, now that I think about it, wasn't actually the point I was wanting to make, which was to have a little whinge about how cramped and crowded a hotel room is when you are sharing it with 3 children. The moral of my story is that a rented villa or apartment might be a more appealing option than a hotel room. The villa in the photos above and below is the gorgeous Taman Sorga in Bali where we once stayed with our entire extended family. The beauty of the property, the staff (!!), the being cooked for, the in-house massages, the gardens, the peacefulness of the location all made it The-Best-Holiday-Ever.
I've compiled a list of villa and house agencies with beach properties in Australia and Asia. Several I have personally used, and for those I haven't, I've only included companies with reviews and media coverage on their websites. Most of the villas in Asia will come with staff, the ones in Australia will generally be house only. Happy villa hunting, have a wonderful holiday and don't forget to pack your Alexandria Main beach robe and beach bag to lie by the pool.
I like this agency because it is small and personalised. They have beautiful homes in Port Douglas that have been hand selected. They can provide extras like chauffeur services, boat charter, helicopter trips and in-house massage and catering.
A wide range of luxury escapes, boutique and romantic accommodation across Queensland.
A long established boutique real estate agency, with holiday house rentals in Port Douglas in tropical Far North Queensland.
Possibly the best range of gorgeous luxury villas in Bali, but also with houses in Thailand and Sri Lanka. I've spent many hours looking at properties on this site. If nothing else you can use it as a tropical house interiors styling resource.
Architectural Digest worthy houses from around the world, but with a selection of properties in Indonesia and Thailand. Forbes magazine wrote that Luxury Retreats have '50 staffers trailing the globe to visit potential rentals, putting mansions through a strict 100 point inspections to ensure customer satisfaction.'
Part of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Go Luxury lists villas in Vietnam, the Philippines, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They also have a handy blog on their website with useful suggestions about places to eat and things to see.