Are you planning a vacation for couples, family or a group and evaluating your accommodation options? Before hitting ‘BOOK NOW’, take a moment to read this post and find out why villa accommodation could make a difference on your next trip. Meanwhile, if you’ve ever contemplated visiting an island in the Mediterranean, we strongly recommend you consider Cyprus and that you also consider villas in Cyprus curated and offered by James Villas.

Disclosure: We are part of the 2018 James Villas Blogger Ambassador program and this is a sponsored post. However, all views and opinions expressed in this article are ours.

 

Summer in Cyprus

Cyprus! We had been curious about this Eastern Mediterranean island for a while. We were undoubtedly excited when we had the opportunity to visit just before the start of the summer holiday season courtesy of our affiliation with James Villas.

Edro 3 Shipwreck

We have previously written about our expectations from a trip to Cyprus including how we looked forward to the opportunity to learn about the island’s ancient history, sample her multicultural gastronomy and revel in golden sunsets on her beaches.

On each of those counts and more, Cyprus did not disappoint!

Using Paphos on the island’s southwest coast as our base, we roamed far and wide. Our itinerary included a visit to the Tombs of the Kings. There we learned that although no kings were actually buried there, the ruins offer a remarkable insight into a period of Cyprus’s history. We sailed along the coast of Paphos and took a dip in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.

Tombs of Kings, Paphos Cyprus

Sunsets turned the evening sky into beautiful shades of golden yellow, pink, and purple. Our nights were spent hopping between sea-view tavernas serving traditional mezes and lamb dishes and other local fare.

However, what we yearned for the most was the opportunity to switch off our devices and enjoy rare moments of digital peace. To do this, we needed to find a space – one free from distractions – that we could claim as ‘ours’ for a few days.

We found such a space through James Villas which served as an oasis of calm during our visit.

 

5 reasons to consider villa accommodation on your next trip

On our travels, we’ve learned that our choice of accommodation plays a vital role in enhancing our overall experience.

We have stayed in different types of accommodation – from five-star luxury hotels to moored yachts; from Cold War era underground bunkers (that last one is a story for another day) to lakeside huts; each property adding to our memories of each destination.

In Cyprus, we had the chance to experience staying in a holiday villa for the first time. On this trip, we stayed in a detached, fully furnished, three bedroom, contemporary property in a quiet neighbourhood near Coral Bay.

Based on our experience, we’ve identified five reasons why in the future, villa accommodation will be a viable option for us when planning trips.

 

Reason #1: Enjoy cost savings

We travelled to Cyprus with a small group of friends. As anyone who has ever had to plan a group (or family) trip knows, the dynamics are such that you need to balance a number of competing factors including individual budgets, personalities and preferences.

Pooltime in Paphos, Cypus

As a group, we wanted to spend quality time together and experience Cyprus through our different but shared perspectives. Finding accommodation which created natural opportunities to interact without encroaching on our individual need for space was a major contributing factor towards the success of the trip.

While hotel accommodation was an option, it made sense to save money on accommodation and pool the savings into experiences that we could all enjoy as a group.

Villa accommodation can offer great value for money for groups as the overall costs per person per night (relative to the amount of space you get) may work out to be cheaper than if each person were to book separate accommodation.

 

Reason #2: Recreate the feeling of home

As a group, we maximised the facilities available at our detached villa, including a large outdoor barbeque and a private outdoor swimming pool. However, the property was big enough for each of us to find our own space when we needed it.

BBQ in Paphos, Cyprus

Lounging at James Villas, Paphos, Cyprus

Indoors, we had access to mod cons including a microwave, a fully equipped kitchen, dishwasher and washing machine. We were away from home but had everything we needed to feel at home.

From speaking to parents who travel with kids, we know that one key to reducing the stress of managing toddlers or young children on holiday is to try to reduce the ‘shock’ of being in an unfamiliar environment. This can be tricky to do with hotel accommodation where the possibility of customising the space to suit the needs of the children is not always possible.

Although there were no children in our group on this occasion, we could see how the villa could easily be customised to help create the feeling of being at home, with familiar items such as favourite blankets, books and toys possibly enhancing the perception of comfort.

 

Reason #3: Experience life like a local

Cyprus is a popular destination for packaged holidays. With miles of overdeveloped coastline featuring holiday resorts, many offering full board, it is possible to visit the island without actually having much interaction with locals. This, however, isn’t our preferred style of travel.

On our trips, we actively seek opportunities to experience local life where we can and one great way to do this is through food. While in Cyprus, rather than eating out all the time (which can be a costly venture), we opted to take advantage of the self-catering facilities at the villa and prepare a few meals ourselves.

Shopping in well-stocked neighbourhood grocers shops and supermarkets felt natural and provided an opportunity to experience life as a local. We felt confident enough to pick out fresh local produce – including succulent fruit and vegetables – and prepare healthy meals which went down a treat with our group.

 

Reason #4: Avoid the crowds

We can’t say much about the beaches in Paphos because each time we found one, it was filled with sun loungers, looked quite busy and wasn’t very appealing.

All was not lost however! We found the beaches in the Polis region (located in the northwest part of Cyprus) to be more tranquil. The chance to visit the Akamas Peninsula, a protected area of wild and incredible natural beauty in that region, made the hour-long drive from Paphos, totally worth it.

Group smiling on Polis Beach

When we weren’t searching for the ‘perfect beach’, we found serenity in our private villa. We appreciated having our own sun loungers which we could move around the private pool all day, avoiding the sun-seeking crowds while enjoying poolside breakfasts and sunset barbeques.

 

Reason #5: Enjoy expert help from on-the-ground managers

Lastly, booking a private villa accommodation gave us access to on-the-ground managers who were available at a moment’s notice to respond to any questions we had about the property or local facilities. We found that our queries were efficiently handled each time we reached out.

James Villa in Paphos, Cyprus

We tapped into their local knowledge of the area to get ideas for our group itineraries. Our friendly villa manager pointed out off-the-beaten-path wine vineyards and restaurants offering great value for money and the best routes to find them.

Having access to local support provided an additional level of comfort. It was good to know that expert help was only a phone call away.

 

Could Villa Accommodation Make a Difference on Your Next Trip?

Based on the above reasons, our view of villa accommodation has certainly expanded. While we appreciate standard hotel services such as daily room cleaning and concierge services, having our own private space greatly enhanced our experience in Cyprus.

Breakfast in Paphos, Cyprus

Our overall experience also provided insight into why James Villas are the UK’s leading villa holiday specialist and have won the gold award in the British Travel Award category for the Best Large Villa/Self Catering Company, many times over the years.

Meanwhile, we have unfinished business in Cyprus. Many new experiences await us when we return to this island of Aphrodite.

 

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Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).