10 Things to Remember When Renting Villas in Tuscany
Planning to rent one of the wonderful villas in Tuscany? Make sure you rent from a reputable and established company that knows the region well, and take care to look out for these issues that may 'red flag' a less than reputable operator!
- Few and heavily shopped photos – be wary when you only have one or two photographs to review. Such a limited number will not allow you to properly check out what the accommodation is really like. Be cautious of clearly ‘doctored’ photos as well.
- Bland and generic information – the best companies renting villas in Tuscany heavily promote local sights as well as routes of transport to major tourist attractions in the area. If all you see are fluffy adjectives and promises instead of information on the area, do your own research to find out more about what to do and where to go.
- Located near urban areas or major highways – speaking of research, you should always find out the exact address of the villa you plan to stay in. Most villas in Tuscany are located far enough from civilisation to provide a measure of solitude, so be extremely careful if your research reveals the address is located near an urban centre or national roadway.
- Lack of affiliation – while it is not impossible for owners to go independent, you can rest easier if you find one from an organisation that is known for its quality of service and passion for the region.
- Reviews are few and far between – it is always a good idea to check up on the opinions of fellow travellers, which is another reason to use a dedicated accommodation company. The online presence of these agencies will allow you hear what others have to say, and the absence of reviews could be a cause for concern.
- No mention of amenities – hot water, air conditioning, refrigerators, swimming pools, outdoor grills – these amenities and many more can make or break your holiday. Companies that don’t take the time and effort to outline the amenities of your accommodation are omitting a very important aspect.
- No available services – many villas in Tuscany offer you the option for basic services as well. Catering, housekeeping and laundry are three of the basic services that you should look for. You do not necessarily need to pay for them, but knowing that these options are available means the owners and company are serious about their customer service.
- Slow and difficult communication – it is always a good idea to get in touch with the agents once you find a place you like online. Simply ask them a few questions and check their responses. How quickly and clearly they reply to your questions will reveal their readiness to welcome you as a potential client.
- Vague and deflective answers – be extremely careful if the agents do not directly answer your question in a clear and spontaneous manner. It is highly recommended that you utilise live chat or voice calls to get a better feel for the spontaneity of their answers.
- Price is suspiciously low – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! The old adage still rings true in this case, so be extremely cautious when one place is mysteriously offering significantly lower prices when compared to others in the same region of the same quality.
When it comes down to it, choosing a company that is passionate, knowledgeable, approachable and skilled in their customer service can handle all the fine details of renting the best accommodation for your Tuscan holiday. This is definitely one of the times in life when it's far better to let the experts do their job than "go it alone" in the minefield of the Internet!
Jonathan Magoni is Senior Manager of Cottages to Castles, a family owned company specialising in high quality holiday villas, apartments and cottages in Italy. For spectacular villas in Tuscany or accommodation in the Italian lakes, ski resorts or city centres, we offer only the very best. Discover Italy at your own pace and without time restrictions in our hand picked villas and cottages.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.